Marshall McLuhan—a communications theorist whose concepts also predicted the modern internet—once chronicled that “the car has become an article of dress without which we feel uncertain, unclad, and incomplete in the urban compound.” He also believed that a person’s car is the only place where he can think and be alone. Do you believe the same thing?
In America and many places around the world, getting your own car is almost a rite of passage into adulthood—if you can afford one. A car is a beloved symbol of independence and freedom, providing the distinct ability to travel where you want to go, whenever you want to go, no matter how far you have to go. The key to opportunity is in your very hands. All you have to do is unlock the door, buckle your seatbelt, start up the engine, and push down the pedal. Don’t forget gas in the tank, either.
Despite many modern assumptions, personal car ownership is not merely about novelty or importance, but a feeling of pride, control, and fortune. Cars are valuable works of art in themselves, not just mere means to get around. If you’re in the market for some vehicle upgrades, there are a plethora of aftermarket modifications available to increase the speed, aesthetics, enjoyment, and overall performance of your car. Here are a few of the top modifications to improve your car’s performance to your own taste.
Quality Performance Tires
We know, talking tirelessly about tires sounds tedious. But there is nothing like a good set of treads to keep traction top-notch. Your car’s engine can put all the power it has out into the world, but that power’s nothing without a means to get on the road. High-quality rubber tires can not only improve acceleration, handling, and braking, but also offer a better steering feel—which equals a superior driving experience.
The majority of today’s cars come off the assembly line equipped with all-season tires for functionality which can sacrifice a car’s comprehensive performance. While that’s a small price to pay for safety, there’s still a more foolproof set of tires out there. You can choose to switch out and swap for performance tires that better align with the goals you’re after.
Be aware of the jargon that comes with the territory. The term generalized “ultra-high performance” no longer indicates tires that can provide the uttermost grip. “Summer” or “three-seasons” tires are the current way to go for capability.
Composite Performance Breaks
Mainstream braking systems are traditionally designed and built for the average driver on the road. As we know, there’s always room for progressive improvement. Any car that accelerates quickly needs to be able to stop just as rapidly and effectively. This is why pricier cars are fitted with upgraded braking system components and technologies. The gist of the matter is that there is no shortage of high-performance brake options or modifications that deliver stability and a strong pedal feel.
If you desire some stopping power with a bigger bite, stronger and lighter-weight brake rotors and pads are the best modification method you can work with. The mortal enemy to vehicle performance is weight, so the lighter the materials of a brake system are, the greater contribution it has to a boosted steering and handling response.
High-Flow Air Intake System
Intake systems are chiefly responsible for air transference to the engine. The exact where and the exact how of this air transference plays the biggest role in engine performance, as the greatest bottleneck to horsepower is airflow. Anytime air enters your engine, its quality directly impacts your gas mileage and compromises its performance.
Manufacturers design their factory-setting air intake systems by taking noise reduction into consideration instead of focusing on the total oxygen the engine receives. It only makes sense that one of the top modifications to improve your car’s performance is one of the first aftermarket mods you should consider to improve fuel economy. The comparison of an original intake system to a high-flow intake system is simple to understand.
Imagine breathing solely through your nose instead of the combination of your nose and mouth. It’s the same idea that cars need more air intake—colder and denser air—to run most efficiently. This airflow is a bona fide contributor to long-term performance, power, and throttle response.
It’s said that the better the spark quality is then the better the combustion is. If you desire an easy, affordable swap, you’ve found the best upgrade right here. Take note that spark plugs are not immediate sources of comprehensive car performance—but are undeniably a key component of a car’s ecosystem. These power-laden plugs result in faster starts, amp up acceleration, and revamp fuel economy to exceed previous expectations.
Average spark plugs are all good and well, but wouldn’t you rather have a high-quality part that doesn’t just get by? Higher performance plugs offer a greater resistance to wear, so they are meant to last longer. A spark plug with superior strength and conductivity is stable enough to handle the most stressful situations.
Full Exhaust System
Exhaust modifications are just one of the most prominent tweaks performed today. For the realest increase of performance power—and a nice, quality sound—a full exhaust switch is necessary. If you want to go all-in, stainless steel performance exhaust headers naturally look better and sound better. While this kind of aftermarket upgrade is more than a small modification job, the swap in design is worth the time and investment.
The advantage of a high-flow air intake is counterproductive if the exhaust is drowning out the oxygen. A full exhaust system is able to produce matchless exhaust flow for your own needs and your specific engine’s capacity, so there are fewer restrictions and backward pressure. This unquestionably improves your ride.
Here at PLM, we believe that top-quality aftermarket car parts and extravagant price tags don’t automatically need to go hand-in-hand. Our mission as a business is to provide any fellow car aficionados with the means to improve the performance of their vehicle without emptying out their pockets. We’re truly passionate about cars and just as passionate about providing consumers with alternative tuning options from the modern market. Shop by vehicle model or browse through our array of aftermarket products today.