How to Find How Much Horsepower My Car Has

by Laura ONeill

The term horsepower refers to a unit of measure. It was originated by James Watt, who also invented the steam engine. Today it is most commonly used to define the strength of an engine. The amount of horsepower produced by a car's engine can vary, depending on the car's make, model, year and purpose. A large truck that was designed to pull trailers will typically have more horsepower than a small family sedan. It is easy to find out how much horsepower your car has.

If you still have the owner's manual of your vehicle, you should be able to find out information such as the type of engine in your car, the year of the car, and how much horsepower your vehicle has, by looking in the "specifications" section.

Use an online car review and research website such as edmunds.com to help you find out how much horsepower your car has. By searching the year, make and model of your car through one of these sites you can quickly find out how much horsepower your car has and compare it to other vehicles.

Use a dynamometer to measure the horsepower of your vehicle. If you have access to a dynamometer, you can quickly find out how much horsepower your vehicle has by hooking the engine up to the dynamometer. The dynamometer will measure the amount of power in your engine by placing a load on your engine. Many performance shops have drive-on dynamometers and will check your engine's performance for a fee.

If you know how much torque your engine produces, you can calculate the horsepower of your vehicle by multiplying engine rpm times the torque and dividing that number by 5252. You can also use a online horsepower calculator to do this.

About the Author

Laura O'Neill is a stay-at-home mother and professional online writer specializing in travel and women's studies-related articles. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in criminal justice from The George Washington University.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera horsepower image by Kevin Chesson from Fotolia.com