What Does Turbo Diesel Mean?

Any diesel engine with a turbocharger is referred to as turbo-diesel, also spelled turbodiesel or turbo diesel. Turbocharging a diesel engine, like turbocharging other engine types, can considerably improve its efficiency and power production.

In the 1920s, huge marine and stationary engines were the first to be turbocharged. In the mid-1950s, trucks with turbo-diesel engines became available, followed by passenger automobiles in the late 1970s. The compression ratio of turbo-diesel engines has been decreasing since the 1990s.

What is the difference between diesel and turbo diesel?

To begin, you should be aware that if you drive carefully, both turbochargers and diesel engines can be more efficient than regular gasoline engines. Turbochargers boost the horsepower of your gasoline-powered engine. They accomplish this by boosting the amount of air and fuel that each combustion chamber receives. Diesel fuel, on the other hand, burns at a lower temperature. This results in more exhaust gas being produced, although diesel engines also have higher compression ratings. Because a diesel engine burns less fuel, you’ll see a boost in your fuel efficiency if you drive carefully.

Is a turbo diesel engine good?

However, diesel automobiles aren’t suitable for every situation, so here’s a list of advantages and disadvantages to help you decide whether or not a ‘oil burner’ is best for you.

  • Diesel engines, particularly turbo diesels, offer good fuel efficiency, especially on the open road — if you drive a lot on the interstate and highway, diesel engines are typically 20 to 35 percent more fuel efficient than a petrol-powered car.
  • In terms of torque and, in many cases, power, turbo diesel engines typically outperform similar-sized petrol engines.
  • Diesel engines produce more torque, which makes them ideal for hauling heavy loads and towing.
  • Larger diesel vehicles tend to hold their value better than less fuel-efficient petrol models.
  • The greater economy provided by the diesel engine can help you save money on things like the luxury car tax.
  • Because diesel engines have fewer parts than gasoline engines, they require less maintenance. They don’t require a spark plug ignition system, which should result in lower maintenance expenses because they don’t require tuning or sparkplug replacement.
  • While diesel is generally more expensive than gasoline, it is not subject to weekly price fluctuations.
  • Older diesel engines feature issues including heavy smoke and lengthier start-up times in cold weather, which aren’t present in newer diesel engines.

What does a turbo do on a diesel?

By pushing more air into the combustion chamber, a turbocharger improves the compression of an engine. Because of the larger air mass, more injected fuel may be burnt. This has two effects: it improves engine efficiency while also increasing air mass. The torque output is improved as a result of this. Because the torque production of diesel engines is regulated by a forced flow of the air-fuel combination, they are suitable for turbocharging.

Does turbo diesel need diesel fuel?

The Banks Project Sidewinder, powered by a modified 2003 Cummins diesel engine, reached a top speed of 222.139 mph without emitting any smoke.

There are a number of myths and misunderstandings about today’s diesel engines. To be fair, some of the negative press has been well-deserved in previous years, but the new generation of clean turbo-diesel engines for light trucks and RVs shows little resemblance to those of a few years ago — this isn’t your grandfather’s diesel!

Alternative fuel vehicles, such as those that use compressed natural gas (CNG), hybrid, or even fuel cell technology, may well lose out to clean diesel technology. Clean diesel designs will be less expensive to manufacture and purchase, will function more efficiently, and will not necessitate a whole new fueling infrastructure. On this subject, the World Wide Web has a plethora of information. Simply type “clean diesel” into the search box. Does this imply that everyone will drive a diesel vehicle? Certainly not, but diesel acceptance will grow to the point where light-duty diesels may account for nearly 15% of all vehicles on American roads. Diesels currently account for 30 percent or more of car sales in Western Europe, with some analysts forecasting a 50 percent increase in the next several years. Tax incentives for diesel-powered automobiles, like they have in Europe, would speed acceptance here. Clean, modern diesel technology, for example, could help to improve the unfavorable perception of SUVs.

Some old stereotypes about diesels will persist, particularly in a country where gasoline has traditionally been cheap. Forward-thinking individuals, on the other hand, have quickly recognized the economic benefits of diesels, particularly in light of our rising reliance on foreign oil and the volatility of the global oil market. Diesels have the potential to boost fuel economy by 40 percent or more. As a result, diesel engineers have made significant progress in resolving diesel-related issues. The following are some examples:


Soot from unburned or partially burnt fuel makes up diesel smoke. Diesel smoke has been virtually eradicated thanks to modern computerized fuel control and management along with ultra-high-pressure common rail fuel injection. What little smoke remains is practically imperceptible, and even that will be gone by 2006, when the petroleum sector changes to ultra-low sulfur fuel, as required by the EPA. When it comes to filth, no smoking equals no soot, and no soot equals no dirt.

Incomplete combustion, smoke, and high sulfur content in diesel fuel were once responsible for the stench associated with diesel engines. Electronic fuel control, as previously stated, has greatly improved combustion and practically eliminated smoke. Most people won’t be offended by today’s diesels, and when the sulfur is removed, even those with sensitive noses will be hard pressed to object honestly.


This assertion used to be true, however new diesels with a function called “pilot injection” have almost completely eliminated the clattering sound associated with diesel engines. When passing or stopped at a stoplight, many of these diesels are so quiet that it takes a trained ear to recognize that the engine is a diesel. Unfortunately, there are enough noisy older diesels on the road to keep this urban legend alive for a while.

Today’s turbocharged diesel engines are found in every new car, light truck, and RV sold in the United States. These turbo-diesels are quick and strong. They can accelerate swiftly and have a high torque output for climbing steep gradients or operating at high speeds for long periods of time. Today’s turbo-diesels are also amenable to performance enhancements, allowing them to achieve astounding results. Dakota goes to the salt (see “Project Sidewinder Dakota Goes to the Salt”)


To clean the fuel injectors and remove carbon from the cylinders, mix a gallon of gasoline with a tank of diesel fuel every now and again.

It’s not a good idea! Even at low percentages, gasoline degrades diesel fuel’s lubricity and can quickly ruin the diesel’s pricey fuel injection pump. The presence of gas in diesel fuel raises the combustion temperature, which might damage the expensive fuel injection nozzles. Finally, unlike many years ago, today’s diesel fuel does not clog up fuel injectors or leave carbon deposits in the cylinders. Mixing gasoline or alcohol with diesel fuel is never a good idea.


As diesel pickup trucks and SUVs become more popular, more gas stations are installing diesel fuel pumps. As the popularity of diesel develops, this trend will continue. However, if you want to buy diesel fuel, you can do it at a truck stop, and while you’re there, you can also get wonderful country music CDs!


This is a recent myth with a foundation in fact that dates back many years. It also has a grain of truth about today’s turbocharged gasoline engines, which have greater peak exhaust temperatures than turbodiesels. The turbo shaft was supported by a babbitt bearing in the early days of turbochargers, which might seize or even melt if the engine was shut off immediately after extended boost situations where the turbocharger would “heat soak.” The turbocharger dissipated any remaining spinning inertia during a two-minute cool down at idle, while the oil circulation cooled the bearing and avoided oil “coking” in the bearing area. Babbitt bearings haven’t been used in turbochargers in over 30 years, and today’s oils are resistant to coking. Synthetic oils will not coke. Even if a turbocharged gas engine has been working hard just prior to shut-down, it’s still a good idea to let it idle for 30 seconds to a minute to allow the turbo or turbos to dissipate any inertia and cool the bearing area to prevent oil coking. Of course, using high-quality synthetic oil reduces the possibility of coking.

Today’s turbo-diesels, on the other hand, are a different story. There’s no reason to “cool down” a turbo-diesel these days, but it also won’t hurt. People who swear you have to do it still exist, but the myth is dissipating. Perhaps they simply enjoy sitting and listening to the radio.


Many diesel engines can, and do, use synthetic oils. Every engine manufacturer has specific oil standards, and synthetic oil that fulfills the recommended API rating for that engine is allowed. This means a minimum of API CF or CD for most light-duty truck diesels. Some people believe that synthetic oils can void a turbo-warranty, diesel’s but this is not the case provided the oil has the necessary API rating. Read your manufacturer’s warranty if you’re still unsure. It’s a legally binding agreement between you and the manufacturer.


Diesel fuel has nearly a tenth of the thermal energy of gasoline. A gallon of gasoline has around 124,800 BTU, while a gallon of #2 diesel contains approximately 138,700 BTU.

MYTH #10

Because diesel fuel is less volatile than gasoline and wax crystals can form in diesel fuel at lower temperatures, many diesels have trouble starting in the winter (below freezing temperatures). Modern diesels with common rail injection and pilot injection, on the other hand, may start at temperatures as low as -40o F, just like gasoline engines. Many diesel engines have fuel heaters to prevent the production of wax crystals. Synthetic oils also assist diesel engines start in cold weather. This is another another area where diesel engines have improved.

MYTH #11

This isn’t entirely a fabrication. A diesel engine, like any other internal combustion engine, requires fresh air to function. It also needs to run on water-free fuel and be able to evacuate exhaust fumes quickly. Technically, a diesel may run under water if its fuel management computer and wiring harness are watertight, and some military vehicles with raised air intakes and exhausts can run in shallow water if these criteria are met. Driving your diesel pickup into a river, pond, lake, creek, or municipal swimming pool, on the other hand, is probably not a good idea, no matter how rational the concept seemed at the time!

Is turbo diesel the same as turbo?

To withstand the high combustion pressures produced by diesel fuel, diesel engines are typically larger and stronger than their petrol counterparts.

However, because of their larger size, diesel engines have a harder time running at higher revs per minute (RPM), which means they have a harder time drawing in enough air to generate more power. If a corporation wishes to increase the power output of a diesel engine, turbochargers come in handy since they make the work of getting more air into the engine much easier.

Another distinction to note is that turbochargers in diesel engines often provide just a modest gain in power, especially when compared to turbochargers in gasoline engines. The installation of a turbocharger on a diesel usually has more to do with dependability and reliability than with increasing power output.

A turbocharger on a petrol engine is more concerned with increasing power. In the end, petrol turbochargers are smaller and built to run at significantly greater RPMs than diesel turbochargers.

Because turbochargers in petrol engines must operate at significantly higher RPM bands, they must be able to accelerate more quickly than their diesel equivalents. Turbo petrol engines generate more heat than diesel engines because they must run at higher revs, necessitating the usage of a cooling system.

Does turbo diesel use more fuel?

A turbocharger helps a car obtain better gas mileage by allowing a smaller engine to deliver the same amount of power. A turbocharged engine should be roughly 8% to 10% more fuel efficient than a non-turbocharged engine. Superchargers are not a dependable solution to save fuel because engine power regulates them. They do allow a smaller engine to function as well as a larger engine in a car, but they are not meant to save petrol. To improve performance, superchargers are installed. They aren’t the most fuel-efficient option.

Are diesel cars faster?

PRO: A diesel engine gives significantly more torque to the driveshaft than a gasoline engine due to the way it consumes fuel. As a result, most modern diesel passenger cars are significantly faster than their gasoline-powered counterparts from a standing start.

Do diesel engines require more maintenance?

Depending on the type, a diesel automobile or truck can have lower maintenance costs than a gasoline-powered vehicle. A diesel engine doesn’t need spark plugs or distributors, which are more important parts of a standard internal combustion engine’s maintenance plan. Diesel fuel is also light enough to act as a lubricant as it passes through the engine, which aids in its optimal operation.

Depending on whether you’re hauling a moderate or heavy load or idling a lot, oil changes may become more regular. However, it is still less frequent than an oil change in a gas-powered automobile or truck, which may be required every 3,500 to 5,000 miles.

In addition, a fuel-efficient diesel engine wears down less quickly than a gas engine, so it spends less time in the shop. It is designed to sustain higher compression than its gasoline-powered cousin, making it more efficient over time. All of these factors combine to make a diesel car less expensive to maintain in the long run.

How long does a turbo diesel engine last?

Your car’s gasoline engine should last roughly 200,000 miles before it requires a major maintenance or you need to purchase a new vehicle. Diesel engines, on the other hand, may run for 1,000,000-1,500,000 miles without having any serious maintenance. In fact, a well-maintained diesel engine can last for 30 years or more on the road.

According to Capital Reman Exchange, there are three key factors for a diesel engine’s lifetime, endurance, and reliability:

A diesel engine is gear-driven in design. Gears, unlike other parts that might be broken or damaged, are easy to repair and never lose their timing. Gear-driven water and oil pumps are available on most diesel automobiles. Parts and components are less likely to fail as a result of this.

Diesel-powered vehicles are typically built with heavy-duty components that can withstand the vehicle’s power, resulting in less wear and tear on all parts of the engine.

Diesel engines are also fantastic since they are self-cooling, which means they have a far lower possibility of overheating. There are multiple sensors and thermostats in use, which means that if one fails, the engine will not overheat. A steady supply of coolant flows freely through the engine thanks to many piston-cooling nozzles.

Compression ignition is used by a diesel engine to use its fuel to power itself. This happens when diesel fuel and air are squeezed to the point that heat is generated, resulting in spontaneous combustion. This spontaneous combustion, according to Digital Trends, is significantly more favourable for a long-lasting engine.