Cheap ways to boost horsepower in a truck include getting a tune-up, installing a cold-air intake, getting rid of extra weight and installing an aftermarket exhaust system. One of the more expensive measures a driver can take includes investing in an engine tuner.
Tune-ups return any horsepower that may have been lost through clogged or dirty air and fuel filters. A driver should also be sure his oil is changed during the tune-up to improve engine performance. Using quality synthetic oil also improves horsepower.
Cold-air intakes help improve efficiency by clearing up the sound in the stock intake and pulling in more cold air to help the truck burn more fuel. Installing a cold air intake has been known to add torque and anywhere from six to 11 horsepower. Better fuel economy can also be achieved after installing a cold air intake.
Getting rid of extra cargo also helps to restore a truck's lost horsepower. An extra 100 pounds of unnecessary cargo can potentially decrease power efficiency anywhere from 1 to 2 percent.
Aftermarket exhaust systems are designed to be quiet and efficient while improving a truck's horsepower. Depending on the size of the engine, aftermarket tuned cat-back exhaust systems can upgrade horsepower by as much as 20.