5 Aftermarket Car Parts Worth Buying (& 5 You Should Always Avoid)

After finally getting a new car, it can be quite the rush to enjoy it for some time. However, after a while, what once felt new may now be boring and formulaic. To mix things up, you could always get a new car, but there’s another option: Modify it instead.

Depending on the vehicle, there are a multitude of options to choose from when deciding what to do to your car. This is both a blessing and a curse, as the various options make it great for consumers, but also provide poor quality products and useless ones that nobody needs/wants.

To help alleviate the trouble of deciding what aftermarket car mods to get, here is a list of five aftermarket parts to buy, and five to avoid all together.

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10 Buy: Suspension

Some parts, or particular modifications, don’t always work well with every vehicle. Sometimes, the car’s stock internals aren’t capable of sustaining it or it simply doesn’t match with the car. Thankfully, there’s a part that every vehicle can upgrade: Their suspension.

Every car on the road today has some suspension system operating in their vehicle. This part, also, doesn’t require mechanical changes to the engine, rather, a simple removal-exchange of springs, dampers, and so on. Not every suspension system is the same, though, as there are a litany of choices to decide from. Some may opt for an off-road setup, while others may go for a low/race setup for increased downforce and performance. Either way, a new suspension is a great way to go.

9 Avoid: Obnoxious Sound Systems

As stated previously, it can be a good idea to buy some parts to spice up your vehicle. What many go to, unfortunately, is a sound system: One of the most overpriced and overrated mods you can do to a car.

From a racing and performance standpoint, adding two 12” subwoofers and multiple speakers is horrible for speed. It both slows down the car with extra weight and is virtually needless. Almost every car comes with a stock stereo system, so why not just stay with what you have, especially if the new ones have great quality?

8 Buy: Racing Seats

When deciding to buy a car part, a few things may come to mind, such as: Is it affordable, is it worth the money, will it be safe, and will it help performance? If these are the criteria needed, then look no further than new seats.

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Yes, new seats. For the untrained eye, seats may not seem like much. However, companies like Bride, Sparco, and OMP work tirelessly to create seats that are lightweight, safe, and worth the money. With a reduction in weight and a better ride, racing seats become one of the best non-mechanical parts you can add to improve performance.

7 Avoid: Wild Body Kits

With the rise of companies like Liberty Walk and Rocket Bunny, body kits have become the ‘talk of the town’ for a significant part of the car community. With this new phenomenon, though, also come copycats who give others a bad name.

These body kits, mentioned above, can be very expensive and are only made for a select few vehicles. To combat this, several businesses have been created to do nothing but sell cheap, low quality, body kits to unsuspecting consumers. Make sure you properly vet the kit you’re buying, and don’t be afraid to spend a little extra for the ‘real deal.’

6 Buy: Air-Intake

For teenagers, budget drivers, and new enthusiasts alike, aftermarket upgrades with air filters and air-intake systems are some of the best. Not only for their ease of access, but affordability, performance figures, and quick install.

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Air-Intakes are relatively affordable parts. In conjunction with this, they also provide a good bit of power for the money and help the car last longer. Needless to say, all of these benefits make a new air-intake/filters worth the price of entry.

5 Avoid: Large Rear-Wing

Once again, gaudy exterior parts can truly destroy a car’s image. A perfect example of this can be seen with large rear-wings. These spoilers, often times, don’t even provide downforce, but create problems.

For those who don’t go through the effort of proper tuning, wing adjustments, and actual engineering, a large spoiler isn’t going to do much. Usually, the worst culprits of this have rear wings on front-wheel drive cars (Adding nothing whatsoever). In short, make sure to do your homework and research before deciding to get an obnoxiously huge spoiler.

4 Buy: Exhaust System

What creates a ton of additional power and improves the sound of your vehicle? If you didn’t think exhaust systems, then today’s your lucky day, since a new exhaust setup can change your car for the better.

A performance exhaust doesn’t just improve the audible quality of your car’s engine note, it also aids in gases escaping the engine. In essence, a performance exhaust filters out more gases, making the engine run better and breath more freely. Limiting this restriction will add a significant amount of horsepower (Depending on how nice the system was) as well as bring a smile to the driver’s face whenever they start it up.

3 Avoid: Underglow

Although the Fast and Furious movie series has done a lot for the car community, they’ve also added some less-than-desirable things too. One of said products to have gained popularity during F&F’s heyday was underglow.

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Underglow is, perhaps, one of the ugliest aftermarket parts one can put on their car. In terms of performance, it adds literally nothing. All underglow serves to do is light up a car’s undercarriage like a Christmas tree. Luckily, this fad has faded away from the culture, yet still remains popular among a portion of truck enthusiasts.

2 Buy: Turbochargers

For those who want a lot of power from one place, there is no better option than forced-induction, also known as turbo-charging (And supercharging). With a turbo, a normal car can jump up a few hundred horsepower, with the correct tune, of course.

That being said, a turbocharger is nothing to play around with. This part is an extremely powerful and dangerous one too, as poor tuning and high boost on stock internals can blow up quickly. That’s why, like in every situation, it’s best to consult a professional on the figures you want to produce, what a turbocharger will need, and how much it will cost. If you’re willing to go through the effort, a turbo will be, by-and-large, the best choice you’ve made in a while.

1 Avoid: Turbo Whistle

Turbo chargers are, of course, amazing to car enthusiast. The added horsepower and crisp whistle of a blow-off valve raise the hairs of those who truly love the craft. Sadly, a turbo is expensive, so some just get a whistle instead.

Of all the bad parts in this article, turbo whistles are easily the worst among them. Even though underglow is awful, it at least provides an aesthetic change and has a following. Turbo whistles, on the other hand, are just dishonest and deceitful. Their only job is to trick people into thinking they have a part when, in reality, they don’t. No performance is changed or exterior improved, just lies to make them look better. Please, don’t be this person…

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