Increase Your Performance Car’s Horsepower with These Engine Mods

May 25th, 2017 by

Whether you have a classic Dodge Charger or the newest Dodge Charger chances are you bought it for two reasons- its look and its power. Without a doubt, the Charger’s style through the years is unmistakable and it has always been equipped with a variety of fierce engines. However, some people’s need for power is not easily fulfilled and if that’s your case, there are a few modifications you can add to boost your engine’s horsepower, whether it’s a Dodge Charger powered by the 3.6L Pentastar V6 engine or the 707-horsepower supercharged 6.2L HEMI SRT Hellcat V8 engine.


A cold air intake is an aftermarket performance part that increases an engine’s horsepower, torque and efficiency. Though all modern cars have a stock air intake, the “cold air” intake boosts engine performance. Cooler air has a higher density of oxygen than warmer air, and the more oxygen an engine receives the more powerful the combustion, which results in more engine power.

Replacing the factory air intake with a cold air intake can increase an engine’s horsepower by as much as 15 horses, but of course increases in horsepower depends on the quality of the air intake being replaced. But keep in mind, newer performance vehicles like the Dodge Charger may already have a fairly advanced factory air intake and if that is the case, the horsepower gain may not be as significant. If you are unsure what type of air intake your vehicle has, bring it to University Dodge and see what Mopar parts our mechanics recommend.


Older cars (generally cars made before the ‘80s ) have carburetors which includes a different kind and placement of air intakes (typically right on top of the engine) and replacement intake manifolds and carburetors are the equivalent of replacing a cold air intake on a modern car. This process takes just a few hours and starts around $1,200.


A nitrous oxide kit can add A LOT of horsepower and torque to an engine. A nitrous oxide kit can add anywhere from 50-500 horsepower, depending on the size of a nitrous oxide kit.

Due to the chemical makeup of nitrous oxide and the way it reacts when heated, nitrous oxide kits increase horsepower by increasing the amount of oxygen that is available during the combustion process. The increase in oxygen makes it possible for the amount of fuel during the injection process to increase, therefore increasing power.

Since nitrous oxide kits manipulate and connect to a car’s air intake and fuel systems, it is important to get one added by an experienced professional. Additionally, when dramatically increasing a car’s horsepower and torque, it might be wise and safe to change out the original brakes for more advanced brakes. You want to ensure your vehicle has brakes strong enough to handle stopping the increase in power.

Adding a nitrous oxide kit is more expensive than replacing a cold air intake, but the increase in engine performance is much more significant. Adding nitrous oxide starts around $800 and prices increase for more advanced kits. Keep in mind, adding nitrous oxide kits will also void your car’s warranty.


Replacing a vehicle’s headers and exhaust are another way to add horsepower and torque, and it will also increase your vehicle’s volume. Want a car that sounds like an American muscle car should? The headers and exhaust will help your vehicle achieve that and it can add up to 50 horsepower.

This method is a matter of replacing the vehicle’s factory exhaust and headers with an improved exhaust manifold that increases airflow from the engine through the exhaust.

Replacing headers and exhaust has a bigger impact on older cars rather than new cars because factory parts on modern vehicles are more advanced. Classic cars typically have cast iron manifolds, so replacing them with modern steel tube manifolds results makes a big difference. Additionally, the parts can be painted for a more custom look.

Price for header parts starts around $1,400, price for exhaust parts starts around $1,200 and labor typically runs around $700. Also keep in mind changing the exhaust will not void your car’s warranty, but headers will.

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