The fact that you’re reading this article means that you are already a responsible car owner who is looking to do a little something to make your vehicle last even longer and work even better. Hats off to you! We’ve put together a list of things that you can do on a budget either by yourself or with the help of a trusted mechanic.

Treat Your Car Right with These Upgrades

(Pixabay / DariuszSankowski)

  1. Wheels: Upgrading your wheels may not be the cheapest upgrade, but it is one of the best things you can do for your vehicle.

    a. Tires: If your tires are looking a little worse for the wear, you should make this upgrade your top priority. Not only do good tires look better, but they improve fuel efficiency, stopping time, and how the car handles overall. Stop into one of our 12 Utah tire shops or shop online to see our selection.
    b. Rims: One splurge-worthy upgrade is to switch out your rims for something more lightweight. As a rule, the more lightweight your wheel, the better your car will accelerate, decelerate, and handle in general.

  2. Keyless Start: Let’s face it – winters in Utah are cold, and this year’s winter is just around the bend. Installing a keyless start will let you start heating up your vehicle while you’re still in a warm building, so it’s not quite as big of a shock when you head out to your car.
  3. Cold Air Intake: Your car likely has a stock intake pipe, but if you want to improve your car’s efficiency, consider installing a cold air intake. Over the last few months, you’ve probably been wearing masks when you’re out in public, and you know how your face feels kind of hot and itchy after wearing it for a while? You might have even felt like you were being smothered a little bit, and your face might have gotten a might red. You may have even gasped for air a smidgen as soon as you stepped out of the grocery store and could take the mask off. Even though you know you were getting enough air, breathing through something that makes the air warm is uncomfortable and a little stifling. It’s the same way with your car and the stock intake pipe. By replacing it with a cold air intake, you are allowing more, cooler air into the engine which can help with horsepower and fuel efficiency. Cold air intakes cost between $80 and $400 depending on the brand and your particular vehicle, but you can often do the install yourself
  4. Bushings: Many newer cars already have polyurethane bushings, but if yours doesn’t (or the existing bushings are rubber or in rough shape), you should consider upgrading to polyurethane. Bushings help keep bumps, vibration, and noise to a minimum, so they’re definitely worth the investment.
  5. Technology: The technology for vehicles nowadays is astounding, but your car might feel a little outdated if it’s five or more years old. Never fear! As tech companies improve their gear, it’s easier (and cheaper!) than ever to add some gadgets to your ride. For instance, you can get a good stereo system with AUX port, Bluetooth, and GPS capabilities for under $200. There are also inexpensive tire pressure monitoring systems to help you keep your tires in tip-top shape without needing to go out and check on each one. Not only that, but backup cams and parking sensors are quite popular on the market now, and many even give you the option of installing them yourself.
  6. Inside Touches: The inside of your car is just as important as the outside, and a clean, tidy interior can make a world of difference. Aside from just cleanliness, there are some neat modifications you can do to the inside of a car to make it look like a million bucks.

    a. Floor mats: A new set of floor mats makes everything look nicer and more put together. Look for ones that match your seat covers, or go for something fun and custom that expresses your personality and interests.
    b. Steering wheel: Upgrading your steering wheel can be as simple as putting a suede, patterned, or leather steering wheel cover over your existing one. You can also switch out the steering wheel altogether for something a little smaller that requires less energy to manipulate.
    c. Shift knob: If you have a manual transmission, upgrading your shift knob is an easy (and fun!) thing to do. You can always go the classy leather route, or there are limitless styles of novelty shift knobs on the market. From Storm Trooper helmets to baseballs to crushed pop cans, there is a shift knob to fit anyone’s tastes.
    d. Seats: Once again, Utah is known for its cold winters, but the summer temperatures can get up there, too. You would not believe the kinds of seat covers that are out there on the market nowadays. Heated seat covers, cooling seat covers, massaging seat covers, novelty seat covers – if you want it, chances are good that there is one out there to fit your fancy. Even just a plain Jane seat cover is an inexpensive way to upgrade your dingy seat covers and give the inside of your car a facelift.

  7. Lights: Your headlights are your car’s eyes when you’re driving in the dark or during inclement weather. Consider installing fog lights if you don’t already have them, or purchase a headlight cover cleaning kit to transform your filmy headlight covers into headlights that look like new.

Upgrading your vehicle doesn’t have to break the bank, but it can make all the difference in how your car looks, handles, and performs.