# How much horsepower is lost when operating the engine at altitude?

## How much horsepower is lost when operating the engine at altitude?

Generally speaking, an engine loses three percent of its rated power for every 1,000 feet of altitude gained. This means you could lose as much as 20% of your vehicle’s horsepower if you drive it from sea level to Big Bear Lake (with its 6,750 elevation).

### Do supercharged engines lose power at altitude?

Of course, at some altitude the supercharging system cannot maintain sea level power anymore (remember, all engines are naturally aspirated upstream of the supercharger). This is that engine’s critical altitude, and above it a supercharged engine’s power diminishes at the same rate as a naturally aspirated engine.

At what altitude do cars stop working?

Generally speaking, you can expect a car to lose around three horsepower for every 1,000 feet you climb. That means that your car could lose around 20 percent of its horsepower if you were to drive from sea level and up a mountain like Big Bear, which has an elevation of 6,750 feet.

How does altitude affect tuning?

The higher we go in elevation, the smaller the column above us and the less pressure there is to measure. Higher altitudes correlate with lower barometer values indicating less oxygen in the air. Density altitude indicates the weight of air relative to sea level for engine tuning.

## How much horsepower does 5000 feet lose?

As a general rule, a naturally aspirated combustion engine will lose 3% of its power for every 1,000 ft of elevation gain. If you have 100 horsepower at sea level by the time you get to 5,000 feet of elevation your engine is making 85 horsepower. At 10,000 feet of elevation your engine will make 70 horsepower.

### How much HP do you lose in Colorado?

In Denver, at just over 5,000 feet above sea level, this would be a loss of anywhere from fifteen to twenty percent of the car’s advertised horsepower, so a 200 hp car, for instance, would only be going at about 150-170 hp. Closer to the continental divide and that number will get smaller.

Do turbos work better at higher altitudes?

Turbocharging at elevation is an efficient way to minimize horsepower loss due to elevation and lower air density. At high elevations turbochargers compress more air into the engine cylinders making up for the lower air density allowing the engine to produce power as if it was at sea level.

Why do cars overheat at high altitude?

When driving at high altitudes, remember the following: Thin mountain air can affect your car’s engine and diminish your acceleration and climbing power. The potential for overheating is greater. The potential for vapor locks is greater.

## How do I adjust my car for high altitude?

How to Tune Your Engine for Altitude

1. According to High Altitude and Auto Care, the first course of action inn getting your car tuned for high altitudes is to do a basic tune up. Change the spark plugs and points to the type specified in the owners manual.
2. Adjust the engine’s air/fuel mixture.