What are the uses of superchargers and turbochargers as engine accessories?

In the field of vehicle engineering, more power and efficiency are always sought for. Turbochargers and superchargers boost engine performance by pushing more air into the combustion chamber. Despite having the same function, these clever add-ons work via various techniques, each with unique benefits and limitations.


Turbochargers compress intake air before it reaches the combustion chamber by driving a turbine using exhaust gasses. This compressed air increases oxygen availability, improving combustion and power production.

Working Mechanism:

The turbine spins at a high speed due to exhaust gasses passing between the blades when the engine operates. A shaft that is attached to the turbine powers a compressor that pulls air from the atmosphere and compresses it. By forcing this compressed air into the intake manifold, the density of the air-fuel combination is essentially increased.

Advantages of Turbochargers:

  • Improved power output without increasing engine displacement
  • Enhanced fuel efficiency due to better combustion
  • Smaller size and weight compared to superchargers

Obstacles & Things to Think About:

  • Turbo lag, the delay in power delivery due to turbine inertia
  • Added complexity and the possibility of heat accumulation
  • Requires robust cooling and lubrication systems


The engine drives superchargers via a belt or gear system, unlike turbochargers, which use exhaust gasses. Turbo lag is eliminated by the rapid power transfer made possible by this direct mechanical connection.

Working Mechanism:

A compressor installed on the engine's intake manifold makes up a supercharger. Supercharger's driving system turns the compressor, pulling air from the atmosphere and compressing it before sending it to the combustion chamber.

Benefits of supercharging

  • Immediate power delivery, eliminating turbo lag
  • Simpler design and installation compared to turbochargers
  • Consistent performance across the entire RPM range

Obstacles & Things to Think About:

  • Increased parasitic drag on the engine due to mechanical drive
  • Higher fuel consumption compared to turbochargers
  • Limited power gains compared to turbocharging, especially at higher RPMs

Choosing the Right Accessory:

The application, power requirements, and packaging limits determine whether to use a turbocharger or supercharger. For their fast throttle response and simplicity, superchargers are preferred over turbochargers, which are better for efficiency and power.


Superchargers and turbochargers are essential additions in the pursuit of increased engine performance, each with their own benefits and drawbacks. Superchargers use a mechanical drive to provide rapid throttle response, whereas turbochargers use exhaust energy to increase power. When choosing the appropriate accessory for a certain application, it is essential to comprehend their functioning methods and considerations. Engine accessories like turbocharging for economy and high-end power and supercharging for fast throttle response take automobile innovation to new heights.

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