Car Horsepower: Since the automobile industry’s inception, car manufacturers, tuners, and fans have competed to create the fastest or most powerful car. Man has always been fascinated by speed, and in his pursuit of it, he has gone to great lengths. This article will discuss ways to boost the horsepower in a car

We’ve seen cars with 1000 – 2000+ horsepower engines on the streets as a result of motorheads straining their minds and pouring their hearts and souls into extracting more juice from the engine. How are they able to achieve this? It all comes down to the horsepower output of an engine. Increased horsepower enables your vehicle to go at a faster rate.

Unfortunately, boosting horsepower is not comparable to increasing the amount of sugar in a cup of coffee. The procedure is meticulous and needs significant technical understanding.  Making it something best left to the professionals. Not to worry, we’ll show you a range of methods for increasing horsepower in a car, from mild to wild.

What is Horsepower?

You’ve probably heard the term “horsepower” a lot. It’s not just in the automotive world, but also in the worlds of lawnmowers, water pumps, and vehicle pressure washers.

Regrettably, relatively few individuals who tune cars for increased horsepower understand what that scientifically means. All they know is that they want it in large quantities. It’s all about my rating is higher than yours.’ However, if you approached the individual boasting about his car’s horsepower and asked him what horsepower meant, he would have little to no idea. Only that it is responsible for the vehicle’s acceleration. So, what is horsepower and how do we increase our supply?

The term was coined by James Watt, a physicist who spent a great deal of time observing horses working to power the mills. He had developed a steam engine that he claimed could “out-power” the horse 200 times over but was having difficulty explaining the concept to millers who relied on horse labor.

To simplify, horsepower is a single unit of power that represents the rate at which work is completed. In simpler terms, the force exerted by a horse as it pulls, or the force required to raise a 550-pound weight one foot off the ground in a second, or the force required to move a 33,000-pound weight one foot in a minute.

Now that we’ve learned about the energy unit’s origins, let’s look at how to boost the horsepower in an automobile.

How to Increase A Car’s Horsepower

Reduce Weight

Bear in mind that horsepower refers to the amount of weight that a horse can pull over a specified time and distance. That means you can simply increase the speed of your car by reducing some unnecessary weight.

In truth, this does not increase the vehicle’s horsepower. But rather makes it easier for the engine to support the vehicle’s weight. Therefore, get rid of any excess subwoofers or shocks that you haven’t used in a long time. Acquire stronger but lighter shocks. Get rid of any spanners or wrenches that you don’t use very often. Or swap out some parts for carbon fiber ones, etc.

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Cold Air Intake

Cold Air Intake Horsepower

While turbos are an excellent technique to boost your engine’s horsepower, they are somewhat expensive. However, someone devised a less expensive method of resolving the issue while achieving a similar effect. This is accomplished by the use of a cold air inlet.

The logic behind the concept is that a cold air intake forces cool air into the combustion chamber since it is denser than hot or warm air. Increased air in the combustion chamber results in more rapid burning of the fuel. This is essentially what occurs when the engine is revved; additional air is introduced into the combustion chamber. Turbos have a similar effect, although they are more expensive than cold air intakes, which provide the necessary initial boost.

You can get between 5 and 20 horsepower by installing a cold air intake, but if you require serious horsepower, a turbocharger or supercharger is the way to go.

Increase Your Engine’s Size

Typically, the engine installed in your car is not very powerful, barely enough to get the car started. However, it is precisely why you are researching how to enhance a car’s horsepower. One technique to enhance horsepower is to replace the existing engine with a displacement engine that is larger and more powerful.

A larger displacement engine with more cylinders consumes more air and gasoline. And it also generates more horsepower to propel the car.

Unfortunately, this method is only viable if your engine bay is large enough to accommodate the larger engine, and even then, you must factor in the time, money, and experience required to complete the conversion.

Though this method requires the greatest resources to implement, the return is well worth the work due to the displacement engine’s increased power.

Camshafts with increased performance

The camshaft is a relatively basic but critical component of an automobile engine. The camshaft’s movement is responsible for precisely opening and closing the inlet and exit valves.

You can increase horsepower by installing larger cams or opting for a raised cam arrangement. How does it function? It’s straightforward.

Camshafts that are lifted or larger will keep the valves open longer. When the valves remain open for extended periods of time, more fuel and air reach the combustion chamber, resulting in increased power production.

However, it comes with a cost. If not fitted properly, replacement cams may result in decreased fuel economy or performance. That is because installing a cam is not a simple process, as numerous aspects such as gear ratio and compression ratio must be considered.

Tune Your Vehicle’s ECU

The simplest and most cost-effective method of increasing torque and horsepower in a modern car is to tweak the engine management unit. With a simple software modification, you can add close to 40 horsepower or more, especially if you have a turbo engine. You can expect a gain of 10-20 horsepower if you operate a non-turbo engine.

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An aftermarket software program (often referred to as a “flash”) is designed to push your engine to its limits by altering the ignition timing to smooth out the output power delivered. Typically, a software upgrade will require you to switch to a higher octane fuel or premium gas in order to avoid your automobile engine pinging or banging. Because it also enables the turbocharger to generate additional boost pressure, many turbocharged vehicles benefit significantly from ECU tweaking, resulting in increased horsepower.

A tuning that achieves the desired outcome costs between $300 and 600. If you opt to go the software route, be sure to acquire it from a trustworthy tuner.

Include A Supercharger Or Turbocharger

To work optimally, an automobile engine’s fuel and air mixture must be ideal. You may increase horsepower by speeding up the engine’s combustion and fuel injection. A supercharger or turbocharger is one way to accomplish this.

A turbocharger is a very tiny component that may be fitted to practically any engine. A jet of air is forced into the air intake by the equipment. The huge volume of air introduced into the engine aids in increasing the rate of combustion. A supercharger performs the same function as a turbocharger, but the architecture is different.

At maximum output, a turbocharger or supercharger can boost the system’s horsepower by 40 to 60 units. However, the units of horsepower added by a turbocharger are dependent on the boost or psi of air it produces, and the greatest thing is that installing a super or turbocharger rarely requires changing the fuel or ignition system!

Catalytic Converter with a High-Flow Rate

The Catalytic converters were developed to aid in the removal of hazardous gases created during engine combustion. Catalytic converters from earlier generations were quite restrictive in terms of the amount of exhaust gas they permitted to exit the system, suffocating the intake of fresh air and resulting in decreased engine performance.

Naturally, those who desired greater power from their engines developed a hatred towards cat converters. But there was little that could be done at the time to rectify the issue, as cat converters were, and continue to be, mandated by law.

Engineers have developed improved cat converters that do not hinder exhaust gas flow. If your vehicle is still equipped with older-generation catalytic converters that restrict the flow of exhaust gases, replace them with high-flow catalytic converters. You’ll immediately notice an increase in horsepower.

Cat-Back Exhaust

Cold Air Intake Horsepower

After seeing the difference a clean and better catalytic converter can make to the engine output. It’s unsurprising that the layout of your car’s exhaust also has an effect on how much horsepower your engine produces. This explains why high-performance vehicles typically use a cat-back exhaust system.

This exhaust is comparable to any other, except that the pipe following the cat converter is straight. The straight pipe connecting the catalytic converter to the exhaust tip enables exhaust gases to depart the vehicle freely. Due to the rapid exit of exhaust gas from the system, the engine can now breathe in and out more freely. This decreases pressure build-up in the system, resulting in an increase in horsepower and improved performance. Depending on the engine, this adjustment should result in a gain of 10-20 horsepower.

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Nitrous Horsepower

This is essentially a portable super/turbocharger in the sense that it can be moved from vehicle to vehicle without causing undue difficulty or destroying your investment. A NOS kit can cost between $900 and $2500 and is banned in the majority of states. However, similar to a can of ‘air-maker,’ they can be used in conjunction with a super/turbocharger to decrease lag and increase horsepower

Consider the following:

One of the primary fears and errors made by new automobile owners is making any alteration that could violate the vehicle’s warranty. Many automakers will approve the installation of performance items as long as they are installed by an  dealer, but not all are pleased with owners who seek to modify their vehicles.

It’s vital to learn what your dealership accepts and does not allow so you can tread lightly.

Another impediment you must overcome is emission laws. Due to the fact that the majority of performance parts may increase emissions, they are not considered street legal and may get you in serious problems if you are unaware. It is prudent to check local emissions regulations before installing specific performance components.


There are numerous methods for increasing the horsepower of a vehicle. Tuners have gone to incredible lengths to increase the engine’s horsepower rating. Their modifications range from larger air intakes to twin turbochargers to pistons that have been specially crafted for increased performance.

While some modifications provide immediate benefits, they can have a significant impact on the vehicle’s fuel economy or long-term durability in the long run.

As long as you have sufficient funds in your wallet. There is practically nothing stopping you from obtaining the highest horsepower possible from a vehicle.

Nevertheless, the approaches outlined here are feasible and cheap. You are not required to be a diehard enthusiast to incorporate one or more of them into your vehicle. Simply choose what you want and pursue it without looking back.

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