Turbochargers VS Superchargers | Which is Better?

Deutsche Auto Parts
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Superchargers vs Turbos, a question as old as time.... if time was as old as forced induction. We show you how superchargers and turbos work, and why one could be better than the other.

Animations used in this video

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When you say super or turbo charged to a regular person, they may not know why its good, but they know it’s good.... real good. The words have become so synonymous with more power that they are being used on cars that don’t even have turbos..... or engines.

Whether you are looking to buy a car that already has one, or you want to upgrade your naturally aspirated car, the age-old question remains. Which one is better?

A normal engine has 4 strokes, suck, squeeze, bang and blow. Individually these sound your late-night search history, but when you combine them the tell you how an engine works. First you suck the air into the engine, then the piston comes back up and squeezes the air fuel mixture, then you spark plug ignites the mixture and bang, your piston is sent back down only to return up and blow out the spent gases into the exhaust.

To get more power out of an engine you need more air and fuel to make a bigger bang. This is where forced induction like turbos and superchargers come in. Superchargers and turbos both operate under the same principle, force in more air make bigger bang. The difference between the 2 is how they accomplish said forcing.

A turbo charger uses a shaft with 2 spiny wheels attached to it. These spiny wheels are separate by the hot and cold side of the turbo. The hot side of the turbo is attached the exhaust and the cold side to the intake. Turbos use the spent exhaust gas from the combustion process to spin the turbo which allows it to force more air into the engine

A supercharger in our case uses 2 twisty shafts that are attached to a pulley. That pulley is belt driven and spins the 2 twisty shafts together forcing more air into the engine.

Let’s talk about advantages and disadvantages
Turbos are more efficient since they use exhaust gases that are already a byproduct of combustion to drive them. The down side of this is that it takes time for a turbo to spool since the exhaust gas at low RPM are not moving fast enough to create boost. This efficiency gives them more power potential, but has a down side of turbo lag. Also, they make cool noises

Superchargers have instant power, the second you mash your foot the the floor its go time, but that instant power comes at the cost of efficiency. Since superchargers are belt driven you robbing HP from the engine to drive the supercharger. An while the supercharger is a giver its a giver and a taker. Also it makes cool noises like whaaaaa

When it comes to upgrading naturally aspirated engines with one of these things get pretty distant. Turbos are much more widely used in general, are easier to retrofit and make more power. While superchargers are not very wide spread, more challenging to retrofit and make less power. This generally gives turbos the edge for cost and power potential.

When it comes to buying a car just pick the car that’s best overall vehicle for you. The advantages of one over the other don’t warrant avoiding either. But its probably going to be a turbo car, since there are not a ton of supercharged cars on the market. Orrrr Why not both?