Because FMIC systems require open bumper design for optimal performance, the entire system is vulnerable to debris. Some engineers choose other mount locations due to this reliability concern. FMICs can be located in front of or behind the radiator, depending on the heat dissipation needs of the engine.
In addition to allowing a greater amount of air to enter the engine, the intercooler plays a key role in controlling the internal temperature of the turbocharged engine. When equipped with a turbocharger (as with any form of supercharger), the specific power of the engine increases, resulting in higher combustion and exhaust temperatures. The exhaust gas passing through the turbine portion of the turbocharger is typically about 450 ° C (840 ° F), but can be as high as 1000 ° C (1830 ° F) under extreme conditions. This heat passes through the turbocharger unit and helps to heat the air that is compressed in the compressor portion of the turbine. If left uncooled, the hot air enters the engine, further increasing the internal temperature. This can result in a final stable heat buildup, but this may be at temperatures above the engine design limit - "hot spots" at the top of the piston or at the exhaust valve can cause these parts to warp or crack. High inflation temperatures also increase the likelihood of pre-ignition or explosion. Explosions can cause damaging pressure spikes in the engine's cylinders, which can quickly damage the engine. These effects are particularly applicable to an improved or tuned engine that operates at very high specific power output. Efficient intercoolers remove heat from the air in the intake system, preventing circulating heat from being generated by the turbocharger, resulting in higher power output without damage.
Compression by the turbocharger causes the intake air to heat up and heat is added due to compressor inefficiencies (adiabatic efficiency). This is actually the greater cause of the increase in air temperature in an air charge. The extra power obtained from forced induction is due to the extra air available to burn more fuel in each cylinder. This sometimes requires a lower compression ratio be used, to allow a wider mapping of ignition timing advance before detonation occurs (for a given fuel's octane rating). On the other hand, a lower compression ratio generally lowers combustion efficiency and costs power.
Some high-performance tuning companies measure the temperature before and after the intercooler to ensure that the output temperature is as close as possible to the ambient temperature (no additional cooling required; water/liquid gas spray kit).