How do you install a turbo on a non-turbo car?

I love fast cars! I watch all the car movies and go to car shows, but my car just has a little naturally aspirated engine. What’s the easiest way to install a turbo on a car?

Sarah Gray · Updated on
Reviewed by Shannon Martin, Licensed Insurance Agent.
Installing a turbo on a non-turbo car is going to take a lot more than just plugging in a new part. That said, it is possible to add a turbocharger to just about any naturally aspirated (NASP) engine.
But here’s why you should think twice: Turbocharged engines don’t just take in air differently than NASP engines—they do everything differently. 
Adding a turbocharger means:
  • Cooling the compressed air
  • Modifying the ECU
  • Upgrading your clutch
  • Possibly upgrading your fuel pump
Keep in mind: If you’re able to tune everything just right, you might be able to get a little more horsepower out of your NASP engine—but the extra strain on your engine will likely cause it to deteriorate faster.
Pro tip: A few companies, like Flyin’ Miata, have tried to simplify the process with a complete turbo-kit, but it’s still a very labor-intensive process. You’d be better served both in performance and dollars spent to source a turbocharged engine and have your mechanic install it. This can get expensive, but you’ll definitely get more bang for your buck.
View full answer 
Jerry partners with more than 50 insurance companies, but our content is independently researched, written, and fact-checked by our team of editors and agents. We aren’t paid for reviews or other content.

Join 4M+ members in lowering their car insurance

Easiest way to compare and buy car insurance

No long forms
No spam or unwanted phone calls
Quotes from top insurance companies
Find insurance savings