Thursday, November 15, 2012

Accessorizing Your Car

Any proud car owner will, more often than not, look for ways to personalize his or her car. Be it for performance, looks or functionality, a car owner will look to make the car a more endearing vehicle according to their taste or personality. The type of accessories that will benefit both car and owner will depend on whether the car is a weekend toy or a daily commuter (many times both).

If one is fortunate enough to have a car that's used exclusively on weekends, then the possibilities for accessorizing and modifying it are practically limitless. For a weekend toy, the owner most often starts with an aftermarket catback exhaust. Apart from the promise of a few more extra horsepower, a properly matched exhaust will give a car a throaty, aggressive rumble without the raspy note that grates on the ears after a while. Sometimes, an owner will add a cold air intake, which can give a few more horsepower. It must be noted that even the combination of a cold air intake and catback exhaust will, at most, give a horsepower increase only in the single digits. This is specially true of modern engines which have been optimized from the factory for peak efficiency. But as we said, this aspect of accessorizing/modification is as much for aesthetics as for power increases.

Many times, a dual-use or daily driven car will have its modifications stop there. But for owners with second cars, the weekend toy can be fitted with adjustable coilover suspensions, lighter wheels and carbon fiber body kits. High performance suspensions allow one to dial in the proper ride height for that all-important stance. More than that, quality aftermarket suspensions give your car a big edge in the handling department. Adjustable coilovers are one of the few aftermarket mods that benefit both the show and the go aspect of a car.

But if you have just a single car which you use for your daily commute, your options for accessorizing will swing in a different direction. Necessarily, you will want the best fuel efficiency from your car, so messing with the engine is something that has to be considered carefully. A CAI and freer-breathing exhaust can actually help efficiency, but beware of products that can also hurt it. The best step to take if you are considering this is to do online and word of mouth research on the part you have in mind. There are many, many products out there for all kinds of tastes and budgets. But remember the adage that you get what you pay for, so if you don't want to be ridiculed when you accessorize your car, it's better to save up for a proper part than settle for a cheap imitation.

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