No matter what type of car you own, it’s always fun to make modifications to it. However, some performance modifications are very expensive, and considering they can make your car non-emission compliant, they might not be worth it anyway. As such, we have compiled a shortlist of five modifications that you can make for less than $100.
1. An LED headlight conversion
Being able to see well when driving at night is extremely important. Fortunately, many new cars today come standard with LED headlights. But if you currently own an older car equipped with dim halogen lights, then performing an LED headlight conversion could be a major upgrade. There are plenty of online outlets — like XenonHIDS.com — that sell many different LED conversion kits for a variety of applications for less than $100.
2. High-quality windshield wipers
Did you think this was going to be a list of performance parts? Believe it or not, a good set of high-quality windshield wipers can make your car perform better… in the rain. According to Jalopnik, it’s better to splurge on a set of winter blades for year-round use. The harder rubber compound can withstand use in icy and snowy weather and will also work well in the summer. Better windshield wipers won’t make your car faster, but they will make your car safer, which is more important.
3. A set of ceramic brake pads
No, you really don’t need a big brake kit conversion to stop your car on the dot at every stoplight. But your car can definitely use a set of upgraded brake pads when it’s time to replace them. Bridgestone notes that ceramic pads are effective in a wide range of temperatures and are very quiet as well. What’s even better is that ceramic pads generally produce less brake dust and don’t wear out as quickly as their organic counterparts.
4. A short-throw shifter
Here’s a semi-performance part for you: a short shifter. Of course, this modification won’t apply to you if your car is equipped with an automatic transmission. But if your car is rocking a stick, then it could benefit from a shortened throw. Aside from feeling a little more racecar-like, your car will be more fun to drive as the throws, or actuation, when shifting gears will be reduced by up to 45%, depending on the shifter that you buy.
5. The “driver mod”
Lastly, this mod isn’t so much a modification to your car as it is a modification to yourself. After all, a car cannot go fast if the person driving it doesn’t know how to make it so. In that case, signing up for an autocross class or even a “car control clinic” can greatly improve your lap times, whether those laps are on a track or just from home to the grocery store.
Cheap modifications can go a long way
Whether or not you think the aforementioned modifications are worth your while, just know that they can each greatly improve your driving ability in their own way. You don’t really need performance modifications to make your car faster, but with a little money, you can make your ride a lot safer and more fun to drive.