How to Boost Horsepower on a Budget

More horsepower! It’s on every vehicle enthusiast’s wish list. In order to push your ride to its peak performance, it’s essential to maximize horsepower.

But what if you don’t have an unlimited budget?

There are still ways vehicle owners can get the extra horsepower they’re looking for without spending a fortune. Of course, a hefty budget helps, but start with the first few items on the list below.

Nonmechanical Upgrades: Tires, Air Filter and Total Weight

The top way to quickly increase your car’s horsepower is to unload it. Everything you’ve collected in the trunk has to go.

Next, get an alignment. This gives you the ability to gather speed quickly. Also, take out your stock air filter and replace it with a free-flowing product that will allow more and faster airflow to your engine.

Get a Cold Air Intake

Next, upgrade the cold air intake. How does this boost horsepower? It’s simple: cold air is denser. That means more oxygen enters the combustion chamber faster, potentially boosting the engine by about five to seven horsepower. A cold air intake typically isn’t drastically expensive, but it can provide instant results, so it’s worth trying.

Check Out a Cat-Back Exhaust System

While it may cost a little more, a cat-back exhaust system is another great method of boosting horsepower through increasing airflow. The pipes are larger in diameter and shaped precisely to force air freely through the system.

Besides adding torque, it could also improve fuel economy and give your vehicle the louder, deeper grumble.

Bigger Investment: High-Flow Catalyst

Replace your stock catalytic converter with a high-flow version and you’ll get more airflow and more power. Gases will pass through the system more efficiently, offering a big boost for vehicles that are depending on inefficient, outdated catalytic converters. But like with many horsepower-boosting upgrades, the change you’ll see will depend on where you’re starting from.

On the Pricier Side: Performance Chips

If you want to invest a little more in horsepower enhancement, one of the most comprehensive ways to do so is by installing a performance chip to override factory settings from the manufacturer. By adjusting factors like fuel-to-air ratio, ignition timing and more, you can achieve new heights, performance-wise.

Want to find out what’s the best way to start upgrading your car’s horsepower? Come to Laketown Speed and Sound. Our experts can give you recommendations based on your make and model and any updates you’ve already started.