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9 Ways To Improve Your Car’s Performance – Ultimate Upgrade Guide

Do you feel as though your car isn’t performing as well as it could be? Maybe you worry about not getting the most out of it when you are pushing your vehicle on the open road. Either way, this ultimate guide will help you to make the most out of your performance upgrades going forward.

Proper Maintenance

One reason why you should maintain your car is because it gives you the chance to save on fuel and repair costs. Regular maintenance reduces wear and tear, and it helps you to increase your car’s overall lifespan. A well-maintained car is a safe car, so make sure that you take a look at the air filter, spark plugs and oil. You can remove strain on the engine by carrying out maintenance, which guarantees everything can work efficiently and reduces internal friction.  This will make sure your engine is safe and optimised before you even start your upgrades.

Fuel System Upgrade

OEM fuel systems are now the bottleneck if you’re tuning a high-performance vehicle. In some cases, it can even lead to fuel starvation. This often happens in the form of a pressure loss within the system because of fuel atomisation. Upgrading the fuel system will likely mean you have to change the pump as well as the injector system. If you have a high-pressure fuel system, you will be able to retain all of the benefits that come with direct injection. In addition, you can take advantage of a supplemental fuel system, which reduces the overall demands of OEM.

Aftermarket Suspension Upgrade

Most vehicles have an impressive suspension system for normal degrees of driving. This comes as standard. If you upgrade yours then you will almost certainly see a difference in the car’s performance both on the road and on-track. If you opt for an aftermarket suspension system then this can improve how responsive your car is and how well it’s able to control its own weight. You may also be able to install parts such as control arms or even anti-roll bars which will once again improve your cars handling while also allowing you to change wheel geometry. The benefit of this is that it will help the car move laterally faster, while also improving acceleration and braking thanks to the car not moving so much under force.

Aftermarket Intake Systems

If you upgrade your air intake system then this allows air to reach your engine. Usually, the system has an air box with a filter. It works by removing impurities in the air, allowing your engine to combust more efficiently. Upgrading the intake system helps to remove any restrictions that you might have on OEM parts. An air intake upgrade stops bottlenecks and it also gives the engine a much more effective means of operating. These modifications are easy, but choose the system wisely as sometimes they can suck in hot air from the engine bay which will lower your car’s efficiency. Usually, a system that sucks in cold air from outside the engine bay or within insulation will work the best, but always look at reviews and professional opinions.

Aftermarket Exhaust

Adding a new exhaust is one of the best ways to improve your car’s general performance. A new system will help your engine to expel its exhaust gasses quickly to improve power and efficiency. You can also increase the general economy which is great… but most of you will choose power over economy.  Performance exhausts work by allowing the engine to breathe better. It also helps your car purr, which we all love. A full exhaust system, or even one from the catalytic converter to the muffler, will improve the performance and sound of your vehicle, but could cost a pretty penny.

New and High-Performance Tyres

If you want to have a way higher level of performance then the best thing you can do is invest in some new tyres. When investing in new tyres, you will soon find that you can improve your traction and overall contact with the road. You will also have a way better handling response. Performance tyres will give your car a new look as well and this is ideal if you want to make sure that your vehicle is always looking its best. If you don’t know how to change your tires then this is fine, you can go to a local mechanic and they will take care of it all, including balancing your wheels.

Weight Reduction

If you feel as though your car is slow to accelerate then you may want to look at weight reduction. If you have been behind the wheel of a Mazda Miata MX-5  then you will probably have a good understanding of what a difference weight reduction can make. From braking to going around corners, it is safe to say that a lighter vehicle can do just about everything better, including economy.

Some of the best ways for you to make your car lighter would be for you to buy lightweight seats and for you to take out the spare wheel (although this isn’t always a good idea). You can swap out the glass windows for ones made out of perspex if you want to take things to that next level.

Taking out the spare wheel is a good idea but if you do this then make sure that you always have a wheel repair kit, so you don’t end up being stranded on the road.

Make sure to check with your local road laws to make sure your car is still going to be legal before making any of these changes.

Performance Brake Upgrades

When it comes to creating vehicles, manufacturers will often go for the cheapest options. They won’t be looking at performance for the most part, nor will they be looking at quality. Most of the time, these parts aren’t good enough if you class yourself as being a car enthusiast. Brakes are a major upgrade if you want to make the most out of your car.

Getting a brake upgrade kit will help you to take advantage of a way higher level of performance, not to mention that it will also help your car to perform better under critical conditions. Having good brakes will also give you a great deal of confidence when out and on the road, so you can push your car to the limits. Whether you have a Lexus or a Citroen, this is a worthy investment. 

Pads make a huge difference, but if you want to go all the way, get a set of rotors that can deal with high amounts of heat.

a truck modified for Carolina Squat

Forced Induction

One of the best and most efficient ways for you to rocket your car’s engine performance would be for you to explore the idea of turbocharging or supercharging. The main thing to know about this is that it is a forced induction method. It increases your car’s horsepower in an aspirated engine. Installing this will help the oxygen to flow to your engine, increasing the power output.

Bear in mind that an upgrade to this level requires a lot of work, and quite likely, a number of supporting modifications such as a tune, fueling, and sometimes even stronger engine internals. Because of this, it’s likely the most expensive upgrade on this list.

Once you’ve installed a new turbo, you’ll have to tune your car. When tuning, your engine performs better and all upgrades align with each other. Tuning is easier said than done, so make sure you go through a reputable tuner. They will assess the make and model of your vehicle, ensuring your tune corresponds with what you are looking for out of your car’s performance. 

Every car can be upgraded this way. Even older models, so if you are upgrading a classic car, don’t overlook how powerful this can be. When working with older cars, it helps to be mindful of the parts you upgrade. Some parts, when changed out, will impact the overall operation of the car, which might be detrimental if you have a classic model. 

Alex Harrington

Alex started racing at a young age so certainly knows his way around a car and a track. He can just about put a sentence together too, which helps. He has a great interest in the latest models, but would throw all of his money at a rusty old French classic and a 300ZX. Contact: [email protected]

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