You don’t have to spend major coin to make your ride a thing of motoring bliss. There are ways to keep your money in check, and your car feeling better than ever. Everything from quick fixes, long term benefits, traveling, and keeping it clean will affect the way your car feels, and most importantly, how it makes you feel. Here are some of our favorite fixes for your finances frugal.
We cannot state this enough how important it is to keep your tires properly inflated. Being the only thing that actually touches the road surface, tires are an integral part of safety, road-holding, comfort, and fuel economy. By taking the time and the quarters needed at your local gas station (remember to bring your own air-pressure gauge), you’re greatly benefitting your car at minimal cost to yourself.
Think of it this way: if it looks like your tires are being “pinched,” it’s probably a good time to check the pressure and fill them up. After that, they will make the car handle better and keep you safe!
If you’re an OCD neat freak and keep your car 50 shades of clean, you can move along to the next point. However, if you’re a hooptie hoarder and could survive the next apocalypse with random items in your car, keep reading. Weight in an automobile is good for certain things, but too much of it, and your cars performance starts to suffer.
This is why engineers go to such great lengths to shed the weight off. That clothing, bottled water, random intramural-sports-league gear, and quarts of oil in the trunk is taking a toll on your fuel economy, handling, acceleration, and braking. By removing weight, you’re allowing your car to work more efficiently by hauling less and utilizing its power to a higher degree. So, take out those spare kegs, put ‘em in your basement and free up your car of some of those heavy calories.
You ever get the feeling when you’re driving that your car bobs up and down endlessly? If so, it probably means your shock absorbers are shot. Instead of continuing on as if you’re a shrimp boat captain, replace your aging absorbers with OEM (original equipment manufacturer) parts with an almost endless variety of retailers and companies at your disposal.
Most absorbers range from $60-100 per unit, but the improvement they will make to your car is worth millions. Not only with the car feel more planted and stable, but also it should provide your car with a ride similar to how it was from the factory. Take note, however, that if you’re not mechanically adept, this might be a job for professionals and you have to factor in the cost for labor as well.
Keeping on the theme of installing new parts, most performance cars come with a strut brace in one form or another. They help the car by limiting lateral flex, and prevent your chassis from twisting under engine load—keeping the car more planted and increasing its nimbleness. Most cars, however, do not come with a strut brace. The good thing is, these strut braces aren’t going to cost you an arm and a leg (unless you have a super sports car, then they will only go up in price exponentially), even though they will make a noticeable difference when pushing through the turns.
For example: you can get a strut brace for a 2012-2015 Honda Civic for $65 from a reputable company such as Megan Racing. You don’t need to be on the racetrack to have the need for a strut brace, you just need to know what they do and how it can improve the steering feel and performance of your automobile.
The engine of your auto is a volatile and frenetic place: high-energy explosions, moving metal parts, and high temperatures. Most modern cars have the ability to work perfectly fine with regular gasoline of an octane rating of 87, however, the higher octane you put in your car, the more performance and benefits will be attributed; with certain caveats.
Usually, most high-performance cars require a higher octane of at least 93 because that’s the way they were designed and engineered to run. Most new economy cars though, only require 87 to make the engine perform at its peak. But, if you have an older car ranging anywhere from 4-6 years, carbon deposits can form on the engine walls, degrading performance. A nice fill-up of premium fuel will not only clean some of those deposits out, but also give you additional benefits of higher quality additives, detergents, and solvents. Think about it as having kale for your car: you can live fine without it, but every once in awhile you should probably give your body those extra nutrients.
Touching the grit, smelling the rank leftovers, and seeing the grit on your car build up only adds to the discomfort of actually having to be inside it. Instead of just spending $10 to have someone quickly take off the top layers of grime, take a fine tooth-comb to your car and revitalize that sopping mess of a vehicle.
Become intimate with your car: touch it, stare at it, rub it down, and vacuum it. Seriously though, when was the last time you actually took a few hours and did a few overhaul of the outside and inside of it? If you have to think about it, now’s the time to get on with it. The end result will be a car that sparkles, glistens, and feel like a new off-the-lot ride. You’ll become a proud owner and that’s something that can’t be bought.
This is (almost) a free way to make your car feel awesome, with the exception of gasoline (and snacks (lots of snacks). You don’t have to feel like your car is just a machine to get from point A to point B. Cars are made to explore, and modern cars are becoming so reliable you don’t have to worry about breaking down at unexpected points. Make it a plan to get out with your car; connect with your car; and feel uninhibited by the normal 9-5 with your car.
Cars feel exceptionally amazing when the windows are down, the music is loud, and the destination is exciting. Making a car feel awesome doesn’t mean you need to actually add anything to it; rather by using it to get you to a place of peace, it’s making the journey feel special.
Currently the full-time Editorial Director and Content Manager for RxSpeed.com, & contributing writer for Scout.com. He also loves photography, videography, his Shiba Inu Mia and driving sports cars.