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How much horsepower has my car lost?

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kw1999
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kw1999

How much horsepower has my car lost?

Post by kw1999 » Sun Sep 15, 2013 5:35 pm

Saw a segment on Top Gear about aging cars vs. horsepower and this got me wondering how much horsepower my car has lost. Perhaps someone could help me out.

1995 Volvo 850
2.4L I-5 NON-Turbo
168 hp new
250,000 miles

Immaculately maintained. When I say this, I mean the previous owner recorded absolutely EVERY transaction and carried out the maintenance to a T.
The car purrs like it is absolutely brand new. No rattles, shakes, odd engine noises, et al.
I don't think it has lost too much power as it still has some umph in the acceleration. Not head-snapping, but respectable. However, I could be wrong.

So, going back to my original question with all factors taken into consideration, is there a way to estimate how much power my car has lost?


Any help with the matter would be greatly appreciated.

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Re: How much horsepower has my car lost?

Post by JDS60R » Sun Sep 15, 2013 6:59 pm

There is no easy answer here.
You can try:
Perform a leakdown test and a compression test. The engine is a very strong pump. If its worn out it will make less power than new.

Today many cell phones have an accelerometer in them . You can try some runs with a 0-60 or "G" meter or dyno progam and try to roughly figure the power. Most accurate method would be to put it on an actual dyno.

The timeliness of the maintenance was a good thing but there can be differences based on the lubes and filters used as well as how each sensor aged and when it was replaced.
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kw1999
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kw1999

Re: How much horsepower has my car lost?

Post by kw1999 » Sun Sep 15, 2013 8:17 pm

Thanks, very informative. I will look at the cell phone option.

rd350dk
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Re: How much horsepower has my car lost?

Post by rd350dk » Mon Sep 16, 2013 11:36 am

There is ABSOLUTELY no way to tell. If/when the factory data is flywheel hp., how much did it ever put to the ground (which is all you can measure now). IF the engine was 10 hp. up or down from data, how would you ever know? question is absolutely useless as you have no comparable data AT ALL. The only thing that you can actually compare relatively, is oil pressure (worn engine) and comp. pressure (worn engine too)
Measuring hp. via G-force is a very complex thing and you can`t use it at ALL! If you had the same car 20? years ago, the same fuel, same oil, same wheels/tires, same road/asphalt, same wind, same humidity, same temp. etc. you could compare.
Otherwise your engine has 153 hp. at this stage (plus/minus 20 percent)

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Re: How much horsepower has my car lost?

Post by matthew1 » Mon Sep 16, 2013 12:25 pm

There's no way to determine new vs. now hp. There is one superb way to measure what hp your car has now -- dyno -- as has been mentioned.

That said, cars' hp number tends to rise for some time, then fall as compression falls over time.

It looks like a bell curve, to some degree.

Car magazines often measure 0-60 times at new, then 40k (in Car and Driver's long term tests, for example). Usually the speed increases for the 40k mile test.
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1997 850 T5, MSD ignition coil, Hallman manual boost controller, injectors, R bumper, OMP strut brace [gone]
2004 V70 R [gone]

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