4 Cheap, Easy Car Performance Mods
4 Cheap, Easy Car Performance Mods
Everyone dreams of a sweet ride!
Unfortunately, modding a car can be obscenely expensive. And that's not even mentioning the technical difficulties. You can really mess your car up if you don't know what you're doing.
There's a lot of information on the internet about the subject, and just as many products. Sadly, there is an entire market designed to scam would-be tuners, selling crap parts that do little or nothing for for car. Or worse- potentially damage it.
Lucky for you, though, that I've waded through the ocean of crap and emerged with a few good mods that won't bust your wallet! Now, understand right now that you won't be building a monstrously powerful car with these mods. These are just some basic mods to get you started. If you want a truly powerful ride, get ready to dump a powerful load of cash into your car! But if you just want to go a little faster, this is the guide for you.
You get what you pay for. You always get what you pay for. But sometimes, the difference isn't a whole lot between the cheap and the pricey. Intakes are one thing that you can go cheap on if you're building on a budget. Virtually anything you throw in there is going to be better than stock, from the $20 Ebay pipe to the $200 AEM cold air intake.
Some cars also have an extra little box called a resonator before the filter box that can be pulled out for a quick and free HP gain. This box is called a resonator and does nothing but make your engine quieter. If you don't know what you're doing, though, and can't tell the resonator from the filter box, it would be best to just leave it alone.
Intakes on Amazon
Once again, you get what you pay for. This is true with everything! But, once again, for the budget tuner who's not going to dump five digits on their car anyway, it really won't make a difference. Take your car to your local muffler shop and ask for a high-flow cat-back. It should run you about $200, which isn't much in the automotive world.
Or, you also have the option of buying a more expensive brand-name product. But, if you're not a serious tuner, you probably really won't be able to tell the difference. Both the intake and exhaust mods are designed to get your engine breathing a little easier.
This one is truly free. If you don't care about your car's interior, or if it's already beat up, then you might as well just take it out. Most panels simply snap into place and come out if you pull on them. Check for bolts first, just in case- you don't want to break it in case you choose to put it back in later!
The back seats can also come out, and on most cars, they just snap into place, too (and are just as easy to put back in when you need them). Carpet can be removed (I hate carpet, anyway), and if you want to get hardcore, you can scrape out the sound-deadening material, too. If your car has AC, you can get rid of that, but you'll need to buy a shorter drive belt.
Really, anything that your car doesn't need to move can be removed at the cost of comfort and appearance.
Carbon fiber hoods and trunk lids will net you additional weight loss and look great, but get very expensive very fast.
Wheels are a rotating mass, so if you can pick up a set that are lighter than the stock wheels, your car has to do less work to get them spinning. That translates to faster acceleration. Basically, this is an extension of weight reduction. If they look good, that's a bonus, too! Check your local pawn shops; you never know what you might find.
Wheels on Amazon
Crap Products to Avoid
"Performance chips" on sites like Ebay that cost very little but claim huge gains (please check here for examples of real performance chips), "tornadoes" or other products that claim to "spin the air in your intake" or some other nonsense, and most superchargers (not to be confused with turbochargers) are all fake. Don't waste your time or money on this crap.
Modifying a car is an expensive hobby, and you gain little for how much you spend. Still, it's satisfying to build it up and have something that you can say you built yourself, and it always feels good to get a compliment on something you've worked hard on.