If you’re a gearhead with a hankering for automotive culture, chances are that fast cars really make your engine rev since power is the one facet of driving that everyone wants more of, regardless of their vehicle’s make or model.
You could own a classic American muscle car that puts out over 400-hp, yet still desire more speed to smoke other racers at the drag strip.
Or, you may drive an underpowered hatchback and simply want enough horsepower to safely merge into highway traffic without having to floor it each time.
Whatever the need may be, cars are meant to be tuned and modified. And while most may seem difficult to the average do-it-yourselfer, there are a few, easy modifications that anyone can do – regardless of mechanical know-how – so they can get where they need to go a little faster.
Drop-in Air Filter
You may have never tinkered with the components under your car’s hood, but that doesn’t mean that you still can’t do a simple swap guaranteed to increase horsepower.
By switching your vehicle’s stock air filter with a high-performance replacement made by companies such as K&N or Spectre, you can get the job done without turning a wrench. Literally.
Drop-in air performance filters, which are made to fit a variety of cars and retail between $50-60, securely fit in your vehicle’s air box and allow greater inflow to the throttle body or carburetor, thus increasing speed.
It may only be a small gain, but if your car lacks power to begin with, you’ll be able to notice the air filter’s effect right away.
And the best part about this option is the fact that, unlike installing a cold air intake, nothing in the engine bay will need to be changed or modified. Thus, when the air box cover is put back on, everything will look completely stock.
Unless your vehicle is a sports car that’s outfitted with performance mods from the factory, the original muffler it came with is restrictive and isn’t allowing exhaust gases to flow as freely as they should be.
But why buy the entire exhaust kit – including headers, muffler and a tailpipe – when you don’t have to?
Sure, these added exhaust components will give you greater horsepower gains, but the work is also difficult and can be expensive if you take it to a mechanic.
Most universal performance mufflers, like those made by Flowmaster, Dynomax or Magnaflow, can be found at local auto parts stores for under $100 and have larger inlets and outlets for improved air flow and less backpressure and restrictions.
And, with the bolt-on option, anyone with a jack stand and socket set can do the job.
Almost everyone knows what a spark plug is and its main function in the engine.
But what they might not be aware of is how much power is robbed from a worn plug.
Driving with a bad spark plug means that the air-fuel mixture isn’t being properly ignited and a misfire is likely to occur.
Although changing the spark plugs doesn’t give you more hp, they do restore lost engine power, which will at least make the vehicle seem faster.
And for most modern cars, the job is easy, and inexpensive, to complete once you figure out how to remove the plastic engine cover.
While there are plenty of spark plug brands on the market, be sure to choose one that meets your manufacturer’s specifications since this can sometimes dictate how your vehicle runs.
For additional DIY car maintenance tips, or to have other performance modifications done to your ride by a team of professionals, give Andy’s Auto Service in Bridgeville a call at 412-478-9304 to schedule a FREE estimate.