Stock vs. Aftermarket: Transforming Ordinary into Extraordinary
Even the best cars are far from perfect. During development, compromises are made in favor of drivability over performance. These usually include restrictive intake baffles to silence the air coming in and constricting exhaust systems to silence the air coming out—reducing your car’s voice to a muted whimper. Not to mention acceleration so poor it has to be measured with a sundial. There is hope, however. With the right aftermarket parts, you can transform your ordinary car into a rolling super hero and a sound investment. Performance starts under the hood and ends under the bumper. The four basic principles of the internal combustion engine, air, fuel, compression and ignition are adjusted for maximum efficiency. As a rule of thumb, the more air that enters your engine, the better. Aftermarket air filters allow a congested engine to breathe clearly, boosting power and mileage. Unlike restrictive factory paper filters, performance filters are made of cotton. Cotton filters are tougher than paper, washable, reusable and have longer cleaning intervals, so you eliminate the cost of repeatedly buying air filters. The next step up is a short ram or cold air intake system. Both increase airflow and eliminate restrictive factory baffles, creating a “whooshing” sound when you drop the hammer. A short ram is just like it sounds, a short tube that draws air from inside of the engine compartment. On the other hand, a cold air intake inhales fresh, dense air from the fender or front bumper area. Again, the more air the better, so expect a boost in power over a short ram style. Choose nylon tubes for more power as they insulate better or metal tubes to add some pizazz.
Push button power can be had with performance chips or programmers. Essentially, it’s a software update for your car’s engine control module, teaching it new tricks. Just like learning a new song, the computer is provided with new fuel and timing maps. This controls how the fuel is churned and burned. Performance chips and programmers can also provide control over transmission shift points. This is a great way to correct weird stock shift patterns. Most programming can be done in less than 10 minutes via the diagnostic port under the steering column. If the programmer plays a tune for the car’s computer; the exhaust system plays a symphony for your ears. Aftermarket exhaust systems reduce backpressure and provide a variety of performance tones from low growls to war cries. Mandrel bent tubing removes restrictive factory bends to increase exhaust flow. Some systems are made entirely of stainless steel to look great and resist corrosion. Others are made from aluminized steel which is great for the budget enthusiast. Now that the air is cleared and the dust has settled, it’s time to learn something new. When installing any performance upgrade, there is a period of time required for the computer to “learn” your driving style again. As fuel and engine timing adjustments are automatically made, the true potential of aftermarket parts is unleashed. Expect anywhere from a few days to a week of normal driving before the benefits are noticed. http://youtu.be/hkRUUrrH49c Now that your car is complete, how much is it worth? Some modifications, when tastefully done, increase the value of your ride. The products mentioned are generally seen as upgrades. Dealerships use installed aftermarket parts as a selling point to potential buyers. In most instances, cars with extra bells and whistles command better trade in prices. About the Author: Aftermarket parts breathe new life into cars and trucks. With so many ways to customize, almost any vehicle can deliver driving excitement. Best of all, a massive selection of modifications are waiting for you, all under one roof at AutoAnything.