Features

Best Car Upgrades

Reading Time: 4 minutes

If you’re like most enthusiasts, you simply cannot leave your car alone. You have to add a set of aftermarket wheels, a performance exhaust system, a set of fuzzy dice—something to make your ride your own.

The problem is, these days, there are so many ways to customize your car that choosing what to spend your money on can be difficult.

That’s why we’ve come up with a list of the best upgrades for use throughout your vehicle.

mechanic fixing a car
These days, there are so many ways to customize your car that choosing what to spend your money on can be difficult.

Best Upgrades to Make Your Car Go Faster or Perform Better

Most car performance upgrades compromise reliability and driveability. So, if you’ve got a daily driver, you don’t want to go wild with a supercharger and a tuner.

Instead, you want to keep it simple by adding upgrades, such as the following:

Cat-back exhaust

If you remove your catalytic converter(s), also known as a cat, your check engine light will be on all the time, and you’ll fail a state emissions test. But a cat-back exhaust, which keeps the cat(s) intact, won’t cause either of those problems.

However, the modification will reduce exhaust backpressure for improved performance. And even more importantly, it will give your car that ultra-cool rumbling sound.

Magnaflow and Corsa are two of the best-known manufacturers of performance exhausts.

exhaust pipe of a car
A cat-back exhaust keeps the catalytic converter intact.

Lowering springs

Not only do lowering springs make your car look cool, but they also lower its center of gravity. That translates to better handling and a more spirited driving experience.

Upgraded shocks/struts

When you install a set of lowering springs, it’s a good idea to install a matching set of shocks/struts at the same time.

Otherwise, the ride quality of your vehicle may suffer, and the shocks or struts will wear out quickly.

Best Car Exterior Upgrades

There are many different ways you can make the exterior of your car stand out. Here are a few you’ll want to focus on:

Wheels and tires

A custom set of wheels and tires is perhaps the best way to set your car apart from the herd. Because there are a countless number of designs available, it’s easy to find one that fits your unique style.

alloy wheels
Set your car apart from the herd by getting a custom set of wheels and tires.

Window tint

Window tint helps keep your interior cool, and it shields you from the prying eyes of other motorists.

It’s a win-win situation.

Headlights and taillights

These days, there are all kinds of aftermarket headlights and taillights available. For example, you can choose to upgrade from halogen headlights to LED headlights. Or you can simply choose a lighting assembly with a more stylish design.

No matter what you’re after, there’s a set of lights to make your car stand out.

Best Car Interior Upgrades

Late-model cars come from the factory with an array of high-tech interior features. But even if you’ve got an older vehicle, you can enjoy the latest amenities with these upgrades:

Backup camera

The Department of Transportation has required all vehicles built since 2018 to have a backup camera—but most vehicles made before then lack the technology.

The good news is, you can add an aftermarket backup camera to just about any vehicle.

Upgraded stereo

A great soundtrack is an essential part of the driving experience. You can turn your car into a symphony hall with a set of high-performance speakers, a new head unit—maybe even a couple of amps and a sub.

When it comes to custom stereos, the only limit is your budget.

upgraded car speakers
Turn your car into a symphony hall with a set of high-performance speakers, a new head unit—maybe even a couple of amps and a sub.

Remote start with keyless entry

If you live in a location where it gets cold during the winter, upgrading to a keyless entry system with remote start can be a lifesaver. You can start your car from a remote location, and it will be warmed up by the time you’re ready to go.

Best Cheap Car Upgrades

Are you on a tight budget? Not to worry, you can upgrade your car without breaking the bank using the following equipment:

Bluetooth FM transmitter

One of the best cool car mods—a Bluetooth FM Transmitter—costs less than $30. The device plugs into your car’s power outlet and provides Bluetooth functionality through the FM transmitter.

These gadgets are cheap, easy to use, and allow you to bring the latest technology to an older car.

Seat covers

No matter how careful you are, eventually, you’ll end up spilling something on your car’s seats. Before disaster strikes, protect your ride with a set of seat covers. You can also use the opportunity to spruce up the interior with one of the many available prints.

car seats
Protect your seats from dirt and spills by getting new seat covers.

Blindspot mirrors

As you probably guessed, blind spot mirrors allow the driver to see vehicles and other objects hidden in their blind spot. That means that, for just a few dollars, these mirrors can improve both the safety and the comfort of your vehicle.

Click a star to rate this article
[Total: 4   Average: 5/5]
Author

CarParts.com

Staff Writers

In the Garage with CarParts.com is an online blog dedicated to bringing DIYers and devoted car enthusiasts up to date with topical automotive news and lifestyle content. Our writers live and breathe automotive, taking the guess work out of car repairs with how-to content that helps owners get back on the road and keep driving.

Carparts Email Subscribe