Does A Camshaft Increase Horsepower? How Much Horsepower Does A Camshaft Add?

Adding more horsepower to a vehicle increases its ability to accelerate faster, which explains why most drivers are trying to hype up the car’s engine. However, boosting horsepower can prove to be quite a challenge, as not many people know how to do it effectively.

That is why in our article today, we will walk you through a straightforward yet efficient solution: utilizing a camshaft. You might wonder “Does a camshaft increase horsepower?” and if yes, then the next question is, “How much horsepower does a camshaft add?” Keep reading to find out the answers!

Does A Camshaft Increase Horsepower? How Much Horsepower Does It Add?

Yes, a camshaft can increase the horsepower of a vehicle by extending the length of each valve stroke, allowing more air to fly through the inlet valves. As a result, your car can speed up in a much shorter time since a high-quality camshaft is capable of raising roughly 50 – 100 more horsepower. 

What Is Horsepower, And Why Does It Matter?


Horsepower – or HP for short – is a measurement unit based on the strength of a horse. First coined by James Watt in the 18th century, an HP is equivalent to the force needed for pulling 33000 foot-pounds in a single minute, or 550 foot-pounds in one second. 

Originally used to calculate the work in coal mines, HP quickly took over as an indication of the engine’s power. Soon enough, machines started associating their prowess with their HP.

Up to date, virtually all vehicles use HP as the benchmark when it comes to power comparison. The higher your car’s HP is, the speedier and stronger it could be when pressing on the gas pedal. 

Therefore, cars with high HP are in great demand due to their impressive and consistent performance, especially for those craving the thrilling sensations on the road. Vice versa, cars with lower HP are mostly for more common purposes, like in-city transportation or family use.

Different ways to increase horsepower

Regardless of your car’s HP, drivers are always more or less excited about the idea of boosting HP. Below are the most popular ways to upgrade your vehicle at a variety of price ranges.

  • Install a Cold Air Intake: Cold temperatures help condense the air, thus increasing the density of each air volume. Once the air is exposed to the engine, the fuel can take advantage of more air molecules and improve the speed of your vehicle.
  • Install a high-quality air filter and intake: Similar to the previous approach, replacing the current air filter, and intake with a high-flow one enables your car to regulate the airflow better.
  • Install a bigger exhaust system: The faster your car releases its exhaustive fumes, the faster it can take in new oxygen and restart the cycle of work. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you have an exhaust pipe with a bigger diameter.
  • Clean up the filter regularly: If dirt and exhaust are accumulated inside the filter, air could not properly move through it and reach the fuel for ignition. Remember to keep your car’s filter uncluttered for the highest efficiency.
  • Lube it up: A lot of friction reduces the engine from moving smoothly, which means you need to oil the motor frequently.
  • Install higher-quality wheels: If your engine is too powerful while the wheels are sloppy, they will not be able to catch up with the increased HP. Adding sturdier wheels gives the car a chance to match its potential.
  • Choose the right gas for your car: Certain models require high octane gas for maximum speed, while others only need regular gas. Determining which type of energy is needed for your vehicle and fueling it up accordingly can keep your car consistent.
  • Minimize the weight of your car: One of the factors slowing down a vehicle’s speed is the weight, so you can start by stopping using your backseat as storage for stuff. 

Everything You Need To Know About Camshaft

What does a camshaft do?

Typically, a camshaft can be found at the top of the engine compartment. If you have no idea where your camshaft is, check out this article on how to identify unknown camshaft.

A camshaft’s job is to open and close the valve in time so that air meets fuel and creates a spark to ignite the engine. Depending on each manufacturer, there will either be a dual cam system or four separate camshafts, each dedicated to a single valve. 

Further watching: What is a camshaft? Quick, simple definition with animation.

How can a camshaft increase your vehicle’s horsepower?

A camshaft directly affects the airflow of your vehicle, as it determines when the valve opens and how much air can get through. As stated above, the more air comes through your engine, the more air molecules get a chance to mix up with gas. A mixture of gas and highly dense air speeds up the ignition process, allowing your car to start in no time and can accelerate in a matter of seconds. In other words, your car’s HP is significantly improved.

Subsequently, replacing an old camshaft with a performance camshaft is considered a straightforward and easy-to-implement technique to level things up. As a performance camshaft can keep the valve open for a longer time while managing to sync the valve operation with the car engine, you can expect a much more rapid movement. 

Furthermore, the camshaft is not exactly the most expensive gadget on the market. For no more than $300, you can already lay hands on a decent one. The premium camshaft can cost you up to $1500, but it is still more economical compared to other options. As a result, the camshaft is usually favored by drivers if they want a quick boost in HP.


Whether you are a fan of driving or not, it can be great fun sometimes to entertain the idea of boosting your car’s HP. If you are looking for a cost-effective and highly efficient approach, adding a camshaft definitely suffices. Try it out at the first chance you get and see the result for yourself!

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