Top Mount Intercooler vs Front Mount Intercooler

As performance vehicles undergo heavy combustion processes, these engines tend to heat up quite quickly. To solve this problem, intercoolers were introduced, an efficient cooling device that ensures your engine runs at optimum temperatures. However, these devices come in a few types, namely top mount intercoolers and front mount intercoolers.

For those that own a performance or turbocharged vehicle, understanding what these two types offer is essential before getting one for yourself. In this article, Turborevs features the differences between top mount and front mount intercoolers.

Top Mount Intercoolers

Top mount intercoolers are situated right above the engine bay.

As the name suggests, top mount intercoolers are installed on top of the engine, protruding outwards from the bonnet. The workings of top mount intercoolers are similar to their front mount counterparts, so you may wonder, why is there even a need for different types? In short, the answer lies in technicalities such as space, off-road usage, and installation costs. Most vehicles require a top mount intercooler as they lack enough space around their engine.

Another reason to opt for top mount intercoolers is that the front mount version can suffer damage from debris and stones in cases of off-road driving. TMICs provide a safer alternative where the intercooler does not sustain any damages. This ensures that they do not get clogged by dirt and grit.

TMICs also provide another benefit, which is a faster, unobstructed airflow. Since these intercoolers are mounted right above the engine, minimal piping is required and the air is able to quickly reach the engine, therefore providing optimum efficiency.

Front Mount Intercoolers

For those that tend to keep their vehicles on-road, a front mount intercooler is the perfect option. These intercoolers sit in the front of the vehicle, right above the front bumper. As intercoolers exchange heat using air as a medium, having one installed in the front with plenty of airflow is highly beneficial. Moreover, the intercooler stays away from the engine bay’s direct heat, which results in better functioning. 

Since FMICs are placed further away from the engine, it will require more piping and installation work. Therefore, these intercoolers can only be installed if there is adequate space available within the engine area. However, some vehicles come with their own pre-fitted intercoolers, such as the front mount intercoolers for BMW F series. In those cases, FMICs are the only option for you.

The Bottom Line

Both types of intercoolers have their own benefits and drawbacks; however, the final decision on which one to get depends largely on your vehicle and its needs. Your decision should be based on the space available and the types of roads your vehicle drives on, ensuring you get the right fit for your vehicle. 

Find some of the front mount intercoolers for Volkswagen Golf GTi series at Turborevs and take your car’s performance to new heights.

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