Easy Mods to Increase the Performance of Your Car Immediately
Modifying your car is great when you know what you are doing, but it is also easier than you would think for people that don’t have much experience. Modifying your can may sound like ripping out the engine and dropping a new one in, but it can also be as simple as changing the bodywork or changing the seats. As you get more experienced, you can take on more difficult projects. This is a list of modifications that are possible to do yourself and will often improve the performance of your car.
This might not be the first thing you think of when someone mentioned modifying a car, but if you are going to start improving the performance of your car with other modifications, then you should be! As the performance of your car increases, the stock breaks may not be up to the job of slowing you back down. Disk breaks are more effective than drum breaks and are generally better at performing in bad weather.
Control arm bushings
This is another modification that is not as sexy as a new turbo unit but is still very important to think about. The suspension in a car is going to become vital when you start increasing the performance of your car. For a good performance ride, you will want to look at a firm suspension that complements the power of the engine. Being lower to the ground is also going to help the overall feel of the ride and will benefit the handling of your car around corners. If you have ever driven a car with a very soft suspension made for comfort, then you will know that things start to get hairy when you get past about 90mph. Performance suspension will help to stop other problems like tire wear and wobbly handling.
If you want to increase the performance of your car without having to get under the hood, then tires are going to be your best option. The difference between cheap stock tires and those made for grip, handling, and speed is like night and day. At a basic level, softer tires will warm up faster and will improve how well they grip and hold onto the surface you are driving on. These will wear out faster than a hard tire, though. Try to find a middle ground where the tires are soft enough that you will have grip when you need it but not so soft that you are replacing them every few months. This is a good guide to get a handle on the type of car that will best suit your style of driving.
Seats and seat harnesses
Having seats that are made for racing cars in your family cruiser is probably not necessary, but if you are modifying a car so that you can drive it seriously on a track day, then this is a necessary purchase. If you want to drive your car for long distances as well as fast, then a full racing seat will most likely become uncomfortable. There are seat options that provide a good middle ground, though, so that you won’t find yourself unable to move after driving for a few hundred miles but are also lighter than standard seats to allow for improved performance on the road.
Suspension shocks and springs
Most cars are designed so that they will provide maximum comfort for the widest range of driving conditions. This often means reducing road and engine noise as much as possible and tuning a suspension for comfort on long road trips and for city driving. Even cars that have some performance elements are still made so that they can be driven in day to day life without much discomfort. This all means that the suspension is almost certainly not set up for performance no matter what you are driving. This can be improved by adding new custom shocks and springs to give a firmer ride and to improve handling when the car is being thrown around a corner at high speed.
Similar to tires, wheels can increase car performance significantly without having to improve the actual power output of the engine. Racing wheels may look more attractive, but they are made with a purpose. The materials are often alloys that are lightweight and can transfer heat out more quickly than steel. This makes the overall weight of the car lower allowing for faster speeds and can also handle more intense breaking without overheating.
Moving onto the engine, a good first place to start is with the air intake. Engine performance comes from a mix of air and fuel, so increasing both of these at the correct mixture will give you an instant power increase. The best mix of air to fuel is at a 14.1:1 ratio, and increasing the amount of fuel isn’t too difficult. The limiting factor is the amount of air that can be accessed. The best way to do this is with a new air cylinder and air intake. This may involve some work to maximize how much air can get into the system, but it will be well worth it for the extra horsepower. Check out Goldfarb INC for fuel and air intake systems that can be modified into your car.
Engine tuning and tuning
This is a modification that can make more difference than almost anything. As mentioned, most cars are manufactured and designed to suit people driving them in everyday life. This means that comfort and sound minimization are both priorities rather than top-end performance. Even cars that have some performance elements will be restricted electronically for a better ride when on a motorway or driving in the city. Tuning your engine is done electronically with an ECU, which remaps the engine to maximize how much power can be accessed. If you do this, take into account that it will most likely void your warranty if you have one. You can either get remapping software and do it yourself or hire someone to remap your engine professionally. If you choose to do it yourself, take the time to make sure that you are getting the best software and that you are doing it correctly. And if you choose to hire someone to do the job for you, try to put as much work into researching their service, as a bad remapping job can negatively impact your car rather than improve it.
Forced air induction
This is the next step to increase how much air you can get into the engine. Similar to the air intake modification, the air is often the main bottleneck in performance, and the more you can access, the better. Forced induction shoots pressurized air into the engine, which can give you a significant power boost.
With your new turbo and air compression system, your engine will be generating a lot of heat. AN intercooler takes that hot air that has become light and cools it down again, making the air denser in the process. This will help it pass through the system quickly and safely.
A few other modifications that are worth considering are the steering, the clutch, and the flywheel. Steering that is made to be quick ration will mean that you can get to full lock much faster rather than having to turn the steering wheel several full rotations. This makes corning much more sensitive so you can take turns with far less effort. You can also counter-steer when the back end slips out or if you hit and debris much faster. A performance clutch and flywheel will allow your engine to increase into the top revs much faster but can be quite big jobs to replace for diminishing returns compared to the other modifications on this list.
If you go to the gas station and see premium fuel for a higher price per gallon and wondered if it was worth it, then the answer is maybe. Premium fuel does not actually give any performance increases but is instead made to have a higher temperature before it ignites. This is not an issue for most cars that are on the road as they will never get this hot. If you have a very high-performance car, though, this may be needed if you take it on a track day, for example. For more information on the types of fuel available and what is best for you to try this guide by the RAC.
Performance spark plugs
These are another thing that you may consider as you are browsing for parts that might increase the performance of your car. Performance spark plugs are advertised to have multiple prongs suggesting that they produce a bigger spark. This isn’t actually the case, though, and multi-pronged spark plugs are designed to reduce wear and tear to make it last longer. This is useful but most likely not what you are looking for.