Aftermarket mods: What to splurge on

Not all cars are made equal. To compensate for the shortcomings of their vehicles, car lovers and modders will undoubtedly seek out the best refinements to get the most out of their cars. Whether it is to increase horsepower, make the car more fuel-efficient, or simply improving performance, replacing OEM parts with aftermarket parts is a great way of enhancing an otherwise standard car. 

Like everything, however, while some aftermarket mods are more than worth their salt, others are nothing more than a complete waste of money. 

Most inexperienced modders are unlikely to know what to look for in an aftermarket part. This is evident from the abundance of cheap parts marketed to consumers online, which are frequently non-automotive parts used for an intent for which they were not designed. These parts are frequently overpriced and add little value to the car. 

Here, we look at the aftermarket mods you should be splurging on.


The air filter is probably the most common and simplest aftermarket modification. There are numerous air filters available, both disposable and washable, that can and will improve performance. A clogged air filter reduces air intake to the engine and encourages poor air to fuel ratio, resulting in decreased power. However, an air filter by itself may not be sufficient. Because many vehicles have inadequate air intake systems, replacing the air intake may be a better option. Installing a ram air intake system with direct air inflow and a washable filter can and frequently improves power and performance.


Catalytic converters, which restrict exhaust flow out of the engine and create back pressure, are one of the most common problems with motor vehicles. Ordinarily, this is not a problem, but if a catalytic converter becomes blocked up, it can reduce power, cause the engine to stall, and produce error codes. Swapping out the catalytic converter with a high-flow, high-capacity converter can solve many power issues while also reducing engine burden.


A fuel pump can be a very troublesome component of any vehicle. The fuel pump can have a variety of issues, ranging from clogged filters to the OEM pump simply being feeble. Replacing an OEM fuel pump with an aftermarket pump can improve fuel flow rate, reduce misfires, and increase power.


A basic upgrade in performance generally entails the replacement of basic components. Spark plugs are frequently overlooked, but if a vehicle has misfired, a ragged idle, or poor fuel economy, replacing the spark plugs can help. Again, not all spark plugs are not created equal. Choosing the right spark plugs is heavily influenced by whether the vehicle owner is looking for durability or improved performance.


Quality tires may seem less likely an aftermarket mod and more like a safety necessity – and you would be right about that, of course – but by making sure you have the right tires for your car, you can improve fuel mileage and ride and reduce wear and tear to a vehicle. Aside from fuel economy, the tires one chooses will be determined by their intended use, whether they are road tires, snow tires, mud tires, all-weather tires, or all-terrain tires.


Replacing the suspension is another difficult and likely more expensive upgrade for any vehicle. Even so, upgrading a vehicle’s suspension with aftermarket higher-performance replacements is unquestionably worthwhile. OEM suspension frequently meets a bare minimum and will eventually wear out and fail. This causes tire and brake problems, as well as wear and tear on other parts like wheel bearings and control arms.


The wheel bearing hub is the most frequently overlooked component of a vehicle. Isn’t it enough to slap on any cheap replacement? Cheap wheel bearings and hubs, which are also known as wheel bearing assembly can and will eventually lead to reduced fuel economy, increased engine strain, and, regrettably, higher overall repair costs. The wheel bearing hub is what enables the wheel to roll freely, and cheap hubs with low-quality bearings tend to break and wear down much faster than their more costly and higher-quality counterparts.

Replacing your wheel bearing hubs is certainly beneficial, and using higher-quality parts that will last longer, resist wear, and reduce damage associated with poor-quality wheel bearings will save a car owner money in the long run. In general, high-quality and high-performance bearings increase fuel mileage. The amount varies depending on the vehicle, but on average, an increase of four to six miles per gallon is observed.


The fuel injectors are frequently overlooked. While it is a more expensive upgrade, replacing old fuel injectors reduces the possibility of blockages and provides the opportunity to upgrade to more efficient injectors. This is particularly true of older, high-mileage vehicles. Coarse idles and smoking is typical symptoms of faulty or failing fuel injectors.


Full synthetic oil is most likely the simplest modification one can make to their vehicle. While quality fully synthetic oil lasts longer, starts wearing slower, and actually makes your engines work smoothly, it also lessens the need to change the oil every 3,000 miles, even in cars that do not explicitly require it. Fully synthetic oils contain fewer contaminants, which reduces the likelihood of microbial contamination, provides better protection in intense cold and heat and lessens overall engine wear. All of this equates to improved engine performance and increased engine durability, making fully synthetic oil worthwhile.


A car’s brakes are its most important safety feature. As a vehicle’s performance improves, so must its braking. This process includes replacing worn-out brake pads and discs. The dispersion of heat is one of the most serious issues with traditional brake discs. The higher the temperature of the brake discs, the less effective they are at braking. When brakes overheat, the brake fluid can boil and vaporize, reducing the braking system’s ability to apply pressure to the brake calipers. Both slotted standard discs and carbon-fiber pads aid in heat dissipation and reduce the impact of heat on brake calipers and brake fluid.

Photo Credit: Newspress

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