Engine Modification 101 – A Guide to Boosting Car Performance

In its most basic form, your engine is one big air pump that uses a series of calculatingly timed combustions in order to push out and pull in great volumes of air. Ordinarily, the engine of any direct-fuel injection vehicle handles air intake this way: a piston moves down that creates a vacuum, which allows for air at atmospheric pressure to be drawn into the combustion chamber of your engine. This air is then combined with fuel, forming a unit of energy that is transformed into kinetic energy via combustion – thanks to the help of the spark plug, which ignites the air-to-fuel mixture.

Therefore, if you need to improve your car’s performance and make it go faster, you would require more efficient, powerful, and responsive combustion – something that all gear heads, adrenaline junkies, and car aficionados crave. More fuel going into the engine won’t exactly work, but by improving the relationship of air mixing with the fuel – you can benefit from an increase in torque and horsepower. Are you looking for ways to modify your car’s engine to accept more fuel and air? If so, then consider reading these top seven ways below:

1.      Forced Induction (Turbochargers & Superchargers)

If you want to leverage the greatest performance increase, go for installing a forced induction system like a turbocharger or supercharger. These two common engine customizations add a significant increase to your torque and horsepower by almost 50% thanks to the aiding of forced induction, which allows more air to be mixed with the fuel. This charged engine will then be able to generate more power that not only improves acceleration, but also improves fuel-efficiency.

While a turbocharger gets its main power from the exhaust system, superchargers are powered by a belt that connects directly to the engine. This means, they both definitely aren’t the same and serve a different purpose. For instance, superchargers are perfect if you are looking for instant power upon stepping on the gas. They are also easier to install. Turbochargers, however, use “wasted” energy from the exhausted stream. Therefore, by nature they present a great delay (turbo lag) until you feel power.

2.      Performance Programmers & Chips

Every modern automobile comes equipped with a computer that uses chips and programmers for controlling your engine and ensuring that all your components comply with certain fuel octane and emission requirements. To boost the performance of your vehicle, you can consider adjusting your vehicle computer’s settings or add a new performance chip or programmer that can successfully modify ignition timing advance, fuel-to-air ratio, and turbo boost for significantly increase torque and power. Visit experienced modifiers to figure out how to use performance software applications. They will directly connect the software to your OBD-II port, which can be programmed with custom or pre-made settings.

3.      High-Flow Cat-Back Exhaust System

boost car performanceThis is one of the best engine and exhaust modifications for boosting car performance in terms of acceleration and top speed. A cat-back exhaust system is typically installed, replacing your factory exhaust pipe and restrictive stock muffler. Once installed, it is paired with an aftermarket high-flow catalytic convertor, which allows more air to pass through the engine. This superior system significantly ups the amount of airflow reaching the combustion chamber. However, it is imperative that when installing a high-flow cat-back exhaust system, you look for one with mandrel-bent pipes that boast a large diameter. This allows for further freedom in airflow, guaranteeing more power.

4.      Exhaust Header

Maintaining low production costs and meeting emission requirements can hinder the capability of your stock exhaust system producing and moving air efficiently throughout your engine. This is what makes it crucial for drivers looking to up their performance to install an aftermarket exhaust header. Not only can this component significantly boost torque and horsepower, but the short headers and long tube can also result in an improvement in fuel-efficiency. Long-tube headers can also be added for those wanting extra torque. These are usually ideal for high-revving super cars. On the other hand, short headers deliver more HP, making them perfect for drag racing.

5.      Larger Diameter Throttle Body

The throttle body of your vehicle works in conjunction with the fuel injection system. It is responsible for regulating the airflow heading towards your engine. Subsequently, it plays an incredibly important role in your engine, as with all combustion, air is required for your engine to fire properly. By installing a throttle body with a large-diameter, you can allow more air to pass through your engine. This delivers air at a higher rate, which boosts your engine performance. You feel a surge in engine power by up to 25 horsepower and feel faster acceleration. Installing a throttle body space can even increase engine torque and enhance your fuel economy.

6.      Cold Air Intake

If you are looking for one of the most affordable and easiest ways to increase the horsepower of your vehicle, do not hesitate on installing a performance cold air intake. The main purpose of this intake system is to cool the air coming into your engine. Colder air means that whatever enters your engine gets denser. Since the engine operates mainly by operating and burning air-to-fuel mixtures, the denser the air, the more power you will receive.  These performance intakes feature an innovatively shaped filter that offers an increase in surface area for pulling air through. Sometimes this performance modification can be 3x up in size from your original factory air filter.


7.      Aftermarket Air Filters

Last, but not the least, boost the performance of your vehicle by installing an aftermarket air filter. This new upgrade will allow for better airflow in your engine and result in better air-to-fuel ratios that block impurities and contaminants that have the ability of hindering performance over time. Aftermarket air filters don’t use the standard paper that is found in factory-equipped variants. They are available in a variety of materials and have a thin layer of cotton between several layers of impurity-catching thin mesh for boosting performance.

Are you planning to boost the performance of your automobile? If so, then consider going for these top seven engine modifications/upgrades.