Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

5 Cheap Ways to Increase Horsepower


4
Cat-back Exhaust
The 2013 Ford Shelby GT500 has a 5.8-liter supercharged V-8 engine producing 650-horsepower and 600 lb.-ft. of toque -- and a new quad exhaust system. (Courtesy of Ford Motor Company)
The 2013 Ford Shelby GT500 has a 5.8-liter supercharged V-8 engine producing 650-horsepower and 600 lb.-ft. of toque -- and a new quad exhaust system. (Courtesy of Ford Motor Company)

No cats need be harmed in the increasing of one's horsepower (how did so many animals make it into this tip?). This means that you straighten the pipes from the catalyst in the exhaust tubing to the back of the car, at the bumper. "This will loosen up the entire system," said Jeff Zurschmeide, author of "The New Mini Performance Handbook." "It pushes the exhaust gases out easier." Getting those gases out ASAP means more room for more air and fuel, and more air and fuel means more power. Zurschmeide notes that "new catalysts are less restrictive than they used to be, and they're designed to work with the engine. They're not such a bar to performance anymore." If your car is, ahem, vintage, you might want to check out tip number 3.