A turbo- or super-charged engine will generally come from the factory with an intercooler or charge-cooler. This device is an important part of the engine. A turbo- or super-charger compresses air to force more of it into the engine. This has the unwanted side effect of heating that air up. Hot air is bad for engines, as it both contains less oxygen, and because higher temperatures inside the cylinders of the engine make detonation more likely. An air-to-air intercooler or water-to-air charge-cooler cools this air back down before it goes back into the engine, increasing power and stabilising the air temperature.
While the intercooler or charge-cooler your car came with is probably adequate for stock power levels on a moderately driven car, as you drive harder or increase power levels, you can start to feel its limitations. The car either won’t be making as much power as it possibly can, or the engine can start to cut power back in response to rising temperatures.
Fitting a more efficient intercooler or charge-cooler can both increase the power you have to start with and make your car more resistant to power loss as temperatures increase during hard driving. Feeding your engine with more, colder air can result in power gains all by itself. It also works extremely well as part of any upgrade package that involves increasing boost. More stable inlet temperatures mean more stable power!
For a lot of cars we offer direct fit kits which mount directly to your car, using either a bigger core where the original cooler went, or relocating it to a better position – usually a Front Mount Intercooler where the original part was side- or top-mounted.
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