Since the invention of the internal combustion engine, speed junkies, automotive engineers, and race car designers have sought ways to boost its power.
One way to achieve this is by forcing air induction with a procharger or supercharger.
More air means more fuel can be added, which means greater horsepower.
There is nothing quite like the power, speed, and thrill you get from installing one of these mods in your car.
While a procharger and supercharger share similar science, they offer entirely different driving experiences.
If you’re looking to improve your car’s power and are unsure which mod to go with, we break down the key differences and the pros and cons of each.
A procharger is a branded centrifugal supercharger that produces a steady supply of power to boost your engine.
It uses a rotating impeller to suck air inwards, creating a strong centrifugal force.
A diffuser surrounding the impeller turns the air into high pressure, forcing the air into the engine as a consistent stream rather than in bursts.
The procharger provides plenty of solutions to the issues caused by a basic supercharger.
The result of this constant pressure and flow of air avoids turbo lag for higher and smoother power.
These centrifugal superchargers are also smaller and lighter and attached to the engine rather than the intake manifold.
Prochargers also have better fuel economy since they are lighter and draw air more effectively, using up less horsepower they generate.
However, prochargers do have their catches.
Prochargers come with a higher price tag and tend to produce a loud noise when in use, so a noise suppressor may need to be installed.
- Clean power boosts are provided in a consistent stream
- Smaller and lighter
- More fuel-efficient
- Produces loud whining noise when the engine is revved up
- More expensive compared to the average supercharger
Have you ever seen an old muscle car with a big shiny chrome air intake sticking out of the hood?
That’s a supercharger, otherwise known as a positive displacement supercharger.
Superchargers can be further broken down into two different types – roots or twin-screws.
When you’re talking about a classic supercharger, you’re likely referring to a classic Roots Supercharger.
This type of supercharger is typically installed into the intake manifold.
A roots supercharger works by forcing air through mesh lobes in the engine’s intake manifold to build up pressure.
This enables short bursts of air to be pumped into the engine.
A classic roots supercharger is quite noticeable as they created the famous “bulge” on the hoods of classic cars.
The issue with roots superchargers is their bulky size and the fact that they don’t feed extra air in a consistent stream into the engine.
Twin-screw superchargers are more efficient where roots superchargers lack.
The design of a twin-screw supercharger relies on long, spinning screw-type parts that spin and draw air in to build up pressure.
A twin-screw supercharger is much smaller than roots, which saves room.
The downside of this type of supercharger is a higher price tag and loudness, so a noise suppression system may need to be installed.
- Plenty of variations are available on the market
- Fast power boost from initial gas pedal touch
- Poor fuel economy
- Inconsistent air supply
- Affects the look of the vehicle when installed
Procharger vs Supercharger: Which is Better?
So now that you know how these superchargers work, which would should you choose?
The first thing to note is that both prochargers and superchargers have the same aim, they boost the horsepower and enhance the efficiency of your drive.
However, they accomplish it differently.
There are three things about superchargers that most speed freaks consider important, performance and costs.
If you’re considering installing a supercharger, you clearly want more power.
There’s no doubt that adding a procharger or a supercharger to your car will do just that.
But which will maximize performance?
In deciding between the two types of superchargers, you need to decide when you want that extra power to kick in.
A basic supercharger gives you instant power when pressing on the gas pedal.
So, if you want immediate power right off the bat, a supercharger system may offer the performance you want.
On the other hand, centrifugal superchargers offer a smoother increase to ease the power you need.
For example, if you’re driving on the highway and need to pass another car, the engine crank is already spinning fast enough to give you power when needed.
So, if you want more power while you’re already moving, go with a procharger.
Also, adding either type of supercharger increases engine heat and stress.
So, to extend the life of your charger and your car, maintain your vehicle properly and change your engine oil regularly.
When it comes to the price tag of a supercharger, you don’t want to break the bank trying to add more horsepower to your car.
Both prochargers and superchargers are pretty expensive and require a great deal of maintenance.
Before choosing between the two, you need to consider your budget and how much extra power you’re looking to squeeze out of your car.
If you’re looking for something that will give you speed safely and legally, then a procharger may be your best choice.
However, if you’re a speed junkie and want to go as quickly as possible from 0 to 60, you’ll find it with a classic roots supercharger.
If you want a supercharger system that’s more economical and better for the long haul, a procharger is the way to go.
Superchargers can run major gas costs, while prochargers can help you save money in the long run.
However, this does mean the procharger is going to cost you more upfront, but the economic benefits are much better.
Both systems come with their own maintenance costs, but by limiting the stress you’re putting on your car, you can cut down on this.
How much horsepower can a procharger add?
How much horsepower a procharger adds will depend on the size of the model you get.
Bigger models with a larger air capacity and increased capabilities can provide more boost in horsepower.
On average, a procharger can add an additional 40-100 horsepower.
Does charging a car affect gas consumption?
As mentioned above, procharging or supercharging your car will burn more fuel.
This is to be expected on a car with more horsepower than normal.
It is recommended to use premium fuel to maintain the performance and efficiency of the engine.
Can I install a procharger or supercharger on my own?
While it is possible to install one in your car by yourself, provided you have the right instructions and tools, it is always best to have it set up by a professional.
Improper installation may cause serious issues.
Procharger vs Supercharger: The Bottom Line
Both the procharger and supercharger have unique capabilities to achieve the best performance car possible.
However, they offer a different feel when you’re behind the wheel.
While a centrifugal supercharger demands a higher price upfront and has loud whining noise, which may be an issue for some, it will give you clean power boosts at a consistent rate and save money in the long run.
On the other hand, a supercharger is bulky and has poor fuel economy, but your car’s engine will get a bigger boost instantly.
Ultimately, which one you choose depends on your power needs, budget and car.