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With a little guidance, you can add aftermarket parts to your current vehicle that will increase performance to a level that flutters your eyelids and vibrates your chest. Here is a list of add-on parts in order of cost and ease of installation. First, we’ll look at modifications that are modest in cost, effort and outcome.
Affordable Options and Moderate Modifications

Swap the Computer chip

The chip controls the air/fuel ratio, ignition timing and other aspects of engine performance. As it comes from the factory, your vehicle is tuned to provide a compromise between comfort and performance. An aftermarket chip costs about $70. Manufacturers of aftermarket chips advertise gains of up to 60 horsepower. However, your results may vary. You can count on an increase of 25 horsepower if your engine is in good condition.

Swap the breathing equipment

The intake and exhaust systems for automobiles are made for the average driver who requires very little from his engine. Cars tend to be designed for ease of manufacture and cost not performance. First, replace the cold air intake system. This will reposition the air-cleaner so that it gets cooler air and more of it. It costs less than $300 and will add between 30 and 50 horsepower. Install a new exhaust system with a set of headers and exhaust pipes. The spent fuel/air mixture has to get out of the system quickly. An exhaust system upgrade will scavenge that spent exhaust gas and add 20 horsepower and a better exhaust note. Headers and exhaust pipes cost between $500 and $700 dollars. Finally, install new intake manifolds. These take the fuel/air mixture from the cold-air intake to the combustion chambers in a more efficient way than stock manifolds. They add 15 to 20 horsepower and cost between $300 and $500 dollars.
Big ticket and big increase modifications

Install nitrous oxide

Nitrous Oxide adds oxygen to the combustion chamber increasing the temperature of the flame. It is stored in a metal bottle in the engine compartment and operated by a switch on the steering column or dashboard. Properly done, it can add 75 horsepower and can be used for the entire normal life of the engine. Improperly done, it will add up to 800 horsepower for a few seconds before the pistons melt. With forged aluminum pistons, it is possible to add 200 horsepower with acceptable engine life. The cost for a nitrous oxide system is less than $600.

Install a turbo or supercharger

This is ultimate upgrade. Both a turbocharger and a supercharger push the fuel/air mixture under pressure into the combustion chamber, literally expanding the amount of air and gas that’s exploded each time the spark plug fires. Turbochargers use a fan placed in the exhaust stream attached to another fan in the intake stream to move the fuel/air mixture. A supercharger connects to the engine and uses power produced by the engine to push the fuel/air mixture. Superchargers work more smoothly than turbochargers without the lag that takes place as the fan in the turbocharger spins up to speed and will dramatically increase horsepower. For example, a Mustang with a 5.0 liter four valve engine can produce up to 560 horsepower with a supercharger. The cost is less than $7,000 without installation. The same engine with a turbocharger will produce 400 horsepower at a cost of less than $4,000 without installation.

Jon Engle is a freelance blogger and car enthusiast currenting residing in San Diego, CA. He is also an advocate of All Star Glass for any auto glass repair in San Diego.