Want Extra Power? Check Out These Engine Modification Tips!

Car modification is normally something that you might associate with young teenage drivers that want to make their cars really “cool”, but it is becoming increasing popular for people of all ages, even those without a real interest in motoring and motorsport, to modify their cars in order to gain extra power from their cars.

There aren’t many guides on the World Wide Web that explain how to go about doing this, and the information you often find is usually on car-related forums where community members often debate what people should and shouldn’t do. If you are a newbie to the car modifying world and you would like a comprehensive and no-nonsense guide to increasing your car’s brake horsepower, you have come to the right place!

Is your car ready for engine modifications?

Before you spend any money or even consider modifying your car for the purposes of increasing the amount of power available to you, you should firstly think about whether you have the right sort of car to use as a base.

I say this, because if you are driving around in an old banger, for example, the car’s engine probably won’t be in a very healthy state.

If that’s the case, I would recommend checking out the website for a newer and more-reliable car first; after all, you don’t want to spend money modifying that old engine and then causing it to blow up a day later because it couldn’t handle your mods!

Knowing your limits

Some people wrongly believe that you a car engine will take whatever you can throw at it; in order words, fitting various bolt-on modifications whilst using standard internal engine components.

There are many bolt-on mods that you can do which will work safely with an otherwise standard engine, but if you are looking for big power gains (i.e. twice or three times the amount of power your car’s engine has at the moment), you will also need to uprate a lot of things inside of the engine to cope with the extra demands you are placing upon it.

Common bolt-on modifications

The following are a list of common engine modifications power seekers buy for their car’s power plant:

  • Aftermarket air filter – the engine’s standard paper air filter is quite restrictive. A common way of reducing those restrictions is to fit an aftermarket air filter made of foam. Some people even opt for cone filters which replace the air box entirely;

  • Exhaust system – those seeking extra power can have custom stainless steel exhaust systems made specifically for their cars. This often includes freer-flowing catalytic converters (which still enable the car to pass MOT emissions tests) and mandrel-bent exhaust manifolds;

  • Turbochargers – fitted to many car engines as standard, turbochargers are a good way of gaining significant amounts of extra power and even increasing fuel economy.

ECU remaps

In order for your car’s engine to benefit from such bolt-on modifications, you should have its ECU (engine control unit – the car’s electronic “brain”) remapped. This is because the ECU is only working with a specific set of values and measurements for standard engines, and without remapping the ECU with a bespoke map, your car could even lose power!

Photo via Flickr

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Published on: April 14, 2014

Filled Under: Cars

Views: 11082

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