Are you looking for easy ways to give your ride a bit of edge and style without breaking the bank? While no upgrade will make a Trotter car look like a Lamborghini Aventador, except the body paint maybe, check out these styling hacks and see which of them can work for your four-wheeler.
Although most people won’t see them unless they need to borrow your car, whoever notices a set of shiny metal sport pedals will be impressed. These pedals automatically associate with high-end sports cars, so one may even suspect there’s a much more powerful drivetrain under the bonnet. What most of them will miss, though, is that these pedals cost about $30 for a set.
Custom gearshift knob
If your car has an automatic transmission, this upgrade won’t make much sense, but if you’re a sworn manual operator, swapping the dull base model gearshift for a custom-made knob is one of the best ways to make your ride look more expensive. The good news is that you can replace your shift knob for an insanely low price. Many owners make the knob a statement of their passions, so they shape them like pool balls, golf clubs, and you get the idea.
A broken taillight or cracked turn signal cover not only looks terrible but allows water to seep in, damaging the whole unit even more. Even if it’s intact, on certain models they look plain awful unless you wrap them in dark film. Taillight tint can give your ride a sleek, no-joke look during the day, while the lights can be seen normally. This upgrade looks best on darker cars as it gives them a uniform look.
A performance exhaust system is an investment with triple returns. First, it gives your exhaust a more aggressive sound. Depending on your preferences, you can choose performance exhausts with Varex mufflers, which allow you to control the sound remotely and pick a perfect note anywhere from sporty to silent mode.
Besides, you can easily mod your car to look more like a racer with a stainless or carbon muffler tips, while many aftermarket cat-backs come with dual exhausts. Finally, by allowing for exhaust gasses to escape the chamber more efficiently, a performance exhaust lets your engine breathe more freely, which increases its power.
New steering wheel
Just as the tires are the only part of the car that is in contact with the road, the steering wheel is the part that you touch more than any other part of the interior. After years of use, steering wheels tend to wear down more than most other parts, often signaling that the car is in its late teens. Replacing your steering wheel with a new one instantly improves the interior of your car, whether you choose a factory wheel with more features, such as a leather wrap, audio and cruise control toggles, an aftermarket wheel with funky shape and cool colors, or a classy stabilized wood option.
Vinyl body wrap
A new paint job for a car will set you back a couple of thousand dollars. Even for smaller cars, and standard colors, including black and white, full paint jobs aren’t cheap. On the other hand, having your entire car wrapped in vinyl costs a fraction of a paint job, while it can look amazing. A quality vinyl job looks great even from up close, especially if you choose a bold pattern, like polar camo, car logos, or a graphic design pasted all over the shell.
Updated headlight bulbs
Although xenon headlights were first installed on cars in 1991, there’s a good chance that your average commuter came with standard factory issue halogen headlights. And there’s nothing wrong with these – except that you look like every other driver that comes your way. Launch your car straight into the executive league by equipping it with pale blue HID (high-intensity discharge) xenons or stark white LEDs. Both options are nowadays more affordable than when they appeared, and usually easy to install.
While you can never make a ’98 Subaru look like a ’17 BMW, you can make any car look better with these seven tips. The secret of face-lifting your ride is in making subtle upgrades – don’t try to do all of these at once. Still, when the time comes to sell, many buyers are wary of heavily upgraded cars as such updates are often used to conceal a problem.
About the author: Mike Johnston is an avid creative writer and blogger. He is a regular contributor to numerous lifestyle blogs and online magazines, where he writes about interior design (his specialty!), family life, green living, travel and many other topics. Mike’s goal is to create interesting and compelling content and then share it throughout the online community.