Turbochargers vs Superchargers

With the rapid growth of customisation in the auto industry. Sometimes it's best to make educated decisions before spending a large fortune on something that may not be the best possible option for you. One classic example is the turbochargers and superchargers option. Granted, both of them do have cool sounding names. But there's a lot more in contrast other than the suffix.

Turbochargers and Superchargers are in fact from the same family, they both are able to compress the air that flows into the engine. This results in an increased power generation. Such pieces of equipment are generally known as forced induction systems. The additional power could at times surmount to values greater than 50% of its original power rating.

Power Source

One of the main differences is from where they draw their power from.

The turbochargers draws its energy from the exhaust stream, which is sent through a turbine, that spins the compressor into action. Superchargers on the other hand, draw their power via a belt connected directly to the crankshaft.

Compressor speeds of roughly 150,000 RPM can be reached with some turbochargers (roughly about 30 times faster than your standard car engine). This is due to the fact of it not being connected to the engine directly. This acts as a limiting factor for Superchargers where a speed of about 50,000 RPM could be expected. Turbochargers could get significantly heated during operation and necessary insulation precautions have to be added.

RPM Range

Superchargers are more effective at lower RPMs. There is however, a slight delay in power generation by the turbocharger. The sudden lunge forward in the car is experienced when the action takes place. At higher speeds, the turbochargers are more effective.

Size plays a role in the slight nuances in turbocharger capabilities. Larger units produce greater boosts whereas smaller units give a more rapid boost action.


The effectivity of turbochargers and superchargers are increased at higher elevations. This being due to gradual reduction in density of the air. Compared to your standard engines, turbochargers are able to run better with less dense air. For both.


Turbochargers are generally equipped with smog altering equipment that significantly reduce the carbon emissions from the automobile. Due to no waste-gate present, this is not the case with superchargers.

Reliability & Price

Due to its simplified design, the superchargers are more reliable and much easier to maintain. Whereas turbochargers are more quieter in operation.

As far as pricing goes, they're more or less the same.

In Conclusion

As you could see, each option has its pros and cons. It all comes to what you want that is best for your vehicle.

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When it comes to experts in the engine servicing and turbocharger industry, look no further than West Coast Fuel Injection and Turbo Ltd. We are your  number one place to go for heavy and light duty servicing.

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