The days when Detroit cranked out monster-sized, 500-horsepower engines as standard equipment are long gone, thanks to rising oil prices and EPA restrictions. But there are still things you can do to boost speed and performance in your daily driver. Here are five tips for getting the most power out of your everyday car, whether it’s a four-cylinder economy box or a high-revving sport machine.
Let it Breathe Deep:
All engines need three things to get going: fuel, fire, and air. The more oxygen your engine sucks in, the more power it will kick out. Fortunately, there are aftermarket throttle bodies and intakes that can help your ride to breathe deeper and go faster. There are also turbo systems, which we’ll talk about shortly.
Give it a new Exhaust:
Modifying your exhaust system can make all the difference when it comes to squeezing a little extra power out of each ignition cycle. The parts you’ll need are out there now, waiting for you to whip out your credit card. Custom exhausts not only help your car breathe better, they can also add to its appearance and give it that highly desirable “rumbling” sound.
One way to really give your engine a performance upgrade is to add a turbo or supercharger to the mix. These devices pack more gas and air into each combustion cycle, giving you much the same gain that you would get from a larger engine. This effect has its limits; hence the old saying, “there’s no replacement for displacement.” Also, make sure that your engine is capable of handling the added pressure and heat that forced air induction will create.
Hack the System:
In modern cars, on-board computers control virtually every engine function, like gear timing, fuel/air mixtures, and dozens of other factors that can affect performance. These variables are set at the factory, but there are many after-market devices that can alter the settings to fine-tune your performance. Just be careful which one you choose, because some of these products work only with foreign makes and others with domestic vehicles. Make sure the unit you buy is a good fit for your engine.
Go Back to the Basics:
Sometimes the best way to get more out a car is simply to take better care of it– Like the human body. An internal combustion engine runs better when it gets regular oil changes, the right fuel, etc. So, if you’re behind on the maintenance schedule, there’s no time like the present to start treating your car right. She’ll do the same in return.
Image Sources: Enginebasics.com, Kpmauto.com, prweb.com, bmwblog.com