Does a Camshaft Increase Horsepower? (Yes or No)

Does a Camshaft Increase Horsepower

Without the camshaft, there will be no way to release air and fuel mixture from the combustion engine. Other than activating the opening and closing of the intake valve, the camshaft also makes a car faster but does a camshaft increase horsepower?

Yes, a camshaft increases horsepower by adding about 10 to 20 horsepower. However, the level of increase depends on the setup and various modifications made.

What is a Camshaft?

A camshaft has two parts, the ‘cams’ and ‘shaft’ which are either made from metals or steel. The camshaft is an important part of the engine that ensures the intake valve opens and closes in time.

The camshaft moves in rotational motion and converts this to reciprocal motion. When this happens, the valve is opened in time and in sync with the crankshaft gear. It also helps to determine the range of RPM in an engine’s power band.

Camshafts are mostly used in electric motor speed controllers, combustion engines, and ignition systems that are controlled mechanically.

The location of the camshaft depends on whether you are using an Overhead-cam engine or a Single OHC engine. It can be located in the cylinder head or between valve stems. The camshaft is connected to the crankshaft with the help of a timing belt or chain.

The camshaft can be called ‘Overhead Camshaft’ or ‘Dual Overhead Camshaft’ depending on whether the system has one or two camshafts.

Does a Camshaft Increase Horsepower?

Yes, a camshaft can increase horsepower. The amount of horsepower that will be added however depends on the setup. The setup could involve swapping some engine components like the injectors, valve head, air intake, etc.

Changing an engine’s setup by swapping some components can increase horsepower beyond a normal level. The increase in horsepower can be between 10 to 20 or more.

How Does Camshaft Increase Horsepower?

Besides the camshaft working to ensure the intake valve opens and closes at the right time, it also works in increasing horsepower in a vehicle.

Now, let’s take a look at how the camshaft increase horsepower. There may be a slight difference in how a custom camshaft increases horsepower to how the factory camshaft does it.

For Factory Camshaft

If you have decided to stick to the usage of the factory camshaft, here is how you are expected to increase the horsepower.

Factory camshafts have smaller lobes and therefore will not allow for a large intake of air. You will need to make up for this by modifying some other parts of the engine, like the air intake manifold.

You will need to install a cold air intake which will serve as a sequence between the engine and air filter. A cold air intake allows cooler air to get to the engine as opposed to the hot air entering.

Cooler air in the engine area will ensure that the fuel burns efficiently thereby increasing horsepower.

For Custom Camshaft

Custom camshafts also known as ‘Performance Camshafts” are specially designed to increase horsepower and performance. The custom camshaft has bigger lobes unlike factory camshafts and is, therefore, a better way of increasing horsepower.

It increases horsepower by increasing the timing and duration of the intake valve opening during engine strokes. Not only does the car experience increase in horsepower, but it also accelerates quickly.

Do Camshafts Make Car Faster?

Camshafts can make a car faster but the possibility of this depends on the type of custom cam you use and the vehicle model. It also depends on whether you are using an aftermarket cam or the existing one in the vehicle.

Aftermarket camshafts will most definitely make the car faster because they are designed for high-end performance. With the existing camshaft in a car, you can also expect the car to be faster with some modifications and changes in setup.

What Does Camshaft do in a Car?

The camshaft helps with the basic function of ensuring the intake valve opens and closes at the right time and moment to allow air and fuel mixture in and out of a combustion engine chamber.

This is done by the rotation of the camshaft and the contact of the lobes with other parts thereby activating the opening and closing of the valve.

This is a continuous process in the engine that ensures the right mixture of air and fuel is let out of the combustion engine.

Some cars have overhead – camshaft engines while others have overhead – valve engines. The difference between this two is the location of the camshaft and the number of camshafts that operates the intake valve and exhaust valve.

In an overhead–camshaft engine there are two camshafts with one operating the intake valve and the other operating the exhaust valve. The overhead -valve on the other hand has a single camshaft operating the intake valve and the exhaust valve.

What is the Best Way to Increase Horsepower in a Car?

With time, there may be a need to increase a car’s engine power not because they are not fast enough but because some people want to get the car performing better. Here are a few ways to increase the horsepower in the car

1. Aftermarket Software

If you want to increase horsepower in a car, you should consider getting an aftermarket software known as ‘Flash’.

Unlike the Engine Control Unit which is designed to allow low-grade fuel and reduce stress on the engine and components, Flash by design will take full advantage of the engine and adjust ignition timing in order to smooth out the power delivery.

Aftermarket software is also a cost-effective way of increasing horsepower.

2. Consider Losing Vehicle Weight

Another way to increase horsepower is to lose weight. This may sound unreal but it works. Big-sized and heavy vehicles have the tendency to move slowly.

To do this, parts such as the rims, and the battery should be changed to smaller and lighter ones. You can also reduce vehicle weight by replacing the body panel with fiberglass or other suitable ones.

Removing other parts that seem unnecessary and you don’t use them will also help to reduce vehicle weight.

3. Using Turbo or Supercharger

Using either a supercharger or turbocharger will instantly increase horsepower. They work by forcing air into the engine, more and cooler air in the engine will increase its efficiency thereby increasing horsepower.

Other ways to increase horsepower are; installing a cold air intake, changing to a high flow catalytic converter, etc.


If you’re considering increasing your car’s horsepower through the camshaft, getting a custom camshaft is better as you do not necessarily have to make modifications to any part of the engine. Also, getting the camshaft isn’t the problem but ensuring that it is well installed.