ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

4 Cheap, Easy Car Performance Mods

Updated on February 28, 2014

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.

Intake

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.

Exhaust

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.

Weight Reduction

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

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.

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.

Learn more! - This lens is only the beginning!

New Guestbook Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • ChrisCampbell05 profile image

      Chris 

      2 years ago from Tampa, FL

      Great start. I do want to clarify that just adding aftermarket muffles will not gain much in terms of performance. You really would need headers and a catback exhaust to make a difference. If looking for resources on the best mods for a turbo car I have a writeup. https://hubpages.com/autos/5-best-low-cost-modific...

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      4 years ago

      On the 2010-2013 Ford SHO AWD I have done Dyno testing. It is a twin turbo GDI v6. Tested 3 different exhausts, 3 BTB pulls each (total of 9, all the same day, open hood, 79 degrees and 30% humidity).....last pull with each pipe set the factory filter and factory CAI completely removed from the car (coldest possible air, lowest possible restriction)... It only varied ± 3HP in each set of 3 pulls. We also tested them at the track with this engine and aftermarket actually slowed the quarter mile by .1 - .2 seconds with AirAid .... It seems that while it might work it in TB and MP injection engines it is of no use in these...

    • onlyoneadam profile image

      onlyoneadam 

      4 years ago

      Good lens for starter modders - weight reduction is the big one here : pay attention to the existing weight balance of your car and try to improve that balance as you lose the pounds . For example I run a mid engine car and lost a good chunk of weight from the rear by swapping out the exhaust , helps the handling ( and looks )

    • profile image

      AutoGuy1314 

      4 years ago

      Great lens. Changing the wheels are definitely my favorite when modding a car. OZ, Enkei, KMC are some of my top choices. There is a great website called: getnewrims.com where they feature great wheels to improve the look and performance of your ride.

    • ManbeardTheHuge profile imageAUTHOR

      ManbeardTheHuge 

      5 years ago

      @tiresautorepair: I checked your lens and I see what you mean. What I was talking about were the crap products you find on Ebay such as the little resistors that replace the O2 sensor and claim huge gains but do virtually nothing (I'm ashamed to admit I tried them). I will edit the respective section on my lens here and link to your page so people will have a better understanding!

    • profile image

      tiresautorepair 

      5 years ago

      I disagree with your comment on Performance chips. See my lens to understand why.

    • sukkran trichy profile image

      sukkran trichy 

      5 years ago from Trichy/Tamil Nadu

      great suggestions here. love your weight reduction tips.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)