When you buy a turbocharged diesel vehicle, you are really buying a finely tuned, balanced system that’s been carefully engineered so that all of the components work together.

At IamDIESEL Diesel Service Centre, we get a lot of questions about diesel engine performance enhancement.  Invariably, people ask us if they should start by upgrading their turbochargers.

The answer is no – simply upgrading the turbo unit on your engine won’t necessarily improve your vehicle’s performance.  On the other hand, if you perform other upgrades in search of more performance, you should consider upgrading your turbocharger at the same time.  The carefully balanced air/fuel ratio that the manufacturer has designed the system to provide will be thrown out of whack if you change any of the variables, and you might need a different turbo unit to put them back in balance.  We always ask what the goal of the performance improvement is – quicker acceleration and better drivability, higher top speeds, or more power to pull big loads without compromising fuel economy and damaging the engine.  When we know what our customer is setting out to do, we can make a better recommendation.

Spool time

Installing a bigger turbo unit, one capable of forcing more total air into the combustion chamber, usually results in slower response when the driver depresses the throttle.  From an every day drivability perspective, we do our best to match the size of the turbines in the turbo to the application, and provide better performance without too much of an increase in spool time.

Exhaust Gas Temperature

One of the biggest reasons for upgrading a turbocharger is to reduce exhaust gas temperature.  If your EGT gets too high (for example, when pulling a heavy load up a steep grade) engine damage can result.  Higher capacity turbochargers can help combat this rise in temperature.

IamDIESEL Diesel Service Centre is the service branch of Western Turbo, Winnipeg’s premier diesel centre.  We service all makes of diesel vehicles, and really enjoy helping our customers reach their performance goals.  We recommend and install turbocharger units from Holset, Garrett, and BorgWarner.