Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

We get a lot of phone calls and emails that ask a lot of the same questions.  You may also find answers to many of your questions on our product pages, and blog posts.

[turbo selection]

Q: Can I run a turbo that is bigger and can make more power than I need?
A: Yes you can, but should you?  In general we recommend running the smallest turbo that will meet your power goals.  If your power goals are on the outer reaches of a given turbo model and you will feel sad if you don’t hit, say 400 whp, then it is a reasonable choice to pick the next larger size.

Q: I plan to do more mods to my car, and I want to future proof with a bigger turbo.  Is that a good idea, and is it ok to run it at lower boost?
A: Yes, it will be fine.  This is a fair strategy if you want to save money and don’t want to buy a smaller turbo now, and a bigger one later.  You can run a lower boost target on a bigger turbo to achieve a safer lower power level.  Later when you have built your block, etc. you can get your car retuned and get more out of your bigger turbo later.

Q: How big of a turbo should I buy?
A: Buy the one that best fits your power goals.  Be honest with yourself what you really want out of your build.  Bigger is not always better.  Find the smallest model that can hit your goal within a safe margin of its peak power rating.


Q: Will my car need a tune after installing a Steam STX turbo, or SteamSpeed EBCS?
A: Yes.

Q: Is it safe to drive my car without a tune?
A: It is safe to drive your car to the tuner as long as you keep it out of boost, but you will eventually need real a tune.  It is not safe to drive under boost without a tune.

Q: I am concerned about breaking my stock engine/drive line, can I get a tune that is safe?
A: Yes, any reasonably good tuner can give you a tune that can be safe on your stock motor and/or gear box.  In fact, this should be standard operating procedure for any reputable tuner.  Tuners can tune down early torque, and limit peak power to levels that will be safe for your car.


Q: Is it ok to run boost lower than 20 psi?
A: Yes, it is fine to have lower target boost levels like 10-15 psi; however, the turbo will flow more at higher boost levels.  If you only want to lower boost, it does beg the question of why not just run a smaller turbo?  A smaller turbo will be more responsive, and be able to flow the same as a bigger turbo at higher boost.

Q: What is the ideal boost target for Steam STX Turbos?
A: We’ve designed our turbos to be able to work their best using normal pump gas.  This means our turbos will work best between 18-23 psi.  Our journal bearing turbos will not be efficient over 25 psi and therefore will not make more power.  Furthermore, the journal bearing CHRA will wear out more quickly at higher than 25 psi boost levels.  Our ball bearing turbos on the other hand, are efficient beyond 30 psi.


Q: What supporting mods are required to run your turbos?
STI: A full 3” turbo back exhaust.  Exhausts that taper to 2.5” will limit you to at most 350 whp.  A larger fuel pump and injectors.  A large MAF intake if you are not doing a speed density tune.  An electronic boost controller.  To get beyond 350-375 whp, a larger intercooler than the stock STI one is recommended.  For safety, a built short block is recommended for 400+ whp.

WRX 2015+: A full 3” turbo back exhaust.  Intake.  Boost controller.  TGV deletes are recommended.\

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Feel free to email at support@steamspeed.com or call us at 206-607-9149 if you can't find your answer.