Taking Your Ride to the Next Level
Manufacturers make cars for the public, but the priority is the company’s bottom line. We get it, it’s a business. Because of this, optimal upgrades are often substituted with middle of the road components. These acceptable parts do their job, but fail to deliver the fantasy presented in automotive advertising. Fortunately, there is an incredible availability of aftermarket upgrades. Here are a few smart hacks to make your car what it should have been.
- Digital environment: The digital age is golden and nowhere is this more apparent than in the range of amazing devices we can connect to create our signature environments. In your car this is the job of the entertainment system. You can settle for what your manufacturer felt you should accept, or you can go for the full package with something like the Sony XAV AX5000.
- Coil-over shocks and stabilisers: If you want a better driving experience you need to feel the road. The shocks and springs of your average car cannot deliver the touch and responsiveness easily available from an upgrade. Coil-overs can be a little expensive, but they are an all in one solution to limp performance as well as offering ride height options. Add to this a stabilization package and your plodding workhorse becomes a nimble pony. There are few cars made today that could not benefit from a suspension upgrade.
- Performance: Once you have tightened up your chassis, it is time to add a few ponies to that sleepy mill. The availability of performance mods is endless and can be a dangerous path for the inexperienced and experienced alike. However, there are safe sure-fire options that do not require major mechanical intervention. Increasing the airflow with a race grade intake and beefing up your exhaust system is a good start. High quality spark plugs and reprogramming your ECU is another affordable option.
- Wheels, Brakes, and Tires: The most important step in your upgrade is the point of contact with the road. You want to use all that new power and then make it stop safely. Your wheel wells are your guide; for most vehicles you want to fill that space without any rubbing on the tires. The goal is low-profile tires on a wider, taller rim; wrapped with the highest quality rubber your budget will allow. Four-wheel disk brakes are a must. They are available in a tremendous range of performance specs to meet every project goal. Add steel brake lines and you will soon be stopping on dimes.
A car is a major investment, chances are you were thinking of something new not long after you bought your current ride. The grass is always greener, and all that. But it makes no sense to replace the whole car for a few new features every model year. The intelligent path is bringing those features to the car you already have. But the customization route is full of hard choices, especially if you are not a mechanic. Remember to Keep it safe, but don’t settle for off the shelf. Make your current car drive and sound like the car you