performance camshafts

How to Get More Horsepower in Your Car

In Engine by Magnus Sellén2 Comments

how to get more horsepower

Speed has always inspired a man, and in his quest, he has explored all possibilities.

Since the birth of the automobile industry, car manufacturers, tuners and car enthusiasts have been competing with each other to create the fastest car.

How do they manage this? It all boils down to horsepower. The more horsepower you have in your car, the faster it will be. Nowadays, motorheads are stretching their minds and putting their heart and soul into achieving even more horsepower.

Thanks to their efforts, we have seen cars with over 1000 horsepower and even cars with over 2000 horsepower on the road.

But more horsepower is not like sugar in a cup of tea. It is a meticulous process that requires precise mechanical knowledge and therefore not everyone can do it. But don’t worry, we are here to help you by giving you some tips on how to give your car more horsepower.

1. Reduce Weight

With this method, you will not get more horsepower, but your car will be faster. You can reduce the weight by either removing parts inside your car that you don’t need, or you can replace parts with carbon fiber, etc., which is often very expensive!

2. Tune your ECU!

engine control unit insideTuning your engine ECU is most likely the cheapest way to get a lot of power and torque if you have a modern car. Especially if you have a turbo car, you can often gain up to 50 HP or more with a simple change in software.

If you have a non-turbo car, you can expect to gain 10-20 horsepower.

The cost of a tune is between $300-600 for a good tune that produces results. Contact your nearest tuning shop!

3. Go for a Bigger Engine

Normally the standard engine of your car is not so powerful. But, of course, that is the reason why you want to increase the horsepower! One solution is to choose an engine with a larger displacement. In general, a larger capacity engine gives you more horsepower. Larger cylinders burn more fuel, take in more air, and produce more energy.

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However, this method is only successful if you have the time and money to convert. Apart from that, you also need the right expertise and the right mindset to move forward. The size of the engine compartment of your car should also be taken into account, as not every engine will fit your car.

This method is time-consuming, but the most rewarding, as you will get a powerful and fuel-efficient naturally-aspirated engine.

4. Add a Turbocharger or Supercharger

An engine needs the perfect mixture of fuel and air for optimum performance. If you manage to burn the engine faster and expel the fuel faster, you can achieve higher performance. Car enthusiasts can achieve this by adding a turbocharger or supercharger, for example.

A turbocharger is a small component that can be installed in an engine. This snail-like device collects the air and directs it to the air intake. The engine receives this air in large quantities, which accelerates combustion. A supercharger performs the same function but differs in design.

A turbocharger or supercharger can add between 40 and 60 to the system at peak power. However, the amount of horsepower that you can increase depends on the turbocharging or psi output that a turbocharger delivers.

Remember that you often need to modify the ignition and fuel system when adding a turbocharger or a supercharger!

5. Cold Air Intake

K&N Performance Cold Air Intake KitTurbos are a great way to increase horsepower, but adding a turbo to your engine can be a costly affair. To counteract this, motorheads have come up with a cheap alternative that produces the same effect. The result was cold air intakes.

The science behind the idea is that cold air inlets send cold air into the combustion chamber, which is sealed. As we have already mentioned, more air in the system leads to faster combustion. Turbos have the same effect; however, cold air inlets are very cheap and can give you the much-needed starting boost.

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Of course, if you really decide to invest in more horsepower, you will eventually have to buy a turbo or a supercharger.

You can expect a 5-20 horsepower increase from this modification.

You can find the best cold air intake kits to buy in this guide.

6. Cat-Back Exhaust

It may surprise you, but the exhaust of your car can determine the performance of your car. That’s why performance cars have an exhaust system with a catalytic converter. A Cat-Back exhaust is just like any other exhaust, except that in a Cat-Back, the pipe after the catalyst is straight.

The straight pipes from the cat to the tip allow the exhaust air to escape more quickly. The faster this air leaves the engine, the faster the engine can make room to expel more air. This entire system reduces the pressure build-up in the combustion chamber, resulting in more horsepower and better performance.

Depending on the engine, you can expect a power increase of 10-20 horsepower from this modification.

7. High-Flow Catalytic Converter

catalytic converter high-flow

Catalytic converters have been introduced to reduce the harmful effects caused by vehicle emissions. The previous iterations of catalytic converters were very restrictive. In other words, it was very difficult for the exhaust gases to leave the system.

This phenomenon led to a reduction in performance. Naturally, motorheads developed a grudge against the catalytic converters. Nothing could be done about it, because a catalytic converter was and is required by law.

Fortunately, engineers came up with better catalytic converters that did not restrict the flow of exhaust gases. In addition, catheters with a high flow rate were introduced. If you have a classic car that has an older version of a catalytic converter, you can replace it with a modern free-flow catalytic converter. In this way, you can recover the horsepower lost in your car.

8. Performance Camshafts

performance camshaftsA camshaft fulfils a very basic but important function in a car engine. The movements of the camshaft cause the valves to open and close at exactly the right time. If you install larger camshafts or choose an arrangement with raised cams, you can achieve more power.

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And how? Well, the answer is simple. Larger cams or raised cams keep the valves open longer. The longer the engine valves are open, the more fuel and air enter the combustion cylinder, resulting in higher performance. More horsepower, but at a cost.

Replacing the cams can lead to poor fuel consumption or even a reduction in performance if they are not installed correctly. Installing cams is not an easy task, as many things have to be taken into account, such as the gear ratio and compression.

Conclusion

There are many other crazy ways to increase horsepower. Tuners have put in incredible efforts just to get a higher horsepower number. Their ideas range from the installation of twin turbochargers to larger air intakes and even more powerful forged pistons.

There is literally nothing to stop you from doing so as long as you have deep pockets. However, the methods we have discussed are practical and accessible to everyone. You don’t have to be a die-hard car enthusiast to apply any of these methods to your car. Choose what you want to use and don’t look back.

Hello I'm Magnus, the owner and the writer of this website. I have been working with cars since I was 16 and I'm specialized with in-depth Automotive diagnostics. Also been driving drifting for the last 6 years. I'm here to give you answers to all your automotive questions and I hope that you enjoy our content.

2 thoughts on “ How to Get More Horsepower in Your Car ”

Comments
  1. I need to rebuilt the 3.0 w/o turbo in my 91 Dodge Stealth R/T , is there any gain in horsepower to put in the piston’s , rods & crank for a turbo motor in my non turbo , are the heads the same . Thanks for any advice

  2. Hi, I have Audi A3 year 2007, 2.0tdi 170hp, dsg, When I put full gas pedal my car wait 4sec( pure acceleration), after this start runing good. I make a dpf off, egr off, remap ecu, change injectors, but i have the same problem. Do you have any advice please?

    PS: map sensor, maff sensor are Ok

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