Most people don’t know a lot about how an engine works, but engine performance should be a big factor when considering the purchase of a new or used car. Most gasoline cars operate on the same basic principals, so it’s easy to gain a general knowledge about what engine performance is all about. Here are a few factors to consider when researching the performance of a new car:
Engine performance all starts here. As the air flows into the engine it is mixed with fuel and burned to make power. Intakes with better flow allow an engine to make more power, as any restrictions in the intake path reduce the amount of air that the engine can pull in.
Many modern engines have advanced modifications that increase performance by tuning the way the engine works in different conditions. Using different valve timing at different RPM (Rotations Per Minute) allows your car’s engine to work better in a variety of different conditions, which means more power.
The compression ratio of your engine is how much the pistons compress the air that comes into the cylinders. High performance cars tend to have higher compression ratios, which allow the cars to produce more power. The downside of this is that cars with higher compression ratios usually require premium fuel which is more expensive.
Like the intake, reducing restrictions in the exhaust almost always results in more power. Cars with performance exhaust systems optimize the exhaust flow to have as little backpressure as possible. This allows the engine to expel the waste fumes as quickly as possible so it can burn more fuel faster. Performance exhaust systems usually use high-flow mufflers which tend to be louder than stock equipment.
Knowing the basic principles that govern the performance of your car’s engine allows you to be a smarter consumer, and have a better appreciation of what is going on under the hood when you press on the gas pedal. At V&F, our highly trained and knowledgeable staff perform a vast array of checks on every car in our inventory, to ensure that your new car is mechanically sound upon leaving our lot. Call us today at (413) 314-2280 or check out our inventory online.