Horsepower Gain & Loss By Supercharger: Faster Than Turbo?

By March 10, 2022March 17th, 2022Supercharger, Turbocharger

The supercharger has increasingly become a popular and reliable way to boost your engine while giving it that extra horsepower it needs. Superchargers are considered faster than turbochargers because they respond quickly to the engine and do not lag.  

Superchargers work using a system that increases the airflow into the engine system. As we know, the better the airflow in the engine, the better the engine performance. So if you are looking for an engine modification that will give your car extra horsepower, you should consider the supercharger. 

I have tried the supercharger on my Ford 4.6L (281 CID) engine, and there was a huge difference in my vehicle’s engine performance and horsepower. There was a significant change in my car’s speed, sound and I must say it is reliable to use.

I have not had the turbocharger on my car, but I have driven a turbocharged engine car, and the experience was great. However, I noticed that the turbocharger was not as fast as the supercharger, mainly because it lagged slightly.  

READ MORE: Supercharger 101: Horsepower, Cost, Engine Damage & Tuning

supercharger work similarly to a turbo

Centrifugal supercharger work similarly to a turbo and can use blow off valves.

Supercharger Horsepower Gain

The Supercharger will give your engine horsepower gain. Through a special system, the supercharger helps increase the level of air going into the engine. 

A supercharger works like an air compressor for the engine system. The supercharger works by capturing air from the atmosphere and then compressing it before sending it to the engine system. 

The engine then efficiently combines the air captured with fuel, resulting in a supercharge. As we know, the engine works by burning fuel and air turning it into kinetic energy, which makes the vehicle move. When the supercharger can efficiently supply air into the engine, this air is mixed with fuel. The spark plug then goes on to ignite the mixture, causing an explosion that drives the piston, which then causes the vehicle to move. 

Remember that the air transferred to the engine system through the supercharger is not the regular amount with a normal engine. It means that there will be more explosions in the engine system, causing more power.

The supercharger is generally powered by the engine, making it an easier and more reliable charger for your engine. With the help of a belt that links it to the engine system, the charger is powered comfortably. 

supercharger and intercooler

How Much Hp Will a Supercharged Engine Gain?

The supercharger can add between the range of 50 to 100 horsepower to your engine. The level of horsepower gain also depends on the type of engine you are using and the type of supercharger you will be installing. 

Superchargers have a well-built system that can give your engine up to 100 horsepower. The charger achieves this horsepower gain by increasing the level of air intake of the engine by 50 percent. By doing this, fuel can be mixed with more air. 

One determinant of the level of horsepower gain that a supercharger will give your engine is the type of supercharger that you get. There are three types of superchargers: the roots-type, twin-screw, and centrifugal supercharger. 

Unlike the other chargers, the roots-type supercharger does not compress air before transferring to the engine. Rather, it acts as a pump that drives air into the engine. However, the roots-type supercharger may not give as much horsepower as the other superchargers. It is because it produces too much heat, and the more power gain you have, the more heat in your engine. With an intercooler, this problem can be solved.

The centrifugal supercharger is similar to the turbocharger, and the only difference is how it is powered. The supercharger is powered using a belt that connects the charger to a crankshaft, unlike the turbocharger powered by the exhaust system. Although the supercharger has a lot of advantages and gives out an incredible boost to the engine, it does not perform as expected in lower engine speeds. This is because the charger relies on the engine speed to perform better.

The twin-screw supercharger is built to surpass the other chargers and fill up the gap. As the name implies, it uses a screw system to compress air into the engine. It is a great way to boost your car’s horsepower, and the disadvantage is that it could be expensive and may require a lot of space.     

How Much Hp Does A Supercharger Use?

Due to powering the supercharger, it is liable to consume horsepower used to power the supercharger. A supercharger can consume up to 20 percent of the horsepower produced by the engine. 

As we know, the supercharger is powered by the engine through a belt that connects the charger to the engine. For the engine to properly power the supercharger, it uses the power it produces to spin the supercharger. 

You do not need to worry about this because the supercharger will provide the engine with enough airflow to provide more horsepower than the car needs. The supercharger can consume up to 20 percent of the power produced by the engine. 

Does a supercharger take away horsepower?

Yes, a supercharger will initially take away horsepower because the engine powers it, and therefore the engine uses up power it produces to power the supercharger. As long as the supercharger is installed properly, you do not need to worry about horsepower loss in your vehicle.  

The supercharger is built to increase horsepower but can also take away your engine’s power. A supercharged engine will give your engine a range of 50 to 100 horsepower gain. 

However, it is possible that your engine can lose horsepower in the process of powering the supercharger. The way the supercharger is built, it has to be powered by the engine for it to work. The charger needs to be turned through the use of a belt that is connected to the engine. The engine also consumes extra power to power the supercharger. 

The turbocharger does not need the engine to power it. It makes use of the exhaust system. The system allows gas to be redirected to the engine system so that the turbocharger can use it. It does not require as much horsepower as the supercharger. 

The power lost from powering the supercharger is gotten. The supercharger charger uses little power provided by the engine to supply a greater amount of power to perform, which makes total sense. 

It is important to note that to prevent your supercharger from causing power loss. It requires you to give it to a professional to help you install unless you have the proper knowledge about installing the charger.

Also, perform the necessary maintenance on your vehicle to prevent power loss and other damages.    

Which is faster, turbo or supercharger?

The supercharger is considered better than the turbocharger for several reasons for horsepower and speed. One major reason is that the supercharger is powered by the engine, which makes it more responsive than the turbocharger. 

The turbocharger is powered by the exhaust system, making it lag most times when there is rev up. Unlike the supercharger powered by the engine, it has a quick response to the engine.

Although the chargers give almost the same horsepower gain, the supercharger is considered better and more reliable. The supercharger will make you faster than the turbocharger. 

However, there are areas where the turbocharger is better than the supercharger. One of which is when it comes to fuel economy. A turbo engine can increase your car’s fuel efficiency by 8 to 10%.      

RELATED ARTICLE: Catalytic Converter Delete 101: Horsepower, Sound & Cost 

Is a supercharger safer than a turbo?

Yes, superchargers are safer than turbochargers when it comes to the long-term effects of the charger on the general performance of the engine system. 

Turbochargers are safe for use in your vehicle; they perform the same function as the supercharger. The difference between the turbocharger and supercharger charger is how they carry out their function. The turbocharger also has the function of increasing airflow in the engine system. 

The difference between the supercharger and the turbocharger is mainly how they are being powered. The turbocharger is powered by the exhaust same, while the exhaust system powers the supercharger charger. 

They are both a safe means to boost your engine’s power when it comes to safety. However, the supercharger charger is considered a more reliable modification to your engine.

The turbocharger is considered better in reliability times regarding power output. Turbochargers tend to lag, and this is because the charger is powered by the exhaust system, which makes it take time to be responsive to the engine. On the other hand, superchargers are directly responsive to the vehicle’s engine because the engine powers it.  

How can I make my supercharged car faster?

Your supercharged car can be faster than it is now; this can be done by adding some modification or upgrading some parts of your engine or the supercharger. 

The supercharger is meant to make your car perform better and faster, but if you are not impressed by the supercharger’s performance, you can make it faster. There are many ways to make your supercharged engine faster. Most of these ways include upgrading parts of the engine or exhaust system.

Here are some of the ways you can make your supercharged car faster.

  • Upgrading your exhaust system 

Upgrading the exhaust system of any car will improve the engine’s performance. It can apply to supercharged engines. The cause of many cars’ underperformances in horsepower and speed is usually linked to a poor exhaust system.

The exhaust system can help improve the airflow in your engine through the right upgrade. Having a modification like a full aftermarket exhaust system will incredibly boost the airflow in your engine and boost its horsepower, making your engine faster. 

  • Replacing the crank pulley 

The supercharger powered by the engine relies solely on how fast it can spin the belt connecting it to the supercharger. The level of performance of the supercharger depends on how fast the supercharger is being spined. To increase the spinning level, you can replace the lower [pulley with a bigger one and replace the upper pulley with a smaller one. This will tremendously increase the speed of your supercharger.    

  • Air Filter 

Another way to increase the speed of a supercharged car is to upgrade to the vehicle’s air filter. As we have said, the engine performs better when there is an increase in its airflow. So in order to increase the speed of your engine, you need to upgrade the air filter to one that allows better flow of air. 

Also, do not forget to perform regular maintenance on your car’s filters. The filter can get dirty, and this dirt can limit the flow of air into the engine. It could reduce the performance of the engine significantly. 

RELATED ARTICLE: Downpipe 101: Horsepower, Engine Light, Sizing & Legality

Can you use a supercharger and turbocharger at the same time?

Yes, a supercharger and turbocharger can be used on the same engine. 

Superchargers and turbochargers can be used in the same car, but this is mostly done for racing engines. Using the two chargers will give your car a better boost than any other engine modification. Is the question reliable? 

This charger may not be reliable because it could place a lot of pressure on the engine and may not be suitable for daily drives. It would be best if you used the chargers differently to enjoy the features that each has to give your engine better.   

RELATED ARTICLE: Do Mufflers Increase Horsepower: An Expert Weighs In

Final Thoughts

The supercharger and the turbocharger are great, and you will enjoy them when you install them to your engine. Although, these chargers have specific areas that perform better than the other. For instance, the supercharger is considered the best for speed and horsepower. When it comes to fuel efficiency, then the turbocharger is considered superior. It is important to consider what you want for your car before getting any chargers. 

In my opinion, I believe the supercharger is superior to the turbocharger because it is more reliable and also faster. It quickly responds to the engine and does not lag like the turbocharger.  

To avoid any problem with installing whichever charger you choose to get, you must give the installation process to a professional that will handle it well. It would help if you remembered that a bad installation could seriously damage your engine.   

Chai WJ.

Chai WJ.

I am a car enthusiast and a passionate rider who loves to discover new places. Since the pandemic, I can't go to places and I started to blog and share information that I learned. I'm not easily distracted, I just... OMG, do I hear a Supra?

Car Performance Boss

Best resources online to improve your car performance!

Reach out:

  • (Shopping related)