Do Turbocharged Cars Require More Maintenance?

Turbocharged engines will require more frequent maintenance, such as oil changes and fresh spark plugs, though they typically don't require additional service compared to naturally aspirated engines. Here are some examples: Dodge advises changing the spark plugs on the Dart's turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder every 30,000 miles, compared with every 100,000 miles for the 2.0- and 2.4-liter naturally aspirated engines. Dodge does not post a schedule for oil changes, instead telling owners to have it done based on an oil-change indicator system that monitors how many short trips you make, outside temperatures and other driving conditions.

On the 2.4-liter naturally aspirated four-cylinder used in the Hyundai Sonata and Santa Fe, Hyundai says to change the oil every 7,500 miles or at least once a year. With the turbocharged 2.0-liter, Hyundai says to do the first oil change after 3,000 miles or six months and then every 5,000 miles or six months. Spark plug changes also are more frequent on the turbo 2.0-liter: every 45,000 miles or three years versus 105,000 miles or seven years on the 2.4-liter engine.

Those are the only maintenance differences Dodge and Hyundai mention for the turbocharged engines. Turbo models may have additional requirements, such as more frequent transmission fluid changes, but the real difference may be in how the turbocharged versions are driven. Owners who can't resist using the additional horsepower may, over time, create repair issues. Flooring the throttle on a regular basis puts more stress on the engine, transmission, tires, the suspension and, ultimately, the brakes.

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