Tuning cars is fun but you need to know exactly what you’re doing so you don’t end up damaging your car’s engine beyond repair. Americans spend a collective 70 billion hours behind the wheel, so it’s no wonder that we forge a connection with our cars.
Many of us want to push them to the limit and tune them into mean, lean machines. In this guide, we’re going to take a look at tuning and give you seven great tips to increase car performance and get the most out of your car.
Ready to find out more and start driving even harder? Then keep reading!
- Tuning Cars Starts With Good Maintenance
Before you think about giving your car a tune-up, you need to make sure that you’ve kept on top of the regular, preventative maintenance that goes into car ownership.
There are a few key reasons this is so important:
- You need a good base that you can build on and regular maintenance helps you build this
- A tuned-up car will push every aspect of your vehicle to its limits. If any part is shaky, you’ll suffer more for it if you’ve not taken care of your vehicle
- You need to know your car like the back of your hand and be able to easily identify when something is wrong
This means that you need to change the oil, check the air pressure in the tires, and do other routine maintenance.
- Do Your Research
Some cars are going to be more receptive to tuning than others. The old Toyota Supra Engine, the 2JZ, is an engine that can be pushed past all expected limits. This is a small engine that can be tuned up to 1000 horsepower.
Not every engine is going to be like this.
Do your research online and check out how powerful you can reasonably make your engine. It’s not worth destroying the heart of your car for a few extra horsepower.
- Make Sure Your Chassis Can Take the Strain
Tuning cars is all well and good but the increased power can spell disaster for your chassis. The chassis is essential for your car’s structural integrity and if it’s not strong enough to take the power, you’re looking at some costly repair.
We’d recommend adding torque boxes or struts to your chassis to help it manage the increased power. You should also make sure that the power doesn’t affect your handling.
For this, it’s best if you add some anti-sway bars, which can compensate for torque steer.
- Add a Bucket Seat Up Front
This might surprise you but one of the best things to do when tuning your car is change the front seat. Try taking a hard corner in a normal driver’s seat: you’ll fall all over the place. This doesn’t only make driving more difficult, it can also make it much more dangerous.
Imagine the scenario: you’re in a race and take a hairpin turn at speed. You slide off the seat, lose your grip on the wheel, and can’t control your car anymore.
Add a bucket seat. A bucket seat’s lip is there to help you stay more firmly in the seat, which will make driving at speed safer and easier.
- Don’t Economize On Your Brakes
When you’ve got your engine tuned and you can start hitting high speeds, don’t drive on tracks or public roads until you’ve added a new set of brakes.
The stock brakes that came with your car are there to stop, well, your stock car. They aren’t there to accommodate the speed and power that your car is now capable of.
We’d recommend skipping regular brake pads, no matter how attractively priced. Go and grab yourself a pair of racing brake pads.
You should upgrade your brake discs too. We’d recommend going with ceramic brakes if you’ve got serious power running through your car. These are the gold standard for vehicle brakes and can help you maintain control of your vehicle.
- Upgrade Your Tires
Racing tires are more expensive than road tires but you’ll thank yourself for buying them. For the best results, go with slick tires.
These wear out a lot faster than road tires but unless you’re using your tuned car as your daily driver, you’re unlikely to notice too much. In return, they offer unparalleled levels of grip and can help your turning and handling a lot.
Upgrade to slicks and enjoy pinpoint handling.
- Tweak Your Gear Ratios
Tuning gear ratios is one of the most intimidating things that you can do when tuning your car. Many people who consider themselves well-versed with cars don’t even know what gear ratios do.
Yet tuning them can radically alter how you can handles. In essence, shorter gear ratios tend to mean quicker acceleration, longer gears give you higher top speed. It’s a balancing act but one that’s well worth undertaking.
- Add a Turbocharger or a Supercharger
Do you want to know a secret? Adding a turbocharger or a supercharger to your car can, effectively, turn your car into a racer. It’s an incredible way to boost your car’s power, fast.
These components aren’t cheap but they’re worth every penny and will make a very noticeable difference to your vehicle.
Start On Your Tuning Journey
Tuning cars can seem intimidating but it really doesn’t have to be. Follow the tips we’ve outlined and you’ll be able to turn your car from a ho-hum commuter into an incredible racer.
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