Here Are 5 Things You Need To Do Before Turbocharging Your Car

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Engineering Explained and Humble Mechanic are here to help you before going down the forced-induction rabbit hole.

Forced induction is the best way to transform a vehicle and it’s a surefire way of getting more power from an engine. But before you go slapping a turbocharger onto your motor, Engineering Explained — with some help from Humble Mechanic — points out some other changes that need to be made. Here are five items that need to be made before turbocharging your car’s engine.

Engineering Explained Turbocharging

Right off the bat, you will need a car. Seriously, don’t turbocharge a lawnmower or anything. Get a car, one that you’ll want to drive for awhile, before spending your hard-earned money upgrading it. With that obvious one out of the way,  you’ll want a turbocharger.

Charles from Humble Mechanic is turbocharging his 1998 Volkswagen GTI and has opted for a Garrett kit larger than anything for a stock vehicle. It’s also a good idea to have a boost level in mind. Charles, for instance, plans to run 10 psi of boost when purchasing a turbo.

The next item on the list to upgrade is the car’s fuel system. Cramming more air into an engine represents only half of the equation. The motor will need the correct amount of fuel for the combustion process. The two YouTubers point towards the car’s fuel pump and fuel injectors as necessary upgrades.

Engineering Explained Turbocharging

With an actual turbo and a better fuel system, the next thing to tackle will be the car’s engine management system. An upgraded ECM or chip will ensure that the engine gets the proper amount of fuel and air to create more power.

Next up is cooling. Increasing the car’s cooling capabilities ensures that the engine runs at a suitable temperature despite working harder. While it’s not mandatory, it makes the process of forced induction more efficient, claims Engineering Explained.

Engineering Explained Turbocharging

Lastly, the rest of the vehicle will require upgrades to compensate for the increase in performance. Brakes, tires, a larger exhaust system, a head gasket spacer, and maybe even switching to spark plugs with a different heat rating are things that you’ll have to consider before fitting your car with a turbo.

Have your say on the forums.

To get a more in-depth look at what your car may need before going turbocharged, check out the video above and take notes. Sure, you could skip all of this and just go for it, but by following these five steps, you’re ensuring that your car can handle the increase in power reliably.

Joel Patel contributes to Corvette Forum, Rennlist, Club Lexus, Harley-Davidson Forums, and YotaTech, among other auto sites. Check out his blog Man, Adventure, Wheels.

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