How to Add More Horsepower to My Truckby Scott EilersUpdated November 07, 2017
Improving the horsepower of a car or truck via aftermarket modification is one of the great joys of owning your vehicle. Although the market for performance aftermarket parts is primarily geared towards sports cars, nearly every vehicle has at least some performance aftermarket options available which increase horsepower. The specific parts, costs and respective increases in horsepower will all depend on the make, model and year of your truck.
Purchase and install a performance aftermarket cold-air intake system to replace the stock air intake system. Cold-air intake systems are a popular aftermarket modification for all vehicles due to their relatively low cost and the fact that they can be installed at home by an individual with the proper tools and some general automotive experience. Cold-air intake systems increase horsepower by allowing more air to flow into the engine and cooling this air more efficiently. Note that performance cold-air intake systems can result in a moderate increase in engine noise, but on most trucks it will barely be noticeable.
Purchase and install a performance aftermarket exhaust system to replace the stock exhaust system. Exhaust systems are an excellent counterpoint to a cold-air intake system because they allow hot air to exit the engine more efficiently, which allows the engine to maintain an ideal operating temperature even under demanding conditions. This provides an overall boost to horsepower and also gives the engine a louder, more aggressive sound. Note that many aftermarket exhaust systems will drastically increase engine noise and CO2 emissions. It is recommended that you check state regulations on emissions and aftermarket modifications before performing this step.
Purchase and install a forced-air induction kit such as a supercharger or turbocharger kit. Forced-air induction kits are not available for all trucks, but they are available for most newer trucks and some older models, particularly full-sized trucks. However, if there is a forced-air induction kit available for your truck it will provide the greatest horsepower boost of any single performance aftermarket modification you can make. Forced-air induction kits stuff massive amounts of air into the engine, which provides a dramatic increase in power and torque. Some forced-air induction kits can provide a power boost of over 100 horsepower.
- red truck engine image by Christopher Nolan from Fotolia.com