Increasing your car’s torque can be as simple or complex as you want to make it. If you are not an experienced mechanic, there are modifications you can try without getting elbow-deep in grease. However, more significant modifications may yield better results. Keep reading to find out what our panel of car enthusiasts recommends for increasing torque.
Two Ways to Increase Torque
Add Exhaust Headers
The process of bringing air in and exhausting it out is highly essential. If the exhaustion doesn’t go well, combustion can be impaired. Improving your exhaust headers and using wider valves can help you with ventilating the cylinder more completely, allowing more air and fuel to come in during the next cycle. This improves the performance and torque of the vehicle.
Install a Turbocharger
Torque is all about air intake and fuel combustion inside the cylinders of the engine. A turbocharger brings more air into the cylinders to produce more heat for better fuel combustion. It makes the engine more responsive and roll [faster], improving the torque. Turbochargers are also responsible for boosting the engine horsepower, which is also essential to increase the torque.
Start with Small and Simple Changes
Increasing torque in your vehicle can come at quite an expense. That is why it is always best to start with the cheaper options to gain that little extra bit of torque.
- The simplest way to improve low-end torque is to fit some very high-quality spark plugs. Copper plugs will provide high performance and not lead to any loss of spark, which can lead to poor performance.
- Similarly, changing ignition leads and or ignition coil packs to higher quality ones make sure that the spark is of high quality, therefore burning the fuel efficiently, leading to more low-end torque.
- A simple oil change and replacing [old oil] with high-end oil can also perform wonders for engine performance and torque performance.
- A cold air intake kit is the next best step. Most standard air intake systems are adequate at best. Replacing these [systems] with a performance one is relatively cheap but can boost not only horsepower, but also the torque of the engine.
Unlock More Torque with a Tune
When you buy a car off the lot, the manufacturer purposely reduces the engine power through the ECU to save you gas money, get you more miles from the engine, and make other high-performance cars seem more appealing.
The best way to increase your car’s torque without any complicated maintenance or repairs is simply a ‘tune.’ A ‘tune’ is a device that will update your car’s ECU or computer and give it different instructions on how to deliver power to the engine.
You will unlock your engine’s full capacity with this tune. It can add 15-30 horsepower and 20-30 lb-ft of torque on most basic cars.
If you have a turbocharger, supercharger, or any other modifications such as a cold air intake, this tune can also add more power to all of those parts that can make your horsepower increase even more. For instance, if you have a turbo set-up, you can make the tune add another lb. of a boost to the turbo, which gains you an instant 50 horsepower.
Plus, the process is very simple! You just plug the hand-held tuner into your car’s ECU port under the steering wheel. It will take a few minutes, [but] you’ll notice the change instantly.
Obviously, there are some dangers with increasing turbo boost and other factors, but for the most part, tunes are pretty safe and will pose no damage to any internal part of your engine.
9 Ways to Increase Your Car’s Torque
- Spark plugs and wires will help ignite the engine better. Also, [consider] coil packs if they haven’t been done yet.
- An aftermarket cold air intake will help improve the airflow and give more power to the engine. If you want, a new air filter will help as well.
- Premium gas – the octane will help the combustion process by making it burn hotter, turning out more power!
- New tires are meant for racing because the tread does matter in all situations.
- Fuel injector cleaner would be a good thing to do as well to make the gas cleaner and run smoother
- Aftermarket exhaust straight out the back will help with backpressure.
- If your car is older, replace the fuel filter, as it may be clogged. [A clean filter] will help the gas pressure.
- Transmission fluid – change it to a fluid that helps shift better. (In warmer weather, it helps a lot.)
- Oil Change – Do not use regular oil. Use racing oil. It is meant to help hotter engines and make sure the pistons always have friction.
Ryan Roxas, Founder of Effortlessdrive.
Forced Induction and ECU Tuning
An effective modification that will increase torque significantly is to install a turbo or supercharger. Forced induction forces air into your engine, increasing the power the engine provides. Depending on the torque curve you prefer, a turbocharger will need time to spool before it provides torque benefits. So, its power is felt later on the rpm range, but it typically creates more power than superchargers.
On the other hand, the supercharger power is felt throughout the rev range and does not lag like the turbo. This means that it is better in the lower rpm range compared to turbos. If your vehicle does not have any sort of forced induction, any of these two modifications should increase torque significantly compared to other modifications.
However, if your car already has some sort of forced induction, then a quality ECU tune has the potential for significant torque gains. Coming out of the factory, your car is tuned to balance performance, fuel economy, and engine safety. By performing an ECU tune, you are able to optimize your vehicle for the application you want. In this case, it can be used to boost power to your vehicle without doing any external modifications. It is best to either visit a shop that specializes in tuning your specific vehicle or use premade software for your vehicle if you are unfamiliar with tuning. A poorly tuned car can be catastrophic for your car and can even lead to a blown engine.
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