So, you got yourself a set of wheels and want to enter the game of performance mods! But, you simply don't know where to start and, just because your mate slammed on an aftermarket turbo onto his Ford ST, doesn't mean that is the right first mod for you!
What's the first thing that you can do to your car to unleash some performance? Well, before you even consider doing any upgrades, regardless if it's a mad power mod or something as simple as a cold air intake system, is to give it a full service!
You'd be surprised to know just how many folks have just got big power gains on their mind, and completely neglect the fundamental vitals your car needs in order to function optimally. Get your hands dirty, inspect and replace oil filters, fuel filters, air filters and even your cabin filter. Check your brake fluid, water and coolant levels, replace those crummy spark plugs, glance over those brake pads and rotors, check the condition of your fuel lines and replace that oil. Don't listen to what others tell you in terms of what oil is best, your manufacturer knows what is best, look it up in the user manual!
Now that your car is running as perfectly as possible in its stock form, you can look into doing some things that will help it run even more efficiently. Although installing a proper cold air intake won't make mad amounts of power, it will improve your throttle response and allow your engine to breathe fresher, cooler air!
Next, what you can consider doing, which will improve your performance and actually cost you next to nothing, is removing the number one killer of performance – weight. Now, this depends on what the car is to you. If it's a family car or a daily, don't sacrifice practicality for performance. But if this is your budget project car, rip out those rear seats, remove that spare wheel and anything else you can sacrifice!
Now that you have improved the air going into your engine, you can consider upgrading your exhaust the allow those nasty gasses to exit more freely. Deciding on which type of exhaust system to get is a whole conversation on its own, but if you are doing it primarily for performance gains, then don't just do a back box delete or resonator delete, you want to start from the headers (or downpipe) right through to the tailpipes to make it as non-restrictive as humanly possible.
At this point, you might have increased your power by a mere few horsepower figures, but nothing too insane. Now that you have done some basic mods, you have to essentially upgrade the brains of your ride to work optimally with your new setup. A good dyno tune will drastically increase your performance.
At this point, gaining more power will end up costing you bucket loads of cash, but making your car faster is a different story. Although they won't give you more horsepower, a good set of performance tyres will help you improve your handling, and if you want, upgrade your suspension to something like an adjustable coilover setup will further improve your traction, handling and overall lap times.
Take a look at the video below by the YouTube channel, Ideal Media, on The Easiest Way To Add Horsepower To Your Car...
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