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Car Intercooler

Installation Method of Automotive Intercooler

Turbocharged and supercharged engines compress and heat the air they intake. The intercooler plays an essential role in cooling the compressed air and ensuring that the engine operates most efficiently. There are different types of car intercooler on the market, and it can be difficult to determine which one is best suited for your engine without the right information. That's why we reveal all the information you need to know about this engine cooling system. The location of the intercooler determines its performance in your specific vehicle and whether an air-to-air or liquid-to-air intercooler is suitable for you.

Installation of car intercooler


Front-mounted intercoolers are usually air-to-air intercoolers installed in the front bumper, typically below the radiator. They rely on ambient airflow from the front of the car passing through the core and cooling the compressed air flowing through it. It is important to remember that there may be turbo lag due to its distance from the turbo and engine. However, it is directly exposed to ambient airflow and can achieve quite low intake temperatures that are difficult to achieve in other installation positions.


The top-mounted position for a car intercooler is quite common for stock heat exchangers - usually located on top of the engine. Airflow is provided through some form of duct from the scoop design of the engine hood or front grille. If an intercooler is top-mounted, this means that it is not susceptible to debris from the road or blockages and damage caused as a result. However, it does have a higher chance of heat soak as it has no direct, unrestricted ambient airflow.


Today, the side-mounted automotive intercooler is relatively rare and is located on one side of the vehicle's front, typically at the bumper inlet. This means it pulls air from the side of the bumper, but is often not the first choice for high-performance vehicles that require greater cooling capacity.

Steps to clean a turbocharged car intercooler

  1. To clean the intercooler, it must first be removed from the vehicle. This may sometimes involve removing the front bumper according to the installation position.

  2. When disassembling, be sure to disconnect any hoses and pipes. After removing, remove any remaining seals or retaining rings that may be damaged by cleaning chemicals.

  3. Spray the outer and inlet surfaces of the car intercooler with a degreaser to prepare for the removal of any viscous material or debris.

  4. After that, you can flush the intercooler with acetone or kerosene. Put it into a container, pour the liquid from the inlet, gently shake it, and let it stand for about 15 minutes. After that, pour it out. You can repeat this step several times until the cleaner becomes clear.

  5. You can also use methylated spirits for further cleaning of the intercooler, as it can also act as a degreaser.

  6. Rinse and let it dry for a few hours before reinstalling. Dispose of chemical waste responsibly as they may be toxic.

If there is no big problem in cleaning up, something more serious may happen. It is recommended that you have it diagnosed by a professional. Other engine components may be failing, and replacing the auto intercooler may not solve the problem completely. If you need to replace it, it is best to have a professional install it correctly to provide optimal performance.

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