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An intercooler is used on turbocharged engines to cool the air compressed by the turbocharger before it enters the engine. This cooler air has a greater density and higher oxygen levels which allows for more fuel to burn. The more fuel that is burned, the more horsepower. Most modern diesel engines have an intercooler because of the power and efficiency gained. A diesel engine can run without an intercooler but the compressed air gets very hot without one which is not as effective for combustion because of the lower oxygen level. You will know if your intercooler is faulty if you start to see black smoke from your exhaust pipe. This means that not enough air is getting into your engine creating an excess of fuel. This excess fuel is released out the exhaust system. If you start to see signs of a damaged intercooler, you run the risk of your engine overheating. Your heavy equipment runs very hot without a properly functioning intercooler so be sure it is well maintained to keep your performance and engine temperature consistent.