What Is An Intercooler On A Diesel Engine?

As previously stated, there are some minor variances in the words used in various applications. The following are the definitions for each term:

What’s a Charge Air Cooler?

A charge air cooler cools the air between the turbo and the intake manifold of an engine. Turbo coolers, intercoolers, and aftercoolers are all referred to as turbo coolers.

Charge air coolers and turbo coolers are the same thing. Which one you use is entirely a question of personal preference. In some applications, intercoolers and aftercoolers differ slightly from charge air coolers, but in the commercial vehicle industry, they’re all the same.

What’s a Diesel Intercooler?

In a multi-turbo arrangement, an intercooler cools the air between the turbos, hence the word “inter.” If an engine has three turbos, for example (though this is uncommon), an intercooler could be used between each of them.

Of course, in commercial vehicle applications, using an intercooler between turbos is uncommon. This configuration is common in industrial and aviation applications. When a mechanic working on a commercial vehicle refers to a diesel intercooler, they are referring to a charge air cooler.

What’s an Aftercooler?

The ultimate heat exchanger in a series of industrial and aviation engine applications with several turbos, each with its own intercooler, is known as the aftercooler—hence the word “after.”

The aftercooler, like the intercooler, is just another term for a charge air cooler.

What is the purpose of an intercooler on a diesel engine?

In turbocharged systems, the intercooler considerably improves the combustion process, resulting in increased engine output. The intercooler’s primary function is to lower the temperature of hot air compressed by the turbocharger before it reaches the combustion chamber of the engine.

What happens when an intercooler fails?

If the intercooler breaks, the engine will not get enough cool, dense air, resulting in incomplete combustion and unburned fuel exhaustion. Failure to replace the intercooler can have a direct impact on horsepower, fuel economy, and emissions.

Does intercooler affect turbo?

To put it another way, a turbo intercooler does not increase horsepower to your car, but it does have an impact on it. In a sense, more air equals more power. It also offers you a lot more leeway to go with a more aggressive tune without risking damaging your engine or triggering those bothersome check engine lights.

It should be remembered, however, that an intercooler that is overly large can cause more harm than good. If your intercooler is extremely large, it will produce greater turbocharger lag and drag throughout the system. As a result, it’s critical to conduct some research and determine which option is ideal for your car.

What are the benefits of an intercooler?

The entire system is exposed to debris because FMIC systems require an open bumper design for best operation. Because of this concern about reliability, some engineers choose for different mount sites. Depending on the engine’s heat dissipation needs, FMICs can be placed in front of or behind the radiator.

Intercoolers play an important role in managing internal temperatures in turbocharged engines, as well as allowing more air to be allowed to the engine. The specific power of an engine is boosted when it is installed with a turbo (as it is with any form of supercharging), resulting in higher combustion and exhaust temperatures. The exhaust gases going through the turbocharger’s turbine section are generally approximately 450 °C (840 °F), but they can reach 1000 °C (1830 °F) in exceptional conditions. This heat flows through the turbocharger unit and helps to warm the air being squeezed in the turbo’s compressor section. If this hot air is not cooled, it enters the engine, raising internal temperatures even more. This causes a build-up of heat that will eventually cool down, but at temperatures that are higher than the engine’s design limits—’hot spots’ on the piston crown or exhaust valve might cause warping or cracking of these components. Pre-ignition or detonation will be more likely if the air charge temperature is too high. Detonation creates destructive pressure spikes in the cylinders of the engine, which can swiftly damage it. These effects are particularly noticeable in modified or tuned engines with extremely high specific power outputs. An effective intercooler removes heat from the induction system’s air, reducing cyclic heat build-up via the turbocharger and allowing for larger power outputs without harm.

The intake air heats up owing to turbocharger compression, and heat is added due to compressor inefficiencies (adiabatic efficiency). The greater cause of the rise in air temperature in an air charge is this. Forced induction produces more power because there is more air available to burn more fuel in each cylinder. For a given fuel’s octane rating, this may necessitate a lower compression ratio to allow for a wider range of ignition timing advance before detonation. A lower compression ratio, on the other hand, reduces combustion efficiency and increases power consumption.

Some high-performance tuning firms take temperature readings before and after the intercooler to guarantee that the output temperature is as near to ambient as possible (without the use of additional cooling; water/liquid gas spray kits).

Where is the intercooler located?

While air-to-air intercoolers can be installed anywhere between the turbo and the engine in theory, they are most effective where there is better airflow, which is commonly behind the grille at the front of the vehicle.

In some vehicles, the engine arrangement forbids this, thus the intercooler is mounted on top of the engine. However, airflow is often reduced, and the intercooler may be affected by engine heat. Additional air ducts or scoops in the bonnet are frequently fitted to assist airflow in these circumstances.

Can I drive with hole in intercooler?

You should be alright; just get it fixed and check sure your intake system has no open holes. Also, keep your driving as far away from “spirited” as possible; you don’t want your turbo to flash cherry-red.

Can you run a turbo without an intercooler?

Running a turbo without an intercooler allows hot air into the combustion chamber, causing it to detonate prematurely. Because there is no intercooler to cool the air before it enters the engine, using a turbo without one will result in extremely hot air entering the engine.