What are the most effective ways to improve the overall performance of a car? originally appeared on Quora: the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.
What are the most effective ways to improve the overall performance of a car?
The first thing that comes to mind that would help everything performance-wise is weight reduction. Less force acting on the engine, less weight acting on the suspension, less inertia to overcome.
Ways to improve overall horsepower? And you’re asking for most effective? Forge the internals, port the head, spend 20,000 on the engine and then run 50–60PSI on a giant turbocharger.
Improving handling? A coilover kit is the fastest and most cost effective way to do it for most people. Plus… Okay, I’ll be honest here. Most of the time, “most effective” means “what can I do that’s cheap but I won’t waste my money on?”
Here it goes.
- Cut springs. That is unsafe and destroys any handling potential.
- Strip out important safety things. If you spend 99% of the time on the street, keep the airbag. It doesn’t make that big of a weight difference.
- Buy a short ram intake. They’re useless. Don’t do it.
- I’m also gonna say don’t buy a cold air intake if your car is naturally aspirated and electronically fuel injected. You’re more likely just going to get a CEL and no horsepower increase at the cost of potential hydrolock. Don’t do it.
- Use “no-name” ebay turbo or supercharger kits. The potential damage from failed components far outweighs any potential gains.
- Buy “electric superchargers” that go in your intake tube. That doesn’t work at all, and often times the cheap electric motors burn out and then starve your engine of air by being a giant blockage in your intake tube.
- Buy gravity cast wheels. I don’t care if they’re replicas or not, but no gravity cast. And while steelies can be strong, they are heavy, and detrimental to performance because of it.
- Potentially get high-quality coilovers or lowering springs with adjustable inserts. They’ll improve your handling but degrade ride quality, so be careful.
- Upgrade your oil pan to prevent oil starvation at high lateral g’s. Shim oil pump pickup if need be.
- Buy high-quality components from reputable dealers.
- Install a cold-air intake on turbocharged engines. They can gain a much better boost from this, and typically have programmable ECU’s to actually account for the gain.
- Buy forged or pressure-cast wheels. The lighter the better, but don’t sacrifice quality.
- Buy high-quality tires. The best suspension and wheel setup in the world is nothing without a high quality set of tires. I’d say do this first.
- Adjust your exhaust setup (if possible with your vehicle setup) to provide better torque or horsepower depending on your goals. I suggest discussing this on online forums to pick the best sizing. Installing a 4″ straight pipe on your 1.3l i4 isn’t doing you any favors.
- Educate yourself. The fastest car in the world is nothing but smeared paste without a competent driver behind the wheel.
- Buy high quality safety components. That ebay replica harness and seat aren’t going to do you very much good when they snap on impact.
And most importantly, don’t do anything before you fully understand it.
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