Car turbocharger: Structure and operating principle?

Nowadays, car turbochargers are commonly used on many car models, even popular cars, to increase power when the car is operating. So what is a car turbocharger? How does a car turbocharger work? Today’s article by CARON PRO will help you solve these questions.

What is a car turbocharger?

Car turbocharger

A car turbocharger (also known as a turbocharger) is a device used on a car engine to increase the pressure of air entering the engine. It works by using fan blades to speed up the flow of air into the engine, thereby increasing air intake and providing more oxygen for combustion. As intake air pressure increases, engine performance and power also increase, allowing cars to accelerate faster and provide more power during operation. Car turbochargers help improve engine performance and fuel economy, while reducing emissions that pollute the environment.

Classification of car turbochargers?

Currently, turbochargers are divided into the following types depending on their intended use and customer needs:

  • Single Turbo: This is a simple turbocharger with traditional structure. It is easy to install and has high turbine efficiency, suitable for small engines. However, the drawback of a single turbine is its poor performance at low speeds and in low-rpm engine modes, and there is a certain delay (turbo lag).
Single Turbo
  • Twin-Turbo/Bi-Turbo: This type uses two traditional turbos operating simultaneously. This helps overcome turbo lag and provides the most optimal power. Twin-turbo is often used in high-end and high-performance engines
Twin Turbo
  • Twin-Scroll Turbo: This turbocharger has the same structure as a single turbo, but has two turbine tubes. This type of turbo gives good performance both at low and medium speeds, however, it is expensive and requires high maintenance and repair costs.
Twin – Scroll Turbo
  • Electric Turbo: This type uses electric technology to provide motivation for the turbo, helping to minimize turbo lag and improve engine performance. Electric turbo is becoming popular in modern cars.
Electric Turbo
  • Variable Twin-Scroll Turbo: This turbocharger has the ability to adjust the air flow into each turbine tube, optimizing performance in many different operating conditions.
Variable Twin-Scroll Turbo
  • Variable Geometry Turbocharger: This type of turbo can adjust the air pump and turbine angle to enhance performance at different engine speed zones.
Variable Geometry Turbocharge

Structure of a car turbocharger?

Structure of engine turbocharger

Engine turbochargers often have a spiral shape and the internal structure includes: turbine blades, pump impellers, shafts, bearings and turbo shaft lubrication lines.

The turbine blades and pump blades are placed in two separate compartments and are tightly connected together through a shaft. The turbine blade is located inside the cavity connected to the engine exhaust manifold to receive thrust from the exhaust gas flow. Meanwhile, the pump impeller is located in the opposite compartment and is responsible for adding compressed air into the combustion chamber.

How does a car turbocharger work?

Operating principle of the turbocharger

The turbocharger is installed on the engine exhaust pipe. When the exhaust gas from the engine is released, it will impact the turbine blade of the turbocharger, causing the turbine blade to rotate. Thanks to the connection on the same shaft, the pump impeller in the opposite cavity will rotate with the turbine blade. The rotation of the impeller draws in clean air and feeds it into the engine.

The larger the amount of exhaust gas, the faster the turbo’s rotation speed will be, which means a larger amount of air is admitted into the engine, thereby increasing engine power. In this way, the turbocharger helps the engine operate efficiently and improves car performance.

However, in cases where the pressure and temperature of the gas being sucked in is too high, the gas volume will increase and the oxygen density will decrease. This may affect engine performance. Therefore, people often install a cooler in the front of the car to cool the intake air from the turbo.

In addition, because the turbocharger is located on the exhaust pipe, if the exhaust gas pressure increases, it can create back pressure into the combustion chamber, causing engine damage. To overcome this, people often install a safety valve to help direct excess exhaust gas out. This helps protect the engine and ensure safe operation of the car’s turbocharger system.

Advantages and disadvantages of car turbochargers?


Turbocharging helps increase engine power without increasing the number of cylinders or capacity. Thanks to this, the engine can operate more efficiently and consume less fuel. For example, when using a turbo engine, engine power can increase by 30% – 40% compared to a non-turbo engine.


Engines using turbochargers require pistons, pushrods and crankshafts to be designed more firmly than engines that do not use turbochargers. This increases the production and maintenance costs of the engine.

Turbochargers create high temperatures during operation, causing the engine to heat up. This requires the cooling system to be designed to be larger to effectively dissipate heat and maintain a stable engine temperature.

Because turbines rotate at very high speeds, around 100,000 – 250,000 rpm, turbocharged engines must have a large enough oil supply to lubricate and cool the turbo components. This also requires additional costs and special care for the oil supply system.

Reputable address for installing car turbochargers?


CarOn Pro – 5S standard car service system

Caron Pro is trusted and known by customers as a chain of 5S standard auto repair service centers. With extremely modern equipment, genuine spare parts, skilled technicians, a full range of services at extremely affordable prices and quality. With a variety of services and products, CarOn is committed to providing the most dedicated quality and service.

Please contact us immediately via Hotline: 1900633612 or 0919009069

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Lot P3, Thi Cam Street, Xuan Phuong, Nam Tu Liem, Hanoi
Phone: 0919009069
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