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How to Make Your Car Go Faster

Many, I would venture to say most, people would like to make their car go faster. They can’t afford a new, better car, but would like to upgrade the one they currently own. This article is intended to serve as an introductory guide to car upgrades and modifications. It is a list of some of the things that are possible. They are arranged in order of cost and difficulty.

Regular maintenance - Regular maintenance doesn’t technically make your car any faster, but it will prevent the car from getting slower. It is a bad idea to attempt any of the items on this list without performing regular maintenance. This includes tire rotation, oil changes, filter changes etc.

Premium gas - Higher octane fuel burns better, more thoroughly and gives off more energy than lower quality formulas. Premium fuel is not a myth, it will actually make your car run better and faster.

Spark Plugs - An internal combustion engine requires three things to run: fuel, air and a spark. Better spark plugs can improve combustion, and therefore, improve power. Spark plugs come in numerous variants including iridium and platinum-based designs. These perform better than the stock versions.

Cold air intake - As I mentioned above, the three things needed for an internal combustion engine are fuel, air and a spark. With fuel improved by premium gas and spark improved by spark plugs, that leaves the air. By replacing an engine’s stock air intake with an aftermarket cold air intake, airflow to the engine is improved. Most modern engines are designed to run quietly. A cold-air intake will sacrifice some of that quietness for power and fuel efficiency.

Cat-back exhaust - Cars need to ‘breathe in’, but they also need to breathe out. Like the stock intake on your car, the exhaust is designed to run quietly. Wider tubing and a freer flowing muffler will improve your car’s ability to exhale. In case you are wondering what ‘cat-back’ means, it means that you swap out everything in the exhaust system from the catalytic converter to the back of the car.

Tuner module - Not all cars have tuner modules available (though most trucks seem to, for some reason). By plugging one of these into the diagnostic port, you can reprogram the engine’s computer. The nice thing about these is that they tend to be very easy to undo. All it takes is a few button presses. This will affect the ‘fuel’ and ‘spark’ portions of the combustion equation.

Nitrous oxide - First let me say that nitrous oxide is dangerous. If used improperly, it can cause your engine to blow up. N2O basically operates as extra air (that happens to contain a much larger than average amount of oxygen. This makes the car go much faster, but also increases the pressure in the cylinders, which can cause you engine to blow up. You also use up N2O as you use it, so you have to replace the bottles now and again.

Turbocharger/Supercharger - These are generally safer than nitrous and they never run out. Both superchargers and turbochargers work on the same principle. They are basically air compressors that cram more air than normal into an engine. More air means that you can add more fuel. More fuel means more powerful explosions. More powerful explosions means a faster car.

Engine swap - This is probably the single most expensive modification you can do to a car. Usually, it involves taking the engine out of a larger, more powerful car and putting it into a smaller, lighter one. It could be as simple as putting an Acura motor into a Honda car or as complicated as putting a Corvette motor into a Honda S2000 roadster.

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Comments (41)

An excellent article with one exception, burning a higher octane fuel wont necessarily make your car faster or even run more efficiently. Which fuel is better for your car-87, 88, 90, 91 or even higher octane fuel? The answer to that question is simple, it depends on what the engineers designed your engine to run on. If you have a stock engine that was designed to run on regular, filling your tank with premium wont make your car run faster or even more efficiently. Of course the reverse is true to, if your car's engine was designed to run most efficiently on premium and you fill your tank with regular your car's engine's performance will suffer for it.

Regular maintenance and proper checking of gas are very much necessary. New Cars Online

Very useful tips. I agree that maintenance is foremost consideration in not only making your car go faster but also use less fuel.

Interesting piece.

Javier

Dude, higher octane fuel does not make your car run better and faster. Higher octane fuels are designed for engines that have a higher compression ratio and if you just put premium gasoline in your car it wont make a difference, it wont harm it but it might make it a little slower because it will take your engine a bit longer to combust that fuel since the compression ratio of that engine is not made to handle premium fuel. The only cars that you should put premium fuel on are cars that say premium fuel only or premium recommended. Unless you put a turbo or a supercharger on your car then you can put premium fuel on it because you will have increased the compression ratio.

Javier

Dude, higher octane fuel does not make your car run better and faster. Higher octane fuels are designed for engines that have a higher compression ratio and if you just put premium gasoline in your car it wont make a difference, it wont harm it but it might make it a little slower because it will take your engine a bit longer to combust that fuel since the compression ratio of that engine is not made to handle premium fuel. The only cars that you should put premium fuel on are cars that say premium fuel only or premium recommended. Unless you put a turbo or a supercharger on your car then you can put premium fuel on it because you will have increased the compression ratio.

Javier

Dude, higher octane fuel does not make your car run better and faster. Higher octane fuels are designed for engines that have a higher compression ratio and if you just put premium gasoline in your car it wont make a difference, it wont harm it but it might make it a little slower because it will take your engine a bit longer to combust that fuel since the compression ratio of that engine is not made to handle premium fuel. The only cars that you should put premium fuel on are cars that say premium fuel only or premium recommended. Unless you put a turbo or a supercharger on your car then you can put premium fuel on it because you will have increased the compression ratio.

Javier

Dude, higher octane fuel does not make your car run better and faster. Higher octane fuels are designed for engines that have a higher compression ratio and if you just put premium gasoline in your car it wont make a difference, it wont harm it but it might make it a little slower because it will take your engine a bit longer to combust that fuel since the compression ratio of that engine is not made to handle premium fuel. The only cars that you should put premium fuel on are cars that say premium fuel only or premium recommended. Unless you put a turbo or a supercharger on your car then you can put premium fuel on it because you will have increased the compression ratio.

Javier

Dude, higher octane fuel does not make your car run better and faster. Higher octane fuels are designed for engines that have a higher compression ratio and if you just put premium gasoline in your car it wont make a difference, it wont harm it but it might make it a little slower because it will take your engine a bit longer to combust that fuel since the compression ratio of that engine is not made to handle premium fuel. The only cars that you should put premium fuel on are cars that say premium fuel only or premium recommended. Unless you put a turbo or a supercharger on your car then you can put premium fuel on it because you will have increased the compression ratio.

Javier

Dude, higher octane fuel does not make your car run better and faster. Higher octane fuels are designed for engines that have a higher compression ratio and if you just put premium gasoline in your car it wont make a difference, it wont harm it but it might make it a little slower because it will take your engine a bit longer to combust that fuel since the compression ratio of that engine is not made to handle premium fuel. The only cars that you should put premium fuel on are cars that say premium fuel only or premium recommended. Unless you put a turbo or a supercharger on your car then you can put premium fuel on it because you will have increased the compression ratio.

Javier

Dude, higher octane fuel does not make your car run better and faster. Higher octane fuels are designed for engines that have a higher compression ratio and if you just put premium gasoline in your car it wont make a difference, it wont harm it but it might make it a little slower because it will take your engine a bit longer to combust that fuel since the compression ratio of that engine is not made to handle premium fuel. The only cars that you should put premium fuel on are cars that say premium fuel only or premium recommended. Unless you put a turbo or a supercharger on your car then you can put premium fuel on it because you will have increased the compression ratio.

Javier

Dude, higher octane fuel does not make your car run better and faster. Higher octane fuels are designed for engines that have a higher compression ratio and if you just put premium gasoline in your car it wont make a difference, it wont harm it but it might make it a little slower because it will take your engine a bit longer to combust that fuel since the compression ratio of that engine is not made to handle premium fuel. The only cars that you should put premium fuel on are cars that say premium fuel only or premium recommended. Unless you put a turbo or a supercharger on your car then you can put premium fuel on it because you will have increased the compression ratio.

Javier

Dude, higher octane fuel does not make your car run better and faster. Higher octane fuels are designed for engines that have a higher compression ratio and if you just put premium gasoline in your car it wont make a difference, it wont harm it but it might make it a little slower because it will take your engine a bit longer to combust that fuel since the compression ratio of that engine is not made to handle premium fuel. The only cars that you should put premium fuel on are cars that say premium fuel only or premium recommended. Unless you put a turbo or a supercharger on your car then you can put premium fuel on it because you will have increased the compression ratio.

Javier

Dude, higher octane fuel does not make your car run better and faster. Higher octane fuels are designed for engines that have a higher compression ratio and if you just put premium gasoline in your car it wont make a difference, it wont harm it but it might make it a little slower because it will take your engine a bit longer to combust that fuel since the compression ratio of that engine is not made to handle premium fuel. The only cars that you should put premium fuel on are cars that say premium fuel only or premium recommended. Unless you put a turbo or a supercharger on your car then you can put premium fuel on it because you will have increased the compression ratio.

Javier

Dude, higher octane fuel does not make your car run better and faster. Higher octane fuels are designed for engines that have a higher compression ratio and if you just put premium gasoline in your car it wont make a difference, it wont harm it but it might make it a little slower because it will take your engine a bit longer to combust that fuel since the compression ratio of that engine is not made to handle premium fuel. The only cars that you should put premium fuel on are cars that say premium fuel only or premium recommended. Unless you put a turbo or a supercharger on your car then you can put premium fuel on it because you will have increased the compression ratio.

Javier

Dude, higher octane fuel does not make your car run better and faster. Higher octane fuels are designed for engines that have a higher compression ratio and if you just put premium gasoline in your car it wont make a difference, it wont harm it but it might make it a little slower because it will take your engine a bit longer to combust that fuel since the compression ratio of that engine is not made to handle premium fuel. The only cars that you should put premium fuel on are cars that say premium fuel only or premium recommended. Unless you put a turbo or a supercharger on your car then you can put premium fuel on it because you will have increased the compression ratio.

Javier

Dude, higher octane fuel does not make your car run better and faster. Higher octane fuels are designed for engines that have a higher compression ratio and if you just put premium gasoline in your car it wont make a difference, it wont harm it but it might make it a little slower because it will take your engine a bit longer to combust that fuel since the compression ratio of that engine is not made to handle premium fuel. The only cars that you should put premium fuel on are cars that say premium fuel only or premium recommended. Unless you put a turbo or a supercharger on your car then you can put premium fuel on it because you will have increased the compression ratio.

Javier

Dude, higher octane fuel does not make your car run better and faster. Higher octane fuels are designed for engines that have a higher compression ratio and if you just put premium gasoline in your car it wont make a difference, it wont harm it but it might make it a little slower because it will take your engine a bit longer to combust that fuel since the compression ratio of that engine is not made to handle premium fuel. The only cars that you should put premium fuel on are cars that say premium fuel only or premium recommended. Unless you put a turbo or a supercharger on your car then you can put premium fuel on it because you will have increased the compression ratio.

Javier

Dude, higher octane fuel does not make your car run better and faster. Higher octane fuels are designed for engines that have a higher compression ratio and if you just put premium gasoline in your car it wont make a difference, it wont harm it but it might make it a little slower because it will take your engine a bit longer to combust that fuel since the compression ratio of that engine is not made to handle premium fuel. The only cars that you should put premium fuel on are cars that say premium fuel only or premium recommended. Unless you put a turbo or a supercharger on your car then you can put premium fuel on it because you will have increased the compression ratio.

Javier

Dude, higher octane fuel does not make your car run better and faster. Higher octane fuels are designed for engines that have a higher compression ratio and if you just put premium gasoline in your car it wont make a difference, it wont harm it but it might make it a little slower because it will take your engine a bit longer to combust that fuel since the compression ratio of that engine is not made to handle premium fuel. The only cars that you should put premium fuel on are cars that say premium fuel only or premium recommended. Unless you put a turbo or a supercharger on your car then you can put premium fuel on it because you will have increased the compression ratio.

Gino Capano

I have a BMW 325i 2001 and the manufacturer suggest premium fuel. I tried regular and mid grade. They both make the car sluggish and slow.

FreeOnlineGames

I have a BMW 325i 2001 and the manufacturer suggest premium fuel. I tried regular and mid grade. They both make the car sluggish and slow.

sam

It is often a disagreement on whether higher octane fuel makes a car run faster, but when you look into it, it would appear that it does increase car performance. The higher octane fuel is more processed, so it is more readily burned. It also contains less extra crap, that is one reason why nice cars require the higher octane fuel. The lower octane fuel will burn out your catalytic converter and it will add more carbon build up inside of your engine. The only time i have seen catalytic converters burn out, i ask the people if they use lower octane fuel or higher, and they ALWAYS say that they use the lower octane fuel. The higher octane fuel is more cleanly burned and is burned faster and more efficiently, end of story.

sam

It is often a disagreement on whether higher octane fuel makes a car run faster, but when you look into it, it would appear that it does increase car performance. The higher octane fuel is more processed, so it is more readily burned. It also contains less extra crap, that is one reason why nice cars require the higher octane fuel. The lower octane fuel will burn out your catalytic converter and it will add more carbon build up inside of your engine. The only time i have seen catalytic converters burn out, i ask the people if they use lower octane fuel or higher, and they ALWAYS say that they use the lower octane fuel. The higher octane fuel is more cleanly burned and is burned faster and more efficiently, end of story.

sam

It is often a disagreement on whether higher octane fuel makes a car run faster, but when you look into it, it would appear that it does increase car performance. The higher octane fuel is more processed, so it is more readily burned. It also contains less extra crap, that is one reason why nice cars require the higher octane fuel. The lower octane fuel will burn out your catalytic converter and it will add more carbon build up inside of your engine. The only time i have seen catalytic converters burn out, i ask the people if they use lower octane fuel or higher, and they ALWAYS say that they use the lower octane fuel. The higher octane fuel is more cleanly burned and is burned faster and more efficiently, end of story.

Alex

Well my car does run on high octane fuel

because it has high compression

so that regular fuel just doesnt cut it

and spark plugs make a hell of a difference

the high octane fuel is good stuff

im a student and ill still spend the extra money on my car because it runs so i return the favor by giving it better fuel to burn.

makes the car sound better and will keep it from overheating too

'...makes the car sound better?' A lower octane fuel 'pre-detonates' causing 'ping' and that is what you are hearing. High octane burns cooler, I believe. Possibly cleaner, -low octane fuels can contains unwanted contaminants. I've seen high-octane automotive fuel used in Coleman-type lanterns and stoves! Not recommended of course, and in the case of Coleman lanterns with the cloth wicks, the wrong fuel causes the wick to burn-up a lot faster than the recommended Coleman fuel would. Therein lies a good clue, "recommended" fuel. While I can agree in apocryphal that higher octane makes the car run better, it is a curious fact that automotive designers and engineers says no, it does not. They do say that a lower-grade than recommended makes the car run poorly; -we agree here no questions. :-)

Subaru Dude

This is a good range of mods from simple to complex that will boost your top speed, good job on this article!

Robert Kriegar

Anything you do to improve your vehicles "efficiency" will (can) make it go faster.

After that it's more fuel/more air/more power

There is a difference between 'faster' and 'quicker'. If you have 4.11 gears for example, you're not going to get it to go faster than its' top end and engine revolutions will allow without major engine modifications to increase the rpm limit. Even so, it is a very steep curve to the top.

When you say NO2 will make the engine "blow up", it is also helpful to note that you can make it literally EXPLODE.

As has been said before, a slower burning higher octane fuel is not going to do much w/out increased compression-except, as said before, maybe wash the oil out of your rings and contaminate your oil. If you have an older vehicle with 9~9.5:1 compression or better, then it is an idea. More resistance to pre-ignition knock, ability to run more advanced timing, etc., etc.

Advanced timing (i.e., Aftermarket Computer Chip)= need for higher octane would be the real world scenario most relevant for todays' vehicles.

In any event, higher octane fuels are designed to "light off" under more pressure, and burn slower-and that takes having an engine with the ability to utilize those qualities. Without that, you're just pouring unnecessary $$$ down the exhaust pipe and polluting your cat-and THAT surely will not save you money at inspection time.

Very interesting

brahmeet singh

only go0d dRiVeR Can mKe cAR rUn FaSTEr

dan

98 octane is the go 4 sure, other fuels are sluggish.

take out your catalic converter and you will notice horse power. trust me i did it to a v6 vn commodore and it was a freak!!!

sari

you can make your car go faster with puting a turbo charcher and a supercharger in your car or nos but you probably decreas your engin life

Hurbert

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Voted up. Excellent article

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Excellent article.

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Grant

Wow! I've always been interested in making my 04 mustang faster but until now i never new what all was involved. thanks for the great article. I read that getting six sigma training was the only way to learn how to make my car faster. Now that i'd read up on this I'm going to get started on my car asap. Thanks again for the info.

There are actually many factors needed to consider for your car to go faster. The most important thing is to upgrade the parts which have the role of accelerating your car. Thank you for writing this informative article. Keep it up! Goodluck, voted and shared.

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