Sign In Join

Blog Entry

3 Automotive Performance Mods that Actually Work

1:14 AM
10/31/2016

Think about what you want to improve about your car. Is it the acceleration? Is it the stopping power? Is it the ride quality? Is it the fuel consumption? It could be any number of things going on a spending spree at AutoZone or your favorite performance shop might not get you to your desired goal.
When applying vehicle performance mods, consider implementing them one at a time to get a sense for how it makes an impact on your car. Not only will you more sensibly spend your cash, youll understand with greater precision how your car is improved with them. If money is no object, then by all means, drop your car off at a local performance shop and give them a blank check. For the rest of us, read on.


exhaust

COLD-AIR INTAKE


Estimated cost: $100-$300
Benefits: Improved acceleration and fuel economy
Difficulty: Easy

A cold air intake is the first and easiest mod that anyone can do in less than an hour. It consists of replacing the stock, restrictive air box for your cars intake. The premise is that by allowing air to flow naturally without any baffles or restrictions, your engine is able to breathe easier to access more air when needed, such as when using an on-ramp to join a highway. Depending on the design of the intake, you could just make it breathe hotter engine air, so try to select one that seals off the engine bay from the air filter area. These kits often come with a long-life air filters that require different maintenance and cleaning intervals for optimal performance.


If you find that you ford rivers or deal with significant downpours of rain, dont leave your intake exposed to the outside elements, or youll hydrolock your engine. (I did this once, #fail.)
Check online forums to understand what other like-minded drivers think of their upgrades, the brands they trust and the setups they have. You could learn a good amount just by researching what others have done with their intakes and the performance they offer. This tip applies to the rest of these recommendations, too.


exhaust

CAT-BACK EXHAUST


Estimated cost: $250+
Benefits: Improved acceleration and fuel economy
Difficulty: Medium (seek an automotive shop for installation)

Along with a cold-air intake is the second mod that many people are very familiar with: exhaust upgrades. Assume for a moment that your engine is a water pump, sucking water in and pushing water out. You need to make sure that the pipes you have for your exhaust enable air to escape freely. If you do an intake upgrade, its a good idea to upgrade your exhaust. Aside from sound enhancements, it allows your engine to run more efficiently. Following my intake and exhaust upgrades, Ive seen about a 5% improvement in my fuel economy.


A cat-back exhaust system entails everything after the catalytic converter, so its completely legal to change .Not all Cat-Back Exhaust systems have to be obnoxiously loud. With the use of resonators and mufflers, it can still be high-flow and lower-volume but its safe to assume it will be significantly more noticeable than your stock exhaust system.
Pricing varies greatly based on the brand and features of their performance exhaust systems do your research YouTube is a great way to hear the before and after samples of peoples exhaust upgrades.If you believe your stock pipes are sufficient, you can opt for an axle-back upgrade, which is basically just changing out the rear mufflers.


tires

HIGH PERFORMANCE TIRES


Estimated cost: $500 $900
Benefits: Improved fuel economy and handling.
Difficulty: Easy

You regularly check the air pressure and wearing of your tires, right? If not, get in the habit of checking them at least once a week or so. Doing so will help you catch problems before they become disasters. That said, one way to improve fuel economy and handling is to invest in a good set of lower-resistance Summer Tires so you dont needlessly add more rolling resistance to your car.
If you find you do a lot of highway driving and dont find yourself hitting water, ice, snow or mud, then you will benefit from these higher-performance tires. They are made with different rubber compounds that are harder so they dont erode as quickly as other tires. They also have specialized tread patterns that reduce its bite into the road.


Assess your driving behavior and situations to decide if these are appropriate. If you typically experience all four seasons, stick with an all-season/terrain tire.Im not suggesting you go nuts and get Mickey Thompsons on your car. Research the reviews from thousands of other drivers on tires on a site like TireRack, compare their UTOQ ratings and look into professional reviews of the tires when making your decision.


Loading...
#overlay-actions

Top