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How can I improve the proformance and appearance of my 2011 Mitsubishi Lancer ES without voiding the dealer warranty? Answered

Im looking to improve the appearance, performance, handleing, horsepower, torque and the "get up and go" factor. I cannot make a permenent modification (or one that cant be removed without showing little signs of it) because that would void my dealer bumper to bumper and/or powertrain warranties. I do know things can be done without voiding the warranties that would give me some results, however I dont know what they are.
I also cant afford major upgrades due to lack of money.
please tell me what, if anything, I can do to put the "street car" edge on my own car


you mentioned a fluid sprayer?

There may be a gas which inserted to flow ( perhaps pulsed ) between
atmosphere and car that can reduce aerodynamic friction by changing
a Bernoulli coefficient just enough to make an MPH difference.
This comes from a deep crevasse of cerebellum brain topography
elicited by your unending pleas for another way because of poor funds
or difficulties implementing worthy concepts already presented to your
quixotic purview ;-o

So basically you're saying that this would fool the mind to think I'm moving faster?

Worse than foolin moovin, it could be hazardous to your pulmonary system.

Ok. But anyway aside from a sci-fi idea that just seems a bit impractical. I'm still looking to upgrade the electronics system. I've heard various things about voltage stabilizers. I'm not sure what to think about them, because they claim to increase throttle response, give brighter lights, increase HP by as much as 10 Hp. I honestly don't see how large sizes capacitors can increase horse power. could you further explain them for me?

I was also thinking of putting in high performance spark plugs. Perhaps you would know about that? (considering that spark plugs are the most important electrical part in any internal combustion engine)


6 years ago

I don't know dealer's cars, but if it has a stick shift equivalent.
Horse-Power is directly proprtional to RPM.
Just don't over Red rev your machine.
You use a lower gear you gets more HP.


You know that he can't get more HP out of the engine by changing gear. And without changing the engine the rev-limited output is still the same.
And Horse-Power / RPM plots are curves, the relationship not being directly proportional.


In that case how would I redirect the curve to be more of a straight line?

You don't - that's natural engine performance.
If you hit your gear-changes at the right points you'll do better on the 0-60, it's about making best use of the torque-curve: high RPM  for petrol (gasoline) lower RPM for diesel.


other than the computers how else could performance be increased

You could fit a manual-box (expensive), more expensive fuel might make a bit of difference and body-kit might help a bit at speed.


Body kit? Wouldn't that increase the weight, although stylish as it may be, wouldn't the weight slow it down? Unless the aerodynamics would over compensate for the added weight

If you replace steel panels with carbon/glass-fibre composites you can shed some weight.


Hmmm. Weight loss could work. But the bumpers and side skirts are already made of lightweight plastic. The only thing left to change out are the doors hood and trunk lid. I know those parts are incredibly expensive. I searched on eBay and found that just a standard OEM steel hood would cost about $900.
I have a subwoofer box that unfortunately will add some weight. It will be installed by Christmas. Is there anywhere else that I could lose weight?

Go on a diet, clear your bowels and don't fill your tank.

Anyway the little wight you worry about is only going to affect your
acceleration, not your top speed where air friction increases as the
third power of speed.  I could be wrong maybe it's the fifth.

Here is a good idea add a fluid sprayer in front of your grill to wash over
your car and reduce air friction.
( the leading cause skin burn in inquisitive young people like you driving )
( with open windows :-o )

No I didn't say a liquid.  What else can be a fluid.

Aerodymamic drag has cube-law in it, but I'm lost on your fluid thing.


My car lacks the ability to change gears. The car comes with a CVT transmission. Givin that, it means I dont have much room for improvement on the transmission.
I will have to pump more power in the engine instead

I try not to redline the engine but i will seldomly find myself doing so in order to try to make the car run at peak performance. knowing that this is probably the worst thing i can do for it, I let up on the throttle. but my point is that even at roughly 6000 rpm, I still notice that the proformance is less than what I'd want it to be. with my current transmission, running at a higher gear is simply impossible. the ES has a Variable Speed Transmission. doing research, I found that this means that is has one large tapered gear that gradually gets smaller as speed of the vehicle increases. With that said, all transmission moddifications are out. Is there anything else you would recomend?

I suspect the transmission is also under computer control.
Back when I was susceptible to muscle cars. Auto computers were in their
infancy and you could get EPROMS to change the engine to a hot smoke hog.
Then before an emissions test put the factory EEPROM back to pass and
after go back to hog.
I wonder if someone knows how to hack your machine back and fourth.

How could the onboard computer be hacked?
Either way I'm not even sure that the transmission is computerized. Wouldn't the computer try to compensate for the engine when its running at 5000+ rpm that islt would try to move the drivetrain gear further down the VST gear?

The main or secondary computer job is to make your car pass exhaust
So much that on very cold highway driving the car burns extra fuel in the muffler
to maintain the catalytic temperature at optimum level to limit NOx emissions.
This impacts the cars gas mileage in my Subaru.
My point, your car is computer controlled and if the dealer can upgrade it,
someone can hack it.

There is a manual/automatic transmission for this car but its something that requires major reconstruction that I wouldn't be able to afford

Yes, I'm quite confused on that aspect as well

wet car verses dry car? the wet car is supposed to be more aerodynamic? can you elaborate more on that idea? I honestly dont see how any liquid (be it water, wax or any other fluid) couls possibly make the car run faster

You imagine a lot I did not say.

well except for the radio and night driveing i already turn off everything else.

I did a bit of research and fud that some people use a Voltage Regulator device to act as a "backup" for the battery. its said to give 2-5 HP but I dont know how true that is. Any ideas on how these things work and how much (if any) extra power I can receive from one?

Probably reduces the alternator output at the expense of you battery and later
starting ability leaving the power to be passed to your wheels.

Remember as Jack and I pointed out The poor performance of your car is CPU
controlled and many people are offering access boxes to popular car
improvements. Go follow through if you dare.


Keep in mind, I did no research about my theory

So buying one of these devices wouldn't help at all?

Unfortunately vehicle CPUs are something I have zero knowledge about. I just know that they are tuned differently to male the car run better or worse.
I do have a theory however. My theory is that car manufacturers cause the exact same ECU computer for ever model of that car but they will "dumb" them down from peek performance to make several models of that car to make more money. If this is true that means I can tune up my ECU the same way or simply purchase an ECU for a 2.8liter V6 mivec engine that Mitsubishi puts in the ralliart lancer

Actually the lacer is a midsize sedan with a 2.0 liter mivec 4 cylinder engine. no muscle car here.
There are also no chicks involved in this project.
I just very simply want a faster, nicer looking car with out haveing to actually go out and buy a new one. The idea of a concept car has always roused my intrest and I just wanted a little piece of that.

No AC, No Radio, No Night Driving and turn off all optional electricity and
you may get an extra 1.0 Horse Power.
I have 180º opposed 4 cylinder ( no vibration )  myself.


is there any way of upgrading the mechanics? i.e. air intake, cylinderhead, coil packs, spark plugs, exhasut, cams, pistons, fluids, anything like that?

You are talking to an EE who never got into a muscle car
except one time when Avis made a mistake.

Are you trying to make a better chick magnet ?
Maybe someone put a potato in your exhaust.

How would I adjust the computer at all?

You are gonna trade in that stringy thing for Electronic hardware and study to become a hacker ( surfing the web is the only way I know ).

Like rickharris said chiping the EMU is for experts.
Maybe by the time you can hack the EMU,
the warranty contract on your car will over.

Good Luck


How 'bout a bottle of nitrous oxide?

I mean something like that would certainly violate the spirit of your warranty, and it might blow up your engine too.    And that's definitely unethical, especially if you do destroy the engine, and then expect the dealer to make good on the warranty and give you a new engine.

But the reason I mention this is that it might just be something that would be easy to install/remove. Like a bottle with a valve on it, and a length of plastic tubing.

Please note, I haven't really thought this one through at all.  Aside from the ethical issues, and maybe safety issues, there may be practical issues with the engine control computer.  It might, through feedback, try to thwart the normal power increase that the nitrous would give you.  Worse the computer might record data that would tattle on you somehow.

Although, maybe you could hack the engine controller, or replace it with one specifically designed for tweaking engine performance, one where you set the control parameters, uploading them over a USB cable or something like that.  I've heard rumors of people doing this, but I know very little about it.

Anyway, like I said before, I really don't know anything about modding engines.  Really I was just thinking back to that movie The Road Warrior, and the scenes with Mad Max opening up a valve sitting between the two front seats, then watching him get pressed against the seat while the speedometer pegged.  Not sure if nitrous really works that way in real life, but you know, it was pretty damn cool in that movie!

Lol true that the movie was cool and nitrous would give a definite boost to my engine, I could risk blowing it up or frying the computer. I don't know about this for sure but I imagine replacing or hacking the onboard computer would void the dealer warranty. I do like the way you think though, its out of the box for sure. Have anything else in mind for performance or appearance?

The more that I look at this, I mean the more I read about your car, leads me to think the Mad Max approach might be kind of naive. 

The engine of this car is pretty much controlled by software, and I think tuning it is going to have to involve getting into the ECU somehow.

BTW, you didn't happen to buy the California version?  The Wiki article linked below says the California edition is de-tuned to meet emissions laws. You know, so that's good for the environment, and OK for you. Ha!

Anyway, I know absolutely nothing about this "chip tuning", but searching for this via Google led me to discover that there are people selling such boxes, but not for your car, not yet. I think it's too new. For example if you go here:
then fill in the form for a 2011 Mitsubishi Lancer, it says it doesn't have anything.  I mean don't consider that one link to be comprehensive.  There might be something out there.

I dunno what's left. Maybe a racing stripe?  Some fuzzy dice for the mirror?

Maybe a change in philosophy that would lead you to be happy with the things you do have?

I'm not suggesting you give up, but I'm pretty much out of ideas.

The last link below is not related to chip tuning.  It's a montage of clips from the Mad Max movies, set to that song "Ace of Spades" by Motorhead.



I do know for a fact that my car complies with all of the other 49 states that are not Califonia.

well lets look at the mechanics since chip tuning isnt really my forte nor is it something that Id be able to afford. is there anything there such as upgrades to the intake, cams, cylinder head, coil packs, spark plugs, battery, exhaust, and anything like that?

Im thinking that a matte black racing stripe on either side and dark tinted head/tail lights are something that are in the "will do" list. as for the dice , Im unsure if thats a good idea considering that 95% of the time I drive with the windows down. One sharp turn and whoop, out the window they go. (hah! funny mental image there)

I am very happy with what I have but I do want it to be better. It would be as if an expert guitarest didnt want to learn anything new or try to make their sound more differant. youd think theyd be a bit boring, yes? either way that same princible applies here. I know Im quitwe the oddball and my style matches ,my oddball way of life perfectly

as for the MadMax clip, awsome movie, with an awsome clip, with an awsome montage played to an awsome song. Sweet!

Hmmm. You make a good point. Who needs to meet emission standards in south Carolina anyway? But how would I be able to use this to my advantage? Could I simply use the plug located under the dashboard to access the computer on board? Surely the computer can be updated or even adjusted. As long as I can restore the program to factory standards the dealer won't even know about it right?

You have it...  Now the only fear, as you learn to mess with the electronics
is some settings could physically damage the engine.
A sorry example was some guy pushing the air-fuel ratio beyond
stoichiometric and burning up his piston walls.

Ok, lets start simple here. What is the most basic electrical thing I could possibly do to my car to improve performance?

My guess you can't do any of that without voiding the deal.

There are lots of visual add ons at your local car shop - Decals, fancy chrome etc.

Engine modes to improve performance (raising compression, fitting Nox, having the EMU chipped etc) - that can be easily removed don't exist.

Decals don't void any warranty correct? It would be no more or less damaging than a bumper sticker right?

I was thinking of tinting the head lights and tail lights, but id be worried about making the bulbs dimmer or change the color of them.

I may be able to raise pressure if I know what I'm doing. Could you elaborate more on that? And chips are something that I don't know a whole lot about unless its just simple but there a huge chance that its not simple at all.

You should be OK with just stickers & lamp tint may be OK

Raising the compression ratio involves taking the engine apart and machining metal off the head to make it fit closer to the pistons - NOTE some engines will not allow this as the Pistons almost touch the cylinder head anyway.

Chiping the EMU is for experts.

Also do you know if headlight/taillight tint would cause dimming and/or discoloration of the bulbs output light?

Don't know where you are but tinted headlamps are illegal in the UK.

Removing head gasket isn't going to help at all.

Stick to cosmetic changes.

South carolina. I beleave it is ok to have them around here

I didnt think it would

I do want to have nice cosmetic changes however, the car seriously needs some more power. Using a passenger and a stopwatch I measured that at full throttle, it takes the car about 13.6 seconds to go from 0-60. In other words a truck that is fully loaded (1000 LBS) was able to best my time with 10.3 srconds. For me, that just simply wont do.

I'll do that then.
would it be possible to remove/replace the head gasket? I doubt that's possible but I'm open to ideas. Either way disassembling the engine is completely impossible for me due to the lack of tools/money/time/knowledge/space. If it was possible to plug in an auxiliary chip in the under dashboard plug that would override the onboard EMU and use that one instead, that would be perfect for my application. I doubt anything like that exists or if I could afford it
As for the chipping I wouldn't even know where the EMU even is let alone how to adjust it. I think I'll have to just stick with mechanical upgrades.

You have the car, you should have all the paperwork: what does the dealer-warranty say?