With each day that passes, the number of car enthusiasts popping onto the car scene is growing at an exponential rate. More individuals are exploring the option of remodeling their vehicles to amp up and increase their cars performance. The most popular component often under revamp is of course the intercooler. Modification to the intercooler is known to give your vehicle the extra boost needed in horsepower to make the vehicle run at a more satisfying rate for the driver. It is important to know the various types of intercoolers available for purchase and more importantly, which type is most suitable for your personal vehicle. All of which will be discussed below!
The intercooler is a cooling component which is specifically designed to reduce the temperature of air which is streamed into the engine of the car. Intercoolers are particularly important in high power vehicles such as supercharged and turbocharged cars as their engines generate heat at a much faster rate. The intercooler will lower the risk of engine knocking occurring by cooling the compressed air before it reaches the engine bay. It also leads to a significantly richer air-to-fuel ratio in the main cylinders of the engine, by increasing the density of the cool air. All of the abovementioned results in enhanced power and performance. There are exceptions to the usage of an intercooling system. Naturally aspirated car engines have no need for an intercooler, as the air is already cooled by radiator ducts when it is fed into the engine. Due to the lower existing air temperature, any additional cooling by an intercooler system would not yield any significant performance results.
There are numerous factors to consider when calculating the increase in power given by the addition of an intercooler. An increase of at least 70% efficiency is usually desired by makers or modifiers of intercoolers when it comes to the cooling of air in a turbo or supercharged vehicle. Although this is the most sought after efficiency rating, there are contributing factors which need to be taken into account to achieve this type of result. Such factors are; the fabrication and piping, size and mounting of the intercooler around the vehicle engine. It is due to these influences that an aftermarket intercooler offers more power than an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) intercooler.
If you are new to the world of modification, it is vital to familiarize yourself with the different types of intercoolers currently on the market so you would be able to make a more informed decision.
Classification of intercoolers: OEM and aftermarket intercoolers
Both turbo and supercharged vehicles come with a stock intercooler. This type of intercooler is usually small and standard, designed for your average everyday driving scenarios. These are known as OEM intercoolers and are definitely not premium performing if you are seeking a high power racing vehicle. Aftermarket intercoolers are larger and more powerful, installed for the purpose of performance and aggressive engine rev. If you have a heavily modified vehicle, the extra car mods form a layer of insulation to the vehicle. This layer will in turn cause the engine to heat up at a much faster rate. In circumstances such as these, aftermarket intercoolers are ideal in cooling the air and promoting a well running engine.
Different types of intercoolers:
Almost all intercoolers function as air to air types. These intercoolers rely explicitly on outside airflow, meaning that it needs to be exposed to it. Added benefits to this type are affordability, installation method and easier maintenance. Air to air intercoolers can be further distinguished into front mount and top mount intercoolers.
• Front mount: As suggested by the name, this particular type of intercooler is attached to the front of the radiator. These are larger in size because it has much more surface area to mount onto. It is also substantially more exposed to airflow.
• Top mount: This type is attached to the top of the engine and is commonly used in sports cars as the piping is much shorter, allowing for water to flow much faster to the intercooler cooling the compressed air. Hood scoops are popular choice for this type of intercooler as air is fed into it during the continuous motion of the car.
Essentially the maximization of vehicle performance is dependent on the type/ model of the vehicle, the choice of intercooler and the purpose of the vehicle. It is important to select a reputable company, with knowledgeable staff and skilled technicians to guide your purchase and make it a pleasant and informative experience. Here at Silverton Pinetown we have years of experience behind us and well equipped experts in their field. Having both new and used intercoolers in store, it is easy to find a performance part to suit your budget. Visit us today and view our wide range of intercoolers for sale.