Are you looking to give your car a bit more grunt, but don’t have heaps of cash? Don’t despair; there are plenty of effective ways to bring out your vehicle’s inner hot rod that won’t break the bank. When it comes to engine performance (speed and power), it’s all about increasing horsepower. Here are the top five affordable ways you can do this:
1. Improve power-to-weight ratio
The quickest and cheapest way to boost your vehicle’s performance is to improve its power-to-weight ratio. By removing excess weight and stripping down your vehicle to its bare bones, you’ll unleash more horsepower and achieve optimum performance.
2. Use performance air filters
There are a range of aftermarket air filters you can fit to your vehicle that are designed to significantly increase airflow to the engine. This will allow for more efficient use of the air/fuel mix to give more horsepower, torque and acceleration. These filters will also remove more contaminants and impurities that would otherwise accumulate over time to reduce engine performance and life. Installation is pretty straightforward; simply drop the filter into the engine’s air box. These filters are made of fabric (usually cotton), which means you can wash and reuse them. You could also use another method to help cool the airflow to your engine.
3. Install a cold air intake kit
Normally, vehicles regulate the temperature entering the engine by providing warm air when the engine is cold and vice versa. However, cold air intake kits override this to ensure a steady stream of cool air is always available to your engine. So what does this do? Well, cooler air is denser which means it contains more oxygen. This directly improves combustion, which in turn produces more power. You could also use another method to help cool the airflow to your engine. The Charge Aircooler does exactly that by cooling the air to the engine before it gets there.
4. Upgrade your car’s computer
If you drive a late-model car (90s onwards), there is more than likely a little onboard computer regulating key functions of your vehicle, such as timing and air/fuel mix. There are two ways to go about changing your computer’s settings for these all important functions. You can either ‘reflash’ your car’s computer, which translated from geek-speak, simply means to reprogram the computer. Your other option is to replace the computer chip with a performance or ‘superchip’.
Both methods will achieve the same end result, that is, they’ll override factory settings to increase engine power and horsepower. Installing a new chip is pretty easy and you can do it yourself. Once you’re familiar with your car’s electronics, simply take out the factory chip and plug in the new one. If you want to reflash the computer instead, check out http://www.ehow.com/how_5759500_flash-car-computer.html.
5. Upgrade your car’s exhaust system
Upgrading to a high-performance exhaust system can significantly increase your horsepower (about 5-10 on natural aspiration / internal combustion vehicle), and even more on a supercharged vehicle. These systems are built and designed to much higher specifications which have an overall positive effect on engine performance. They’re much better at getting the exhaust gases out of the vehicle, which frees up room for more air and fuel in the engine, which means more power.
If you want your vehicle to run faster, smoother, and be more fuel efficient, the list above provides some cheap ways to do so. However, if you’ve got the money and want to take it a step further, then you’re looking at an engine rebuild or adding a turbocharger. If you’re going to go down this track, get some specialist advice from the team at Pure Performance Motorsport; they’ve got years of racing experience and manufacture world-class but affordable high performance products.