How to drive a turbo
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This is a discussion on How to drive a turbo within the Engine Modifications forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; Ok guys, I'm probably buying a car soon. I've been going back and forth between a focus hatchback st or ...

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    Registered User KingTen91's Avatar
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    How to drive a turbo

    Ok guys, I'm probably buying a car soon. I've been going back and forth between a focus hatchback st or a Mazda Miata or this or that but finally I think I've narrowed my realistic choices down to three. I'm deciding between either a 02 Subaru legacy gt limited, 05 legacy gt limited, or a 97 VW golf gti vr6. My problem lies at I really want the 05 legacy but it's turbo'd and I've never owned a turbo, I've never even driven a turbo I don't think. But I hear all the time about how finicky turbo's are and how easy it is to do major damage to your engine just by not knowing how to properly handle them. Now don't get me confused, I can drive great, I've been racing and modding cars for years but I never put a turbo on anything because, well mostly because I've been too scared to. I mean when you put between 4 and 8 grand in a car and you hear about your buddy that blew up his car after he put a turbo on his stock accord, part of me says it's because he didn't build the motor to handle the turbo, and part of me says well maybe it has something to do with the way he was driving it, but then all of me knows I really don't know too much of **** about turbo's at all. So, if I'm going to buy the 05, what do I need to know about the turbo, OR can I start with the 02 and turbo it later if I want or will I have to rebuild that motor. Both model years have a 2.5l boxer in them but I'm not sure if that means the guts were built the same. And while I'm talking options would it be better to just say screw the Subaru's and get the VW and eventually throw a turbo on it?

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    \_(ツ)_/ Rambo's Avatar
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    Huh?

    I think you need to do a lot of research into Subarus before anyone here can really help you. You're comparing aftermarket turbocharged vehicles to factory turbocharged vehicles, and there is a huge difference.

    A 2005 Legacy GT is worth quite a bit more than a 2002 Legacy GT or a 97 Golf, and then you mention a Focus ST. Price ranges for all of those are all over the place. What exactly is your budget here?

    I think you need to start reading the stickies, understand more about how turbochargers work, and how Subaru has implemented them in their cars. As it stands, your questions are way too broad to be able to help you.
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    Master Baiter EJ257's Avatar
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    Driving a factory-equipped turbocharged car is no different than one that is N/A from the factory. You just need to learn the power delivery, the limits of the car, and the limits of your driving skill.
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    Registered User KingTen91's Avatar
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    Uh, ok, well the other cars are pretty much irrelevant. I just listed them as background info, letting you know I've been in the market for a car, not just one particular car. My price range is also irrelevant, if the car is right I'll buy that one, however I have narrowed them down to three, which are the two Subaru's I listed and the VW. And yes I do need to do a lot of research, lol, which is why I'm here...getting research...asking questions.. Getting answers. I do understand the 05 being worth more than the 02, I mean less mileage, newer, stock turbo, plus the previous owner added some stuff like an aftermarket exhaust, blowoff valve, etc. but again budget doesn't matter, my question is am I gonna buy this turbo'd car and regret it, I don't want to buy the turbo and then blow it up if there's a chance of that happening solely due to lack of knowledge, but then again maybe turbo's aren't that in depth and I could drive it just fine, but I've heard a lot of "you can't do that" and "make sure you do this" with boost and that's what I'm trying to figure out, i.e. the original post

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    Registered User KingTen91's Avatar
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    Learn the power delivery? What do you mean like the delivery from the turbo itself? Like what power is new and being added from the turbo?

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    Master Baiter EJ257's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingTen91
    Learn the power delivery? What do you mean like the delivery from the turbo itself? Like what power is new and being added from the turbo?
    The powerband on a F/I (turbocharged/supercharged) vehicle is different than a N/A vehicle.
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    Registered User KingTen91's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EJ257 View Post
    Driving a factory-equipped turbocharged car is no different than one that is N/A from the factory. You just need to learn the power delivery, the limits of the car, and the limits of your driving skill.
    Learn the power delivery? What do you mean like the delivery from the turbo itself? Like what power is new and being added from the turbo?


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    Registered User KingTen91's Avatar
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    Ah, ok so there's nothing really I should worry about as far as operating the turbo?

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    Some people were just telling me I need to let it cool down after running it before just cutting it off, is this true?

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    There is too much going on here for me to comprehend.... You drive a turbo charged car no differently than you would a supercharged car or a naturally aspirated car. The reason cars "blow up" is essentially because they were not taken care of correctly or not properly modded, and both of these scenarios apply for any car no matter the engine design.

    I think you really need to use the world wide web and figure out just exactly how a forced induction car works. Because right now your question is quite vague and frankly, ignorant.
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    \_(ツ)_/ Rambo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingTen91 View Post
    My price range is also irrelevant, if the car is right I'll buy that one, however I have narrowed them down to three, which are the two Subaru's I listed and the VW. And yes I do need to do a lot of research, lol, which is why I'm here...getting research...asking questions.. Getting answers. I do understand the 05 being worth more than the 02, I mean less mileage, newer, stock turbo, plus the previous owner added some stuff like an aftermarket exhaust, blowoff valve, etc. but again budget doesn't matter, my question is am I gonna buy this turbo'd car and regret it, I don't want to buy the turbo and then blow it up if there's a chance of that happening solely due to lack of knowledge, but then again maybe turbo's aren't that in depth and I could drive it just fine, but I've heard a lot of "you can't do that" and "make sure you do this" with boost and that's what I'm trying to figure out, i.e. the original post
    Budget does matter, because I can tell you that maintenance on the 2005 GT will be considerably more than the N/A cars you mentioned. If your budget is $5-6k, I'd point you toward vehicles that require less maintenance/lower insurance costs/lower fuel costs, etc.

    Do you have a link to the Legacy GT you're looking at? Buying a modified Subaru is typically a bad idea, especially if you're working with a budget. WRXs and Legacy GTs aren't typically driven gently, all the more so if modified. Modifications do not add to the value of a car in any way.

    Quote Originally Posted by KingTen91 View Post
    Ah, ok so there's nothing really I should worry about as far as operating the turbo?

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    The stickies will answer all these questions, which is why I asked you to research. Starting a thread and asking vague questions is not researching.

    Quote Originally Posted by KingTen91 View Post
    Some people were just telling me I need to let it cool down after running it before just cutting it off, is this true?

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    See above.
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    Registered User KingTen91's Avatar
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    Lmao, ok guys, I apologize, I can see how my question to someone who has dealt with turbo's would seem "ignorant",..especially since I already admitted that I have 0 knowledge on turbo's; the main subject of my question. Now I'm being told over and over to go use the internet but unless I'm lost and on some other strange part of a void I'm unfamiliar with...that's exactly where I thought I was..on the internet. I am coming to you, all hail the experts, asking for advice on a subject I don't know much about, and you're telling me not that you don't have the answer but my question is wrong? It's simple..how do you drive a turbo? Now a naturally aspirated engine is no problem, I've rebuilt plenty, replaced plenty, worked on everything from airflow to wiring to coolant to suspension, etc. but one thing I very unfortunately am not familiar with is turbo/supercharging a engine. Now yes, you are correct, running an engine (n/a) hard may blow it up, but that's because of anything from you got it too hot and the oil got too thin which created lag and tension until you broke a belt or slid a bearing or whatever, but, and this is the question we've been dancing around.. Aside from running it hard, is there anything I should know about turbo's that if I didn't know may lead to me damaging my engine or any other part of the car? I understand a car that comes stock with a turbo is already built to handle that power, you can't just stick a turbo on a 95 cavalier and expect that the old pistons or old cam or old anything will be able to handle it..which is why you have to rebuild the engine.. Now if I'm wrong in saying that please, let me know, but again, never drove a turbo, never owned a turbo, never even held one in my hands, so therefore, up until now..I've never had a reason to know anything about them

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    Last time I checked my turbo was not drivable

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    Registered User KingTen91's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rambo View Post
    Budget does matter, because I can tell you that maintenance on the 2005 GT will be considerably more than the N/A cars you mentioned. If your budget is $5-6k, I'd point you toward vehicles that require less maintenance/lower insurance costs/lower fuel costs, etc.

    Do you have a link to the Legacy GT you're looking at? Buying a modified Subaru is typically a bad idea, especially if you're working with a budget. WRXs and Legacy GTs aren't typically driven gently, all the more so if modified. Modifications do not add to the value of a car in any way.



    The stickies will answer all these questions, which is why I asked you to research. Starting a thread and asking vague questions is not researching.



    See above.
    Ok thank you, that actually really helps, I'm not entirely sure of what you mean by the stickies but I can look into that, and yes I can get a link for you, and as far as research I have looked online as well but I figured going to actual owners may prove more beneficial

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    \_(ツ)_/ Rambo's Avatar
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    You drive a forced induction car like you would any other car. It has a much different powerband than a N/A which you'll get a feel for when you drive it, but it's not rocket science.

    As the engine components are generally stressed higher than a comparable N/A engine, proper maintenance is key. Follow all factory service intervals, oil and fuel requirements, etc. Turbocharged Subarus require Premium fuel, no exceptions. It's really not a big deal, just something to be cognizant of.

    I'm not entirely sure of what you mean by the stickies but I can look into that
    The stickies are at the top the page you posted this thread in. Here are some to get you started:

    First Modifications - what to do and not to do

    Engine Performance FAQ [[[READ ME]]]

    Blowoff Valve (BOV) FAQ

    Intake FAQ

    Fuel System 101 FAQ
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