Lots of people would like to modify their cars in some way, but they are put off by the potential expense of it. That said, there are many cheap car mods available as options for those who want to boost their car’s appearance or performance without breaking the bank.
In today’s blog, we’re looking at some of the best cheap car mods available anywhere on the market.
1. Headlight Covers
This is one of the more practical steps you can take to modify the car’s exterior. The cheap car mod involves simply removing the OEM covers around your headlamps and then just replacing it with a different style that may alter the apparent shape or other look of your front lights. A very simple step that can also apply to the rear light (see further below).
2. Racing Stripes
To apply a vinyl wrap or get a custom paint job are all quite expensive ways to modify the exterior of your vehicle. One way you can add some custom color, however, is by just adding some simple stripes, perhaps to the front-end, the hood or sides of the car, for example. These aren’t the same as a custom paint job done from scratch, or a repainting, or a vinyl wrap. They’re relatively simple but can have a stunning visual impact.
They add nothing for performance, but are a simple and affordable way to boost your car’s aesthetic without any dramatic acts such as cutting the wheel arches to lower the car further. Some simple racing stripes can work very well with your car’s natural build to augment the look and dynamism.
A full car wrap can cost a pretty penny, but you can also do partial wraps for just the hood or roof to add some contrast for much less. If you're a DIY'er, you can even look into wrapping your vehicle yourself.
3. Custom Windshield Wipers
Another great option among the cheap car mods is getting some custom windshield wipers. This is normally such a dull accessory on your car anyway. Switching out your wipers for a custom pair is a very simple step but one that can have a big visual impact.
4. Custom Emblem or Hood Ornament
Most OEM emblems are just a chrome badge or similar, but as it turns out you can get some rather fetching ones covered in “bling” and other more unique and standout materials. Perhaps you feel, though, that the hood of your modified car might be better served by a hood ornament. You could create an entirely original adornment to your car hood, something that reflects your personality or one of your passions. You could even create an homage to some cultural phenomenon to which you attach special importance.
5. Underside Lights
This modification may have been more popular back in the 1990s than it is now, but adding neon lights to the lower parts of your car to create that special glow under your car that almost makes it look like you’re floating on light is still a very cool, very simple modification that you can do for a low price.
6. Grille Inserts
Grille inserts are an extremely cheap way to augment the front-end of your car, especially if it has a large existing grille like a pickup truck or SUV. They add a powerful, rugged presence with that more solid block-metal or possibly gloss black, or another metallic look. One of the best things about grille inserts or just a fully customized front grille is that you can dramatically alter the way your vehicle is perceived with a very simple attachment that can cost as little as $8-10.
7. Custom Turn Signals and Rear Lights
You can transform that boring orange blinking light at the back of your car into something far more engaging and dynamic with some alterations to the rear lights. You could change the light bulbs so that they animate in a different way, for one thing. Another option would be to leave the light itself but to make changes to the cover or filter around the lights to help them stand out more. Alternatively, you could add to existing rear lights by adding a red LED strip to light up when you brake. It certainly helps to make an additional impression on the traffic behind you.
8. Wheel Lights
Just like those funky lights on the underside of your car, you can also add some light and color to the wheels. Those alloys have a lot of space inside and that space is easily filled with colorful light. You can simply add neon accents to your wheel rims for a very simple splash of color that will undoubtedly turn heads when you drive down the street.
Lighting strips can easily be wrapped around the inside of your wheel rims with minimal work and very few tools. In principle, it’s no different to applying lighting effects to the other parts of your car.
9. Tire Color
You might think the tires will always just be plain-old dull black rubber, but there are actually simple ways to add a bit of “bling” to the car with tire color sprays that you can apply with a simple sponge applicator (normally comes as part of a kit). There’s one kit produced by Black Magic that allows you to transform the traditional black rubber tire into a sparkling ring of glittery platinum. It’s certainly a look that will help any car stand out in the crowd.
10. Door Lights
If you’ve ever seen those rather cool projected light effects that appear on high-end cars like Audi and Mercedes-Benz models, you should know that creating the effect is simpler than you think. By installing a simple light projection unit into the door and wiring it in, you can create all kinds of cool light effects that generate a real “wow factor” every time you or a passenger opens up the door.
11. Wind Deflectors
The final two items in our list we want to share in particular cheap car mods for performance. The first affordable one of which is the very simple step of adding wind deflectors to the exterior of your car. It will help your vehicle cut through the air more aerodynamically, which is a natural boost to performance. They can be placed quite easily along the upper side of your windows.
12. Throttle Cable Adjustment
One of the other cheap car mods for performance that you can quickly have done is a simple adjustment to your throttle cable. It boosts your car’s response time when you hit the gas pedal and is, relatively speaking, one of the simpler mods you can have carried out. This makes it easier to afford, too.
13. Colored Window Tinting
An easy way to make a cool impact on the look of your windows is to add some colored tinting. Tint has long been a good way to keep prying eyes from peeking into your vehicle as well as keeping the vehicle free of UV rays. Now with the various colors avaiable, you can add some exciting color contrast to match the rest of your vheicle. Just remember to check local regulations for auto tinting limits to avoid any issues with the law.
Conclusion: Always Be Clear on the Rules First
Some states and/or counties in the US may prohibit certain types of modification no matter if they’re just cosmetic. Tampering with exterior lights, for example, can be problematic, as can adding hood ornaments where some authorities think they are a danger to others. Be sure to clarify any local rules that you are subject to when modifying your car, even in these affordable ways described above.