Car manufacturers are in a quandary when it comes to the parts fitted in areas such as the engine, electronics, exhaust, and suspension.
That quandary is to do with just how far the level of development can go to suit a price point, to suit design regulations at a mandated basic level, and as simple as having to provide a “one size fits all” solution.
For example, a maker may supply a design for an exhaust system that has to be reasonably priced per unit, reach a minimum noise level, perhaps even a level of emissions, and supply that as OEM or Original Equipment Manufacturer for one particular model or a range of models.
However, a separate design which still meets design rules can be better for efficiency, provide a different note, and may even be cleaner when it comes to emissions. But one important factor is the performance factor.
Better designs can allow better airflow from the exhaust ports and this can release extra power and torque. This has the potential knock on effect of increasing fuel efficiency as the engine doesn’t have to work as hard to provide the same figures as before. Then there is the catalytic converter, a device required since 1986 in Australia to absorb the emissions from an engine fed by unleaded fuel. Age and exposure can have the internal elements clog and collapse, and choke an engine. A new “cat” can offer cleaner emissions and a more effective flow.
But there should be a process when it comes to upgrading from OEM to performance parts, and this is something your local EuroMechanica workshop can assist with.
Let’s presume you’ve chosen a performance package for the electronic fuel injection of your car and that involves “flashing”. This changes the factory settings and can involve the amount of fuel electronically calculated, the timing of the injections, and more.
However, if this is all that is done, and knowing the engine will be more powerful and deliver more torque, what about the extra stopping requirement?
Performance disc brake pads and performance disc brake rotors will fit the standard mounting points on a car, and provide better stopping performance out of the box. Stopping distances can be decreased, pedal pressure can be better tuned for feedback, and even wet weather performance can be improved.
One area that can be easily overlooked is right in front of us. Windscreen wipers are easily regarded as an item that has no performance upgrades yet there are plenty of options to ensure forward vision is improved in wet driving environments. The quality of the blade, the amount of blades, and the material that makes up the blades, can vastly improve water clearance, dirt clearance, and lessen the impact of dirt upon a screen.
Suspension components are an area where performance upgrades are really an individually tailored solution. Depending on the vehicle and its intended usage, the suspension can benefit from a change. Different absorption rates to the springs, how far the shock absorbers move before they “top out” or which consistency a connection bush, the cylindrical rubber or synthetic component that sits inside the moving parts of certain suspension items.
Even electrical components can be upgraded for performance. Alternators will provide, at the factory level, a minimum amount of output to suit a vehicle’s electrical requirements. But that is presuming that a buyer doesn’t add extra items that will place more load on the alternator. Alternators with a higher current output can be fitted and invariably be no bigger or slightly bigger than the OEM part, meaning little extra space and weight is taken and added. And don’t forget that thicker gauge wire may be required.
If you’re thinking of upgrading parts of your car for a better performance in drive, ride, economy, get in contact with your local EuroMechanica workshop. Jot down the areas you’re thinking of and drop us a line via our enquiry page, or pop in and see the team at your local workshop to discuss what option are available.