Aftermarket parts are popular among car enthusiasts. This allows them to personalize their favorite rides and reflect their personalities. The popularity of these automotive accessories encourages manufacturers to produce affordable parts for the market. However, odd pieces also appeal to a niche market.
From electroluminescent neothane tires to random car emblems, here are some offbeat aftermarket parts:
The Goodyear Tire Company was always ahead of its time. Thanks to Anthony Finelli and chemist William Larson, the tandem created a compound called neothane. It allowed them to dye their new, tubeless tires in different colors. Since neothane is translucent, it allowed light to pass through it, and a bright idea was born: fit the wheels with lights to illuminate the tires.
This mimicked electroluminescence and took the market by storm. With a variety of color hues to choose from, it was a new frontier in automobile design. Light bars for trucks can work well with electroluminescent, rainbow-hued tires.
Badges help identify a car’s make and model, while stickers make it look cool. However, some car owners go overboard by putting additional stickers or symbols on their vehicles. Putting a Mustang badge on a Corolla won’t turn it into a “Pony Car.” Adding stickers such as Endless or Bilstein won’t turn their minivan into an instant pocket-rocket. These are pointless because it won’t make their car look pretty. Keep it clean and straightforward – that’s what makes a car look good.
Formula One cars use wings or spoilers to increase vehicle traction at high speeds. A car wing is an inverted airplane wing that generates downforce to allow the vehicle to drive more efficiently while on the circuit. Although these became popular among the racing enthusiasts, some pushed the envelope by installing over-sized wings.
They believe that it will make their cars run faster. In reality, these wings aren’t needed. Modern cars were designed to maximize aerodynamics and minimize drag. Daily drives were designed for urban mobility and not for racing.
Hood and side scoops
These types of scoops were designed to help high-performance engines burn fuel more efficiently and deliver more power. Scoops are non-mechanical alternatives that allow better airflow within the car’s engine bay. Unfortunately, some vehicle owners resort to adding dummy side and hood scoops. These faux accessories can also slow down their vehicles and increase fuel consumption due to drag.
Pseudo engine sounds
An engine’s throaty roar is what makes driving more exciting. It makes drivers feel fast and tough. However, sports coupes with high-performance engines cost a small fortune. To quench their need for speed, some aftermarket manufacturers produced kits to emulate the sound of a racing engine.
These kits include a speaker system that imitates the sound of a turbocharged engine. Sure, it can make the car owner feel like he’s driving a HEMI engine, but it won’t go faster than a 1.3 cylinder sedan.
Aftermarket parts can either make or break your car. Think twice before buying that fancy tire, spoiler, or body scoops. Be wise with your budget and invest in essential car parts instead.