Being in the automotive performance business, we see some pretty cool aftermarket and performance modifications that people do to their cars and trucks. While some parts, modifications and labor can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars, there are ways that you can increase horsepower on a budget. Below, we highlight some modifications that you can do to your car to improve power for under $100! Not a bad way to spend an afternoon than to wrench on your car. If you know of other modifications that you can do, please share it with us in the comments below.
Drop In Air Filter
A drop in air filter, such as a K&N air filter is a simple and easy way to improve power without much work. You can typically install this modification within 15-30 minutes and most air filters cost under $50. The nice thing about a drop in air filter, is that you don’t need to replace the entire intake system such as with a cold air intake or a short ram intake to improve horsepower. You are also able to keep the factory air box, so the the engine bay looks completely stock.
Aftermarket Exhaust Muffler
Some mufflers can be pretty pricey, while others are way under $100. An example would be Megan Racing Mufflers, which sound great and help to improve exhaust flow by replacing that stock restrictive muffler. A good muffler not only improves horsepower, but it also adds aesthetics to your car and gives your car a modified look. Great alternative to buying an exhaust system, and much less expensive. With a muffler you are essentially replacing one of the most restrictive areas of your exhaust for a fraction of the cost.
High Flow Catalytic Converters
We just talked about mufflers, which are one of the most restrictive parts of your exhaust. However, usually a factory catalytic converter is THE most restrictive part of your exhaust. If it’s legal in your state, you can replace your factory catalytic converter with a high flow catalytic converter and feel an immediate increase in power. The good thing about a quality high flow catalytic converter is that they are generally safe for the environment, and can be had for under $100.
Aftermarket Exhaust Headers
You might be thinking that headers are over $100, but not all of them are. Depending on your application, you can find headers for way under $100. Check out some examples such as the DNA Motoring Headers. The factory header is generally not designed for power, so replacing it can improve horsepower and torque while still not breaking the bank.
High Performance Engine Oil
We’ve seen tests where a high quality performance engine oil such as Royal Purple has improved horsepower and torque significantly. A performance synthetic oil reduces friction and heat in your engine which can rob it of power. Using a quality oil can help you gain some power while being way under $100. And the best part is… you need to do an oil change every 5,000 miles or so, why not use a performance synthetic oil?
So here are 5 easy ways for under $100 each to improve horsepower on a budget. This is a great way to start when modifying your car or truck. With the headers, muffler and high flow catalytic converter, you replaced every restriction section of your exhaust except for the piping. Usually the piping isn’t the most restrictive part, so bang for the buck, these three components are worth the upgrade. Once you have the exhaust done, you can improve your air flow with a high quality air filter to improve airflow coming into the engine, since now the airflow is improved going out of the engine. Finish it off with a performance synthetic engine oil, and you have a performance upgrade that didn’t break the bank.
Got any more tips? Share them with us below!