So... you want your car to go fast.
Well, there are plenty of ways to make a car go faster, such as upgrading performance parts or engine modifications, but where is the best place to start?
Below we will be going over the essential modifications needed to improve the performance of your car.
How to Make Your Car Faster
There are a few basic principals that tuner heads follow when modifying their cars to improve speed—acceleration, maneuvering, and deceleration. The right balance between these basic principals will enhance your speed and increase your safety while flying down the road.
For example, if you increase engine horsepower but slack on upgrading your brakes, your stopping power will decrease, therefore making the car less maneuverable on either tight turns or just stopping in general.
In a nutshell, upgrading one part while disregarding others can put major stress on your overall vehicle performance and potentially cause damage. Let's go over some of the most often-used upgrades to increase speed.
Engines need fuel in order for a vehicle to run. More fuel gives the engine more power. Upgrading high-flow fuel injectors and a performance fuel pump will deliver the necessary fuel the cylinders need while also maintaining optimum levels of the air-fuel mixture.
In addition, high-performance engines use higher octane fuel. Check your engine's specifications and use the highest octane your engine can have.
If you're upping the fuel consumption, you need to up the air your car takes in to keep fuel combustion where it needs to be. This is where you need to force air into the engine rather than having your air freely flowing in.
This is done by turbos, superchargers, and concentrated shots of oxygen from nitrous oxide.
Doing this means you need to make necessary engine modifications for your car to handle this kind of forced air induction safely. Always check with your country, state, and local laws. Modifications to your engine may be deemed illegal, depending on your location.
This type of modification can sometimes be expensive— so if you are looking for a cheaper route, installing bolt-on, cold air intakes can increase your horsepower and improve acceleration as well.
Frequently, most car enthusiasts who are tuning their cars for speed don't think about the critical factor of braking. If you upgrade your car's parts to accelerate quickly, you will wear your brakes out because faster cars need insane amounts of stopping power.
This is also important if you are rally racing or on a race track where accelerating, stopping, and turning is often repeated. Upgrade to a bigger brake system with slotted rotors that are intended for track/road use. Don't forget to upgrade your brake hoses and brake fluid as well.
4. Handling and Maneuvering
Maneuvering is an important principle when making your car go fast, especially when you are rally racing or track racing. Upgrading for horsepower and torque numbers is great, but if your car can't handle it, you could lose control and end up in a ditch just by hitting a bump in the road.
Start with replacing your shocks and suspension bushings with ones geared towards race performance. This will improve a smoother ride at faster speeds and will absorb any up and down movement much better than your stock gear.
Adding a lowering kit can aid in cornering ability, and installing a sway bar can help with tighter maneuverability.
5. Weight Reduction
One of the elements that can hold you back from reaching top speeds, is weight. Simply put, the lighter your car, the faster it will go. The more your car weighs, the slower it can accelerate.
The great thing about weight reduction is that it only requires the cost of tools to get the weight off. Start with taking anything out of your car that is an unnecessary weight on track-day:
- Rear seats
- Spare tire
- Empty windshield wiper fluid
- And don't fill up the gas tank to max capacity
If you have a little left in your budget, consider replacing parts of your car with aftermarket parts made of a lighter material. You can replace your stock hood with a lighter carbon fiber hood or replace your stock exhaust system with a lighter performance exhaust system.
What's the point of making all these speed upgrades if your tires can't handle it?
Doing this will save your brakes and increase your overall rate of acceleration.
Upgrade to tires designed for racing with maximum grip. Aftermarket racing tires will improve traction, braking, and cornering.
7. ECU Remapping
With concerns about the environment from car pollution in the 1970s, most cars were equipped with computers (ECU) that regulate the way your vehicle performs. The ECU is what controls certain aspects of your car's power and fuel to improve efficiency and reduce pollution.
Performance companies offer ECU remapping (chip tuning) services, which allows your car to produce the maximum amount of power by sacrificing fuel efficiency and removing any electronic limitations the ECU may have on your vehicle.
Back to the Basics
Don't forget the basics! Regular oil changes, transmission flushes, tire rotations, and air filter replacements all play on how to make your car faster. Make sure you get it serviced regularly, and if you don't have the skills, make sure you take your car to an auto tech professional.
What are some ways you want to improve your car's performance? Leave us a comment below!