All You Need to Know: Using a Turbo in Your Diesel Truck

How disappointing is it when another truck overtakes you, leaving you in the dust while you’re already driving at top speed? You might already have a great-looking Hilux, Navara, DMax or LDV T60 truck but it’s so disheartening to see some crappy old truck blow your doors off. While offroading your 4×4 truck, lacking power can be a drag too! If your truck is already running properly, then the solution is obvious!

, All You Need to Know: Using a Turbo in Your Diesel Truck

You just need to fit a turbo, commonly known as a turbocharger to your diesel engine. Then you will have that extra power to leave those NA (naturally aspirated) trucks in the dust! However, before installing the diesel turbo, you should know a bit about them and do your do-diligence. 

The History of Turbo Diesels:

If you look at the history of turbos being fitted to diesel engines, we can see that they were introduced about a hundred years ago. Initially, they were used in marine engines and stationary industrial engines. Turbos were first used in diesel trucks in around 1950 and started to show up in other vehicles during the late 1970s. Day by day, they are still gaining popularity in the automobile and industrial engineering sectors. Most trucks such as the Toyota Hilux, Mitsubishi L200, Nissan Navara, LDV T60, and Isuzu DMax have the option; You can get the cheaper naturally aspirated boring diesel, or the fun and efficient turbo diesel engine. With the advancement of technology, the compression ratio is decreasing, and the turbos themselves have become much more dependable. 

Working Mechanism of the Diesel Turbo:

The primary purpose of the turbocharger is to pump extra air into the combustion chamber of the engine so that the compression increases, allowing the injection of more fuel to give more torque to the engine. The engine’s efficiency increases significantly. As the driver pushes the accelerator, the turbo diesel engine provides more torque to attain maximum speed in the least possible time.

The turbo contains a single turbine that is present in two separate chambers. The exhaust of the engine is re-routed through one of the chambers to spin the turbine. The spinning turbine in the other chamber compresses fresh air and forces it into the combustion chamber. More air being compressed by the pistons means higher compression and improved combustion efficiency by effectively burning a higher percentage of the fuel than a non-turbo (NA) engine.

Fuel optimization using the diesel turbo generates maximum energy while burning the additional fuel. Thus, it provides extra horsepower compared to a non-turbo, aka naturally aspirated engine that allows more unburnt fuel to pass through the combustion chamber. 

In general, the capacity of the engine is relative to the amount of fuel it can burn. However, fuel-burning efficiency is highly affected by the amount of air in the combustion chamber while burning the fuel. Thus turbochargers compress air and force it into the combustion chamber, enhancing the engine’s performance.

, All You Need to Know: Using a Turbo in Your Diesel Truck

The Benefits of Running a Turbo Diesel:

If you are wondering how a turbo can benefit you and your diesel truck engine, here are some of the highlighted benefits of using a turbo diesel:

  • A diesel turbo helps to improve the performance of the engine as one can get more horsepower. It also lowers emission levels as the exhaust air is used to compress more air into the combustion chamber. This extra power will not be wasted when you offroad your 4WD truck!
  • With additional air, the air density and pressure increase allows more of the fuel to be burnt giving additional power. The horsepower increases and more torque is produced. If set up for it, you can even get improved torque at low RPM.
  • Fuel efficiency increases to the maximum levels when running a turbo on your diesel engine. This is because the turbo diesel burns every single droplet of fuel, producing more horsepower and torque from the same amount of injected fuel. Effectively, it lowers your fuel consumption by getting more power from the same amount of fuel.
  • As the engine can give more horsepower and torque, the truck’s potential towing capacity is increased. The torque your truck needs to clear obstacles in 4 wheel drive is so much better too! In the industrial sector, heavy vehicles and pieces of machinery like power tillers or rock drilling machines have engines fitted with turbochargers.  
  • Compared to regular NA diesel engines, a turbo diesel is more environmentally friendly because they emit less unburnt fuel. 


It is time to use a turbo diesel! Enjoy better performance from your engine at no extra cost. With rising fuel prices, you should always consider getting maximum mileage. A turbocharger fitted to your diesel can give this! After the cost of parts and installation, your truck will take you further using the same fuel as before. Not only that, but it will be more fun while you get better torque output using a diesel turbo in your truck.

1 Comment

  1. Thanks for the reminder that emission levels can also be lessened by using a turbo on a diesel truck. I’d like to know more about diesel turbo auto services because I’m thinking about buying a semitruck soon. Knowing the kinds of maintenance it will need will surely be a huge thing to look into.

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