Car Engine Performance

In the Engine Performance section, learn about horsepower, carburetors, the difference between turbochargers and superchargers and even how nitrous oxide boosts engine performance.

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If you own a luxury or performance vehicle, then you know how expensive it can be to fill the fuel tank with premium gasoline. But is this high-octane fuel really necessary in most cases?

By Christopher Lampton

Lifetime fluids are developed to require little or no maintenance for the life of your vehicle. But, is anyone developing lifetime engine oil?

By Josh Briggs

Turbochargers increase engine performance without adding much weight. Check out this image gallery to see pictures of how they do it.


Engines need a certain amount of oxygen to make the car run. Exactly how much is needed? And if an engine used more, what would happen to the car?

By Marshall Brain

Most cars have a 120-horsepower engine, and SUVs have a 200-horsepower engine. But mopeds have a 1-horsepower engine, and they get great gas mileage, too. So why can't I put the small engine in the big car?

By Marshall Brain

Our engine roundup page page takes you straight to the power. See what's under the hood from the HEMI to the Wankel.

When you convert from engine torque to horsepower why is the number 5252 involved?


NASCAR unveiled its three Next Gen cars for the 2022 Cup Series and they better represent the look and feel of their counterpart street cars. But just how close are they?

By Kristen Hall-Geisler

What does it mean when a car has dual overhead cams? Does it matter? Is a car with dual overhead cams better than one with single overhead cams?

As concerns about vehicle emissions and fuel efficiency have grown, fuel injection systems have risen to the forefront of auto technology. Trying to keep up with new environmental laws, carmakers began installing these systems in all new models.

By Karim Nice

The camshaft has a huge effect on engine performance. It helps let the air/fuel mixture into the engine and get the exhaust out. Learn all about the camshaft and how a new one can radically change an engine's behavior.

By Karim Nice


When people talk about race cars or high-performance cars, turbochargers usually come up, too. That's because turbochargers can boost a car's horsepower significantly without much effort.

By Karim Nice & Kristen Hall-Geisler

I've heard about tuned intake runners for car engines that provide a kind of turbo-charging effect. How do they work?

I have to think of a way of measuring how much drag is pushing on my mother's car as we are driving on the highway. Do you know how I can make one?

There are many different ways to create more horsepower from a stock engine. Learn about the different ways to make your engine more powerful.


So why does a diesel engine with huge torque and low maximum RPM get a low horsepower rating compared to a low torque, high revving race car engine? Find out why in this article.

The goal of a carburetor is to mix just the right amount of gasoline with air so that the engine runs properly. Learn more about how a carburetor in a gasoline engine works.

Forced induction systems are one of the best ways to make lots of power, so which system is better? Turbochargers or Superchargers? Learn the pros and cons of both.

If you're planning to make more power from your engine. Switching to hi-performance exhaust headers are a good idea. Find out how exhaust headers work to improve engine performance.


Japanese automaker Honda is best known for their VTEC system. Almost all of their newer vehicles are equipped with VTEC engines. But what does it actually do and how does it maximize engine performance?

I'm always hearing people talk about pumping nitrous oxide into an engine. How does nitrous oxide help an engine perform better?

Surprisingly enough, horsepower actually does refer to the power of horses. But over the years it’s become a valuable measurement for all kinds of machinery. Learn how horsepower is calculated and what it means to the automobile industry.

By Marshall Brain