If you are not happy with your car’s performance, you can either buy a new one or modify the existing car. Buying a new car would definitely be a more expensive alternative than modifying. You can make some modifications to your existing car and make it perform well and save a lot of money. Here are some simple yet effective modifications that you can do.
Air filter / Cold air intake
A car burns fuel in proportion to the air it sucks. Manufacturers are conservative and place air filters inside a box that does not provide free flowing air. Moving the air filter to place that has better access to air and connecting it via bigger diameter tubes can provide the engine access to cooler air. Ideally placed away from the engine it would also be cool and dense, making engine capable of burning more fuel. There may be a marginal rise in power due to this modification
Caution: Moving the filter in an open position puts it at risk if it may come it contact with water, the modification should be done carefully.
An exhaust system’s function is to get the exhaust gases out of the engine. It’s better if it does this with minimum resistance and back pressure. Too much back pressure also raises engine temperature apart from reducing its power output. Pipes with larger bend radiuses, bigger diameters and headers with polished interior surfaces can reduce the back pressure significantly. A catback exhaust system and most custom exhaust systems aim to do just that. If done properly it can help increase the fuel economy by up to 5%.
Caution: Do not remove the catalytic converter, which is responsible for treating the exhaust and reducing the pollution. It is illegal is most parts of India, it may become more visible if the sound has become too loud after the change.
It’s ECU’s job to regulate the amount of air-fuel mixture in the cylinder based on input that it receives from installed sensors on the intake, exhaust, camshaft and other places. The ECU interprets the sensor input and makes sure that engine offers decent performance runs trouble free. ECU reprogramming can alters the mapping parameters and readjust them to offer better performance. It’s better to take help of a reputed tuning shop that offer such modifications instead of doing this on your own. The modification works best along with other two modifications listed above.
Suspension setup (Sway bar)
Most car manufacturers try to offer good balance between the ride and handling characteristics of the car. However some are inherently softly sprung and do not feel all that sporty around corners. Modifying the spring and damper unit for all four wheels can be a costly affair. You can do it for much cheaper by using anti-roll bar and make the car more torsionally stiff. The modification is relatively easy to do, but the trick is finding the balance and not making the suspension too stiff. It’s better if you to take professional help while deciding the right bar and with installation.
As spark plugs get old, the element that produces spark erodes away and the wires have to work hard to produce a spark. It’s important that the spark produced is clean and ignites the fuel-air mixture. It’s better to get an Iridium or Platinum spark plugs along with high performance wires. The high performance wires offer less electrical resistance and provide better insulation too. It’s one of the most inexpensive modifications that you can go with and something that you can easily do on your own. Replacing spark plug may not increase the performance significantly. However, it can prevent misfiring and prevent catalytic converter damage.