Performance Upgrades

To upgrade or not?

No matter what we all may think at various times there is almost nothing as well built as an automobile. Think about it, what else do you own that is abused so much and keeps right on working. Your vehicle is exposed to all ranges of temperatures. One day it is soaking wet and the next it is as dry as the desert. You drive to visit your mother who happens to live in Leadville CO at 10,152 feet above sea level and you then leave there to see your sister in San Diego and on the way you just had to go through Death Valley at 282 feet below sea level. And you then plan on driving back home following Interstate 10 through the Southwestern deserts on into the humidity of Houston, TX and New Orleans, LA before turning north to home in Fargo, ND. And you expect your car to start every day of the trip with nothing more done to it than checking the oil, maybe, and filling the tank. And it will, even if it is a 1938 Jaguar SS 100 on a cross country rally.

 Bottom line nothing you own will take that kind of abuse in stride, so think on that a moment - the engineers actually got it pretty correct. But, always a but, just because it can actually do all of that means that a lot of compromises were made. Your vehicle as it left the factory was designed to be as versatile, safe and fuel efficient as it can be. Even if you buy a rip snorting high performance car it is still not a pure blood race car.  For a good idea of that go here and remember those GT cars are NOT your street Porsche.

 So there is room for "improvements" in handling, stopping, power, fuel economy, luxury appointments - and it all comes with a cost - the obvious one is in the money you will lay out. The less obvious one is what did we give up to obtain something. Power almost always comes at the cost of fuel economy, handling usually costs ride comfort or tire life or both. Stopping can mean brake noise or more pedal effort, even luxury has a cost; that huge sound system takes a lot of power which means upgrades to the electrical system and can actually cost you fuel mileage.

 Step one is to sit down and think about what you want to accomplish and why. Then learn about what it is you want to do. Check out the options, make your wish list, figure out what you can afford to spend and then see how much of your wish list fits your budget.

 And find a shop who actually knows the theory and operation of your vehicle and can explain why the 4 inch exhaust you want to put on your Subaru is actually going to make it run slower and tank your fuel mileage. Or that polishing everything in your intake and exhaust ports is not what we do today. It is what we thought to do back in the day but computer models have taught us a lot about that and it is not what you just do today. You only polish certain parts and in certain ways.

 But there is nothing more American than customizing your car - the Hot-Rod and Custom Car was born in the USA and we have been doing that here at Cloverleaf since the day the doors opened (or to be very honest before I could legally drive I was already tinkering and trying to figure out how I could leave a rubber trail behind me in my mother's 6 cylinder automatic Ford Falcon)

Whether you want to do it yourself and just need some help figuring out which parts to buy or you need a full upgrade done by a professional we are here to help.