6 Easy Mods to Boost Your Car's Performance
Watching all those "Fast and Furious" movies, you'd need to intern in an auto shop or get a degree before you can perform mods that enhance your car's performance. Although it can certainly help, even a slightly-higher-than-average automotive know-how can be enough to make a big difference in your car's ride, handling, top speed, and even acceleration. Lay off the nitrous kit and camshaft mods for a while and see how these six easy upgrades suit you first.
While they certainly add some sportiness, racing wheels do more than just enhance your car's looks. Lightweight wheel alloys in general can dissipate heat faster than steel, which helps prevent heat buildup. Otherwise, if your wheels are constantly hot, your brake pads and rotors can stop working correctly, which can affect braking power.
Racing tires are softer than average because they grip the road better. Unfortunately, softer tires mean lesser durability. In that sense, you need to weigh which is more important to you. If you want performance, then go for softer racing tires; just be prepared to change them more frequently.
Modern cars rely on engine control units (ECUs) to control aspects of the engine's operations, including fuel-air mixtures and spark timing, among others. The problem is, manufacturers program these devices well below the engine's real performance capabilities. There are plenty of aftermarket ECU products out there to replace the one on your car. Or you can bring your car to a service shop that can reprogram your ECU for you. With a new and improved ECU, you can unlock better performance numbers for your car, and possibly even improve your gas mileage. Be careful though, as changing your ECU or its settings can run you afoul of your vehicle's warranty.
Going faster is easy, but slowing down is another matter, especially if you've enhanced your engine. Relying on a stock brake system is dangerous if it can't handle the added power. That said, a performance brake kit that fits your model delivers strong pedal feel and brakes more reliably even after repeated stops. Likewise, such kits also make it easy to inspect your brakes through the rims, and they fare better against brake fade on long downgrades and wet weather driving.
Cold air intake
The more air that gets into your engine, the better it runs. While your stock air filter ensures only clean air enters your engine, it is actually impeding a full blast of air from entering your engine. A cold air intake not only lets your engine breath better, it also sends it cooler air, which aids in keeping temperatures at optimal levels.
A huge part of your suspension systems rely on bushings to keep components in place will diffusing vibrations throughout your car. Unfortunately, stock rubber bushings tend to wear out fast, especially if you tend to push your car to its limits. Polyurethane bushings are not only more durable, but also better at keeping vibrations and unwanted weight transfers at bay.
Replacing your rusty exhaust pipe with an entirely new assembly--from the headers and all the way back to the exhaust tip--can increase flow while making your engine sound more beastly. Of course, you'll want a replacement exhaust that keeps your emissions within acceptable levels.