No matter what car you drive, the simple fact is that your engine will lose power over time. There is one popular myth that engines lose 1 BHP on average per year, but not to worry as there are some simple and cheap ways to help increase your engine power and generally boost your engines performance, without breaking the bank.
In this guide we will talk you through a few of the products available that will keep your engine running at the optimum level, generating as much power as possible and keeping the fuel and parts costs down in the process.
Engine power boosters
If you’re happy enough lifting the bonnet and working on your car yourself then some of these tips will be a breeze. If you’re not comfortable working with and around car engines, however, it may be worth asking a friend, neighbour or colleague for advice and assistance – or visit an expert.
Fuel treatments are an excellent way to increase your power output. Over time harmful deposits build up in your petrol tank, fuel injectors, lines and pumps, restricting the flow of fuel into the engine and decreasing the performance.
Treatments, also known as additives, from companies such as Wynn’s, REDEX & STP are probably the cheapest and easiest way to combat this on any vehicle.
Pour one small bottle of your preferred treatment into your petrol tank when you next fill up. It’s not an immediate fix, but by your next fuel stop you will notice an improvement in your engines performance and fuel consumption.
It isn’t necessary to do this every time you fill up, as once your fuel system is clean, it’s clean. It’s important to remember that regular use of fuel additives will prevent deposits building up in the future.
This may seem obvious but your car needs air (and fuel) to work.
The air filter is designed to filter out dust, dirt, leaves, sand and other nasty materials from entering your engine and causing damage. Over time the air filter becomes clogged with all the particles it captures, and this in itself can restrict the air flow to your engine.
A dirty air filter will cause your engine to work harder reducing your fuel efficiency, but luckily this is one of the easiest parts in your engine bay to check and replace. Simply open your airbox, take out the old air filter and replace with the new one. After the fuel treatment this is probably the easiest way to increase your engine power.
If you’re really looking to improve your cars breathing and increase your performance then it may be worth looking into a performance air filter.
The most basic of these is a replacement element. This will literally replace your original air filter with one made out of a better material. Standard air filters are usually made out of paper, making them cheap to produce. Paper air filters do a good job of keeping dirt out of your engine but they aren’t the most breathable material (imagine trying to breathe through a paper bag).
Performance air filters tend to be made out of more expensive, breathable materials and will generally last for the lifetime of your car, as long as they are properly maintained.
Performance induction kits
Still Looking to increase your car’s power and performance? Then maybe you want to think about a performance induction kit.
These air filters replace the whole standard airbox with a racing-style cone filter giving the maximum surface area with even less resistance. The power increase comes not only from a larger volume of air flowing in to the engine but the temperature of the air, the colder the better, as this helps with more efficient combustion.
This is why you will find that most kits have an additional cold air pipe that can be positioned to feed this directly in to the intake kit. As a lovely side effect you will be able to hear your engine roar properly, making it sound nice and sporty.
Engine oil and oil filters
Engine oil is designed to lubricate and cool the moving parts of an engine, ensuring free and easy movement. This may seem like an obvious point but regularly checking and changing your engine oil helps to maintain your engine in the long term.
An insufficient amount of engine oil can cause parts to grind each other down creating microscopic pieces of metal. These pieces of metal are then contained within the oil, causing an increase of friction within the engine and resulting in a loss of power.
If you’re doing a complete engine oil change then it is worth fitting a new oil filter at the same time. This filter (similar to your air filter) is designed to capture all of the nasty pieces that can cause damage to the inside of your engine.
Changing your oil filter should take less than ten minutes and only requires a few basic tools (such as screwdrivers) to loosen and tighten the related components. The filter itself simply slides in and out of the casing.
Like many parts of your engine, spark plugs won’t last forever.
Luckily though, spark plugs are designed to go for tens of thousands of miles before they need to be changed. It’s important to note that every time they fire, the spark removes a tiny amount of the metal from the plug.
As the gap gradually grows, the voltage required to bridge the gap increases proportionally. Over time this can place strain on your car battery, especially when it comes to cold winter starts. If your spark plugs are working properly your engine should make a constant smooth sound, however if your spark plugs aren’t performing as they should do your engine can become jittery.
The tell-tale signs of this are misfires, surging, a lack of acceleration and high fuel consumption. Changing your spark plugs is a way of ensuring easy starts, proper acceleration and maintaining optimum engine performance.
There are a variety of other parts you can add or change on your car to increase your power and efficiency. However if you’re on a budget performing these simple tasks will provide the best results, whilst keeping your bank balance in the black.
We have parts for all makes and models and we will even deliver them to your home on the next working day free of charge if you order before 4pm. Alternatively, you can visit one of our 200+ branches nationwide to see the full range for yourself.