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The differences between naturally aspirated and turbocharged engine - service and maintenance

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In passenger cars or motorhomes we can find gasoline and diesel engines (for obvious reasons, most motorhomes receive diesel engines) - both naturally aspirated and turbocharged. Unfortunately - for a large group of drivers the differences between those kinds of engines (in terms of maintenance costs, performance and characteristics) remain unknown.

Because of such a prosaic reason many of us are choosing to purchase a vehicle, which turns out to be too expensive in maintenance than we have previously expected. Before making a final decision we should, however, get acquaint with the most important differences between aspirated and turbocharged units.

It’s not know why a lot of drivers believe that any petrol engine (even equipped with a turbocharger and other complex equipment) is simple in construction and operation, which translates into low maintenance expenses. Nothing could be further from the truth - a modern petrol unit also causes problems.

Naturally aspirated engine

Back in the 90s free boost diesel engines enjoyed enormous popularity. These aspirated, gravity engines had low power and torque, and in return didn‘t require too much. In contrast to the modern diesel units - their service is only limited to regular oil, filters, and timing changes. Any serious failures result almost always from the fault of the user, or extreme wear of equipment. What's more - naturally aspirated diesel injection system of the past was extremely strong – using diesel oil of low quality (and even heating oil) doesn’t cause any damage. The situation is similar in the case of gasoline engines without expensive hardware – they require just a regular maintenance.

Turbocharged units

Things get much more complicated in terms of engines equipped with a turbocharger. Regardless of whether we are dealing with petrol engine or diesel - we must be aware of the advanced structure, and as a result - higher operating expenses. The turbine itself, after some time, will require replacement or regeneration (200 – 340 EUR for regeneration, 340 – 1100 EUR for exchange). Turbocharged engines also have a precise fuel injection, which doesn’t tolerate low quality fuel - even small errors can lead to severe damage. Unfortunately - even properly used car will require a replacement of injectors (which will cost even 400 EUR per unit).

Also, the service of turbocharged units is more complicated. Additional engine equipment doesn’t make the task easier for aninexperienced mechanic – it also takes a lot of space under the hood, effectively impeding access to the engine.

Cars and motorhomes manufactured nowadays use almost exclusively engines equipped with turbocharger. Their greater efficiency, dynamics, work culture and fuel consumption speak in favor of similar construction. However, they’re nothing like naturally aspirated units in terms of durability.

Translation: Karolina Strzałkowska

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