Can You Install an Aftermarket Turbo Timer on a Subaru BRZ for Engine Longevity?

As lovers of the open road, you’re always on the lookout for ways to boost your car’s performance and longevity. It’s not unusual for car enthusiasts, particularly Subaru BRZ owners, to consider installing aftermarket turbo timers. This piece will guide you through the process, explaining the significance of the turbo timer, the potential benefits for your car’s engine, and how to install one in your Subaru BRZ.

What is a Turbo Timer?

Before we delve deeper into the topic, let’s first explore what a turbo timer is and why it matters for your car’s engine. A turbo timer is a device designed to keep your car’s engine running for a predetermined amount of time once you’ve turned off the ignition. Why does it matter, you might ask? Well, it’s all about the importance of cooling down your engine and preserving the longevity of your turbocharger.

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When your car is working hard, particularly if you’ve been enjoying some spirited driving, your turbo gets hot – really hot. If you’ve been boosting, it can reach temperatures up to 900 degrees Celsius. That kind of heat can cause your engine oil to caramelize and deposit itself in your turbo, leading to reduced performance over time. A turbo timer ensures the engine continues to circulate oil for a while after shut-off, helping to cool down the turbo and prevent oil caking.

Will a Turbo Timer Benefit Your Subaru BRZ’s Engine?

Having established what a turbo timer does, let’s explore how it could benefit the engine of your Subaru BRZ. These sports cars are known for their performance, with their 2.4-liter, four-cylinder, naturally aspirated engine pumping out a respectable 228 horsepower.

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However, if you’ve joined the ranks of BRZ owners who’ve decided to install an aftermarket turbo kit, you’re pushing your car’s engine even harder. This means more heat, and potentially, more wear and tear on your turbo. A turbo timer can help mitigate this by ensuring the hot oil doesn’t sit and solidify in your turbo when you turn off the engine.

A turbo timer can be particularly beneficial if you frequently engage in spirited driving, or if you use your BRZ for track days. These activities can generate significant heat in your engine, and giving it time to cool down properly can extend the life of your turbocharger.

How to Install a Turbo Timer on Your Subaru BRZ: The Ultimate Guide

So, if you’ve decided that a turbo timer could help extend the life of your Subaru BRZ’s engine, your next step is to install one. Don’t worry – we’ve got you covered with our ultimate guide on installing a turbo timer.

First, you’ll need to purchase a turbo timer that is compatible with your Subaru BRZ. This is typically a straightforward process, with many aftermarket turbo timers available that will work with Subaru’s cars.

Next, you’ll need to install the turbo timer. If you’re handy with cars, you can do this yourself – otherwise, it may be worth getting a professional to handle it for you. The turbo timer will need to be wired into your car’s ignition system, which can be a complex job if you’re not familiar with this kind of work.

Begin by disconnecting the negative battery cable, then locate the ignition harness behind the steering column. The exact wiring diagram will depend on the specific model of turbo timer you’ve chosen, so be sure to follow the instructions provided. However, the general idea is that you’ll need to connect the turbo timer’s wires to the corresponding wires in your car’s ignition harness.

Once you’ve wired in your turbo timer, you’ll need to secure it in a suitable location. Most people opt to install their turbo timers somewhere on the dashboard for easy access. Ensure it’s secure and won’t interfere with your normal driving activities.

What to Look for When Buying a Turbo Timer

If you’re considering purchasing a turbo timer for your Subaru BRZ, there are a few key factors to keep in mind. Firstly, you’ll need to ensure the turbo timer is compatible with your car. Most turbo timers are universal, but it’s always worth double-checking to avoid any potential headaches down the line.

Another key consideration is the range of times the turbo timer offers. Some timers offer a fixed time period, while others allow you to adjust the time, typically in increments of one minute. The right choice for you will depend on your specific needs and how you use your BRZ.

Finally, consider the brand and reputation of the turbo timer. As with any aftermarket car part, you’ll want to choose a brand known for its quality and reliability. Look for brands with positive reviews from other Subaru owners, and ideally, choose a timer with a warranty for added peace of mind.

Final Thoughts

While this article does not include a conclusion, it has hopefully provided valuable information about the potential benefits of installing a turbo timer on your Subaru BRZ. It is essential to remember that the primary purpose of a turbo timer is to protect your engine and prolong the life of your turbocharger. By allowing your engine to cool down properly after high-boost driving, you can help prevent oil caking and maintain performance over time. Whether you choose to install a turbo timer yourself or hire a professional, we hope this guide has been helpful in your decision-making process.

Understanding Different Types of Turbo Timers

If you decide to invest in a turbo timer for your Subaru BRZ, it is crucial to understand the different types available on the market. Generally, there are two types of turbo timers, the ‘manual’ and the ‘automatic’ type.

The ‘manual’ turbo timer allows the user to set the idle time manually. This type is ideal for individuals who engage in varied driving styles, from city driving to high-speed driving on the freeway. With this type, you can adjust the idle time depending on how hard you drove your car.

On the other hand, the ‘automatic’ turbo timer, sometimes referred to as the ‘smart’ timer, calculates the ideal cooldown period based on your driving conditions. This type of timer takes into account parameters like speed, RPM, and engine temperatures to decide the best idle time. It is perfect for those who want a ‘set it and forget it’ solution.

Well-known brands that manufacture turbo timers include HKS Turbo and Drift Hunters. When selecting a turbo timer, consider the type that best suits your driving habits and needs. Always remember to check manufacturer descriptions and reviews before making a purchase.

Advanced Tips for Using a Turbo Timer

Now that you’ve installed a turbo timer on your Subaru BRZ, what’s next? Here are some advanced tips to help you get the most out of your turbo timer for optimal engine longevity.

Firstly, it is not necessary to have your turbo timer running after every drive. If you’ve only been driving slowly or for short periods, the turbo hasn’t had a chance to get hot. In such cases, you can switch off the engine immediately after parking.

Conversely, if you’ve just completed a drift race or a long high-speed drive on Forza Horizon, let the turbo timer do its job. The additional idle time helps cool down the turbo and prolongs its lifespan.

Secondly, the length of time your engine needs to idle will vary depending on your driving conditions and the type of engine oil you use. The better the quality of engine oil, the better its heat resistance, and the shorter the idle time needed.

Lastly, even with a turbo timer, it’s still important to take care of your turbo kit. Regular servicing and inspections of your turbo kit can help identify any potential issues early, reducing the risk of serious damage and costly repairs.


Installing a turbo timer on your Subaru BRZ is not a mandatory upgrade, but it can be a smart investment, particularly if your driving habits include high-boost or spirited driving. The turbo timer ensures your engine continues to circulate oil after shut-off, helping to cool down the turbo and prolong its lifespan. The type of turbo timer you choose, whether manual or automatic, will depend on your specific needs and driving habits.

As with any aftermarket addition, quality should be a key consideration. Brands like HKS Turbo and Drift Hunters have positive reviews and are reputed for their quality. Engaging in regular maintenance and servicing of your turbo kit is also critical, even with a turbo timer installed.

In conclusion, a turbo timer is a relatively small investment that can pay significant dividends in terms of maintaining your car’s performance and extending the life of your turbocharger. So, if you are a proud owner of a Subaru BRZ and avid driving enthusiast, a turbo timer could be a worthy addition to your prized possession.

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