Ways to Upgrade Your Car
You want your car to be faster, look faster, and make you feel cooler, so you've decided to customize it a bit. Here's your starter guide to getting it done.
- •Cold-Air Intake KitA cold air intake is the first and easiest mod that anyone can do in less than an hour. It consists of replacing the stock, restrictive air box for your car’s intake. The premise is that by allowing air to flow naturally without any baffles or restrictions, your engine is able to breathe easier to access more air when needed, such as when using an on-ramp to join a highway.
- •Cat-back Exhaust KitAlong with a cold-air intake is the second popular mod is an exhaust upgrades. If you do an intake upgrade, it’s a good idea to upgrade your exhaust. Aside from sound enhancements, it allows your engine to run more efficiently. Following my intake and exhaust upgrades, you will see about a 5% improvement in my fuel economy.
- •Get a Custom Paint JobGet a Custom Paint Job. Pick a shade that is hard to find on a stock car, like a very deep pearl red, and name it something like sangue rosso (blood red), or get a tasteful, asymmetrical racing stripe. If you're looking to save some cash, go for a vinyl wrap. If you're hoping to jump on the matte paint trend, we go vinyl too, as it's nowhere near as finicky as real matte paint and looks just as good.
- •Get Some New WheelsA nice set of good wheels from a reputable company will reduce the unsprung weight of your car, which will, in turn, improve handling significantly. That's not to say they won't also make your ride look better, but style can't supersede substance. The easiest way to improve handling is to "plus-size" your wheels and tires. It means proportionally reducing sidewall height, increasing wheel diameter, and increasing width to ensure your wider tires keep the same diameter.
- •Get Better BrakesIf you ask a pro driver about what separated good from great, there's a good chance he'll say "braking." We know that slowing down isn't really what you think of when you think of racing, but it has to happen before every corner, and the better your brakes are, the more time you can stay on the throttle before entry. Carbon ceramic brake pads also have the advantage of not gunking up your nice new wheels with grey brake dust.
- •ECU TuningThis is probably the easiest way to get some more power out of your engine, especially if it's a factory turbo engine. All that's going on here is a software update. Needless to say, if you don't go with a reputable tuner, your engine can get seriously screwed up. Just because you can push the rev limiter up to 18,000 rpms doesn't mean you should.
- •Lighten Anything Connected to the EngineIf the engine is spinning it or pushing it, its weight is important. Every newton of force your engine spends spinning something like a drive shaft is a newtown of force that your tires aren't applying to the pavement. Lightening your whole drivetrain will give you faster throttle response and more power. We all want faster throttle response and more power.