The Kia Stinger’s turbocharged engine offers exhilarating acceleration and power. Adding an aftermarket blow off valve can enhance the driving experience even more through added performance and iconic turbo sounds. But what exactly does a blow-off valve do on a Stinger, and is installing one worth it?
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Understanding Blow valves
A blow off or bypass valve is a device mounted between a turbocharger and intake piping. Its purpose is to vent excess compressed air when the throttle closes. Here’s how it works:
The turbo compresses intake air when accelerating, forcing it into the cylinders. But when slowing down, this compressed air has nowhere to go as the throttle closes. The blow off valve opens to release the excess pressure with a characteristic “psshhh” sound.
Without a blow off valve, compressed air can back up and surge the turbo. Vented air gets recirculated back into the intake after the valve closes.
Why Install a Blow Off Valve on a Kia Stinger?
The stock Kia Stinger already comes equipped with a bypass valve from the factory. But many owners still choose to install an aftermarket blow-off valve for:
Enhanced Performance: Aftermarket blow-off valves react quicker by opening wider and venting more air faster, helping reduce lag between shifts for faster acceleration.
The Sound: Upgraded valves are specifically engineered to produce a louder and more distinct venting noise than the subtle stock valve.
Customization: Aftermarket valves allow customization through adjustable spring rates and different sounds.
For many drivers, the increased noise and acceleration response make installing a performance blow off worthwhile.
Choosing the Right Blow Off Valve
If you decide to upgrade your Stinger’s bypass valve, considerations include:
Compatibility: Ensure the replacement valve properly fits your engine and piping without modifications.
Noise: Some produce subtle vent sounds, while others make loud and aggressive noises. Choose your ideal volume.
Recycling: Select a valve that recirculates vented air back into the intake, which is required for optimal performance.
Adjustability: Adjustable valves allow tuning the spring rate to customize venting response.
Brands: Look for reputable brands known for quality like Turbo smart, Go Fast Bits, or HKS.
Price: Basic valves start around $100, but adjustable pro-level models can cost $300+.
Doing your research is important to select the ideal blow off valve for your needs and budget.
Kia Stinger Blow Off Valve Installation
Installing an aftermarket blow off valve on a Stinger involves:
Removal: Removing the factory bypass valve requires detaching clamps and hoses. Be prepared for some spilled oil.
Mounting: The new valve gets mounted in the same location using the provided gaskets and hardware. Secure all clamps.
Wiring: Most valves may need wiring with a basic 12 volt source and ground for the solenoid.
Tuning: Adjustable valves require fine-tuning the spring pressure for optimal venting point and noise.
Recirculating: Make sure the valve recirculates vented air back into the intake. Venting straight out requires retuning the engine computer.
The job can be completed in 2-4 hours by a skilled mechanic or experienced DIYer. Proper installation is critical for performance and reliability.
Improving the Sound of a Blow Off Valve
The tradeoff of upgrading your Stinger’s bypass valve is a louder venting noise. Some ways to modify that sound include:
Adjusting Spring Pressure: Increase spring stiffness for a quicker opening and more aggressive sound. Reduce stiffness for a mellower tone.
Changing the Recirculation Path: Rerouting the recirculation hose can alter the sound’s tone and volume.
Adding a Resonator: Small resonator boxes amplify the sound for a deeper rumble.
Pairing with an Intake: A higher-flowing intake plays up the valve sound.
Using Ethanol Fuel: E85 fuel allows more air flow for louder venting.
Potential Downsides of an Aftermarket Blow Off Valve
While upgrading to an aftermarket blow off valve has benefits, be aware of a few potential downsides:
- Increased wear on the turbo if not properly tuned
- Check engine lights due to venting directly to atmosphere
- Poor idling from unmetered air venting
- Increased emissions from venting out unburned fuel
- Eventual diaphragm failures from excessive boost pressure
- Complex installation and tuning
A quality valve matched to your engine and tuned properly can minimize these risks while enhancing your Stinger’s performance.
Maintaining Your Kia Stinger’s Blow Off Valve
Once installed, be sure to properly maintain an aftermarket blow off valve:
- Periodically check clamps and hoses for leaks
- Inspect the diaphragm for signs of tears or cracks
- Keep the valve body clean of dirt and debris
- Recalibrate adjusted valves if venting response changes
- Test for boost leaks around the gasket
- Verify that any electrical connections are intact
- Replace the valve after extensive use for maximum response
Proper maintenance ensures your blow off valve enhances performance rather than causes issues.
Adding an aftermarket blow off valve is a popular upgrade for tuning the Kia Stinger turbo. When chosen and installed correctly, it can provide added acceleration response and customize the sporty exhaust note. But be sure to select the right valve and properly tune it to reap the benefits while avoiding headaches.