Differences Between A Turbo Engine And A Supercharged Engine

Posted on: 14 December 2015

When it comes to your engine, what makes a smart choice when it comes to supercharged or turbo engines? Do you know the difference between the two? The terminology is easily confused between turbochargers and superchargers, which doesn't help your decision any. Both deal with power and forced induction systems by compressing air into the engine producing more power to the vehicle. The power supply is the main difference between the two phrases. It depends on what type of vehicle you have and its manufacturer to determine which engine is the best choice.  

Turbo Engines

The exhaust system is the energy source for a turbocharger. The exhaust moves through the turbine that spins the compressor. A car may lunge forward when the turbo kicks in and depending on the size of the turbocharger; this transition may be fast or slow. Turbocharged engines are very effective in high altitudes because the air is denser whereas a regular vehicle will have difficulties.

The turbocharger can spin faster because it is not connected to the engine. Turbos lower the carbon emission of discharges with smog altering equipment. These chargers must be well insulated because they run extremely hot.

Super Charged Engines

A supercharger's power source is a belt, shaft, gear, or chain connected to the engine's crankshaft that is capable of compressing air of the atmospheric pressure. The boost is created by forcing air to the engine and adds more horsepower. With the increase of air, more fuel is released to the combustion charge. A supercharger has a belt directly connected to the engine and receives the air similar to an alternator or water pump. It will emit smog because it does not have a waste gate.


Wasted energy is used from the exhaust stream as a power source in the turbocharger, deeming it more efficient. However, the turbocharger can cause some back pressure in the exhaust system, which provides less boost until the engine obtains higher revolutions per minute (RPMs). Superchargers are usually more expensive but easier to install.

The choice depends on the make of the vehicle because both are within the same price range. A supercharger may work better with a regular car because tune-ups are simpler, and the units are easier to install. The turbo is considered more efficient and has a niche in specialized markets. It is up to the car owner as to which forced induction system is the correct decision. Contact a local outlet, such as Western Starter Ltd, for further assistance.