How does a turbo work?

If you’ve ever wondered how a turbo works, then you’re not alone. In fact, I’ve had this question myself on more than one occasion. But in this article, we’ll explore the basic mechanics of a turbo.

There are 2 main parts of the turbo; the compressor wheel and the turbine wheel.

The compressor wheel, which is fixed to the exhaust manifold, is designed to compress the gas passing through it. The turbine wheel, which is mounted on the cylinder head, spins once the gas has been compressed and then directs it to the engine through the exhaust manifold.

The way it works is when the engine starts, a small amount of gas is drawn into the engine through the intake manifold, after which the throttle is opened, allowing the gas to enter the cylinders. The intake air is then compressed by the compressor wheel, and this forces a corresponding amount of fuel into the cylinders. The compression of the air causes the fuel to ignite and burn, creating heat energy, which is then directed through the exhaust system and finally through the turbine wheel, where it spins.

As the gas spins the turbine wheel, the turbine is forced backwards and forwards, generating energy in the process. This energy is then used to drive the compressor wheel, causing it to spin faster, compressing the air even further. As this continues, the turbo becomes more powerful, and the engine begins to rev higher.

This is the simplest way to explain how the turbocharger works, but it doesn’t cover everything. If you’re interested in more information, read our blogs that cover everything turbo.