Improving power and fuel efficiency of your car: What you need to know

Improving power and fuel efficiency of your car | Beanstalk Mums

Improving your car’s power and fuel efficiency is an achievable goal.

Some of the necessary changes require mechanical expertise, while there are other alterations that even a novice could complete.


Consider your engine as an air pump that breaths in air and expels it through the exhaust. So, intake and exhaust play large roles in the power your car can generate.

  • Maintain your vehicle according to the schedule in your owner’s manual. The proper maintenance ensures your vehicle is pulling as much power as possible from its engine.
  • Get an oil change every 3,000 miles or the recommended mileage for your car.
  • Replace air and fuel filters regularly to ensure the unimpeded flow of air into the engine.
  • Install a cold air intake to increase the amount of airflow into the engine, which also improves the gas mileage. Air and fuel are compressed and ignited in the engine to propel your vehicle. Or replace the stock airbox installed on your car, which is meant to be emissions friendly and quiet, not performance. Replacing it with a better one could result in as much as 12.25 horsepower added.
  • Improve your vehicles exhaust flow. Your engine ignites the mixture of air and fuel causing combustion. The exhaust from this reaction must be expelled. Replacing your exhaust pipes with larger diameter pipes allows the exhaust to exit faster. This could be accomplished by buying a high-performance muffler, which could result in a 5 -7% gain in power.
  • Program your car’s computer to prioritize horsepower. Purchase a replacement computer or send yours out for reprogramming. Some companies sell programmers or handheld tuners that can be plugged into in OBD2 port of your vehicle to change your computer’s priorities. These tuners are specifically programmed to work with your car by VIN number, the make and model of your car. Tuners may allow you to change the shift points in your car, making the ride less torchy. It may result in an increase of 35 to 45 horsepower.
  • You may need to swap out ignition components. Check to see if you need more conductive ignition wires or spark plugs changed in order to ignite air and fuel more efficiently.
  • Replace the brake system manifold. In fact, when you add horsepower to your car, you’ll probably need to add stopping power as well. By increasing the power of your brakes, you will help to reduce the amount of effort your car must expend to stop. This doesn’t add to your horsepower, but it does add to your safety.


Be sure that your filter is as clean as possible, so change it as recommended by the maker of your vehicle. For every gallon of gas our car burns, it also burns 1100 cubic feet of air. That’s why the air needs to be free-flowing and not blocked by a dirty air filter.

Make sure you’re using the right oil for your engine as oil reduces the friction inside of the engine. Dirty oil causes greater friction in the engine. Types of oil are wide-ranging. Older cars all used A high zinc oil and today’s cars often require synthetic oils that are lighter a tend to give you slightly better gas mileage. These oils resist oxidation, thermal breakdown and create less oil sludge.


Each make of vehicle has a tire size and tire gauge that is recommended for their vehicle. For the best gas mileage, use the recommended tire air pressure in your tires. The wrong pressure could result in rolling resistance and lesser gas mileage. Tire makers have developed tires with specified treads to get less rolling resistance. Buying these tires plus maintaining the right air pressure could result in better gas mileage.

The more weight your car is transporting the lesser your gas mileage. Empty your car of all unnecessary items to reduce the weight transported for everyday driving.

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For fuel efficiency, do not accelerate too fast or mash on the brakes unnecessarily as all these excessive moves put a drain on your gas tank. Instead, slowly accelerate and lightly pump the brakes when starting and stopping. Driving this way could also result in better insurance rates.

Use a fuel additive to get better miles per gallon increase is not drastic but should increase by at least one mile per gallon. Muscle cars seem less affected by fuel additives.

Whether attempting to improve your horsepower or your fuel economy, don’t use systems that haven’t been proven by thousands of users. In the last few years, there have been countless new unproven systems sold to unsuspecting car owners that simply didn’t work, because they weren’t designed to make a difference to horsepower, or the mileage used. Avoid systems that cannot be verified by a certified authority.

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