One aspect to motoring that is distinctly unique to North America is car modifications. It’s not to say that it doesn’t occur in other places, it’s very popular in Japan after all, but it’s been common in America at all levels since cars were invented. The love people have for their vehicles is why modification takes place. Rather than having any interest in getting rid of it and finding a new car, people want to make their car perfect in their eyes.
Generally this comes down to two different types of modifications. Some people like to mod their vehicles for looks. They don’t need a performance machine. They just want to walk out the door each day and have a satisfied sigh as they look at their ride. The other main options are performance increasing mods. These mods are meant to make your drive more exciting and enjoyable. These can be to make you go faster or let you carve that turn on the mountain road.
Appearance Modifying Parts
Appearance mods are incredibly popular. Making your car look better is a bit of a status thing. People love positive attention for physical appearance. If you can’t manage it from your body, why not from your car!
- Spoilers - Spoilers can create an entirely new look for your vehicle. While they are only truly useful at high speeds in high performance cars, they can still look great! Most people think only of the front spoiler, but a good looking front spoiler can add an aggressive dynamic.
- Seats - These are for the interior appearance, but racing inspired seats often take a bland interior and making it exciting. In addition, a four point seatbelt is actually safer than standard three point belts. Plus if it’s more comfortable, your butt and back will thank you!
- Steering Wheels - An aftermarket steering wheel can make your car look and feel more like a racer. These wheels tend to be made of superlight materials and have very comfortable hand holds.
- Wheels/Rims - If you get the right wheels and rims then it’s actually possible to also increase performance by reducing the resting weight of your car. But really what most wheels are purchased for is to draw the eye and stand out. Chrome is common, as is large aggressive designs.
- Paint - A custom paint job can truly set your car apart from every other one on the road. Aftermarket matte paint jobs are becoming more popular as they look great. The downside is they have to be hand washed using special soaps.
Performance Modifying Parts
There’s a lot of different performance parts you might see. Performance parts attempt to increase the power of a car, the handling of a car or the braking of a car. These different aspects work together to create a true performance vehicle. Here are some performance modifying parts that really work:
- High Performance Tires - This is one of the most obvious mod you can make. Moving from standard all season tires to grippier performance rated summer tires really makes a big difference in both handling and braking. You need to continuously check your tire pressure to ensure that they are in peak condition.
- Computer Tuning - Depending on how modern your car is, there’s the potential to complete an aftermarket tune to it. This can affect a bunch of the aspects of your vehicle including the air-fuel and transmission ratios. While this can be done on your own, using a professional at a tuning shop means that you can always reset your settings to factory default if things aren’t working out.
- Cold-Air Intake - This is one of the simplest mods to install. It’s intended to increase your acceleration. A cold-air intake allows your car to receive more air from the outside. This allows the engine to work more smoothly. The boost in acceleration is real, but there’s also an increase in fuel economy.