If you’re a fan of the Fast and Furious movies, drag racing, or just crazy custom car builds, chances are you’ve heard of nitrous oxide. Nitrous oxide is something that most average drivers and automotive consumers don’t think twice about these types of modifications, as it is really only useful in certain situations because it only produces an increase in power output for a few moments — meaning it’s really only good for certain styles of racing, like racing from a dig or a role, usually in a straight line. For this YouTuber, a 100-shot of nitrous into his VW caused a genuinely impressive amount of damage.
What is nitrous oxide and why do people use it in their cars?
Nitrous oxide, more commonly known from the brand-name NOS as featured in many of the Fast and Furious movies, is quite literally just that: nitrous oxide. It can be used in short spurts to enhance the performance of your engine by pushing additional oxygen into the engine for a brief period of time, maximizing the horsepower output of your engine, which relies heavily on oxygen for the internal combustion process. Because it dramatically changes your engine’s fuel-to-air ratio, it can only be used in short, quick doses rather than as a long-term way to boost power output.
Why isn’t nitrous used more often?
If the use of nitrous oxide has so many benefits and can increase your engine’s power output, why isn’t it more common? The simple reason is that with more power comes a higher risk of damage and can lead to catastrophic failure of your engine’s internal components, which may not be structurally suited to efficiently contain the sudden burst of power provided by the nitrous. While some engines can handle several shots of nitrous at a time, they usually require heavy modification unless the block comes from the factory with forged internals. If you aren’t so lucky, using nitrous oxide can completely destroy your engine, which one YouTuber experienced with an impressive amount of damage caused by a 100-shot of nitrous.
Increased power output can damage your engine dramatically
It isn’t unheard of when it comes to nitrous oxide causing catastrophic engine failure, and it is a risk all owners take when using the produce from any brand or manufacturer — and yes, it absolutely will void your warranty. It adds additional stress to your engine’s internal components in a way that is less safe than adding an aftermarket supercharger or turbocharger because most vehicles cannot be tuned to account of the nitrous as it can be for a supercharger or turbocharger — and you can, of course, use nitrous oxide with both a factory and aftermarket turbocharger or supercharger setup, but it is always better to build your engine’s internals with forged components if you are looking to produce more than factory-level power output and performance.