How to Increase Horsepower in A 4 Cylinder Car

Last updated on January 19th, 2023 at 11:38 am

As drivers, we are always looking for the best ways to increase our horsepower in the most cost-effective and efficient way. There are tons of affordable, simple-to-implement, and affordable alternatives available to boost your car’s power. 

how to supercharge a 4 cylinder engine

The best options for increasing your car’s horsepower are provided to you in this area. Continue reading to find out more about how to increase horsepower in a 4 cylinder car and how to Make a 4-Cylinder Faster Than A V8

1. Turbocharger

Adding a turbocharger to your car is an effective measure in making your 4-cylinder faster than a v8. The turbocharger is powered by exhaust gases, whereas the supercharger is powered by the belt that links to the engine.

Among many options, a turbocharger is an incredibly efficient enhancement because it recycles energy. However, the downside with turbochargers is that, although they work wonders, there is always a lag in their operation. Plus, unlike a supercharger, your horsepower is only boosted by 25%.

2. Execute a tune-up

Running regular tune-ups on your vehicle is the simplest way to increase horsepower and overall performance over time. Your car will not perform at its best if it isn’t equipped with parts of good quality. 

Sub-standard or out-of-date parts will only hold it back. Getting your car into a regular oil change routine will be a good start. Why? It is because soiled and polluted will only cause unnecessary friction in engine moving parts. 

how to supercharge a 4 cylinder engine1

3. Boost the exhaust flow in your car.

Your engine relies on precise piston movements to operate correctly. To move the piston downward, your engine has to ignite a mixture of fuel and air. Your vehicle explosion’s exhaust is placed within the cylinder.

Before fresh gasoline and air is taken in, the exhaust will have to be removed from the cylinder chamber. However, low backpressure will increase the speed at which the exhaust exits the engine of your car.  This can be completed by replacing some of the old exhaust with newer pipes of greater diameters.

How to Increase Horsepower in a 4 Cylinder Car

1. Get A Supercharger

While installing a turbocharger is a good choice, superchargers take things a step further. Furthermore, the supercharger is simpler to install. Superchargers are known for the simple yet complex task of increasing your horsepower and torque. 

By compressing the gasoline and air of your engine, your car can get a power increase of up to 50%. Also, since an intercooler is fewer moving parts could that could malfunction. 

2. Use A Nitrous Kit.

Nitrous gained popularity for being known as a great speed booster for vehicles. A nitrous kit is simply a portable version of a turbo or supercharger. Its nature makes it easier for you to switch between different vehicles.

Its main makeup consists of an air-producing can containing nitrous. Just like how your engine utilizes air intake, you will be able to boost your car’s speed when the engine is fed with more air. Before taking the option, however, you will need to make sure nitrous isn’t banned in your location.

how to supercharge a 4 cylinder engine

3. Putting In A Performance Camshaft

Your vehicle camshaft performs the important task of monitoring and determining the duration and timing of the valve openings. By controlling with your camshaft, you will be able to increase the acceleration and horsepower of your car engine.

By installing a high-performance camshaft, you will be able to make desired modifications and increase your horsepower. However, you will have to note that compared to other methods on this list, installing a camshaft requires a bigger budget.

4. Chips And Computer Programming

Altering the programming of a car allows you to make very precise changes. When carried out properly, you will be able to twerk variables like the fuel/air mixture, fuel injection timing, valve timing, and so much more.

Even more so, you can increase your vehicle’s horsepower by reprogramming it. While settings can be changed by simply replacing the chips, more specialized tools are required to reprogram a car’s system. Visit a professional mechanic to get this process completed by someone with the required experience. 

5. Basic Vehicle Maintenance

As a car owner, keeping your car in good shape is an important measure that shouldn’t be discussed. The overall performance of your vehicle depends on how much dedication you put into taking care of it.

By following the instructions in your vehicle’s manual, you should be able to carry out simple but effective maintenance. From oil replacements to fuel and air filter maintenance, various parts must be taken into account. With good maintenance, your engine will be able to better maintain control over air circulation. With this, the passage of time will hardly affect your car’s speed.

how to increase horsepower in a 4 cylinder car -how to supercharge a 4 cylinder engine.

Highest Horsepower 4-Cylinder Non-Turbo

The M139 2.0-liter inline-four engine is known for being the motor with the highest horsepower. It is also the four-cylinder engine with the most output now in serial production.

The M139 engine’s output of 415 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque powers vehicles like the Mercedes-AMG CLA45 S. The M139 horsepower 4-Cylinder put the CLAS45 S among some of the fastest vehicles. It boasts an acceleration of 60 mph in just 4 seconds and a high speed of 168 mph.

How Much Horsepower Does A Cold Air Intake Add To A 4-Cylinder?

You can get a good amount of horsepower with a cold air intake, regardless of the size or number of cylinders in your engine. With a cold air intake boost, you can get 5–20 horsepower from 4-cylinder engines, and up to 50 horsepower from 8-cylinder engines.

A cold air intake is an affordable option for boosting your car’s speed. More cold air intake will allow your car to mix more gasoline produce than it would have without the additional push. The best method for executing this option is by adding more air through the intake tube and filter. These tubes are bigger and less restrictive to work with.

How Much Horsepower Does a Turbo Add To a 4-Cylinder?

The turbo adds an impressive boost to your car engine when it is installed right. A standard turbocharger can boost a four-cylinder engine’s power by anywhere between 70 to 150 horsepower.

It would add about the same amount to the diesel engine. For a four-cylinder engine, this can be considered a good boost in horsepower from a turbocharger as well. It is crucial that you hire a qualified mechanic to complete the installation.

How To Increase Horsepower In A Naturally Aspirated Engine

Well, you should start by getting rid of all restrictions in the head, and then follow the easy instructions below to begin going.

  • The first step is weight reduction. Thus, the less overall strain placed on the vehicle, the better.
  • An engine is a breathing object. To boost air intake if you buy a used automobile, clean the throttle bodies and intake manifold.
  • Acquire wider manifolds.
  • To control the opening and closing of your valves, use reliable camshafts.

The overall process outlined above will demand all of your focus. Each step must be completed carefully and properly for the procedure to reap rewards. For better results, you can always get it done by a mechanic. 

Can You Swap A 4 Cylinder For A V8?

Yes, however, you’ll need to ask your mechanic if your vehicle qualifies for the modification. It is only natural for a motorist to strive for a better, faster vehicle. You can achieve your goal by switching a 4-cylinder engine for a V8.

To complete the swap, new motor mounts will be required to be welded in. You will also need to notch out metal in some spots and reinforce it in others. All these preparations are dependent on if your car is compatible with a V8 engine. Overall, compatibility is unlikely in the majority of 4-cylinder cars produced in the last two decades.


Horsepower is an essential part of your vehicle that cannot be overlooked. With this article, you should be able to give a substantial boost in speed and horsepower to your 4-cylinder engine. We have also laid out the best ways to increase horsepower in a 4-cylinder car with the most cost-effective measures.  I hope this post on how to increase horsepower in a 4 cylinder car was helpful.

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