What is a turbo timer?

A turbo timer is a device that keeps the engine running for a short period of time after the ignition key is turned off in a turbocharged vehicle. The purpose of a turbo timer is to allow the engine to cool down gradually after it has been under high load, particularly during spirited driving, by circulating oil through the turbocharger's bearings.

When a turbocharger is under high load, it can get very hot, and turning off the engine suddenly can cause the oil in the turbocharger to stop flowing, leading to a build-up of heat and potentially damaging the turbocharger. A turbo timer ensures that the engine runs for a short period after the key is turned off, allowing the oil to continue flowing through the turbocharger and dissipating the heat gradually, protecting the turbocharger from damage and prolonging its life.

Whether or not you need a turbo timer depends on your driving habits and the conditions under which you typically drive your vehicle. If you engage in high-performance driving, such as racing or driving on a track, or if you frequently drive your turbocharged vehicle hard, a turbo timer can be beneficial in protecting your turbocharger from damage and extending its life. On the other hand, if you use your vehicle primarily for commuting or light-duty driving, a turbo timer may not be necessary. Ultimately, the decision to install a turbo timer depends on your individual driving style and needs.


A turbo timer allows the turbocharger to cool down gradually after the engine has been turned off, which can help to prevent oil from forming deposits in the turbocharger bearings. Subsequently, when a turbocharger is under high load, it can get scorching. If you turn off the engine immediately after driving under high boost, the turbocharger can become damaged due to the sudden loss of oil pressure and subsequent heat buildup. A turbo timer can help to prevent this damage by allowing the turbocharger to cool down gradually. This can help to extend the life of the turbocharger and reduce the likelihood of expensive repairs.


A turbo timer can also be very convenient, especially if you are in a hurry and need to turn off the engine quickly. With a turbo timer, you can simply turn off the engine and walk away, knowing that the turbocharger will be protected and the engine will cool down gradually, with the turbo timer taking care of the engine’s shut-down procedure. This is particularly useful after expressway driving when you have to stop over.

People who also track often, could also consider a turbo timer for their vehicles so they could go ahead and check other vital parts after a hot-lapping session with the turbo timer taking care of the engine and turbo cooldown.

turbo timer

That being said, most modern vehicles are equipped with electronic systems that automatically regulate the cooling down of the turbocharger. In such cases, a turbo timer may not be necessary as the system will manage the cooling down process automatically. Those that also drive normally or those using their vehicles for their day-to-day use have no need for a turbo timer whatsoever since the engine and turbocharger will just be running in their normal temperature, negating the need for a turbo timer. While turbo timers are generally inexpensive, it is still an added cost for a device that probably isn’t needed nowadays.

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