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Turbo charged engines; do we know other side of the coin?


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Turbo charged engines have slowly started gaining interest in India, rightly so, as they generate power and are fuel efficient. Turbo engines utilize the waste exhaust gases to generate more power, even out of a smaller engine. However, do we know other side of the coin; any potential issues or any longevity concerns of engine in real life? Please share your experiences. Is it worth shedding additional money on, in long term?


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On 11/19/2020 at 8:35 AM, Kshitiz said:

Is it worth shedding additional money on, in long term?

Turbo petrols(Direct injection) are future, drive back a turbo petrol and NA engine back to back.
You will hate driving an NA engine.

Turbo petrols are ideal for driving conditions compared to western countries.

Let me take an example  of Seltos 1.5 NA vs 1.4 DCT


Seltos 1.5NA 113.4bhp@6300rpm

Seltos 1.4 Turbo : 138bhp@6000rpm


Seltos 1.5NA 144nm@4500rpm

Seltos 1.4 Turbo : 242nm@1500-3200rpm


Inside city limits we generally drive under 2k rpm. Turbo petrol almost makes double the torque compared to NA.

I used to drive a 1.8NA (Civic), my dad owns a Venue 1.0 Turbo.
Inside city limits and under 120KMPH, Venue feels superior over Civic. 

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Turbo charged engines are definitely very punchy, and leave an exhilarated smile on face; quite enjoyable, I would say.

Recently, I attempted to find some news, or user experiences on the longevity of the turbo engines.

Here are few things/concerns I would like to share and seek advice.

  • Turbo charger makes engines hotter and suffer high pressure: Although, oil is used to cool the engine, but it still gets very hot, and it raises question if this cooling system is enough while engine is running on high speed. So, this working model may require high level of maintenance, and this maintenance may come with an increased cost as compared to Naturally aspirated (NA) engines.
  • Engine Idling requirements (as precaution): I don't own any turbo charged car; however, as I read the reviews on different automobile forums, I found that apparently Car manuals recommend 30 to 60 sec idling of engine before turning the ignition OFF and after ignition ON. They recommend not to push down the accelerator paddle immediately after engine is started. Similarly, before stopping the car let engine idle for 30 to 60 second. To understand why idling is recommended, please read this news article. https://www.financialexpress.com/auto/car-news/heres-how-idling-your-naturally-aspirated-turbocharged-car-is-beneficial-in-the-long-run-tips-tricks-engine/2088090/ . In summary, this points to the same thing- engine heat and risk of high maintenance cost.
  • High cost of Maintenance: all the above points also brings us ultimately to high cost of maintenance, replacement of parts, etc. I read some instances of like "bent in the turbo fan", "costly engine oil" , "replacement of turbocharger shaft" etc. They all could be very heavy on our pocket.
  • I found few more reasons for not opting a turbo engine; however, they were too technical for me (I understand Medicines and diseases better 🙂 ), as they talked about "throttle response", Peaking of torque too early, non-linear torque, very high rpm turbo spins (150 K vs 6-7 K of NA engines)

I could understand one simple logic after reading many articles "smaller engines working harder and at higher temperature, so it may wear out faster"   


So, turbo charged engines are futuristic but in my opinion that future is yet to come and an upgraded engine or technology is required to keep Turbo charged engines running. Automobile companies will bring new technology only when they would see people questioning it. Till then companies would continue to take out return on their investment.






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