6 steps to make your car go faster

6 Easy Ways to Make Your Car Go Faster

TV makes everything look so easy — especially tuning shows. You know the ones, where the host introduces some sad heap they found in the junkyard, and five minutes later it’s, “We’re going to give this puppy a new lease on life with a small block crate engine from Rich Dad’s garage!”

Not all of us can afford to shop at Rich Dad’s, but that doesn’t mean you should give up on customizing your car and making it go faster. Here are seven legitimate ways to lower ETs and corner quicker on a budget.

#1 Upgraded Tires

You may not know that we’re living in the golden age of tire technology. Many of the track-special cars you’re seeing from Porsche, Chevrolet, Ferrari, McLaren and more use extremely advanced soft-compound tires that shave tenths off of 0-60 times and braking distances and provide extra bite in the corners.

Arm your ride with a set and you’ll see improvements in every category.

Mustang CAI cold air intake#2 Air Intakes

This is a broad category that includes several actual parts. Your car’s drop-in filter can be swapped for a higher-flowing material for a super-cheap HP increase or you can go whole-hog and step up to a short ram air or cold air intake for even more power.

chip and ecu tuning#3 Computer Tuning

This is sort of the equivalent of a carburetor upgrade for your fuel-injected car. Re-flash your car’s ECU with a new program or replace it entirely and you can configure fuel maps and ignition timing to maximize power, raise maximum RPMs and remove top-speed limiters.

car unit body#4 Gut It

While we’re talking about all these things you can add to your car, don’t forget that the simplest way to improve all aspects of your car’s performance is to make it lighter. Start with the rear seat and have your pick from there. All at zero cost to you! You could even make money by reselling excess parts.

front strut bar#5 Strut Bars

These won’t add any extra ponies under the hood, but they will help your car grip better in corners and that means you can maintain a higher average speed. They’re also very affordable and available for most cars.

synthetic oil#6 Use Good Oil

Upgrading to a slightly higher quality oil can make quite an impact. Your car will perform better, and there will be less wear and tear on it. Make sure you do these changes regularly. Check and see what’s recommended for your particular car before buying the most expensive oil though. Sometimes just a slight increase is all you need.

stainless steel exhaustBonus – Exhaust Systems

Take your choice of upgrading in sections, beginning with your muffler and resonator, or equipping your car with a full cat-back exhaust. You’ll unleash your engine’s true sound and probably a few hidden horsepower along with it. A long-time favorite when you’re tuning on a tight budget.

It’s not difficult to make a car yours on a budget — all you need is a little patience. Start with one of these projects now, save a little money on the install by doing it yourself and pretty soon you’ll be rocking a tricked-out ride and have a sweet set of wrenching skills to complement it.

Scott Huntington is a writer from Harrisburg, PA who covers everything from Autonomous to Z-car. He has written for dozens of automotive websites, including Yahoo Autos, GT Spirit, Hooniverse, and more. He was once accidentally interviewed to be the next host of Top Gear USA.