Eight Car Modifications That Give You the Highest Value for Money

 While all car modifications have some benefit or the other, they do not always have equivalent returns on the investment. Interestingly, the most popular car mods often have the least value for money. The simple reason is that unless you’re a race car driver, there’s only so much high performance you can benefit from. 

 When people speak of high-performance cars, they’re typically referring to speed. However, high performance can mean different things to different people. Some people may prefer more fuel economy than they currently enjoy, others may be more interested in getting better handling. 

It is critical to know what performance you want to improve before going on to modify your vehicle. Adding forced induction to a vehicle when you’re seeking to improve the fuel efficiency is counterproductive. You’re likely to end up being more frustrated than you were with the car in its original state, not to mention that you’d have been significantly set back moneywise.

You should reach out to auto-mechanics or licensed car dealers to better understand what mods you need to help you reach your car goals. Some car manufacturers have licensed dealers for mod parts like this Ford dealer here.

In this article, we’ll be considering the most common car modifications that give considerable returns on your initial investment. As you will notice, most of them are minor changes. 

Tires: 

Tires are an essential but often overlooked contributor to car performance. Investing in new tires is something you should go all out for. Looking for bargain-priced tires can often result in you being stuck with poor fuel efficiency and performance tires. 

Tires typically come in two broad categories: Hard and Soft. Soft tires are your best bet for increased speed and grip on the road; however, they are more expensive and wear out easily. Hard tires, on the other hand, have less of a grip on the road but last longer. For comparison, soft tires typically last for only about 20,000km, while hard tires can go as long as 60,000km. 

Tires can cost anywhere from $300 to $900, depending on the quality you’re buying. A general rule of thumb is that the higher-priced a tire is, the better it is. It is also important to perform weekly checks of your tires for wear and tear and optimal air pressure. That way, you can get ahead of any potential issues.  

Limited Slip Differential:

If you’re looking to improve your car’s speed and handling, then this is one mod you should seriously consider having. Although it is becoming more common in cars, there’s a good chance your car doesn’t have it. 

Changing your slip differential system can help you maximize the power of your engine, which is something a lot of people are not conscious of. Most car modifiers are more interested in overhauling the entire engine for increased performance when they don’t really need to. 

The alternative to LSDs is the Open Slip Differential, which makes use of just one wheel drive a vehicle. That wheel is typically the one with the least amount of traction. With $500, you can update your slip differential system from an open one to a limited one and notice instant differences. 

Stainless Steel Brake Lines and Brake Pads:

When people invest in modifying their cars, they’re usually big on making them go as fast as possible. What most people do not account for is effectively the car comes to a stop. If you’ve had to avoid a collision with a few seconds to spare, you’ll know how important a working brake transmission system is. 

There are different kinds of brake pads suited for different purposes. You will have to look carefully into the types and which one suits your needs best. The cost also varies based on the type of brake pad.

Stainless steel brake lines are a great alternative to the stock rubber version that comes with most automobiles. Rubber can flex and make the pedal numb when hard braking. With a stainless-steel brake line, you should see an improvement in the way your brake works.

Adjustable Anti-rolling Bar:

Anti-roll bars are the part of the suspension responsible for balancing the car when turning. It connects both sides of the car’s suspension and helps keep the weight of the car evenly distributed among the tires.

With an adjustable anti-roll bar, you will be able to adjust the balance of your car until it suits your needs. However, suspension can be quite tricky to deal with. It is best to leave the installation of anti-roll bars to the auto-mechanics. Switching to an adjustable anti-roll bar is great if you’re looking to improve your car’s handling. They are typically available from $300

Better Shock Absorbers:

Much like brake pads, shock absorbers are an underrated safety modification that a lot of people do not pay attention to. They are useful for absorbing shocks that may come when you drive over bumps or other obstacles. They are useful for balancing your car and help your handling, especially when you’re driving in rough terrain. 

While there are adjustable versions, unless you’re experienced at dealing with them, you should steer clear of them. You may also need to get a new set of stiffer springs to enhance the shock absorber’s function. You should be able to get all your shock absorber enhancements for around $700. If you’re only changing parts, you may be able to get it for less.  

Cold Air Intake:

This is typically the first mod that people make because of its low cost and ease of installation. A cold-air intake can take as little as an hour to get done even when done DIY. 

Cold-air intakes help deliver more cold air into the engine by reducing the restrictions to airflow. They can do this due to a larger diameter and straighter tubes. They are better for engine performance than the regular stock car airbox. They typically cost between $100 and $300 and add between 5 – 10 horsepower to your car’s performance.

Cat-Back Exhaust:

A cat-back exhaust mod is typically classified as an exhaust modification. While most people imagine that exhaust modifications are either for speed or aesthetic value, adding a cat-back exhaust can also improve your car’s fuel economy. 

It is important to upgrade your exhaust system, especially if you have just modified your air intake system. The simple reason is to enable the easy escape of your exhaust air, which can improve your engine efficiency. 

The one major downside to installing a cat-back exhaust is that it can get quite loud and sometimes break noise pollution limits. To mitigate high noise levels, you can add mufflers and resonators. Mufflers and resonators will not make the noise less than your stock exhaust system, but they’ll make it more bearable.
You can typically get a cat-back exhaust installed for around $250. The price can go higher, depending on your specifications, though. 

Computer tuning: 

Unless you’re driving a particularly old vintage car, it’s bound to have some kind of computer system which controls and monitors the performance and emission. Although it is not the firstplace people look, tuning your computer system can have significant advantages for your car’s performance.

Computer tuning is especially important after you’ve completed significant modifications like changing your air intake and exhaust. Some cars are designed for modification and will get an automated tune-up. In the case that your car isn’t eligible for modification, you may have to rely on a performance auto shop to input the new tune-up settings for you.  

Cars sometimes come with a self-service tune. This kind of tune-up can be done DIY. All you need to do is upload the ready-made tune files provided by the manufacturer. The tune-up should only take a few minutes, and you’ll be ready to go. 

If yours doesn’t come with a self-service tune, you will have to go for a dyno-tune. Dyno tunes make use of a dynamometer and can only be handled by a professional. Dyno tunes also perform better and last longer than self-service tunes because they are based on your car’s actual performance and not a template. 

Depending on whether you’re getting a self-service or dyno tune-up and how extensive your tune-up is, it can cost anywhere from free to $700.

Parting Advice

Car mods can be tricky to deal with; and with limited resources, it is important to rationalize how you spend on them. Throwing money at a car won’t always get you better results. At some point the principles of diminishing returns come to play. This is why it is important to know what mods give you the best value for your money. 

Unless you’re a drag racer, there are very few reasons to spend excessive amounts of money tuning up your vehicle. Even drag racers understand that making small, timely tweaks to their cars can produce incredible results.  

It is also important to note that making certain modifications to your car can void your warranties. F you want to keep your warranties intact, you will have to contact a certified dealer when making your mods. They are usually better positioned to identify what modifications can void your warranty and will inform you accordingly should you choose to go ahead.
 
 
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