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5 Things to Know Before Upgrading Your Car

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green Scion xB modified

Modified Scion xB

If you want to upgrade your car for better performance or longevity, or it simply needs repairing, consider these 5 things you need to know so your money isn’t wasted.

1) Does it match?

This might seem like an obvious question, but the make and model of your vehicle, its trim level, and any past modifications are all important to know before you buy that special part you’ve had your eye on.

With wheels, for example, it’s not just about diameter and width. You also need to know your vehicle’s bolt pattern. Tires then come in a range of compliant sizes, so don’t go to small or too big.

Get it wrong and you won’t be driving from Washington to Florida any time soon.

2) Can you afford it?

It’s an obvious concern, but it’s easy to opt for one upgrade and then get carried away with others. If you can’t afford it outright and you’re too excited to wait, you might want to consider getting a quick payday loan online.

3) Can you fit it yourself?

Getting into upgrading and modifying your car is fun and exciting, but you must be honest about your skill level. If you can’t fit something properly yourself, you’ll need to take it to the professionals, which costs money. Fortunately, most auto parts retailers will have this option as standard, so you won’t have to shop around for a fitter.

4) Depreciation

Keeping your car in good condition and replacing parts before any damage is done is the best way to hold its value for when you eventually sell it, but some upgrades and modifications may end up making it more difficult to sell. The general market doesn’t like anything too wild, so think hard before you go for that bright neon green paint job, oversized rear speakers, or blow out the engine.

Generally, properly installed navigation systems and security features (in cars that otherwise wouldn’t have them) add-value or at least slow depreciation.

5)  Knock-on effects

Basic changes to the exhaust plumbing, a free-breathing inlet, are one thing. But if you go for the full works on the engine, you will also need to upgrade the gearbox and drivetrain, get better tires, and even modify the suspension.

Ultimately, as long as you use common sense and spend some time considering your options, you won’t go wrong upgrading your car.

Brian Loman is a longtime blogger, with a particular passion for finance and insurance. He also blogs about lifestyle and a range of other topics for a number of websites. He currently writes for ElcLoans, where he shares his knowledge on short-term loans.