Ways to Increase the Horsepower on a Silverado 1500

by Andrea Julian
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If you want more performance out of your Chevy Silverado 1500, there are a few modifications you can make to the engine that will increase your horsepower. By adding some aftermarket parts, you will increase the efficiency of your truck's engine, leading not only to more horsepower, but better gas mileage too.

Aftermarket Air Filter

Replace your stock air filter with an aftermarket air filter. This will allow the air to flow more freely through your engine, giving it more efficient firing power. K&N cold air intake air filters are designed to increase horsepower acceleration while providing better air filtration (see Resources). They also make it possible to get more exhaust out. These aftermarket filters are more efficient at keeping dirt out of your engine, allowing the air uptake to be purer and resulting in more horsepower. Just how much horsepower you will be able to get out of your engine depends on which aftermarket air filter you use. Estimates range from 5 to 10 additional horsepower gained.

Aftermarket Exhaust

While an aftermarket air filter helps to get better air into the engine, an aftermarket exhaust will help it to be more efficient getting out. Some features to look for in an exhaust that can improve horsepower are the diameter of the exhaust pipe and a high-flow muffler. Another tip is to add a low thermostat to keep your engine running cooler, leading to more efficiency.

Performance Spark Plugs, Wires and Filter

Performance spark plugs will enhance the gapping power and make your engine more efficient. The gap is the area the spark must cover to charge the engine. Old or badly gapping spark plugs will cause you to lose horsepower. Change out your spark plugs, wires and filter and replace with a performance model specific to a Chevy Silverado 1500.

Aftermarket Computer Chip

Electronic engines are run by a series of computer chips that control the functions of the engine. You can boost your engine's horsepower by upgrading the engine's computer using a PROM, or Programmable Read Only Memory. Depending on the operation condition, these aftermarket chips will alter the air/fuel ratio, idle speed and spark timing of your engine. There are many aftermarket companies that offer aftermarket chips for stock engines. If you have already altered your Chevy Silverado 1500, you will need to go with a chip that has been programmed for your modifications. You can special-order chips to be compatible with the alterations you have made through various companies, such as Z Industries (see Resources).

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