Simple And Cheap Car Mods You Can DIY

If you’ve had a car for a while, perhaps there might be some changes that you want to make to the performance, as well as the aesthetics of the vehicle. There are many changes that you can make that are cost-effective and easy to do from home. 

Of course, it should be noted that if you are worried about your ability to complete specific jobs, that’s what professionals are for. So if it’s time to take your stock car and give it a bit of a facelift, here are some cheap and easy car mods that you can DIY.

Performance Tires

One of the issues of buying a stock car is that it comes with stock tires. And depending on their use, a brand-new pair of tires can improve your performance incredibly. It will improve the handling of your truck or car, you’ll get tighter steering, improved road presence, not to mention that it looks better. One of the main things about having new tires is lower fuel consumption, reducing the cost of running the car overall. 

Reducing the sidewall height of your tires and increasing the wheel diameter, will help to hold your vehicle tightly to the road, and this will increase your drivability. Using a soft tire on a daily commute isn’t the greatest idea, it increases the deterioration of the tires.

You’ll need some special equipment to take care of changing your tires. It can be quite challenging to put them on a wheel without the need for specialized machinery, however, there are plenty of YouTube videos that can help you do this if you prefer to do these things yourself. 

It’s probably a better idea to take a trip to a local tire shop. It won’t take them long to do and is guaranteed to be correct. 

There should be one of the first changes that you make.

Braking system

The braking system is one of the first places you can look at to improve the performance of your car. A good set of brakes is essential anyway, but a new set would decrease the stopping distance of your vehicle. A set of four brake pads will be more expensive; however, a checkup and replacement of your stock brake pads is always a good investment.

Changing your car’s brake pads, it’s pretty simple; in fact, it’s as simple as removing the wheel. There are some additional tools you are going to need depending on the make and model of your car. 

It won’t take you more than a few hours to change all four of the brake pads on your vehicle if you don’t have any experience, and you’re really unsure what you are doing. This is a quick job for a garage, and not too expensive either.

Spark plugs

Spark plugs are the most affordable and quickest way you can improve your vehicle. This little change might not give you a noticeable improvement in the overall performance; however, they are a vital part of your car’s system. 

The better quality the spark plugs that you choose, the better combustion you’re going to have, and the overall performance of your vehicle will be increased.

Spark plugs are easy enough to change, and there are many guides online for each car make and model. Spark plugs can optimize engine performance and provide a higher fuel economy, making them a quick improvement that you’ll see in your wallet. 

Suspension System

Your factory suspension system is something that most people don’t pay much attention to. The stock suspension system is designed to cover a wide range of driving conditions and meet expectations in all areas. This, of course, means that they are not intended for any specific type of driving. If you’re looking for a smoother, more comfortable ride and handling will have to be negatively affected. An aftermarket suspension system, look at the Coilover kit, is an ideal thing to add.

The foundation level is easy to understand your suspension system; if you are going to use more complex systems like Coilover, full performance suspensions, and racing specs, it becomes more likely that you’re going to need to take your vehicle to a specialist. Many suspension systems will have a wide range of components that must be compressed, fastened, and replaced. But all of this will require nothing more than the traditional automotive tools: adapters, sockets, and wrenches, and the manual.


If you’ve been doing your research into replacing the stock parts of your car, you’re going to see a lot of photos with cars that have a stripped-back interior. This customer setup ensures that the vehicle is not too heavy, racing orientated drivers will wish to remove as much weight off as possible. There is, however, a wide range of metal and plastic parts in your vehicle that you contribute to its overall weight, that the chances are you don’t really need. 

If you’re hoping to be successful in car improvement, then getting rid of some of the heavier weighted items in the car is ideal. This is one of the most destructive options when it comes to improving your car’s performance, so it’s worth doing plenty of research into what you can and can’t remove. Door panels, sound systems, and bulky plastics can typically be tossed aside without any impact on the car. All this will take is some screwdrivers, plastic protective removal tools, some common sockets, and some time.

Exhaust System

There are two systems that you hear about a lot, one is the exhaust system, and the other is the cold air intake. If you have chosen to go ahead and upgrade the cold intake system, it is an excellent idea to improve your exhaust system at the same time. You will hear the rumble of the exhaust for sure, but the new system will allow your engine to run more efficiently. Typically a vehicle sees a 5% improvement if you look at the cold air intake and exhaust upgrades, which is not insignificant in terms of improvements. 

This provides another minimal performance improvement, and when combined with other changes, like reducing the weight and the suspension coils, you can see a noticeable improvement in the car. 

Exhaust upgrades are split into two parts. One is a fully-realized system that goes all the way up to the engine bay, and of course, there is bolt-on variance, but they have no other purpose other than to be stunning to look at. As well as adding audio performance improvements. The bolt-on systems mimic the illusion of a realized system, it looks and sounds. 

If you really hope to see a performance improvement within your vehicle, then a fully-realized system is the only way to go. You will need to make sure that your car is on a set of blocks, allowing you to work underneath the car. If your system is going to consist of customized piping that’s tailored to your vehicle, it will be as simple as just tracing the old system. However, the process is likely to involve some mechanical skills, like welding and a general understanding of how an exhaust system actually works. If your car is a project car, then you can take your time to learn how the fully-realized system works and is attached. 


ECU stands for the engine control unit, arguably one of the most essential parts of the car. Any car that has been released in the last two decades tends to have an intelligent computer system. This will help to evaluate and regulate all of the different operating systems within your car. This ECU is implemented during production and arrives from the factory with a preset parameter. The ECU parameters are typically so far away from actual performance capabilities and are simply for safety purposes.

You’ll need to spend some time researching the parameters of the ECU, in relation to your car make and model. This is one of the more expensive upgrades for your system. 

Ideally, you are going to want to work with a car shop that understands you make a model, and the rules, regulations around and ECU. You can replace the ECU system, and that will improve the engine performance overall. It is also possible to reprogram your current ECU, which is a much less costly option. However, again this will depend on your make and model.

When it comes to making a few mods to improve the overall performance and lifespan of your car, it is a good idea to spend plenty of time on research and work out the savings on fuel, and the real performance improvement for the approach that you intend to take. Luckily there are plenty of guides online that can help you do even the most complicated tasks. There are a few other places that you can look to make improvements like testing the throttle response, cold air intake, and bracing.

But when it comes to your car, it is essential to ensure that anything you are 100% comfortable with, you employ the help of a mechanic.

Will Hopstetter
Will is an automotive market enthusiast living in the United Kingdom. He holds a diverse background in automotive and enjoys utilizing that to produce insights into the inner workings of the industry.