When you hear someone talk about an engine and the fact that it has turbocharging or supercharging included do you know the difference? If you’re aware these two terms refer to the fact that the engine under the hood has some form of forced induction being used to produce the power desired in the engine. How this power is produced and what these items do that cause the forced induction is something of a mystery to you, but it certainly doesn’t have to be a secret because they are two different things that can be used under the hood of your car.Should you be familiar with what forced induction is and how it works? It certainly wouldn’t hurt because the most used engine size and type right now is a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Each automaker has their own take on this engine and programs them differently, but this is the size we see offered in more cars than ever before. This engine is so common that one company uses it exclusively while adding the benefits of supercharging at the higher trims to offer more of the power desired from under the hood.
Looking at the Differences
In the simplest form, the turbocharger that you find in most engines offered today are used to turn exhaust gas that would be wasted into power the engine can use. This can be thought of as a way of the engine recycling its own waste to make more power and create an efficiency boost for the fuel mileage you want. This makes it possible to have a smaller engine and produce the power that would have been found in larger engines of the past with an increase in the amount of torque for the drive as well.Superchargers are different from turbochargers. A supercharger forces air into the engine by taking power from the engine, not the exhaust. This forced air increases the horsepower offered with little to no effect on the torque of the engine. As the rpm of the engine increases, the effectiveness of the supercharger also increases. Using a supercharger allows the engine to feel like a naturally aspirated model but with more horsepower under the hood to give you the power you want when you drive. This is the system that is used in higher performance models because it can respond and react immediately.The one drawback to a turbocharger is the fact that it has a lag time as the heat and exhaust generates. A turbocharger generates a lot of heat but improves the efficiency of the engine. Because superchargers suck power from the engine in order to operate, the efficiency of the engine will be reduced. Take a look at the video below and learn more specifics regarding these two forms of forced induction. Now that you know more than you did, which type of forced induction is right for the vehicle you drive and enjoy on a regular basis?