How Are Turbos Measured


When cars were first manufactured, there was no automatic transmission! You had to shift gears using a manual gearbox with clutch and shifter components. Over time, engineers realized that it is possible to eliminate some of these parts by creating what is now known as a turbocharger!

A turbocharger works in an interesting way. Instead of having pistons which are connected to a crankshaft, like normal engines, a turbo uses compressor wheels instead. These wheels spin at very high speeds and compress air while moving down the tube of the engine. The compressed air is then injected into the intake side of the cylinders, allowing for more oxygen and fuel to be mixed together and burnt in the combustion chamber.

Air flow

When cars were first manufactured, there was no way to measure how much air is going through your car’s engine. Since then, engineers have come up with several ways to determine this by measuring the pressure of the fluid as it moves through the engine.

The most common method is called direct measurement via a device known as an airflow meter or vortex sensor. As fluids move in a system, they create lower pressures at higher elevations than at lower elevations. An airflow meter works by detecting these drops in fluid pressure.

By multiplying the drop in pressure by the flow rate of the fluid, we can calculate the total amount of air that is moving through the engine. This is why some say that airflow meters are the best way to accurately test horsepower.

However, not every manufacturer uses airflow meters so some people may feel that indirect methods such as stroke (the length of time it takes for the piston to go up and down) and torque (how hard you need to push on the wheel to get the car moving) are more accurate representations of power.

Air pressure

how are turbos measured

When you take your car out for its first ride, there is always that moment when it fires up and you can hear the engine roar to life. This is because of something called turbo boost.

When you turn the ignition key, this is what allows air to enter into the combustion chamber where fuel is mixed with oxygen.

This process is limited by how much air is able to get in and how quickly it moves out due to the heat generated during combustion. If there’s not enough air or no explosion happens, then nothing will happen!

The engineers who design cars use sensors to measure the amount of air entering the cylinder and the speed at which it leaves. These measurements are used to determine if more air needs to be injected or the throttle should be opened wider so that more air gets pulled into the engine.

These engines also have computers that help control everything all while working together to make sure everything functions properly.

Exhaust flow

how are turbos measured

The amount of exhaust gas that leaves your vehicle is what matters when it comes to horsepower! This is measured in cubic feet per minute (cfm) or sometimes referred to as volume, due to the way it’s calculated.

The faster the air escapes the engine, the more powerful the car becomes because you are using fuel more efficiently. To determine the exact cfm of your vehicle, use our quick tip below!

Quick Tip: Check out the ‘Dino Di Vette’ section here at – this site will tell you how many cubic inches of thick, rich exhaust gases your vehicle has!

Here’s an example: If the website says that your vehicle has 24 cubic inches of exhaust, then you know it produces one extra 24% power than it should!

This can be caused by either a bad catalytic converter, muffler, or other parts of the system. As such, we recommend having these inspected to see if they need replacing.

Another factor that can affect the performance of your vehicle is the type of oil used for the internal components. We have several different oils that are optimized for various vehicles, check out the best engine oils here!

We also have tips and tricks about improving your vehicle’s performance, like up-grading your tires or changing your transmission fluid.

Exhaust pressure

how are turbos measured

The most popular way to measure turbo boost is by looking at how much air is being pumped into your engine through its exhaust system. More powerful turbos will create more high-pressure gasses that need to be released, so there’s an outlet for this extra pressurized gas.

The faster the car gets going, the higher these pressures will build up. As they reach their limit, sensors send a signal to something called a gain stage. This then opens up the throttle slightly, allowing the engine to use the additional power as intended.

By measuring the difference in pressure before and after the gate is opened, we are able to calculate how much power the turbo produces! This is what people refer to as boost pressure or EP (exhaust pressure). Many cars have separate gauges for each side of the equation, making it easy to compare one vehicle with another.

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