Upgrading Your Car with Aftermarket Parts

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Former Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson describes Jaguar owners as people who can practically get away with anything because, well, they own a “Jaaag!” “I just ran over a dog. But the dog owner was fine with it because it was with my Jaaag!” No pet owner would, of course, be okay with it in real life. But that’s how Jaguar dealers from New Zealand or car enthusiasts describe owners of this iconic automobile. It started in 1922 with the Swallow Sidecar Company, but the company didn’t make the first Jag until 1935. Heritage, safety, high-end performance, and luxury are what make a Jag.

But you own a Hyundai Sonata. You compensate by enhancing your unit with aftermarket accessories and parts. You replace the head unit with the latest Pioneer or Kenwood. You change the suspension kits. Is this all worth it? Should every car owner go down this path of upgrading their vehicles with aftermarket accessories? Let’s see if the ideas here will make you a gearhead.

Are You a Gearhead?

Installed powerful audio speakers in front door of a car

A gearhead is “someone who is totally into cars and is very knowledgeable about how to modify and fix them.”

You could probably still split the gearhead type into subcategories, and resources might have something to do with it. If you have the means, then the upgrade is done as soon as you’re out of the dealership. But some don’t always have the cash to implement the necessary update. Maybe you work overtime or get a second job to fulfill your need to upgrade your Toyota Camry or Chevrolet Silverado. But when you have the resources in place, you fit your vehicle with the best stereo head unit complete with a navigation system, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto.

Let’s categorized the others as non-gearhead. With resources or without resources, you couldn’t care less whether you need to add a dashcam or change the size of your wheels. It’s working and gets you from point A to point B. That’s enough.

What is your need? Before deciding on whether you should change or add anything to your car, it makes sense that you first reflect on who you are. There are other factors to consider as well, like if you have a family and are putting kids to school.

Safety Considerations

Whether you’ve decided to become a gearhead or not, safety should be the primary consideration for changing anything in your vehicle. Some still find solace and comfort in the idea that OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturer) is the way to go. But some arguments have been made that non-OEM parts are better than the original and can be cheaper too. Resources on the pros and cons discussion are plenty. Make sure that you are informed.

Safe Essentials that Are Non-mechanical

Person  driving a car

Faulty wheels, brakes, and steering and suspension are among the top mechanical failures causing car accidents. Know what you’re doing before you tamper with these areas. Examples of items that improve safety is a dashcam. Recording of accidents helps resolve disputes more efficiently using a dashcam.

Distracted driving accounts for 25% of road accidents in the USA.  Most vehicles today come equipped with Bluetooth head units to allow you to talk on your phone hands-free. Changing to an advanced model that incorporates more features of your phone onto your head unit is a good decision.

Before making any changes to your vehicle, make sure that safety consideration is your priority.