If you care about your car, you want it to be more than just a way of getting from A to B. You want the driving experience to be as good as possible, and to make sure your car’s properly maintained and working at its best.

To help you get a better drive every day, we’ve put together this guide on performance, with the things you need to look for, check and do to keep your motor in top condition. Acceleration, braking and handling corners can all be improved to help you enjoy being on the road.

What can impact my car’s performance?

  • Oil

Making sure your oil is changed regularly is massively beneficial to your car’s power and performance. Old, stagnant oil allows dirt, acids and particles to build up, which degrades key parts of the engine.

As a result, unchanged oil negatively affects fuel economy. It loses lubricity and causes the engine to work overtime, causing it to heat up without the appropriate efficiency, decreasing both mileage and horsepower in the process.

  • Tyres

As tyres are the only part of your car touching the road, they can significantly impact performance, particularly things like braking and taking corners. Here we talk about different tyre factors which you can change to alter performance.

tyres

Diameter: The larger the wheel, the more stable you’ll be at speed, but you’ll find it harder to turn and corner, and you should be prepared for a bumpy ride.

Depth: A thicker tread controls better in poor weather conditions, and improves stopping time, but they make a lot of noise. And in hot, dry weather, they don’t do much to improve your car’s performance.

Pressure: Under-inflated tyres run the risk of drastically affecting performance. Having to compensate for this lack of pressure means you have to drive slower, and things like rain, snow and gravel become major hazards as a result. Conversely, over-inflating your tyres makes them less flexible when faced with potholes and bumps, majorly wearing them down in the process.

  • Exhaust system

The stereotype of car fanatics and modifiers with big (or even multiple) exhaust pipes exists for a reason – exhausts are important for car health. A bigger one won’t give you much apart from noise, but taking care of the system will keep your car performing at its best.

Because the exhaust system cleans away unhealthy fumes and gasses before they’re expelled into the environment, it contains a lot of parts that are integral to the performance of your car. The oxygen sensor, exhaust manifold, muffler, catalytic converter and exhaust pipe are all essential to any vehicle’s smooth running, so issues with these are going to cause a problem with performance.

exhaust

Whether it’s reducing noise or decreasing emissions, your exhaust system is an invaluable part of your car, so be sure to check everything’s in full order regularly.

My car won’t start first time. What’s the problem?

  • Starter and battery

Does your car make a sound when you turn the key? If you can hear clicking, then it’s likely the starter doesn’t have enough power. If it’s not making any sound at all, there’s a high chance that the battery is dead. If the engine is turning over but won’t start, then it’s probably not an issue with the battery, but could mean any number of things, such as the engine flooding, low engine compression or simply incorrect timing.

  • Fuel problems

Sounds like an obvious one, but make sure your fuel is topped up. Similarly, an engine that’s intermittently delivering power even with your foot on the throttle might mean there’s an issue with fuel delivery.

fuel sign

There could also be an issue with your fuel filter clogging up. In this case, we’d advise replacing it before it burns out your fuel pump.

  • Ignition system

Check your spark plugs for signs of damage. Plugs that look tan or grey signify they’re in full working order. Burnt/charred plugs mean too much fuel is going into the engine, while boil-like coverings show that the engine has majorly overheated.

If you’re replacing the spark plugs, make sure the plug wires are securely fastened to the ignition coil and the spark plug. Additionally, even if the plugs aren’t damaged, check the wires for fraying or cracks.

How can I improve power and performance?

In addition to maintaining all of the above, here are a few other things you can do to optimise your car’s power and performance. 

  • Shed some weight

Losing some of your car’s unwanted poundage might go without saying, but if your backseat or boot is packed with superfluous bric-a-brac then you’d be surprised just how much it affects things like acceleration, handling and braking distance.

All the unnecessary clutter you’ve taken out of your car means there’ll be a change in the handling, less wear and tear on brakes and suspension, and a more even distribution of weight. Time to give it a spring clean if you want to speed up.

car performance

  • Diesel Power Booster

Need an all-purpose upgrade in your diesel vehicle? Give our Diesel Power Booster a try. All diesel fuels have a combustion speed, also known as the cetane number. The higher this number, the better the fuel quality.

Our cetane booster optimises performance, and increases your diesel’s cetane number by up to two, whatever diesel it combines with. Top up regularly for the benefits of premium fuel, and to keep your engine working better for longer.

  • Petrol Power Booster

Similarly, to give your petrol engine a real push, our Petrol Power Booster helps increase performance and fuel economy.

Our octane booster is an all-purpose essential that helps to extend the life of your engine and provides the benefits of premium fuel. Suitable for all petrol engines, it can increase the octane number by up to 1.5, regardless of what else is in your car. Be sure to use regularly for best results.

Keeping your car in good health is what Redex does best. Built for the demands of modern motors, head over to the Redex homepage for more information on our performance-optimising products.