There may come a time when you no longer like your vehicle because it is lacking in the acceleration department. It could be the only real reason you are considering replacing a vehicle that you otherwise truly enjoy. Before you do that, consider improving the performance of your vehicle by adding or modifying specific systems.
Vehicle manufacturers create cars to be used on the road for a long time. They are constructed to be very conservative. This is done to increase a vehicle’s reliability in accordance with the manufacturer’s advised maintenance schedules. Most vehicles are far from reaching their actual potential when it comes to performance. A few modifications can be easily done to increase your vehicle’s acceleration and meet your performance goals.
1. ECU Tune
This involves altering or upgrading a programmable memory chip to significantly increase a vehicle’s acceleration. Manufacturers usually install a conservative ECU (engine control unit) tune to maximize fuel efficiency and provide cleaner emissions. Instead, an ECU can be tuned to derive increased performance. It is a method that modifies the intake as well as the exhaust parameters of a car. A properly tuned ECU can increase a vehicle’s driveability as well as its performance. The most effective upgrade of an ECU is by using a plug-in replacement module or with a specialized software update through the diagnostic port. In some situations, an external device called a tuning box is used. This is often only possible with modern engines that have external management ports.
Get a performance tune from ECU tuning software specialist OE Tuning.
2. Throttle Response Controller
The constant advancement in vehicle electronics means that modern car performance is always changing. The systems of vehicles that traditionally were mechanically controlled are now controlled by a car’s computer. This is the case with a throttle response controller. These controllers are designed to increase a vehicle’s acceleration while decreasing response time. This is accomplished by bypassing a major portion of a vehicle’s traditional electronic throttle control system. It comes with its own control circuits. A throttle response controller is able to obtain pedal position data, determine extreme speed and send it immediately to the vehicle’s computer. This makes it possible to bypass a number of slow checks. It is designed to be safe and enables a vehicle’s failsafe systems to quickly identify any potential problems. A vehicle’s computer system can override the throttle response controller if necessary. It will noticeably improve the rate of acceleration and response time for many types of vehicles.
Get a throttle response controller from Pedal Commander.
Replacing the gears inside a vehicle’s differential requires a lot of work. There are car performance parts that can provide improved acceleration. These are axle gear sets. They have a ratio that will let the vehicle owner know how many times a drive shaft will complete an entire rotation for every complete rotation of the tires. With 3.90:1 gears, the drive shaft will spin 3.9 times for every complete revolution of a vehicle’s drive wheel. The gears with lower numbers are often called taller gears. This means a vehicle with these gears can go faster prior to the engine reaching the red line. Gears with higher numbers are known as shorter gears. Vehicles with these gears reach red line at lower speeds. A vehicle with taller gears will have increased fuel economy. They also decrease the acceleration speeds. When a vehicle owner regears with shorter gears, it will have increased acceleration. It may come at the cost of a vehicle’s fuel economy.
4. Tire Grip And Traction
Vehicle experts know how to make your car faster by enhancing its tire grip and traction. The level of acceleration of a vehicle will be directly impacted by the amount of grip and traction of its tires. When a vehicle has worn tires, it will have a lower amount of acceleration. The grip of a tire can be calculated by finding the force needed to push it sideways. This will reveal its adhesive limits. This can be done by dividing the force on the tire by the weight of the tire. This measurement must include inflation, speed, and temperature when tires are mounted on a car. It is common for a vehicle to have an adhesive limit in the high 80s. A high-end sports car should have adhesive limits in the upper 90s. Weather conditions such as rain and snow also affect adhesive limits. Upgrading old tires with newer ones will increase traction ratings as well as a vehicle’s acceleration.
5. Vehicle Weight And Rotating Mass
Objects that are lightweight will move faster than ones that are heavy. When owners try to make their vehicles as light as possible, it will increase acceleration. It is possible to identify the heavier parts of a vehicle and replace them with lighter car performance parts. Some car owners replace their factory brakes. They install lighter two-piece rotors that are lighter and provide better performance. Doing this can also provide a significant reduction in weight. Others decrease their vehicle’s weight-to-power ratio by removing the factory flywheel and replacing it with a lighter version. A heavy stock flywheel needs more HP to get going than a lighter version. Some vehicle owners also install a lighter battery. Others change the heavy factory wheels that came with their vehicle with ones made with a lightweight alloy. A lighter crankshaft and drive shaft will also help increase acceleration.
6. Improved Aerodynamics
Wind drag can decrease fuel economy and impact acceleration, also known broadly as the car’s aerodynamics. When an option like a roof rack is not in use, it should be removed to enable the smooth flow of air over the vehicle’s surface. Improved aerodynamics can also be achieved by having a vehicle get as close to the road as possible, and limiting the air that flows under the vehicle. A vehicle owner can lower the springs on the vehicle by a number of inches to bring it closer to the ground. Acceleration performance will also improve because the vehicle’s center of gravity is lowered in the process.
Find professionals in your area who can help you increase your car’s acceleration.
Increasing your vehicle’s acceleration can be achieved through a variety of modifications. By tuning the ECU, installing a throttle response controller, re-gearing, improving tire grip and traction, reducing vehicle weight and rotating mass, and enhancing aerodynamics, you can transform your car’s performance and enjoy a more thrilling driving experience.
Is it safe to modify my car for increased acceleration?
Yes, it is generally safe to modify your car for increased acceleration, provided you choose high-quality parts and work with professional installers. Ensure that any modifications meet local regulations and safety standards.
Will modifying my car void my warranty?
Some modifications may void your vehicle’s warranty, especially if they involve altering the engine or drivetrain components. It is essential to check with your vehicle manufacturer or dealership before making any modifications to your car.
How much do these modifications typically cost?
The cost of each modification varies depending on the specific part, labor, and complexity of the installation. It’s best to consult with professionals in your area to get accurate pricing for the modifications you’re interested in.
Will these modifications affect my car’s fuel economy?
Some modifications may impact your car’s fuel economy. For example, re-gearing with shorter gears can increase acceleration but may decrease fuel efficiency. It is important to weigh the benefits of each modification against any potential drawbacks, such as decreased fuel economy or increased emissions.
Can I perform these modifications myself?
While some of the modifications mentioned can be done by experienced DIY enthusiasts, it is generally recommended to seek the assistance of professionals, especially when dealing with complex components such as the ECU or differential gears. Working with professionals ensures the modifications are done correctly, safely, and in compliance with local regulations.
How long does it take to perform these modifications?
The time required to perform each modification varies depending on the complexity of the modification and the experience of the installer. Some modifications, such as installing a throttle response controller, can be done in a matter of hours, while others, like re-gearing, may take several days.
Are there any legal issues with modifying my car for increased acceleration?
Depending on your location, there may be legal restrictions on certain types of modifications, particularly those that affect emissions or noise levels. Before making any modifications, it is essential to check with local authorities and ensure that your modifications comply with all applicable regulations.
Will these modifications affect my car’s resale value?
Modifications can have both positive and negative effects on a vehicle’s resale value. Some buyers may appreciate the performance upgrades and be willing to pay a premium, while others may be concerned about potential reliability issues or warranty implications. It is important to consider how the modifications may affect your car’s value and appeal to potential buyers.
What other modifications can I consider to improve my car’s performance?
In addition to the six modifications mentioned in this article, you can also consider upgrading your car’s suspension, installing a performance exhaust system, or adding a turbocharger or supercharger to increase engine power. These modifications can further enhance your vehicle’s performance and driving experience.
Can I revert my car back to its original state if I don’t like the modifications?
In most cases, it is possible to revert your car back to its original state if you are not satisfied with the modifications. However, this process may involve additional labor and costs, depending on the specific modifications made. It is essential to keep any original parts removed during the modification process to facilitate the reversal if necessary.
Last Updated: March 28, 2023