A supercharger is an auto part made to derive more power from an engine without changing its displacement. The more displacement an engine has the more power it generates. More displacement also results in more fuel usage.
With a supercharger, you can derive more power from an engine without consuming more fuel or changing its displacement. A supercharger can cram more air into a smaller engine. This increases the air pressure in the engine and generates more power.
A standard engine operating at sea level can get air at 14.7 psi. A supercharger can add an extra 7 psi boost to an engine. So, roughly a supercharger increases the engine’s power to nearly 50%. This extra air generates more power without consuming any extra fuel.
How Much Does it Cost to Install a Supercharger a Car?
The cost of a supercharger solely depends on the type of car you have. The chosen brand or the type of supercharger also has a big effect. But without specifying the car, it is not possible to address the accurate cost.
Although, you can expect to pay between $1,000 to $10,000 for a supercharger. There are cheaper ones available in the market. Also, there are premium choices. You will also have to spend a good amount of money in labor to install a supercharger.
According to American Automobile Association, the hourly rates for auto repair were $47-$215. Installing a supercharger from an independent auto shop will cost you $180-$260. Doing the same work on a dealership will cost you $230-$250.
Supercharger Installation Cost Summary
From here on, we will get a more elaborate idea about superchargers. We will try to look at it from different angles and try to answer relevant questions.
|Auto Shop Repair||$180-$260|
Types of Superchargers
Superchargers are classified into three categories. They are categorized by their design. The three types of superchargers are,
- Roots-Type Supercharger.
- Centrifugal Supercharger.
- Twin Screw Supercharger.
This was named after the Roots brothers who originally founded the design of these types of superchargers. This is the oldest type of supercharger. The core difference between Roots-type superchargers and other superchargers is that Roots-type superchargers work more like a pump.
They don’t compress the air. They simply pump air into the engine. These superchargers have an external compression nature. This causes them to be hotter than the others. Here are some advantages and disadvantages of Roots-type superchargers,
|Generates good boost in the whole rev range.||Comparatively old and inefficient design.|
|Very common and reliable.||Lack of subtle throttle response.|
|Derives more boost from lower engine rpm.||Takes a big place to install.|
A centrifugal supercharger and a turbocharger may look a lot alike at first glance. They also work in similar ways too. Centrifugal superchargers work as dynamic compressors. In contrast to other superchargers, centrifugal superchargers generate more boost with the engine speed.
Advantages and Disadvantages of using a Centrifugal Supercharger,
|Doesn’t generate much heat.||Not efficient in lower engine speed.|
|Impeller sizes can be changed easily.||Might have to remove other features in order to install i.e., air-condition, PAS, etc.|
|Doesn’t require much space to install.||Doesn’t work in lower engine revs.|
Twin Screw Supercharger
A Twin screw supercharger is a mix between Roots-type superchargers and Centrifugal superchargers. They were designed to overcome the shortcomings of both the centrifugal and Roots-type superchargers and derive the best out of them.
These superchargers can produce boost pressure as soon as you put your feet on the throttle. Here are some advantages and disadvantages of twin-screw superchargers,
|Cooler than other superchargers.||Very expensive to manufacture.|
|Generates full boost in lower rpm that lasts the whole rev range.||Very big in size which makes them harder to install.|
|Great power in low rpm.||The installation process is rather complex.|
Some best-selling superchargers and their relevant costs
|Vehicle Model||Price||Auto Shop Labor Costs||Dealership Labor Costs|
|1995 Buick Riviera||$771||$180||$234|
|1997 Pontiac Grand Prix||$758||$220||$286|
|1999 Buick Park Avenue||$810||$240||$312|
|2001 Nissan Frontier||$1,315||$220||$286|
|2003 Mini Cooper||$1,900||$260||$338|
Related: How Much Does it Cost to Paint Rims?
Should I install supercharger myself?
Superchargers are a lot of work. This is complex work and it includes many different tasks. Some of these tasks are directly linked to the engine. The supercharger itself is a very complex part to install.
It takes a lot of time to install a supercharger. It nearly takes up to 16 hours to complete the whole process. So, it will be clever to leave the work in expert hands. You will need many different expensive supercharger kits. These supercharger kits have an only one-time use.
So, it is a good choice to go to an auto shop and not invest more money into supercharger kits.
The cost of installation might be more. You have increased the cost of labor. But the quality of your work will be far better than DIY.
Suggestion: I strongly recommend going to an auto shop to install a supercharger even if this includes a higher installation fee or labor cost.
What is the difference between a turbocharger and a supercharger?
Superchargers are air compressors. They compress air in order to deliver more oxygen to the engine. That eventually leads to a good boost in power. A supercharger takes its power from a crankshaft, gear, belt, or chain.
On the other hand, a turbocharger takes its power from turbines. We can say that turbochargers are in fact a type of supercharger. Turbochargers were called “turbosuperchargers” in their inception period. And they gradually evolved into what we see today.
How to choose a supercharger for your car
Let me guide you through some small steps to help you choose your superchargers. Hopefully, this will help you clear your head and make good decisions.
- Gather all the information you can get. Get the idea about your vehicle and try to find the right supercharger for your vehicle. This is the most important step. Your choice will lead to the increased performance of your car.
- Think about the legal perspective. Superchargers will increase the horsepower of your vehicle. You need to keep the legal standards regarding horsepower in mind. Otherwise, it just might be a failed investment.
- Look for warranties when you buy a supercharger. Not all superchargers will last a good. Some problems might occur. So, it will be wise to think about warranties before buying.
- Consider the type of supercharger you want to get. Find out what they offer and choose accordingly.
- The cost is a great factor. Don’t go for cheaper superchargers. Try to find at least medium quality supercharger that match your budget.
Here are some tips to maintain your supercharger
Below you will find a list of tips for maintaining a supercharger:
- Superchargers increase an engine’s power significantly. This also means a lot more pressure on the engine. In this circumstance, the engine needs proper lubrication. Otherwise, it will get damaged. So, maintain a good oil level at all times.
- Sometimes the filters in superchargers get clogged or dirty. This creates extra pressure which can damage the engine and the supercharger. So, make sure to clean your filters at regular intervals.
- Superchargers increase power. More power leads to rougher use. In these conditions, the clutch might get damaged. Make sure to check them regularly. Otherwise, it might cause long lasting damage to your vehicle.
- Use the best quality gasoline available. Using low quality dirty oil will create more gunk in the engine. Which in time will lead to damaged parts. So, just spend some extra money on good quality fuel.
- A supercharger will create a lot of heat. The whole process of compressing air and burning oxygen leads to a lot of heat. So, you need to have a good cooling system. Overheating will affect the performance. This can also cause irritating situations.
Let me answer the most common questions that people asked about (Supercharger Installation): FAQ
Is it easy to install a supercharger?
Not really. This is a very complex work. You have to spend hours installing a supercharger. You also need just the right tools for the job. Professional workers have years of experience. It may seem easy when they do it, but this sure is a difficult job all in all.
Can you add a supercharger to any car?
Yes, you can add superchargers to any car. At first, you need to look at the engine. The engine has to be suitable o installing a supercharger. Then, after you’ve made all the choices regarding your supercharger, you can go for it. Make sure to prepare the engine first if it is not ready.
Are superchargers worth it?
Well, it depends on your preferences. Why do you want to install superchargers? If you want to add some extra power to your car and gain some street respect, go for it. You might be a simple day-to-day car user. In that case, you have no need for superchargers. Your car is good as it is.
Are superchargers street legal?
Superchargers are legal in a lot of states. More than fifty states legalize superchargers. Although make sure to look at the regulation in your place before buying superchargers.
Turbocharger vs Supercharger, which one is faster?
The actual speed will depend on the engine power. These parts just increase the performance of your engine. They both have their own pros and cons. Learn more about them and make your own decision.
It is possible that you will find a unique idea that will help you save money on installing a supercharger for your car. Moreover, we are happy to discuss ways to reduce the cost of installing your car supercharger. If you have any ideas, thoughts, or experiences with supercharging, please feel free to share them in the comments.