Get More Horsepower
||By Anna Finger
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There are many ways to get more horsepower out of your vehicle. In fact, the determining factor on how much additional horsepower you can gain depends on how much
money you are planning to spend.
A common method of adding horsepower is through the installation of a new intake. Many popular brands of intakes, such as Volant, Airaid, Injen, AEM, and K&N are
available at most auto parts stores. In addition, using a cold air intake versus a short ram intake will create more horsepower since cooler air is drawn away from
Installing an aftermarket exhaust will also increase horsepower. For the best gains, an exhaust with a larger diameter than the original stock version is recommended,
as well as having a straight design. The fewer bends in an exhaust, the higher maximum horsepower performance it can yield. Aftermarket parts allow engines to expel
exhaust fumes more freely, especially when they have a straight flowing design. In addition, a high-flow catalytic converter will add a few more horsepower points.
A cheaper way to increase torque and horsepower is by investing in and installing an ECU, or engine control unit. These units are essentially the brains in any
modern-day vehicle. Aftermarket units modify timing and fuel for greater efficiency, giving you greater horsepower.
For more significant increases in horsepower, look into superchargers and turbo chargers. These aftermarket modifications create a forced induction, awarding a
massive gain in torque and power. Turbo chargers are a type of turbine that create pressure within the engine from the exhaust fumes. The pressure causes the air
to get denser, therefore allowing more fuel usage and creating more power.
Turbo chargers are most common in smaller engine vehicles, especially those which can
handle the high levels of compression. Superchargers, on the other hand, are belt driven, and are used for larger engines where numerous turbo chargers would have
otherwise been necessary. Superchargers provide greater horsepower at lower rpm's. In both systems, modifications must be made to the fuel system to accommodate the
extra pressure, such as installing fuel rails with return lines or bigger fuel injectors.
Finally, items inside the engine can also be replaced or strategically modified to create more horsepower; however, these modifications are not recommended for the
novice auto mechanic.