There seems to be a fad among auto manufacturers to build engines that of Direct Injection or Turbocharged engines. The Honda Civic will offer a turbocharged 1.5-liter four in all models except the basic L model as the standard engine. Buyers should research the downsides of both of these technologies.
Increasing concerns for the environment, global supply of oil, CAFÉ standards, and fuel prices have forced many manufacturers to implement new methods of reducing tailpipe emissions and fuel consumption from their cars.
One such method is the use of turbocharged engines. Once exclusively the domain of performance cars, turbocharged engines have exploded in popularity on the mainstream car market. A turbocharger is a component that allows a smaller sized engine to produce power comparable to a much larger sized engine without, in theory, compromising the fuel economy.
Though turbocharging is capable of providing such benefits, there are certain complications with the technology that consumers should be aware of:
1.Turbocharging puts additional strain on the engine due to an increase in heat and pressure properties. The result is that turbocharged engines require more extensive maintenance, such as more frequent oil and spark plug changes, than naturally aspirated engines.
2.Turbocharged engines have low tolerance to short driving trips that don’t allow the parts to warm up to operating temperature. They require regular extended use, ideally highway use, in order to maintain proper performance and reliability. They also require a warm-up/cool-down procedure that involves careful, low rpm driving.
3.Turbocharged engines have more components than naturally aspirated engines, such as turbochargers and intercoolers, which increases the potential for repair expenses over the long-run.
4.Finally, though turbocharged engines are marketed as fuel efficient alternatives to comparably larger, naturally aspirated engines, in real world driving, the actual gains are minimal at best. In some cases, turbocharged cars actually wind up being the gas guzzlers.
You may be wondering why car manufacturers don’t clarify these concerns from the beginning. The answer is that turbocharging used to be more or less exclusive to sports cars and, thus, sports car owners; people who generally could be counted upon to have a certain degree of automotive knowledge. Nowadays, your run-of-the-mill family SUV, complete with a child seat and roof rack, can have a high-powered turbocharged engine. If the dealership told the average car buyer all of this information, few would likely listen to it, and others wouldn’t even buy the car.
Car manufacturers would love to have you believe that turbocharged engines are some kind of ultimate solution to the tug-of-war between power and efficiency, but there’s no question, they don’t work for everyone.
Source for this article primarily from carhelpcanada.com but Consumers Reports also offered similar advise.