Zoom on turbo technology | BOOSTING THE FUTURE

How a Turbo Works

Turbos are fundamental to addressing the auto industry’s most pressing challenges. They dramatically improve combustion process efficiency, enhance vehicle performance and help reduce emissions. No wonder more than 140 million Garrett turbos currently boost cars and trucks around the world.

What Is a Turbo and How Does It Work?

A turbocharger is a critical component highly customized for the engine. It uses an engine’s exhaust gas to drive the turbine wheel up to 350,000 RPM. The turbine wheel then drives the compressor wheel through a shaft. The compressor wheel provides compressed air to the engine, and this compressed-air makes the fuel burn more efficiently for greater power and fuel economy.

Up to 1900 Fahrenheit
Up To 350,000 RPM
1,900 km/h
1,100 mph

A turbocharger is highly engineered with high-value components. The next step is e-boosting with advanced power electronics.

Broadest Turbo Range

Garrett’s turbo portfolio covers the widest engine range in the automotive industry. From micro turbos for small cars to large turbos for off-highway equipment, Garrett’s line-up offers the world’s auto manufacturers boosting solutions for gasoline, diesel, CNG, hybrid powertrains and hydrogen fuel cells.


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Knowledge Booster

Browse our turbo resources to boost your knowledge base.


Get to grips with the Garrett turbo basics covering blow-off valves, wastegates, oil and water plumbing, and journal bearings vs. ball bearings.

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Step up a level and explore wheel trim, turbine housing A/R and housing sizing, log-style vs. equal length manifolds, compression ratio with boost, and air/fuel ratio tuning: rich vs lean.

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Dive deep into compressor mapping, with guidance on how to estimate pressure ratio and mass flow rate for your engine, and how to plot the points on the maps to choose the right turbocharger.

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How a Turbo System Works

How a turbo works?

Turbos utilize exhaust gases to power a turbine wheel, which is connected via a shaft to a compressor wheel. As the two wheels turn, large amounts of ambient air are sucked in and compressed. This air is passed through a charge-air cooler to further increase its density before it enters the engine. Turbocharged engines generate more power than naturally-aspirated engines of the same size. And the combustion process becomes more efficient. Furthermore, this helps reduce emissions and enhance the driving experience.

3rd Generation VNT™ Turbo

In a Garrett variable geometry VNT turbo, a row of moveable vanes positioned around the inlet of the turbine wheel can be adjusted instantaneously to vary the exhaust gas flow through the turbine wheel. This makes it possible to regulate the flow of gas so that a VNT turbo will act as a small turbo at low speeds – supplying more engine boost – while automatically providing larger turbo performance at higher speeds. The ability to vary the mass flow through the VNT enables car manufacturers to optimize fuel efficiency, emissions, and driveability.

Aftermarket – Turbo Replacement

There’s a Garrett® turbo for just about every size of diesel or gasoline light vehicle engine – from 0.6 liter power units to 6.7 liters and everything in between. For heavy vehicles and off-highway equipment, Garrett’s product range meets the needs of engines with power ratings from 60hp to a mighty 4000hp.


Formula SAE and Formula Student Sponsorship

Garrett places a high value on learning opportunities. We proudly sponsor the passionate engineers of tomorrow who will play a key role in continuing to advance motion.

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