For some people, when a car rolls off the production line, it isn’t quite living up to its potential. Manufacturers are usually striving to give the best road holding and fuel economy they can because that’s what most motorists are looking for in a car. However, if that isn’t as important as how fast it goes or how good it performs around corners, then you are most likely going to be modifying your car. There is a host of ways that you can add modifications to your car. While some mods are complicated, most are relatively easy to achieve if you know how. Here are some of the top engine modifications that you can use on your car.
Before You Start Modifications
When you get your new car, you will probably be eager to go out and buy all the modifications you want to get your car started. However, this isn’t the best option, especially for those new to the scene. Before you start, you should be using your car in its stock configuration for a while. It will give you a good idea how your car performs without any modification. You will then be able to tell if a mod has made any difference or if it has made things worse. You should also think about what it is you are looking for from your car. Do you want it to accelerate faster, or stop quicker? Maybe you are looking for better fuel economy? Whatever the reason, if you have a clear idea of what you want, then you won’t go out and waste money on unnecessary mods. Once you do start to modify your car, you should do one at a time. This means that if something goes wrong, you will know what it is that’s causing the issues.
If you are new to modifications, then this project is probably the easiest thing you can do. Cars that come off the production line have a standard air box that is designed to filter clean air into the engine. However, these boxes can be restrictive with their airflow, so your engine may not be getting all the air it needs. By fitting a custom cold-air intake, you will be giving the engine unfiltered air that will increase your cars acceleration and fuel economy. You might think that your car is already pretty economical, but it has probably been tuned down to make it more reliable. If you fit a new cold-air intake, be sure to get one that seals itself off from the rest of the engine bay, or the engine will be breathing in the hot air instead of cold.
The cat-back exhaust is another common modification that is fairly easy to do on your own. If you are going to open up the air intake, then you should also do the exhaust. It may improve your fuel efficiency, but it won’t be a huge amount. Some have recorded 5-10% increase in efficiency, though every bit counts. A cat-back exhaust is an upgrade that runs from the catalytic converter back to the exhaust outlet. It means that many countries will allow you to do it, though you should check first just to be sure. These types of conversion are meant to be loud, though there are resonators and mufflers that you can use to make them quieter while still giving you the performance. It is best to do your research to make sure you are buying the right type, and the best way to fit it for your make of car.
Strut Tower Braces or Strut Bars
You are now entering the realm of the more advanced modification. If you want your car to have improved handling, then adding strut tower braces is the way to go. The brace sits at the top of your front shock absorbers. It helps to balance the forces placed on one side of your car and distributes them to the other side. It should keep your tires on the road if you are taking a corner at a speed that would otherwise unbalance the opposite wheels. One of the main benefits of this mod is more stability going over bumps and making tight turns. You can add the braces to the rear suspension as well as the front, though there is little need for this in a road car. While you are dealing with the suspension, you might also want to change your bushings for polyurethane ones to help with shock absorption and for longer life.
Most of the modern cars manufactured today use an engine management system or engine control module (ECM). These clever boxes contain a computer that essentially controls your engine for you. The newest versions do far more than just control idle speed, they are monitoring hundreds of signals from sensors all over the engine, and they have a set pattern that they are programmed to follow. Whether you have an ECM diesel or petrol, they are all designed the same way, in fact, they are often the same design in many makes of car. There are some versions of ECM that allow you to change the program to another that offers better performance. You will need to get these from a professional supplier to ensure they are calibrated correctly. You can do these upgrades yourself, or you can find a professional car tuning company to do it for you.
Think About Your Warranty
If you have a new car warranty, you should make sure before you do any modification, they aren’t going to void your warranty. You can get advice from your main dealer, and check your warranty which came with the car. In most cases, if the mod hasn’t caused any damage to the car, it should be fine.
Like any hobby, modifying your car can quickly become addictive as you start to find better mods to use. If you are new, the best place to start is on a forum, where you can see other people’s successes and mistakes.