Which Oils Should You Use for Your Turbo Charged Car?

T-GDI engines, which stands for turbocharged, gasoline direct injection engines, have recently become quite popular. In fact, many modern vehicles now feature either one or both technologies. Over the past few months, we have written a lot about T-GDI engines and their importance to the automotive industry.

Why the Change?

Have you ever asked yourself why engines have changed recently? It all has to do with the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) requirement. Established by the government in the 1970s, it sets a minimum average fuel standard that automakers must meet or face penalties. To meet these requirements, manufacturers are turning more and more to turbocharged engines as a cost-effective way of increasing efficiency without sacrificing power output.

In recent years, automakers have been looking to turbo technology and direct injection in order to reach the higher fuel efficiency standards set by the government. These standards are scheduled to hit approximately 40 mpg sometime around 2026 after President Trump's rollback of some Obama-era environmental regulations. Turbocharged engines can help increase fuel economy by using exhaust pressure to spin a turbine that forces more air into the engine for a much more efficient combustion process.

How Do Turbochargers Work?

So, how do turbochargers work? A turbocharger is an exhaust-driven compressor that forces extra air into the intake manifold and cylinder of an engine. The hot exhaust flows through a turbine wheel at the center of the turbocharger, spinning it. This spinning motion then causes a compressor wheel to spin, creating a positive pressure in the intake manifold which forces more air into the cylinders. This incoming charge of pressurized air provides a greater “push” or power to each combustion stroke than atmospheric pressure alone can provide. This causes an increase in air density, resulting in more oxygen available for combustion. As a result of this, drivers will experience improved performance and better fuel efficiency. However, there are potential drawbacks that must be taken into consideration when installing a turbocharger.


Heat can be incredibly dangerous and destructive when it comes to turbochargers. The gases that spin the turbine can reach temperatures of over 1,000°F (538ºC), while the turbo itself can easily spin at over 300,000 rpm. Excessive heat and speed can create deposits on the turbo, a phenomenon known as turbo coking which can damage or destroy the unit.

What Oil Should I Choose?

Choosing the best oil for your turbocharged car is important to ensure that it runs optimally and makes the most of its power. High-quality synthetic oil, such as AMSOIL Signature Series Synthetic Motor Oil, provides superior protection against deposit buildup on turbo spindles and keeps its performance at peak levels - 72% better than what the GM dexos1 Gen 2 specification requires.

When it comes to the best oil for turbo cars, look for high-quality synthetic oil that's specifically designed for turbocharged engines. This kind of oil is engineered to provide the greatest protection against deposits and wear, even when operating at high temperatures. Additionally, make sure to let your turbo car idle for a minute or two after driving—this will help ensure that the circulating oil cools the turbo properly and reduces formation of deposits that can rob your vehicle of its performance.

Understanding Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI) Technology

Gasoline direct injection (GDI) technology is becoming increasingly popular among automakers these days. Unlike engines that use traditional port-fuel injection, GDI locates the fuel injectors directly within the combustion chamber. This allows for more precise control over fuel-injection timing and gives automakers the ability to do multiple injections during a single piston stroke. Furthermore, this precise control allows GDI engines to maintain an air/fuel ratio of as lean as 50:1 under certain conditions. Much leaner than 14.7:1 that traditional port-fuel injected engines operate at.

Gasoline direct injection (GDI) engines are designed with a high-pressure fuel pump that can generate fuel pressures of up to 2,000 psi. This is a significant increase compared to port-fuel-injected engines, which typically run on fuel pressure around 40 psi. The higher fuel pressure in GDI engines helps to cool the cylinder and atomize the fuel more effectively, resulting in a more complete burn and improved engine performance.

The Impact of Fuel Dilution on GDI Engine Performance

Gasoline direct injection (GDI) engines offer improved fuel efficiency and performance, but they also come with some downsides. One of these is fuel dilution, which occurs when fuel washes past the piston rings and contaminates the oil in the sump. This can lead to engine damage and reduced performance. To combat this issue, automakers are constantly updating piston designs to better trap fuel in the combustion chamber and prevent dilution. Despite this challenge, GDI engines remain a popular choice for drivers seeking improved fuel economy and power.

The Impact of Intake Valve Deposits on GDI Engine Performance

One of the drawbacks of GDI engines is the buildup of intake valve deposits. Unlike in port-fuel-injected engines where the intake valves are cleaned by detergent-rich fuel, GDI engines do not have fuel washing over the backside of the valves. As a result, deposits can accumulate over time, causing the valves to not seat properly. This can lead to decreased performance and fuel efficiency.

Why Using the Right Oil and Additives is Crucial for Your Turbo, Direct-Injected Car

To ensure your turbocharged, direct-injected car runs smoothly, it's important to use the best oil and additives. Regular maintenance is key, but using a high-quality motor oil like AMSOIL synthetic motor oil and a good oil filter can prevent issues with your turbo and fuel injectors. Additionally, using a powerful fuel additive like AMSOIL P.i. can keep your injectors clean and functioning properly. For even better performance, try using AMSOIL Upper Cylinder Lubricant to increase lubricity and retain horsepower and fuel economy.

The Dangers of Low-Speed Pre Ignition in Your Engine

Low-speed pre-ignition (LSPI) is a dangerous combustion event that can occur when certain technologies are combined. This abnormal combustion can have catastrophic consequences, which is why oil manufacturers are reformulating their motor oils to combat LSPI. This is especially important for automakers who want to take full advantage of the fuel-economy benefits of T-GDI engines. Fortunately, AMSOIL synthetic motor oils have been tested and proven to provide 100 percent protection against LSPI, meeting the GM dexos1 Gen 2 specification. So, if you want to avoid the risks of LSPI, be sure to choose a motor oil that can protect your engine.

Final Thoughts

As we conclude, let us leave you with a final thought. Embrace the advancements in modern engine technology and revel in the benefits of improved performance and fuel efficiency. And with AMSOIL synthetic lubricants, you can rest assured that your engine will receive the top-notch protection it needs to fully utilize these advancements.

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