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If like everyone else these days, youre looking to reduce your fuel costs, check your charge air coolers. Also called an intercooler, this component of your engine is essential to keeping your engine fuel efficient. As part of the turbocharger mechanism, if your charge air cooler is leaking or not working properly, your engines combustion, horsepower and emissions are all affected. If your engine isnt working at its best, youll be burning fuel unnecessarily.

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If like everyone else these days, youre looking to reduce your fuel costs, check your charge air coolers. Also called an intercooler, this component of your engine is essential to keeping your engine fuel efficient. As part of the turbocharger mechanism, if your charge air cooler is leaking or not working properly, your engines combustion, horsepower and emissions are all affected. If your engine isnt working at its best, youll be burning fuel unnecessarily.

To understand how charge air coolers work, its important to first understand something about how air acts around heat. The more that air gets compressed, the hotter it gets. And as the air temperature increases, it expands as well. This increase in temperature and pressure is part of the turbo charging process. But what you want to get the best performance from your turbo charging technology is to get more air into the mechanism, not just more air pressure. So as the hot, compressed air comes out of the compressor, you want to cool the air before it passes into the engine. This is where charge air coolers come in. A charge air cooler looks sort of like a radiator, only it works a bit differently. Air passes both inside the cooler and along the outside, so that the air is cooled and made more dense before it gets passed into the engine. That way more air molecules are available in the engine for combustion. The more air molecules there are available for combustion, the more efficient combustion will be and the more turbo charge that your engine will get for the fuel that is used.

There are some symptoms in your vehicles performance that can suggest that the problem is with the charge air cooler. If you see a great deal of black exhaust or smoke coming from the exhaust, that could be a sign. So could a sluggish feeling in the engine or a situation where you suddenly lose horsepower. If the engine is consistently operating at a hotter temperature than normal or you notice that you seem to be using more fuel than normal, your charge air cooler could be a problem.

But not always will charge air coolers need to be replaced. They can often be rebuilt to a point that they will work just efficiently as ever. But make sure that the repair shop that you choose has experience in working with charge air coolers so that you get the job done right the first time.