Whether you’re looking to make your car faster, more practical or just look cooler, not all car modifications are created equal. Some are so pricey that they’re out of the question for the average driver.
However, there are many affordable and practical upgrades that can boost your daily driver’s performance without blowing your budget.
1. Tire Pressure Monitoring System
The Tire Pressure Monitoring System, or TPMS, is the system that warns you when one or more of your tires are under-inflated. It uses sensors that detect changes in air pressure and transmit this information to your vehicle’s computer. Most newer vehicles use this system. If you are shopping for a used car, be sure to look for this feature to save yourself the trouble of having to manually check each tire with a pressure gauge.
The TPMS is designed to be more reliable than the manual checkup process and will alert you much faster. In fact, if the TPMS detects that one of your tires is significantly lower than it should be, it will turn on your indicator light right away. This is a safety feature that is required by law in many states.
There are two different kinds of TPMS systems: direct and indirect. Indirect TPMS systems work by using the wheel speed sensors from your Antilock Braking System to monitor the pressure in each tire. When a tire is low, the wheel will spin at a different rate compared to the other three, and the TPMS sensor will send this information to your vehicle’s computer system.
Indirect systems are typically cheaper to install and are less likely to be prone to false readings. However, they are not as accurate as direct systems and will only notify you if a single tire is under-inflated. Those who prefer more accuracy should choose a direct system, which will utilize a sensor in each wheel to directly measure the pressure of each tire, and most are also able to display this information on the instrument cluster.
Regardless of which type of TPMS you have, it is important to regularly inspect the tire pressure in your vehicle and make any necessary adjustments. This will not only prevent you from driving with low or overinflated tires, but it can also improve your fuel efficiency by lowering the amount of gas that is burned per mile.
In addition to a regular inspection, you should have your TPMS sensors replaced when they go bad. Reputable tire shops and even your vehicle manufacturer will have technicians that are trained to evaluate and repair TPMS sensors.
2. Brake Lines
Brake lines are a crucial part of your car’s braking system. They transfer pressurized brake fluid from the master cylinder to your vehicle’s wheel calipers and then to your brake pads. They are also designed to prevent contaminants from entering the braking system, such as water or dirt. This is important because a dirty brake line can interfere with the performance of your vehicle’s brakes, leading to a sudden loss of stopping power.
Like most parts of your car, over time, your brake lines can become damaged. This can be caused by road debris, corrosion or general wear and tear. Regardless of the cause, it’s important to replace your brake lines when they start to leak or become corroded. If your brake lines begin to leak, they can disrupt the flow of your brake fluid and potentially damage other components in your braking system.
A brake line replacement can be a relatively simple task. You will need to remove the old brake line from the brake hose and install the new one. Then, you will need to flare the brake lines in order to connect them to your brake calipers and other components.
While flared brake lines provide a more secure connection, they also require some technical know-how to do correctly. It’s best to leave this job to a professional if you don’t have experience with it.
If you’re a spirited driver or take your car to the track, installing a set of braided stainless steel brake lines is a must. They offer a much more resilient and swelling-resistant design that’s essential for high-intensity driving. Additionally, they will help you achieve a firmer and more responsive brake pedal feel.
Braided stainless steel brake lines are also available in a range of different colors, so you can match them to your callipers or the overall look of your vehicle. This makes them an excellent option if you’re concerned about the appearance of your vehicle or you’ve recently upgraded your brake callipers and want them to match. Braided stainless steel brake lines are also much more durable than rubber lines and will last for the life of your vehicle. In addition, you can find top-tier 4WD rims at CSA Wheels.
3. Short-Throw Shifter
There are plenty of car upgrades that can improve the driving experience. Airbags, anti-lock brakes, backup cameras, and many other options are available for anyone looking to add safety or performance features to their vehicle. For drivers that want to enhance the feel of their car, a short-throw shifter is an excellent choice. It is an easy modification that will drastically improve the overall experience behind the wheel.
When you’re driving a stick shift car, one of the most important things is how well your clutch engages and changes gears. A long throw can make shifting feel sloppy and take away from the fun of driving your car. The short-throw shifter can eliminate this problem and provide a much more precise engagement with the gears.
A short-throw shifter is a simple mod that makes changing gears a lot smoother. It does this by moving the pivot point for the shifter closer to the knob, which decreases the distance that your hand has to move to shift gears. This also increases the precision with which your clutch can engage and disengage. A shorter throw can even help reduce false shifts and keep your hands on the road where they belong during aggressive driving.
Another benefit of a short-throw shifter is that it can be customized to match your style. You can choose a different knob for the shifter to make it look more unique or to match your interior. You can also find a shifter that is made of a material that feels good in your hand. This is essential because it will determine how comfortable the shifter is to use.
The only downside of a short-throw shifter that can’t be ignored is the increased effort required to operate it. This is not something that every driver will be able to get used to, and it may not be ideal for people with limited arm strength. However, it is a small price to pay for an upgrade that will take your car’s performance to the next level.
4. Window Film
Window tint is a thin laminate film that can be installed on the interior of existing windows to improve aesthetics or performance. Typically, it is made of clear polyester and features a variety of surface-applied or embedded treatments such as metals, dyes, and adhesives. Most automotive window tints are formulated to reduce interior heat while still allowing for an adequate amount of natural light. Window tints also provide a number of other benefits including protection from harmful UV rays, reduced glare on liquid crystal display (LCD) screens, and greater privacy while driving or parking your car.
Window film is a highly durable material that can withstand a lot of abuse. However, it is important to note that window tints will degrade over time, so it’s best to have them installed by a professional. The durability of window tints depends on the type of glass and construction, compass orientation of the glass, and the location of the installation in relation to sunlight and weather conditions. Window films are also subject to rigorous testing and quality control to ensure they meet certain standards.
One of the most common questions we hear is “does tint help keep the car cool?” Generally speaking, all window tints help reduce the amount of heat that enters the cabin. However, the specific percentage of heat rejection will depend on what type of tint you choose. Some of the most popular tints include standard dyed, ceramic, and metallic. Each of these provides different levels of heat reduction and UV blocking but all are designed to keep your car’s interior cooler and more comfortable.
It’s worth mentioning that window tint helps protect you from dangerous UV rays, which can cause skin cancer and premature aging. Automotive window tints block up to 99% of harmful UVA and UVB rays, which makes them an excellent investment in your health.
Besides being an effective way to fight the summer heat, window tints also offer a variety of other benefits that make them a must-have for all drivers. For example, they can improve visibility by reducing headlight glare, which can distract you from the road ahead of you. Additionally, they can enhance your privacy and security by preventing thieves from being able to see into your vehicle.