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  • To boost your truck’s performance or enhance its overall look, you should consider buying some truck upgrades for the brake disk and pad kit, shock absorbers, and bumper.
  • A bull bar, tonneau covers, and nerf bars or running boards are also excellent options, as are floor mats, mirrors and mirror covers, headlights, fog lights, and tail lights.
  • If you want the best storage upgrades for your truck, consider investing in a roof rack and some cargo management. Finally, some towing accessories will ready your truck for camping with a trailer.

Planning on gifting yourself a much-needed truck makeover this holiday season? Or perhaps there’s an avid truck owner on your holiday shopping list who could use some cool accessories or maintenance parts for their prized ride? 

Read on for our recommendations on some of the best truck upgrades you can get to spruce up your (or your friend’s and/or family member’s) truck.

Top Truck Upgrades You Should Consider Adding to Your Ride

To boost your truck’s performance or perhaps enhance its overall look, this guide lists some of the best truck upgrades to help get your ride ready for your next great adventure.

offroad trucks
Enhance the overall look of your truck by installing some upgrades.

Brake Disc & Pad Kit

Your vehicle’s braking system is responsible for reducing its momentum and speed⁠—which means that having a reliable set of brakes is essential for safe vehicle operation.

If you’ve been noticing some signs of bad or worn-out brake pads, such as noises or abnormal pedal feel, you should definitely consider swapping them out.

Check out our top-rated Powerstop brake pad and rotor kits to find some great options for your truck.

brake disc and pad kit
A reliable set of brakes is important for your safety.

Shock Absorbers

Shock absorbers help ensure a smooth ride and better vehicle handling. If this is something that interests you, consider getting a performance upgrade for better comfort and control over your ride.

Another suspension upgrade you should consider adding to your vehicle is a performance control arm. As part of your truck’s suspension system, its primary function is to guide your wheels as they move upward and downward. Without this component, you’re likely to experience a very uncomfortable ride.

See also  Common Symptoms of a Bad Brake Disc

Having a performance control arm is important, especially if you’re the type who loves to drive outdoors. Investing in a good replacement control arm gives your truck the advantage it needs in rough terrain and unforgiving road conditions.

shock absorber of a truck
For smooth and better handling, get a suspension upgrade.

Bumper (or Bumper Cover)

Bumpers are your truck’s first line of defense in a low-impact collision. These metal reinforcements are attached to the vehicle and help absorb and redistribute the energy from the impact.

Most trucks have stainless or carbon steel bumpers. However, if you want a performance-boosting upgrade, go for aluminum bumpers, which are lighter, more corrosion-resistant, and require minimal maintenance.

Bumper covers are also an optional upgrade to consider if you want to change up the look of your vehicle or improve its aerodynamics. Check out our wide range of Replacement bumper covers to find the right fit for your truck.

truck bumper
Bumpers are your vehicle’s first line of defense.

Bull Bar

Bull bars provide both an aggressive and powerful look as well as added protection in a collision. These are usually installed over the center and underside of the bumper and are directly attached to the frame of the vehicle.

Bull bars cover a more specific area at the front of the vehicle and don’t have hitch mounting plates, which grille guards usually have. They are one of the best exterior truck accessories because of their aesthetics and functionality.

truck bull bar
Add a bull bar to your truck for a more aggressive look and for additional protection.

Tonneau Covers

Tonneau covers protect your truck bed and your cargo from the elements⁠—and from theft. This component is also known to many as a truck bed cover.

These covers also enhance your truck’s aerodynamics and fuel efficiency. Typically, an open truck bed creates a lot of wind drag, and having it covered up streamlines the truck’s profile and improves its aerodynamic performance.

If you’re looking for the best soft tonneau cover for your truck, check out our top-rated offerings from JC Whitney.

couple loading truck
Tonneau covers protect your truck bed and your cargo from the elements⁠—and from theft.

Nerf Bars or Running Boards

Running boards, or footboards, act as an additional step that helps passengers enter or exit a truck. They are usually flat and run along the sides of the truck, just below the doors, and can be retractable in some vehicles. 

See also  How Long Do Shocks Last?

Aside from making it easier to board the vehicle, the ridged surface of the running board gives you a place to wipe off excess dirt and debris from your shoes⁠—which helps keep your interiors clean. 

Nerf bars have almost the same basic function as the running board, but due to their tubular shape, they typically provide a smaller stepping surface. They’re generally better for off-roading and other rugged applications and can help protect your vehicle’s body from side impact. If you’re unsure about which to get, check out this article: Nerf Bars vs. Running Boards: What’s the Difference.

truck running board
For a wider step and better footing, install nerf bars or running boards.

Floor Mats

Floor mats may be the most important interior upgrade you can get. They help protect your vehicle floors from wear and tear, and if you’re a regular off-roader, you’ll need this more than the average driver.

Floor mats capture spills, moisture, dirt, and other debris that can ruin your truck’s flooring. If your truck’s current floor mats are worn or have visible signs of damage like holes and tears, you’ll need to replace them as soon as you can. 

You can also change your floor mats for aesthetic reasons, such as to match the interior trim. 

Remember to get floor mats that are molded to fit your vehicle.

truck floor mats
Keep your truck’s interior clean and aesthetically pleasing by using floor mats.

Mirrors & Mirror Covers

If your truck isn’t equipped with heated mirrors, it might be the perfect time for an upgrade⁠—especially if you live in a state that sees a lot of frosty winters. Kool Vue offers a wide variety of manual- and power-folding heated mirrors for both towing and regular applications, so you’re sure to find the right set for your truck.

Not looking to swap out your existing mirrors? Consider getting mirror covers instead. These accessories protect your side mirrors from scratches, scuffs, and other types of damage.

Take your pick from our finest JC Whitney mirror covers to protect your truck’s mirrors.

mirror cover
Mirror covers instead protect your side mirrors from scratches, scuffs, and other types of damage.

Headlights, Fog Lights, & Tail Lights

Every driver knows the importance of having properly functioning lights when on the road. If your current lights are getting dim or hazy, consider replacing them to ensure your safety on the road. 

Check out our top-quality headlights and tail lights from our Replacement brand to find the right set for your truck.

See also  How to Remove Scratches from Your Car Bumper

Fog lights are another upgrade you may want to consider⁠—especially if you usually drive in areas with a lot of fog or heavy rain. 

Unlike headlights, which are mandatory, fog lights are considered auxiliary lights. Aside from helping you see the road through heavy fog, they can also add to the aesthetic appeal of your truck.

pickup truck headlights
Every driver knows the importance of having properly functioning lights when on the road.

Roof Rack

If you enjoy camping or outdoor sports, a roof rack is definitely a good truck upgrade to consider. Installed on the roof of your vehicle, roof racks provide you with another place to store bulky items that can’t fit in the truck bed during travel, like sports and camping equipment. 

In addition to helping you transport additional cargo, a roof rack upgrade can also add to your truck’s rugged appeal.

truck with roof rack
A roof rack can add to your truck’s rugged appeal.

Cargo Management

Being able to haul heavy loads is one of the best things about owning a pickup truck⁠—and there are several truck upgrades that are designed specifically to help you with your cargo.

Cargo carriers and baskets are installed on the roof of your truck’s cab. They support and carry loads that can’t fit in your truck’s bed, which improves your vehicle’s hauling capabilities and provides additional cargo space.

To keep your cargo perfectly secure, we recommend installing Dee Zee tie-down anchors straps to your truck bed so you can use straps to hold down equipment during transport.

white truck with atvs on truck bed
There are many truck upgrades that can help you with your cargo. | Photo by DiamondBack Covers / CC BY-SA 2.0

Towing Accessories

If you’re planning to camp out with a trailer, you’ll need a towing hitch and some other towing accessories. The type of hitch you’ll need will depend on the size of your truck and its hauling capacity, so it’s a good idea to read our towing and trailer guide to give you an idea of what accessories you’ll need.

Explore our extensive catalog of high-quality towing accessories to find the best upgrade for your truck.

truck towing accessory
Install a towing hitch and other towing accessories if you’re planning to camp out with a trailer.
About The Author
Written By Automotive and Tech Writers

The Research Team is composed of experienced automotive and tech writers working with (ASE)-certified automobile technicians and automotive journalists to bring up-to-date, helpful information to car owners in the US. Guided by's thorough editorial process, our team strives to produce guides and resources DIYers and casual car owners can trust.

Any information provided on this Website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace consultation with a professional mechanic. The accuracy and timeliness of the information may change from the time of publication.

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