Cheap And Simple Guide On How To Increase Horsepower With Less Than $200

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Everyone has one of these moments – the I wish kind. Your car is in perfect condition, you have taken time to ensure it runs perfectly. The oil change and trip to the garage are all up to date; you even improved the sound system. You have done a few road trips and have come to a point you totally appreciate/understand your car’s performance.

Among the things you will now have learnt about your car include how fast it picks up from a complete stop to about 80 Km/h, how much it can take when being driven uphill, chances of overtaking the car in front without too much trouble.

At this point, many motor owners feel the need to upgrade and often increase the horsepower. You would love to gain speed a little more quickly, maintain torque a little longer when travelling uphill, snap off the blocks a little faster so to speak.

Many people often newbie drivers or vehicle owners fail to realize increasing horsepower is not always entirely about increasing your top speed.

Professional motor enthusiast will tell you that well tuned 1200CC vehicle could give you a run for your money in the hands of an expert driver within the busy city streets. This is why it is important to know a few simple hacks on how to increase horsepower with less than $200.

Easy Muscle Building Tips – How To Gain Horsepower And Spend Below $200

1· Reduce The Weight Of The Vehicle

Racing Car

Depending on what you use the vehicle for you could remove stuff from the trunk (cartons etc) or strip the entire back seat…

2· Upgrade The Air Filter

Upgrade the air filter

As a trained technician on the best performing filter for your car and your lifestyle.

3· Upgrade The Exhaust

Upgrade the exhaust

The exhaust has two important ends. The big noisy portion that is visible and the inlet. Work to upgrading both – the entire exhaust has immense potential when it comes to boosting power.

4· Upgrade Test Piping

Upgrade test piping

This is another of those aspects you will handle best with advice from a trained expert. Length and diameter of the piping from the engine will affect the car’s power.

5· Turbo Charge

Turbo charge

Costly but guarantees a significant boost in horsepower. You can still do all the above and then turbo or super charge your engine.

Inching to Better, Faster Engines – How to Increase Horsepower Cheaply

Note: The steps below are complete and will improve performance individually – however if you want to enjoy the max performance boost try implementing them in the order below.

Step 1 – Reduce The Weight Of The Vehicle

Reduce The Weight Of The Vehicle

This is one of the reason racing vehicles are stripped bare. Depending on what you use the vehicle for and your personality you can opt to strip off as much weight as possible. The rear seats, bumpers, roll bars, spare wheel and tool kit do add a decent amount of weight to your vehicle it will serve you much better carrying less weight.

For the 9-5 office worker, you cannot strip the car bare but you can reduce clutter get rid of a few cartoons and you will be surprised how much more powerful your vehicle should become.

Step 2 – Upgrade To Free Flow After Market Air Filter

Upgrade to free flow after market air filter

Horse Power is determined by a set of variable that include the size of the cylinder chambers, fuel type, and of course air supply from intake down to the exhaust. More air translates to more power within the engine block.

For increased performance, you should be aiming to have the right amount of air available when you need it – in turbo charged engine the air filter and turbo charger work in unison.

With an aftermarket filter installed, you will enjoy some improvement in the performance. Caution should be exercised while installing the air filter to keep out particulate matter and oil during filtration – because of this you want to ensure the filter installed fits snugly and has reliable mesh to keep out impurities.

Step 3 – Upgrade The Exhaust

Upgrade the exhaust

There is a common misconception that the exhaust does not improve performance. An error often fueled by individuals who invest in a large exhaust muffler without replacing the header. The header is the internal component and it does significantly improve both torque and horsepower on both vehicle and bikes.

In general, the factory exhaust header is not designed for power – read the explanation in the section before the conclusion. At prices significantly below $100 you will find there are number of affordable exhaust headers designed to improve your horsepower. Here are some examples you may want to begin looking through.

The rear end of the exhaust also plays a major role in increasing horsepower and torque. The muffler can be replaced along with the header to gain significant improvements in horsepower and torque.

To illustrate the role of the exhaust system in the engine, try imagining the steam in a pressure cooker as it is emitted through the whistle/outlet. The concept is very similar the steam within the cooker allows you to continue cooking at extra high temperatures (horsepower) so long as you can let it out at a controlled rate.

Your vehicle exhaust and horsepower share a similar relationship – the expunged air can be “canistered” – to further enhance the power. Just like the header high performance muffler retails for below $100.

Step 4 – Replace The Catalytic Converter

Replace the Catalytic Converter

Even more than the muffler and header, the exhaust catalytic flow converter can help attain significant improvements in torque instantly. The only disadvantage with this component is in some states this modification is illegal.

For a component that retails under $100 – check if it permitted in your state and feel the instant change in your vehicle’s performance.

Step 5 – Reflashing

Many vehicles today have their engines tethered by an underlying computer chip. The chip controls engine performance so the manufacturer can satisfy requirements of specific price range, emission standards and improve engine life.

Racing enthusiasts often change or flash the computer chip to improve the vehicles performance. You can expect that engine life to be adversely affected as it gets pushed harder but with improved maintenance, engine oils and regular checks this should not be a major issue.

This is one of those changes you want to make with advice from a skilled auto technician – this way you improve performance without affecting resale value


Any vehicle owner will after a while tell you they want to upgrade to a better performing vehicle or improve the performance of their current vehicle.

If you are working a budget the thousands of dollars spent on a super charging or turbo charging kit may be out of your reach. However, the good news is you can in small incremental steps boost the vehicle horsepower and torque with minor adjustments often costing about $50-100 each. Share your thoughts and performance issues/appraisals in the comments.

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