Turbo Waste Gate Explained | Carnewscast

If you drive a car with a turbocharged engine, you might want to know what a wastegate is. It is essentially a special valve used to control the flow of exhaust gases flowing into the turbine wheel. In doing so, it regulates how much boost pressure will be present in any given turbocharger system.

It may sound rather mechanical and monotonous to some, but the wastegate is an absolutely critical component, without which the turbocharger would not be able to function properly. In today’s blog, we’ll take a closer look at the wastegate, how it works and what types there are.

What is Wastegate in a Car? What is your purpose?

As we mentioned briefly in the introduction, the relief valve – also known as the turbocharger relief valve – is a valve that controls the amount of boost pressure the turbo generally produces. Its important function is to avoid a pressure overload that will cause damage to the engine. The added boost gives you speed and the engine can handle it, but there’s a point where the boost builds up too much, and that’s what the wastegate is there to prevent. When the boost pressure reaches its predetermined limit, the valve kicks in and ensures that safety prevails.

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How does a Wastegate work?

It is a fairly simple mechanism that is built with a spring on one side of the diaphragm, with the other side ready to receive the boosting pressure. When the boost pressure exceeds that of the spring, the wastegate opens and excess exhaust gases pass quickly. The longer the spring holds, the greater the delay in opening the wastegate, and therefore the greater the thrust of the engine.

Adjusting the strength of this spring is one way to ensure that opening is delayed longer and more boost pressure can be achieved. Care must be taken, however, because there is a definite limit to how much pressure the thrust can withstand.

turbo garbage gate

Do all cars have Wastegates?

The simple answer is no, they don’t. The wastegate is a feature of a turbocharger, therefore, only turbocharged engines will have a wastegate fitted. More cars than ever are turbocharged these days, and it’s not the rare specialist feature it used to be. The turbocharger is common even in common cars and models that are not necessarily designed for any performance function.

What are the different types of Wastegate?

Generally speaking, there are two different types of wastegates, namely internal and external wastegates. In this section, we’ll explain the differences between them, and then explain the various benefits of each in the next section.

What is an Internal Wastegate?

An internal wastegate is one that is integrated within the structure of the turbo itself. The gate is opened using an actuator – which works with the spring system described above – and a diaphragm system that feeds excess gases into the exhaust system and bypasses the turbine. This is the most common type of wastegate you will find.

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turbo exhaust valve

What is an External Wastegate?

As the name suggests, an external wastegate is a unit installed separately from the turbo, typically in the exhaust manifold or manifold. It is most commonly only used in high horsepower engines that you would find in track ready vehicles and high performance machines. Its inlets and outlets are larger than what you would find in internal wastegates. Their springs and actuator diaphragms are also larger and able to handle more pressure, so they are reserved for high-performance machines.

external discharge valve

Internal vs. External Wastegate – Which is Best?

There is no simple or straightforward answer to whether internal or external wastegates are objectively better. It depends entirely on your vehicle and its configuration.

Internal wastegates have the advantage of being compact, recessed and relatively simple in construction. It’s all an integral part of the turbo system, so there’s no need to think of it as a separate component. Because it’s built inside the turbo, it means there’s no additional piping to worry about as you would if you were dealing with an external wastegate.

Another advantage of the internal dump valve is that it will automatically channel excess exhaust gases back into the exhaust system and into the catalytic converter. This creates a neater, cleaner setup with fewer potential issues. One downside, however, is that they have a more limited ability to rise and will open much sooner than the high pressure systems you get on external sluice gates.

great turbo configuration

External wastegates offer more precision and greater reinforcement capacity. If you want to boost a high-end engine and deliver more power, an external wastegate is the best way to go. They are more efficient in dealing with higher levels of turbo boost and higher amounts of exhaust gas. While it takes some extra work to secure them, it’s not an overly complex process and can be done quickly.

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So in the end you will have to consider your needs and what your car can realistically handle. when you are looking aftermarket exhaust valvesmany will be external because internals come as an integral part of a turbocharger.

If you’re investing in a new inboard wastegate, it’s probably part of a larger overhaul of a new turbocharging system. It’s important to know your car’s limits and what it can handle and what it can’t. Too much boost pressure that the wastegate can’t handle properly can cause all sorts of problems in your engine and exhaust systems, both of which can be very expensive to fix. Ask your local tuner for further advice if needed.

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