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Not everyone can be a professional racer or own a sports car. However, every car owner appreciates if their vehicle were a bit faster.
When it comes to making your car run faster, there are several modifications you can do. But, it all boils down to two things - increasing the engine’s power and raising its torque.
In this article, we will talk about how you can maximize your car engine’s performance without having to break the bank.
Before we can into the knit and grit of things, we’ll first have a short science lesson.
When you first take a look at a car’s specifications in a brochure for example, you’ll notice that they always tell you of its power and torque. But, what are they exactly?
Power and torque are measurements of work that your engine is capable of in terms of burning fuel and converting it into energy.
Imagine your car’s engine as a big air pump that pulls in and pushes out air into its system. The more air and fuel it can inject into the system the better its performance. Efficiency is also another vital factor to increase the engine’s output.
By definition, power is the measurement of how quickly work is carried out in the engine in a given amount of time. While more power doesn’t exactly equate to faster speed, it’s a great gauge of distinguishing how healthy the engine is. It’s often measured in kilowatts or horsepower (hp).
Torque, on the other hand, is the rotating force generated by the crankshaft of the engine. It’s responsible for your car accelerating from a stop and a good indicator of a vehicle’s towing power. Torque is often expressed in pound-feet (lb-ft) or Newton metres (N m).
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Now that is out of the way, below are some of the ways you can increase the power and torque of your vehicle:
By reprogramming your car’s ECU chip, you can adjust your car’s settings to improve its overall performance. In a nutshell, doing this will optimize some aspects of your vehicle such as raising its rev limit, improving the fuel to air ratio, altering the ignition timing and raising its top speed.
There are two ways to tune your ECU chip:
Firstly, you can physically replace the stock ECU chip of your car with a pre-programmed aftermarket chip.
Secondly, you can plug into your OBD-II port and install new software (plug and play) and alter the car’s characteristics from there.
Changing the ECU chip’s configuration can drastically change the engine’s performance by 10 to 15 percent when paired with other non-invasive adjustments.
Just a word of caution: for your safety, don’t set the maximum speed of the car beyond what is allowed by the law.
If your car has a naturally aspirated engine, then upgrading your CAI unit will drastically turn the air in your engine colder. The job of a CAI unit is to replace the original air filter box and with the aid of the piping that comes with the cold intake capturing air from further away from the car’s engine; hence, getting cooler air. Cooler air is denser and promotes better combustion because of the increased amount of oxygen.
If you have an engine that’s either turbocharged or supercharged, you need to upgrade your intercooler instead. The compression in this type of engine creates heat and as a by-product, hotter air. As much as possible, you want the air to be cooler for the engine to be more efficient.
While they don’t differ much from your car’s stock unit, high-flow cats reduce emissions much faster. Using less dense cell count and increasing the volume around the catalyst, it can increase the flow capability of the engine; thus, delivering an increase in both torque and power.
As such, you need to replace the exhaust manifold and the catalytic converter attached to it. For best results, it’s worth finding a decent replacement for your factory exhaust pipe and shock muffler (which are more restrictive) with a high-flow cat-back exhaust system. Systems larger in diameter and with bent pipes are preferred.
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These nifty aftermarket installations will allow more air to enter the engine and more exhaust fumes to exit it. Camshafts with larger cam lobes widen your valve lift and maximise its height.
Another modification that works closely with this upgrade is the ‘port and polish’. It basically means porting out the intake and exhaust ports on your cylinders. Take your car to a machine shop and let them grind a bit on the ports and make them bigger. They will then polish the intake and exhaust ports to remove dirt that may clog the system. Consequently, this move will greatly help the flow of air going into your combustion chamber.
While installing a throttle body with a larger diameter does not directly translate to more power, you need it as a supporting mod. By increasing its size, more airflow and velocity are created, by reducing air restrictions. Hence, it generates more power and a better throttle response.
Swapping the stock throttle body for a better aftermarket version is considered a non-invasive modification, as it doesn’t harm the car’s performance. Due to this reason, it’s better to do it sooner rather than later.
We are veering away from the engine now and are going to address your car’s tyres. Swapping out your stock tyres to shorter ones can dramatically increase acceleration. The drawback, however, is that your speedometer won’t be as accurate as before because of the modification. Conversely, you can also purchase a new set of lighter wheels, to further benefit from this mod.
However, do be careful about applying this trick as it can be a bit tough on your expenses. If you have extra money, you can even invest in a set of carbon-fibre wheels (a bit of a push and recommended only if you have cash to burn).
If you are all set to increase the power and torque of your car, make sure to check out AusBody Works. A leader in the automotive aftermarket industry, AusBody Works provides its customers with affordable, yet high quality body kits and other modification parts. So, are you ready to fulfill the need for speed?