Supercharger VS Turbocharger: Which Is Best For You?

There are those people that just love speed. They cannot drive cars that are not fast. If you are one of those people, you may have considered getting your vehicle supercharged or installing a turbocharger. But do you know the difference between these two systems? They are not the same despite what you might think. You have to consider the cost of acquiring both items. You should also think about your car’s performance, and the system that would be most appropriate. 

The difference in how both systems work:

A supercharger is usually attached to your engine and spins with the crankshaft. That means that it cannot function without the engine. When the engine crankshaft spins, the supercharger forces air into the motor and forces your vehicle to go fast. 

On the hand, a turbo is attached to your exhaust manifold. The exhaust gases usually fire up the turbo, which forces the speed compressor to spin. This forces air into the intake system and enables your vehicle to have more speed. 

You should note that turbo functioning is not dependent on the engine. This makes it more efficient. Turbo engines also reach full boost faster than supercharged engines because they depend on the exhaust gases to force air into the intake system. In most cases, a supercharger does not create full boost until it reaches redline. 

Forced induction

This is a common characteristic in a turbo and supercharged engine. Both systems force air into your engine in order to increase the car’s power and speed. 


A supercharger is tied to your engine. It is usually connected using a belt that link the supercharger unit and the crankshaft. The moment the engine spins, the supercharger also spins. This enables the supercharger to force air into the engine. The boost that you get from the supercharger unit always boils down to the size of the pulley. 

In essence if you have a bigger pulley, the supercharger will spin at a lower rate. A smaller pulley is much better as it will allow the crankshafts to spin much faster and add more boost. As a precaution, you shouldn’t over boost the supercharger as it has limited efficiency. This is because when you over boost the charger, it blows hot air in your engine and reduces the amount of power that your vehicle gets.


You can say that a turbo is almost similar to a supercharger with a few minor changes. A turbo will use the exhaust housing. Because a turbo is not directly connected to the engine of the car, it can be able to spin much faster. In fact, the turbo engine can increase the turbine rotation by as much as 30 times. In other words, vehicles that are turbocharged have higher Rotations Per Minute (RPMs). In addition, the larger the turbo kit, the more powerful the car will get. Unlike superchargers, turbochargers rarely experience a reduction in power. This is because they can pump thinner air into the compression system. 

Impact on the Environment

Since the turbocharger is connected to the car’s exhaust system, it can alter the vehicle’s carbon emissions. This makes it more risky for the environment. 

Other Notable Differences

On average, a supercharger can result in RPM speeds of up to 15,000 while a turbo charger increases the RPM to 50,000. This means that you get better and more efficient acceleration with a supercharger because it doesn’t overwork the engine. 

On the other hand, superchargers can be bad for the engine. This is because the system exposes the engine to high temperatures when forcing air in. The hotness accelerates the wear and tear of engine components. 

It’s also harder to maintain a turbo system because it’s more of a front end system. You have to make sure that the exhaust system is always in good condition. This system is also connected to other vehicle components. That means that you need a mechanic with experience in handling turbochargers to maintain your system. Finding such a person can be expensive. 

Final Thoughts

Given the above differences, the decision is up to you. If you want your car to peak really well and consume fuel much better on the highway, you should install a turbocharger. On the other hand, if you want an environment friendly system, you should install a supercharger. 

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