Upgrades can make your car safer, better-performing or simply more appealing. And they don’t have to break your budget.
Adding a hood ornament is an affordable option that changes the look of your vehicle without requiring a paint job. Changing spark plugs is another cheap modification that can improve engine performance and fuel economy.
1. Brake Lines
Your brakes are vital to the safety and performance of your car. When you press on the brake pedal, pressurised fluid travels through a series of thin tubes (also known as brake lines) from the master cylinder in the cabin to the brake calipers at each wheel. These hoses transfer the pressure needed to slow your car down, but can easily become damaged by dirt and debris. If they break, you’ll lose your ability to slow your vehicle and face a massive road hazard or even fail your Warrant of Fitness inspection.
Brake lines are made from metal and are usually corrosion resistant coated to withstand the elements. They’re also less flexible than other types of line, so it’s important to check them regularly for signs of wear or damage. Stainless steel brake lines are often the best choice for those looking to upgrade. They are more durable than rubber lines and have a higher maximum operating pressure rating thanks to a Teflon or PTFE inner liner that doesn’t react with brake fluid. The lining is then wrapped with a layer of stainless-steel braid that helps increase the safe operating pressure further.
Choosing stainless lines over the rubber version can also reduce the outward expansion of the line under high-pressure, which can cause that spongy or squishy feel you might be familiar with in your car’s brake pedal. Stainless brake lines can help improve the pedal feel and give you a better idea of what your brake pedal is doing. If you’re looking for wheels to go along with brake lines, you can trust CSA Wheels for reliable and rugged 4WD wheels.
A set of pre-bent stainless steel brake lines can be a simple, affordable way to upgrade your car’s braking system. They are available from a number of automotive parts stores and come ready to install. If you’re installing them yourself, make sure you get a tube cutter to easily cut your brake line material down to the right length.
2. Cell Phone Mount
A cell phone mount is one of the best cheap car upgrades you can make, because it’ll keep your device visible and within reach so you never have to take your eyes off the road. Hands-free use of your device will also help you concentrate more on the road and reduce distraction, which is a major cause of accidents. It’s also a convenient way to get directions or listen to music, which can save you time and stress.
There are several different types of car phone mounts, depending on your preferences and the location of your car’s cup holders, dashboard or windshield. Some are simple suction cups, while others have grips that hold the device with a firm hold. Others attach to your air vents, making it easy to see the display without having to turn your head.
The best cell phone mounts have a broad range of features, including adjustable grips and magnets for phones that don’t have cases, as well as thoughtfully placed cord grips so you can charge while driving. They also should be sturdy enough to resist bouncing around during bumpy rides, and look good so they’re not an eyesore when you’re not using them.
We like the iOttie Easy One Touch 5 for its simple suction and wide adjustability, which lets you set your phone at just about any angle on the dash or windscreen. It’s even rated for use on a rough road, which means you can rest assured it will stay in place no matter how bumpy the route gets.
Another option is the X-Grip, which is an excellent cup mount at a reasonable price. Reviewers say it can fit most phones, and they love that it’s wireless charging-ready and looks great in their cars.
3. Door Lock Covers
Door lock covers are a simple way to add a touch of luxury and style to your car. They’re available in a wide variety of colors and finishes, including stainless steel and rhinestone-encrusted, with four-packs usually selling for less than $15. They’re easy to find on the internet and at tuning workshops, where they’re often sold separately from door handle covers.
A hood ornament is another easy and cost-effective way to upgrade your car. It’s not only a great way to show off your personality, but it can also help protect the paint and body of your vehicle from damage from things like luggage or groceries when loading and unloading items in the cargo area.
Swapping out your shifter knob isn’t just for the looks; it can also make your cheap car feel more expensive. Plus, it can provide a more comfortable grip for shifting and improve performance. Swapping to a different shifter knob is usually a relatively straightforward DIY project that should be inexpensive and easy. Some shifters are even designed to reduce shift shock. This could be a good upgrade for a manual transmission car or truck. It’s important to check the compatibility with your specific model before buying.
4. Window Deflectors
Window deflectors, also known as vent visors, allow you to keep your car’s windows cracked open for air flow, preventing rain and other bad weather from coming in while driving. They also help to lower fuel costs by allowing your car’s AC system to run less often during hot or humid weather.
These car modifications are inexpensive, easy to install, and they come in a wide variety of styles and finishes, from stainless steel to rhinestones. They are also durable and long-lasting, resisting damage caused by UV rays, and they can be easily wiped down for quick cleaning.
There are two main types of window visors: Tape-On and In Channel. Tape-on models have tape that a driver uses to apply them to the outside of a car’s door frame, where they stick onto the window channels. These types of deflectors are simple to install and do not require tools. However, they do have the disadvantage of sticking out farther than In-Channel deflectors.
In-Channel vent visors fit into the upper window channels and are held in place by tension. They are very easy to install and do not stick out as far as Tape-On visors, but they may be harder to remove.
The best-rated window visors are sturdy, durable, and have a stylish OEM finish. They are designed to withstand rough use, have a limited lifetime warranty, and are easy to install. Before installation, drivers should clean the visors and their car’s windows, then test-fit them to ensure they fit properly. They should be able to withstand a wide range of temperatures and road conditions, including ice, snow, and rain. The deflectors should not have any protruding pieces that could interfere with the windshield wipers.
5. Door Light Projectors
Add a little bit of pizazz to your door handles with these image light projectors that display an awesome car logo in the spotlight when you open your doors. It’s a fun and unique way to enter and exit your vehicle every time. A two-pack of these car mods can be found for around $15.
This is a super simple and cheap upgrade, but it’s definitely a cool one. For only a few bucks, you can replace your shift knob with something that makes it easier to grab and shift gears. There are lots of different options for this car accessory, from classic wood-look to a shiny chrome shifter.
It’s no secret that backup cameras are a great addition to any vehicle. They help with blind spots, improve your visibility when backing up and even make parking easier. If you haven’t added this important safety feature to your vehicle, it should be on your to-do list. The cost to add a backup camera can vary depending on the type of system your vehicle requires.
Adding a custom license plate frame is another inexpensive and easy car mod that can give your vehicle an extra pop of personality. You can find a variety of frames for just about any state’s requirements online. Just remember to check your local laws before installing a new license plate frame.
Another fun and easy car modification is a hood ornament. Just be sure to pick one that’s tasteful and won’t look gaudy. You can find them online for a wide range of prices, but most start at about $20.