Every car that rolls off the factory line these days seems to be a turbocharged car. Some come with big turbocharged engines, while others smaller. Whatever the displacement is, it is still a turbocharged engine, and to help prolong the life of these forced engines, there are some engine etiquette that you should follow.
They are not like naturally aspirated engines and should not be treated like one, so here are four things you should never do to a turbocharged car.
1. Proper engine warm-up
Many already know this but it is more crucial for a turbocharged engine. You should never run your car hard until it is properly warmed up. It would be best if you always got it to operating temperature before doing any sort of spirited driving and the common misconception is that if the cooling gauge reaches the middle, you are ready to go. But the thing is, your coolant warms up faster than your engine oil and if your engine oil is not at operating temperature, it can harm your engine. This is even more so in a forced induction car because oil is sent to the turbocharger and if the snail doesn't receive proper oil flow due to it being cold, it could damage it. Just wait a few extra minutes after that coolant gauge reaches the middle, it'll save you some heartbreak.
2. Never switch your engine off immediately after a hard drive
When you drive your car hard, some hardware in your engine bay will be hotter than others. When you switch your engine off, you're also switching off oil flow and what this does is it leaves hot oil in hot areas which will eventually breakdown the oil. This reduces the flow characteristics of the oil and in turn is not good for your engine. This also means that you will need to change your oil more often and not have the most protection against engine friction, so let your engine cool down. Try not to get into boost before reaching your destination, and maybe wait a minute before shutting off your car after a hard drive.
3. Never lug your turbocharged engine
What does engine lugging mean? It merely means that you are giving the engine high load at low engine RPMs. An example of this is let's say you are in sixth gear at 2000rpm and then you suddenly floor it. That is a lot of boost at very low engine RPMs, which is strenuous. The problem with this is you are putting your car at a considerable gearing disadvantage as you're looking for a lot of power at an engine speed that can't make that, so it's best to downshift. Another problem with lugging is low-speed pre-ignition, where the ignition is earlier than when the spark plug can ignite it. It's basically an uncontrolled advanced timing that may hurt the engine. This phenomenon typically happens more in smaller sized turbocharged engines, 1.5-litres and less. This is a very complicated subject, so read more about it if you want to know more, but for best practice, try to downshift before you floor it.
4. Buy the best fuel you can afford
This really is a no brainer, especially for a modified car. What this basically is is an attempt to minimise knock which may hurt your engine. There are many ways to avoid engine knocking but they all reduce power. The best compromise is to get the best fuel available which will help decrease the probability of engine knock.
The effects of the above on engine wear and tear are cumulative. Sure you may argue that you've been doing the opposite of the above for years with no issues but we're advocating for you to pay a little attention to the health of your turbocharged engines today so that you won't be crying tomorrow. Long may you enjoy your turbos!