Buying a car can be a really exciting process because there are a variety of factors that are fun, such as the newness of the vehicle, just having something different, and new features that your old car didn’t have. While some people may be perfectly happy with everything that comes with their new vehicle, there are many that would like to customize their vehicle for exactly what they want. It could be that the car maker doesn’t offer exactly the aesthetics or capabilities that the buyer wants. Or, it could be that enthusiast has other ideas of what’s going to work better for them.
The aftermarket industry for all of these types of upgrades is absolutely huge, so it’s definitely not a small niche thing. There are a variety of categories that come to mind when upgrading one’s vehicle. One area is all around performance and can involved different wheels and tires, different components for the engine and exhaust systems, and upgraded sound systems for enjoying music.
Wheels and tires have become really popular to a much broader market in the past 10 or more years. Traditionally, this was more for the performance oriented drivers that wanted to experience different driving dynamics and extended capabilities for having larger sized wheels. Along with those wheels, there is a range of different tires to suit different seasons and driving styles. There are summer only tires that have treads that expect dry surfaces and have compounds that are temperature sensitive for warmer road surfaces. Wider wheels also enable the use of wider tires that have more rubber and surface contact with the road, thereby enabling great performance such as cornering or turning at higher speeds. Today, however, there is a strong style element to wheels and tires. People are really going for looks in terms of wheel styles and overall wheel and tire combinations that make cars look more aggressive, sporty, or sometimes just plain goofy. The Tire Rack has been a long-time favorite business for ordering aftermarket wheels and tires.
Definitely for the performance seeking crowd, there are a number of different types of upgrades to making the car go faster, accelerate quicker, and also sound more masculine and race car like. Engine upgrades can be anything from dropping in a completely different and larger engine to just changing out the computer chips that control various aspects of how the engine fires. These types of chip tweaks can make the fuel efficiency suffer, but give higher speed, acceleration, and responsiveness to the car. This is very similar to vehicles that come straight from the manufacturer with the capability to switch modes, such as from luxury to sport. Exhaust systems are similar in that they allow the overall vehicle systems to “breathe” better, so they enable greater performance. There’s also a purely a novelty and aesthetic angle of exhaust systems that sound more sporty due to their extended volume, growling, or high-pitched race car like behavior. Car manufacturer’s like Porsche actually make available such options straight from the factory for new cars.
Finally, those that are very much into their music and or like to show off their tunes get involved in audio upgrades to their cars. This has been a popular segment for many decades and involves upgrades to the main components of the sounds system, including speakers, electronic source equipment, and amplifiers. Just as with everything else we talked about in this article, manufacturers provide products that are for the masses. So, they typically will not bother to provider speakers with greater fidelity, head units and other electronics that have greater resolution, and amplifiers that have more clean power. All of these component upgrades make the sound presentation that much better to enjoy one’s music. CarAudioLogic has a series of great reviews of these popular components for a wide range of different vehicles, music tastes, and budget.