The Differences Between A Turbocharger And A Supercharger

A turbocharger and supercharger may not be the same thing.  You need to take the time to understand what it is you want out of your automobile.  Supercharger and turbocharger certainly sound cool, but that is literally all they have in common.  If you are looking to ramp up your engine and be a part of the “cool club” you should probably understand and know what that means.  Getting a supercharged car is certainly different than getting a turbocharged car. Let’s dive into the differences!

Increase the RPMS!

A turbocharger uses the exhaust to increase the speed to up to 30 times faster than a normal engine.  How this works is that the exhaust goes through the turbine and spins the compressor. As a result, you get more RPMs out of your engine with this method.  This makes the engine faster than that of a standard engine. This allows the car to lunge forward with the boost of energy. This type of power is very helpful in higher altitudes where normal engines might have an issue.  The extra air allows for more combustion which in return will increase the horsepower to up to 46%. It is not directly connected to the engine as a supercharger is either. This style of a superpower will also allow you to pass a strict emissions test, unlike a supercharger.  

The differences in a supercharger and turbocharger

A supercharger will draw its power from the crankshaft, while the turbocharger takes it from the exhaust.  The supercharger will not pass an emissions test as it does not have a wastegate. Turbochargers, such as the borg warner 171702 have smog emitting elements that will allow them to pass emissions testing which is one reason why they are so popular in Europe.  Along with this reason, most engines in Europe are small four-cylinders and turbochargers work well with the smaller engines. However, superchargers are easier to maintain and more reliable.  

One is not better than the other

People go back and forth on which is better.  But, in the end, it really boils down to what you are attempting to do on what make and model of car.  A supercharger is easier to tune and maintain, but a turbocharger offers those emission regulation benefits.  Typically a regular car will do better with a supercharger but if you know what you are doing a turbocharger is a great option as well.  

The cost of a supercharger and turbocharger are about the same.  This is not a reason to lean to one side or the other. But, a supercharger is the one that less mechanical people tend to favor as they are easier to install, operate and maintain.  But, if you are really looking for a quick boost on a smaller engine you are going to want to go with the turbocharger. 

In conclusion

The way a supercharger works by using the crankshaft for its energy and power.  While the turbocharger uses the exhaust. The turbocharger runs cleaner than the supercharger, which means it produces smog emissions.  The spin rate of the turbocharger is 15K RPM vs that of the supercharger at 50K RPM.  

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The Differences Between A Turbocharger And A Supercharger