Expert Auto Advice for Half Moon Bay: Forced Induction
auto advice Half Moon Bay

Most Half Moon Bay auto owners associate turbochargers and superchargers with hot rods and
racing. However, the number of everyday cars and trucks coming to Belmont from the factory
with chargers is growing every year. Here’s why –
You need three elements for combustion: fuel, oxygen, and ignition (spark plug in gasoline
engines and compression in diesels). Superchargers and turbochargers deal with the oxygen
part of the formula. In the normally aspirated engines Half Moon Bay car owners are familiar with,
air is just drawn in from the outside by vacuum pressure created as the engine runs.
Turbochargers and superchargers compress the air that goes into the engine’s combustion
chamber, forcing in more oxygen. This forced charge of air allows an engine to make more power
than a similarly sized normally aspirated engine.
So today we have small 4-cylinder turbocharged engines on Half Moon Bay interstates making
more power than a full-sized V8 did twenty years ago – and getting far better MPG. And the
power on charged six and eight cylinder engines is through the roof.
In addition to power and fuel economy, charged engines deliver vital benefits for Half Moon Bay
car owners at higher altitudes. As the air thins with an increase in elevation, there is less oxygen
available to burn in the engine resulting in a significant power loss. Charging forces more air –
and oxygen – into the engine, preserving much of the power at altitude. Turbochargers use
exhaust from the engine to spin an impeller that compresses the air sent to the engine. Because
there is a short time between when you step on the accelerator and the time the exhaust
pressure builds up enough to spin the turbo up to speed, there is a short lag in power. To
combat this “turbo lag”, some automobile manufacturers use two turbos: a small one that quickly
spins up when engine speed is low and a larger one for when the engine is running speedy.
Others use a variable vane technology in the impeller to accomplish the same thing.
Superchargers are driven by a belt connected to the engine’s crankshaft. There is no lag
because charging starts immediately (it doesn’t have to wait for exhaust pressure).
Superchargers are less efficient for Half Moon Bay drivers because they require engine power to
run the compressor whereas turbochargers are powered by “free” exhaust. In both types, the air
heats up as it is compressed. In some engines it is necessary to cool the air before it goes into
the engine. In those engines, the air passes through what is called an intercooler to bring its
temperature down to the proper range. An intercooler is like a small radiator and may be cooled
by air flow or by liquid coolant.
Half Moon Bay owners of superchargers and turbochargers should always use the fuel grade
recommended by their auto manufacturer. This is critical in charged engines because of the
extra pressure as the fuel and air is compressed. Using fuel with too low of an octane rating
could lead to premature detonation which can cause expensive damage.
Generally speaking, turbochargers and superchargers do not require regular maintenance. But
they do wear like any other part in your vehicle and will eventually need repair or replacement.
All of your critical regular vehicle maintenance should be done on schedule – things like oil
changes and transmission service and so on. Talk with your caring Half Moon Bay Auto Repair
tech about any concerns you have and about the next services your vehicle needs.
Give us a call

Half Moon Bay Auto Repair
149 Main St
Half Moon Bay, CA 94019
650.726.0711


At Half Moon Bay Auto Repair in Half Moon Bay CA (94019) we install quality NAPA replacement
parts. Give us a call at 650.726.0711. To learn more about NAPA AutoCare, visit www.
NAPAAutoCare.com.