Many of today’s affordable cars are built to meet emissions tests, leaving little room for performance and speed. But with the right equipment and a competent mechanic by your side, it is possible to eke extra performance from your car using DIY bolt-on parts and trusted maintenance products.

Here we look at six of the best performance enhancements for your car.

 High Performance Shocks/Springs

No matter how quick you tune your car to go in a straight line, it needs to be able to corner rapidly, too. The easiest way to boost your handling capabilities is by installing aftermarket shocks and springs. These high performance suspension bolt-ons will allow your car greater contact with the road when travelling over bumps and cornering, allowing you to enter a bend at a higher speed. Overhauling your car’s current suspension setup requires a professional mechanic, as well as around £1,500. If you’ve got both of those, we’d highly recommend it.


Wider Wheels and Tyres


Fitting wider wheels and tyres on your car might sound labour intensive, but doing so offers better road-holding, braking and turn-in precision. Perfect for those whose commute includes a winding B-road, beefing up your rubber offers greater confidence and grip behind the wheel. Widening your car’s wheels and tyres will set you back a fair chunk, but it’ll be worth it if you’re disappointed with your car’s cornering.

Performance Seats


Even in the slowest of cars sport seats can enhance its performance by giving you more confidence and comfort. Providing increased support when cornering, performance seats will hold you steady even when the car’s chassis is rolling like a runaway mine train. Sports seats can be bought and installed fairly cheaply, unless of course you go the whole hog and invest in Recaro buckets with electric heating.

Large Catalyst-Back Exhaust



Traditionally, widening an exhaust meant lots of noise but not a lot of anything else. But advancements in exhaust technology now mean there’s a lot to be gained from increasing the diameter of the catalytic converter and installing a cat-back system — including increased high-speed engine performance. Such a system increases airflow, allowing the engine to breathe more freely and thus increase its performance. Just make sure any aftermarket parts you purchase are from a reputable source and adhere to current fuel economy standards.

High Temperature Brake Pads


If your car doesn’t stop fast enough for your liking, you could always install high temperature brake pads. Normally reserved for track-going race cars, these high performance pads fade less than standard ones, and offer faster deceleration at high speeds. As a trade off you might experience the odd squealing noise in wet conditions, but we think this is well worth it for shorter stopping distances and peace of mind, no matter how fast you’re travelling.


Engine Tuning



One of the oldest and easiest ways to get extra power from your car is to tune the engine. This involves tweaking a number of different things beneath the bonnet — from the fuel/air mixture and carburettor balance, to the ignition timing and distributor point gaps. The practise is normally associated with racing, but plenty of keen amateurs have a go to give their car a bit more juice. Our advice? If you’re adamant on tuning, take the car to a professional ECU (Engine Control Unit) specialist who knows exactly what they’re doing.

But remember, if you do decide to go ahead with any modifications, run it by your insurer first, to make sure there aren’t any extra fees!

Prestone products are developed in-house by our expert research team to work in any car, no matter what. Each of our car maintenance products is subject to stringent quality tests — so you can be sure they work in all extremes. To find out more, visit the Prestone website.