Getting a car can be an exciting experience, whether you're a car lover or not. However, true car lovers know that the real joy in owning a car comes after you've modified it to suit your taste. While most people look for the perfect automobile, real car enthusiasts know that the secret to perfection is picking your parts.
Real car lovers know that a car is really a reusable canvas. You can change every internal detail of a car while keeping the external intact. This knowledge is partly what inspires car lovers to go for classics. The thrill of being able to own a modern machine housed in vintage beauty of a 1970 Ford Mustang is beyond alluring.
The idea of modifying cars to suit the owner's taste is not a new one. However, in 2020, with the advent of newer, better, safer technology, there's a reason to keep your eye out. One of the limitations car mods have had in previous years is that safety standards from older times do not compare with those we have now.
The safety challenge has not been totally eradicated, and may never be. This is why it is important to go to a licensed car shop for your modifications, even though you might be tempted to do it on your own. It is important to note that the specific kind of mod available for your vehicle will depend on parts that the manufacturer makes available. Using other vehicle's hardware can have unpredictable effects on your vehicle's performance.
While all mods add some level of flair or performance to your vehicle, not all mods were created equally. In this article, we will be looking at the five best car modifications that anyone can get this year:
The favorite accessory of daredevil car-racing movies like the fast and furious franchise is definitely one of the most in-vogue mods to get for any car. They are especially important if you will be using the vehicle for drag racing. You should, however, keep in mind that in many states, there are legal limitations on the use of nitrous. While most states allow for the installation of nitrous systems, they typically discourage the use of it unless on race tracks.
Nitrous systems can provide a boost of up to 50 horsepower instantly. They are designed using Nitrous Oxide, a highly combustible gas that results in an inflow of cold air into the combustion chamber. The kits are typically designed for universal use. You may only need to buy a few accessories that ensure that they fit properly. The installation is also a relatively easy process and can be completed in a few minutes with the right experience. With $500, you should be able to get a pretty good nitro kit installed, although the price can go up to $800+ in some cases.
Every serious car enthusiast knows that the first, and best, option for improving your car's performance is to do a forced-induction mod. Adding a turbocharger or a supercharger can improve your car's performance by up to 200 horsepower. Impressive right?
Turbochargers are the more expensive of the two. They can cost anywhere between $2500 to $10,000. They work by using hot air from the exhaust to power a turbine, which spins a compressor. The compressor then forces compressed air into the engine resulting in a higher amount of fuel burnt per minute and, effectively, more horsepower.
Interestingly, some cars come with inbuilt turbochargers, and their owners have no idea. Before going on to install a turbocharger, you should check to see if you already have one or not. You may only need to change a few parts instead of revamping the whole system.
Superchargers, on the other hand, cost between $1600 for basic versions and $5000 for the high-end alternatives. They work on similar principles of forced convection like turbochargers but for the fact that they use a belt-driven compressor. The compressor is driven by torque from the vehicle's camshaft. They have a slight edge on turbochargers with their shorter lag time. They are also more durable than turbochargers but with poorer carbon emissions.
Cold Air Intake:
As you might have noticed with nitrous and forced induction mods, having more air going into your engine's combustion chamber is the secret to having more horsepower. What most people do to alleviate this problem is to swap their regular air filters for performance air filters. Changing air filters is great for your engine, but it doesn't do too much for improved performance. To achieve that, you need to change the air intake system to a cold air intake.
The cold air intake modification can typically be done without the help of a professional, although it is not advisable. It is great as a first car mod and takes less than one hour to implement.
It works by taking in colder air to the engine from the environment. In most cases, a cold air intake will have a larger diameter than a regular air intake alongside fewer bends to improve airflow. They can improve performance by up to 10 horsepower without significantly altering the vehicle like other mods.
It's not uncommon to see people change their exhaust tips for something with a larger diameter. Sure, they look great and sound nice, but in actuality, they do not add a great deal to a car's performance. If you really want to improve your car's performance, you have to replace your entire system.
Tuning your exhaust system typically implies an overhauling of the system from the headers all the way to the back. Old, rusty exhaust manifolds should be replaced with larger sized, stainless steel headers to improve flow. Modern exhausts also make use of more straight tubes to improve flow, as well as longer tube headers. However, the nature of your car should be taken into account when changing your exhaust system. If it's a lowered vehicle, having a long tube header will inevitably lead to scrapes on speedbumps.
Prices for exhaust headers typically start from $200 and increase based on diameter and coating type. You can also decide to go with a dual exhaust, which will invariably cost more than a single exhaust.
Keep in mind that changing your exhaust might pit you against your state's emissions limits. To avoid breaking legal emission limits, you will likely need a high-flow catalytic converter. High-flow cats, as they are commonly called, remove impurities from your exhaust. However, they can cause a slight increase in the volume of your exhaust.
Increase Fuel Delivery:
An increase in horsepower through forced induction or nitrous will always result in your vehicle burning more fuel than it ordinarily would. You have to account for this increase in demand as your regular fuel delivery system may not be able to keep up. While your system should be able to adjust to meet up with increased demands form minor modifications like a cold-air intake, these high-performance mods may require extra help.
You may have to get high-flow fuel pumps and higher flowing fuel injectors to meet up with the new engine demands. Without these minor modifications, you run the risk of having an inefficient combustion system. Increasing your car's fuel delivery can be done DIY; however, you're always better off leaving it to a professional as it can take a couple of hours to complete.
Car modifications are a crucial part of the car ownership experience. Mods are not a one-way street as people mod for different reasons. For some, it is to enhance speed, for others, it’s about improving the car’s handling. Maybe your reason for modifying your car is to improve the aesthetics. No reason is better or more honorable than the other. However, you must be sure of the reason you’re carrying out the modification. Knowing the reason will help guide you in picking the best car mod for your needs.
If you’re using a classic car, then you have almost certainly exceeded the warranty and have nothing to worry about. However, if the car you’re attempting to modify is a new one, you may want to make enquiries into which mods can compromise your warranty.
Another thing to keep in mind are the safety and emission regulations in your state. Cars are typically made with the current emission standards in mind. Some mods will affect your car’s exhaust emission and noise pollution levels. These days, a good number of cars come with computer tuning systems that can update your system to meet up with current regulations. However, once you start to modify your car, you may lose access to such functions or they may be harder to access.
To avoid running into trouble with the law or with your neighbors, you should get professional help with your mods. Auto-mechanics and licensed car part dealers are typically up to date on local restrictions and can help you make adjustments to meet up regardless of the nature of your car.