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How to Reduce Turbo Lag

by Alexander Eliot

Turbo lag can make even the highest performing turbocharged engine feel sluggish and unresponsive. This is because larger turbos take longer to spool, thus creating a time gap between when you hit the throttle and when your engine generates full horsepower response. Though some turbo lag is inevitable, it's certainly possible to reduce turbo lag with a few bolt-on engine modifications.

Step 1

Replace your turbo vehicle's exhaust downpipe with a smaller-diameter unit. A downpipe with a smaller inner diameter offers less airflow, slightly reducing top-end horsepower. However, the smaller pipe diameter increases the speed of exhaust flow, thus allowing your turbocharger to spool faster, increasing response and low-end power.

Step 2

Replace your stock blow-off valve with an aftermarket unit. Stock blow-off valves are often made of flimsy plastic, designed with noise reduction in mind. Aftermarket units are more responsive, allowing your turbo to pressurize the intake tract more efficiently.

Purchase a new intercooler kit for your turbo vehicle. The intercooler system is what most thoroughly affects turbo response. Certain aftermarket units are designed with the shortest piping route and least amount of pressure drop in mind, making for quicker turbo response.

Warning

  • Engine and exhaust modifications are illegal in some locations. Always check with local and state emissions laws prior to modifying your turbo system.

Items you will need

  • Exhaust downpipe
  • Blow-off valve
  • Intercooler kit

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