We all dream of a high-performance machine, but you don’t need a supercar budget to enjoy the high-end performance. Of course, your A to B vehicle isn’t winning Le Mans any time soon, but that doesn’t mean it has to age disgracefully.
With some relatively cheap and easy modifications, you can breathe new life into your lemon and keep it purring like a kitten for years to come. Well, until it finally gets banned as we give way to the EV revolution.
Install an Efficient Exhaust
The primary function of your car’s exhaust is to direct harmful chemicals away from yourself and passengers. However, there is a lot more to it than that. By way of the silencer or muffler, the exhaust also controls the vehicle noise. And a good exhaust also increases the efficiency of an engine.
You can buy a Scorpion exhaust for increased horsepower and overall combustion efficiency. Exhausts aren’t exactly the cheapest new part to install, but the difference a good exhaust can make to your car is impressive and will last for years if maintained properly.
Let It Breathe
The air filter in your car is an essential component for engine efficiency. The filter collects dust and debris to prevent it from entering the intake system, where they could cause damage to your engine and reduce the power of your car.
At the very least, you should check and clean your air filter every 10,000 to 15,000 miles. However, you will benefit more by installing a performance air filter for around $80. This will improve the air to gas ratio and boost horsepower by up to 5 HP with improved torque.
Check the Tread
Tire tread is an often overlooked part of the car, yet it is vital for car performance and safety. The American National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration reports that over 11,000 incidents per year are caused by poor tire tread.
Safety concerns alone make checking your tires extremely important. But your car will also perform better with improved tires. So while you won’t see an improvement in horsepower or torque, your vehicle will benefit from superior handling and improved braking distance.
In addition to good quality tread, your handling and cornering can further be improved by reducing the center of gravity of your car. The lower a vehicle is to the road, the faster and more efficiently it can take corners, shaving vital milliseconds off your best time.
Fortunately, lowering a ride isn’t only reserved for tourers and Formula cars. Almost any vehicle these days can be lowered for improved performance with a relatively simple technique. For around $500, you can lower your car’s springs by approximately 1.5 inches, reducing stiffness.
Embrace New Technology
If you wish to take a more severe approach to tune your car for even more performance, then you can install a car programmer to unlock the blocked software and chip features of a factory vehicle. To use external devices, your car needs an ODB2 connection interface.
Using chip programmers, you can access specific features of your car, such as chimes, start and stop systems, and automatic door locking. Your car’s ECM and ECU can also be accessed to make performance changes. Be aware that altering your car’s software is not advised and should only be undertaken by a professional.