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How To Upgrade Your Car's Performance

Updated on October 9, 2013
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It doesn’t really matter what kind of car we’re driving, most of us wish we could have something a bit better – something a bit faster, with a better fuel economy and improved performance. But getting cheap car loans for a new car with top of the range performance isn’t always possible. So what about making the most of your current vehicle? What can you do to your existing car to upgrade its performance? Quite a few things, as it turns out.

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Improving Performance

There are plenty of different modifications you can make to your car in order to upgrade its performance, but these all depend on the make and model of your vehicle - so make sure you do your research and speak to a professional before you start spending your money. There’s a huge aftermarket of performance parts for most of the popular models, and literally no end of choice when it comes to finding parts and accessories you can fit to your current car to improve its performance.

While it’s relatively easy to make your car quicker but don’t forget that with improved acceleration and speed you’re going to need increased stopping power and better handling. You’ll need your car to stop and go round corners better to cope with the extra performance, so it’s not all about adding power under the bonnet. Make sure you pay some attention to improving your clutch, brakes, and suspension as well.

For example, lowered suspension can improve the performance of your vehicle. Cars with lowered suspension have a lowered centre of gravity, which means they can take corners better and have generally improved handling when driving on rough or uneven road surfaces. Lowering kits can be used to adjust the suspension but many also affect the steering geometry which could be expensive to correct – another area where expert professional advice can save money.

The power of your car can be increased – along with its fuel economy and torque – by as much as 40% if you get your ECU (Engine Control Unit) remapped. This, of course, also depends on the make and model of your vehicle but there are professional companies out there that can ensure an improvement in economy, performance, or both. You might find that your local mechanic has the necessary equipment and expertise to do this, but if not, there are mobile specialists who will visit you in your own home and do the job for you, just take a look on the Internet.

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It’s Not All About More Speed

While many of us might be looking for ways to make our cars go faster, if you’re concerned about how your car’s performance is affecting the environment, there are a number of ways you can ‘go green’ and make your car more environmentally-friendly.

Making sure your car is properly maintained is an effective and simple way to reduce your vehicle’s impact on the environment. Getting it serviced regularly will help guarantee it’s running as efficiently as it possibly can. The higher the miles per gallon, the less fuel you’re burning while you’re driving, which means fewer harmful emissions.

Checking to make sure the tires are inflated properly will also help with fuel efficiency, as will relying less on your air conditioning and more on an open window when you’re driving around town. Even getting rid of all the junk you carry around in the boot and on the back seats, to make your car a little lighter, can help.

If you're prepared to spend a bit more money to try to lessen the effect your car has on our planet, you might think about converting your car to a more environmentally-friendly fuel. Liquid Propane Gas (LPG) conversions have become increasingly popular as the number of petrol stations supplying LPG has increased. It can be quite expensive to get your car converted, but with LPG costing less than petrol (and producing 20% less CO2), with the other cost savings that you receive by running your vehicle on LPG you should the conversion should pay for itself in 1-2 years - and after that you'll be saving money every year.

Change Your Driving Style

Fuel economy can be improved by the way you handle your car: speeding down the motorway or excessive stopping and starting can increase your petrol consumption, as can leaving the engine on when standing still. Just by making some simple changes to the way you drive could help to improve the fuel efficiency you get from your car.

Try accelerating more gently, or anticipating when you need to stop so you rely on your brakes less. Make sure you plan any long journeys carefully – knowing your route will help keep fuel costs down – and, if possible, carry out all of your errands in one journey instead of spreading them out over several days. Just thinking a bit more about when and how you use your car can make a big difference.

The Final Word

As well as everything we’ve looked at above, there are plenty more things you can do to improve your car’s performance. Whether you want to get a bit more power out of your vehicle, or simply want to try and increase your MPG, there are lots of ways this can be achieved, and lots of places you can go to get more information. Seeking advice from a knowledgeable professional is the best way to start. They will be able to tell you about all the different ways you can upgrade your current car, and the costs associated with each option - take a look on the Internet to find out more.

Once you've upgraded your car on the inside, why not look at improving it on the outside. There are any number of accessories that will help make your car look even better, like a private number plate for instance - check out the video below for more details.

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