Maximizing your car’s performance by optimizing as a system

There are all sorts of modifications you can make to your car to enhance its performance. With the number of after-market add-ons and the availability of conversion kits to make components from Corvettes work in Porsches, for example, your options for maximizing your engine’s performance are pretty wide open. It is important, however, to think about maximizing your car’s performance by optimizing it as a system, rather than looking at individual components. You can greatly enhance the way your car performs this way, maybe even more than you can by throwing other car manufacturer’s parts at your ride.

Think about it this way: our bodies are designed so that all the parts work together, as a system. If you replace a part, like a kidney, with an organ replacement (think: aftermarket part), it will work…but will your body work as well as if it was optimized as a whole system, rather than working on just one part at a time? Probably not, so you also have to fix other problems that might affect how that kidney functions. That is why doctors often require lifestyle changes before someone can even get on the list for a kidney donation; the body as a whole system needs to be optimized before that individual part can be effective.

Much the same can be found true in our rides. Our cars are engineered so that all the parts work together, as a system. Yes, you can probably find a conversion kit that will let you put a Porsche gearbox in your Mitsubishi or a Corvette transmission in a Chevy Malibu and have the parts work just fine. However, what if the transmission on your Mitsubishi is not optimized, too? Or the engine in your Malibu is not working up to par? That would mean that the brand new Porsche gearbox or Corvette transmission might not work nearly as well to beef up your ride as if you optimized your whole car as a complete system: focusing not just on the gearbox or transmission, but all of the parts and how they interconnect.

When you want to enhance your car’s performance, you should look at the entire powertrain, from the engine all the way through the transmission and to the differential and wheels. How well do all of these parts work together to deliver power from the engine to the road? Is there a part that is not working as well as it could or should? If so, you should work on optimizing that part, as well as the other parts you have already planned to replace or upgrade.

By focusing on how well your car performs as an entire system, you can get much more out of your car than you can by replacing individual components without regard to the rest of the car. You might have to put more money into enhancing your car’s performance, but then again…you might find that by customizing your wheels and using an aftermarket transmission designed specifically for your car, that you spend less than you would on that Porsche gearbox while still getting the same increase to your car’s torque and horsepower.

Last Updated: February 20, 2014

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