How does a turbocharger with intercooler work?

Marshall Brain

You Asked: How does a turbo charger with inter cooler work? --- Pankaj, Jalgaon, India

Marshall Answered: A turbocharger is basically an air pump. Exhaust gases leaving the engine spin a turbine. The turbine spins an impeller that compresses air heading to the engine. When you stuff more air into the engine, it means you can also burn more gasoline. So you can get more power out of the engine per piston stroke. An engine with a lot of boost can produce hundreds more horsepower than an engine that is not turbocharged.

When you compress air, it gets hot. When air gets hot, it expands. This defeats the purpose of the turbocharger, since the expansion means that the engine gets less air than it could. An intercooler is a big radiator. You run the hot compressed air from the turbocharger through the intercooler to bring down its temperature and make it denser. For more info see: How Turbochargers Work.