A common thought process we see when dealing with our clients usually starts with the realization that their car is too slow or boring and it doesn’t cause excitement the way it used to. Generally when this realization first begins to occur, internet research is the next step to find and price out all the parts that would fix this new problem. “Wow I can just plug this tuner thingy in and I gain 100 hp!”, everyone on the internet is doing it I might as well too!”
This is a thrilling experience and you just can’t wait to click “add to cart”. Although this internet shopping experience can be fun and rewarding, let’s take a step back first and consider that there are many preliminary measures to take into account.
How is your car’s Health?
By breaking them down into a checklist we can soon realize what makes the most sense for our beloved vehicles:
How will this affect my fuel mileage?
Are my services up to date?
Is my engine actually healthy enough to handle this extra power?
Are there any common issues with these engines that may be aggravated by additional power?
Are my driving skills developed enough to handle more power?
Are my brakes in good condition?
Are my tires rated for grip and power
It is very important to make sure your engine is in top condition before performing any power mods.
Key tests to consider are;
Leak down test. This method will tell you the overall condition of the internal sealing parts of your engine such as; piston rings, valve seats, head gasket.
Smoke test. This is used to check for vacuum and intake air system leaks, crankcase and pcv system leaks, and exhaust system leaks.
Coolant system pressure test. Crucial for determining the condition of your cooling system sealing properties.
Engine oil analysis, this is effective for determining the condition of the bearings and components that undergo a large amount of friction.
Fuel injector cleaning and flow test. This will ensure the proper function and atomization of the fuel injectors.
Fix, Repair, Replace!
Other components and services that you should consider replacing if applicable are;
Spark plugs (suited temperature for expected power output)
Ignition coils or plug wires, inspect the ignition system
O2 sensors must be in healthy working order
Oil and filter Change
Walnut blasting (intake port cleaning on direct injection vehicles)