Many, I would venture to say most, people would like to make their car go faster. They canÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â’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 doesnÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â’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 engineÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â’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 ÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â‘breathe inÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â’, 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 carÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â’s ability to exhale. In case you are wondering what ÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â‘cat-backÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â’ 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 engineÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â’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 ÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â‘fuelÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â’ and ÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â‘sparkÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â’ 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.