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Turbocharger vs Supercharger - Overview, Working & Comparison

What Is a Turbocharger?

How Does a Turbocharger Work?

What Is a Supercharger?

How Does a Supercharger Work?

What Are the Differences Between Turbochargers and Superchargers?

The table below draws a detailed comparison of turbochargers vs superchargers:




Basic principle

It’s a forced induction apparatus that compresses exhaust gases and passes them through the engine.

It is a forced induction apparatus that compresses atmospheric air and passes it through the engine.

Connection to engine

Turbochargers are not directly connected to the engine.

Superchargers are directly connected to the engine via a chain or belt.

Engine Improvement

Adds 30% to 40% more horsepower.

Adds 46% more horsepower on average.


They are less reliable than superchargers.

Have higher reliability than turbochargers.

Energy source

Used waste energy from exhaust gases.

Uses the crankshaft of the engine as an energy source.

Carbon emissions

It has an in-built waste gate which helps lower carbon emissions.

No built-in wastegate. Hence, superchargers emit smog.


It makes less noise than superchargers.

Produces a high level of noise..


Since it is not directly connected to the engine, it does not have a continuous energy supply. This results in lag

Since the crankshaft continuously supplied the supercharger with energy, it does not have a lag issue.


Turbochargers tend to heat up more. Therefore, they require internal cooling devices.

Superchargers operate at lower temperatures. They may require internal cooling in some cases.


Higher efficiency than superchargers.

Lower efficiency.


They are more complex in design.

They are less complex.


They are easy to maintain.

Maintenance is complex.

Thus, both turbochargers and superchargers offer a way to enhance the performance of a car engine. However, each of them comes with its pros and cons. The most important factor to consider is its compatibility with the vehicle, price and usefulness to your vehicle. Before making a choice, you can check the above comparison between turbochargers vs superchargers.

Frequently Asked Questions