Turn that old car into a 2024 modern beast with these 32 affordable car upgrades

Optimising your car to enhance its appearance and performance is simpler than it seems, and it is available to everyone. A few easy modifications will enhance your vehicle's primary capabilities.

Personalising your automobile is not an outdated mechanisation; it is a great way to enhance and streamline to the car of your dreams. There are even options to make it appear more like a sports vehicle.

Although investing in automotive frills may seem like a waste of money, it may actually increase the vehicle's price while everyone else's value depreciates from the time they leave the showroom.

The car is kind of like a second home since it serves as a comfortable and safe haven for individuals who travel for extended periods, be it for work or pleasure. Research shows that people typically drive for an average of 1.4 hours each day, or as much as 10.6 hours per day. 

If you are fortunate enough to drive an electric behemoth such as the Tesla, a Lamborghini, or some fancy new car, you may not notice it, but for the rest of us, every trip, particularly lengthy ones or traffic jams, may be a major hassle. Even if your car does not come with a lot of features out of the box, you can always upgrade them.

Just like building a PC yourself, a comprehensive car upgrade gives you all the perks of a modern vehicle tailored right to your specifications. Similar to house renovations, it adds at least a decade of life to a dying vehicle. 

That is why Clacified has compiled a list of the easiest changes you can make to your automobile to increase power, speed, comfort, safety and aesthetics for those who are constantly searching for a little more.

This article outlines affordable methods to boost the performance, aesthetic, sound, and comfort of your automobile, as well as a few strategies for gaining additional power quickly and effectively. 

The best part is that some of them are so easy that you can do them yourself at home in a matter of minutes with a few basic tools.

If your car is starting to age but the vitals are still in top condition, upgrading it to modern standards is much cheaper and better than purchasing a new one.

With the correct additions, your vehicle will have nothing to envy about modern automobiles. You can add a rear camera, a parking sensor, hands-free, radios that play music from your phone, and much more.

So, if your car is in fine shape but you want to boost its performance, take notice. Grouped into performance, aesthetic, tech, comfort, and safety, these 32 extras can help you upgrade your automobile without having to purchase a new one.


Bluetooth transmitter

Do you envy people who can listen to music on their mobile phones while making hands-free calls? Leave jealousy behind and do it yourself with this basic, small Bluetooth transmitter that produces high-quality sound and costs about 16 USD.

It's as easy as putting it in your car's cigarette lighter and listening to music. Not only that, but you can use it to make and answer hands-free calls, navigate with voice commands, and charge two devices at the same time via its USB ports.

Parking sensor

A parking sensor, which costs just 30 USD on Amazon, notifies you of the proximity of objects or cars with an audible alert, allowing you to park with total peace of mind. You can install it in any type of vehicle, but ensure it is at least 50 cm above the ground.

This gadget has four ultrasonic sensors, a dual CPU, and an innovative chipset to improve coverage and detection. 

Consider using a parking assist for automobiles that do not come with a rear camera as standard. These create an auditory alarm as you approach an obstruction, which is useful while parking.

It can identify little children and low walls, allowing you to avoid hazards and crashes in the vicinity of the driving vehicle. The warning buzzer sounds at various frequencies based on the distance between the vehicle and an item. 

Drive (or pilot) using the HUD

Although more and more people are installing this beneficial information projection system on the front windscreen, it is a costly option.

The goal is to display essential information immediately on the dashboard to make automobiles safer and to eliminate distractions when following, for instance, GPS navigation directions.

2-DIN radio with Android Auto, CarPlay and Rear-parking camera

2-DIN radios such as the Sony XAV-AX1000 with a 6.2-inch screen and compatibility with Android Auto and CarPlay, are available on Amazon for just 250 USD.

This 2-DIN radio gives you easy and intuitive control on every journey thanks to its fantastic 6.2-inch touch screen, which is very responsive. It supports Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, which allow you to navigate, chat, and listen to music while driving.

Also, its ergonomic rotary dial allows for distraction-free use. 

When commuting, you will enjoy your preferred music like never before because it allows you to generate virtual speakers on your car's dashboard using its dynamic sound organiser. And if that isn't enough, it comes with a rear-view camera to make parking easier.

Wireless rear camera

Still on parking, to drive safely and park without difficulty you do not need to purchase a new vehicle just to see what is behind you at all times.

If you don't want all the frills and thrills that come with the gadget described above you can get a high-quality but affordable wireless back camera, for just 160 USD. 

A good rear camera captures crisp rear-view video in 1080P, communicates via Bluetooth with a highly reliable signal, is resistant to low temperatures, is waterproof, and has a large viewing angle.

Night driving mode

When driving at night, you'll frequently notice that the car's dashboard is so bright and packed with information and screens that it obstructs your ability to appreciate the outside information, which is what matters most.

Many people may not find it helpful, but high-end automobiles like the Audi A6 and BMW 7 Series have night vision options that enable you to see far more while driving at night.

With quality night panels, you can turn off all dashboard lights except the speedometer with a single button, allowing you to concentrate solely on driving.


Rearview mirrors with blind spots

Does your automobile lack blind spot mirrors? Fortunately, you can get quality circular mirrors for around 7 USD and enjoy a broad view of the road.

They install quickly, stay steady, are waterproof, and leave no marks when removed. These mirrors include a 360° rotation and a 30° adjustable oscillation, making them ideal for increasing visibility and road safety. 

Its unique ultra-thin, frameless, and curved design will not interfere with your driving while widening your range of view.

Tinted glass

Tinted windows are a personal preference, and the benefits include a lower temperature in the passenger compartment during hot weather, more privacy while driving "premium," and improved window resistance to vandalism. 

Window tinting addresses a variety of issues, including allowing you to keep your luggage and personal items out of sight while also protecting yourself from UV rays that harm the vehicle's interior coverings, reducing heat in the summer, and glare day and night. 

It also maintains seclusion, exactly like the windows on ground-floor accommodations.

The downsides include a substantial loss of side vision at night (passable below 30% tint), higher resale difficulties, and increased inconvenience in the passenger cabin.


Air purifier

Investing in an air purifier to eliminate allergens, unpleasant odours, or even unwanted particles that deteriorate the quality of your car's air is essential for your comfort. 

You may suffer from headaches if the air in your car isn't healthy. Choose scented purifiers, which will diffuse a sweet scent.

A good air purifier removes particles of smoke, pollen, pesticides, bacteria, and viruses from the ambient air, making it ideal for long car rides or traffic jams. 

Travel pillow

Long car rides in the same posture can result in back and neck discomfort. To prevent these uncomfortable sensations, consider investing in a travel pillow that will provide you with a comfortable posture. 

This attachment, which comes with clips to secure it to your headrest, provides support for your neck and back, and is ideal for a variety of conditions outside automobile usage.

Seats with built-in kid booster

Although it is not as common as some parents would want, seats with built-in kid boosters are one of the features that more and more manufacturers are including in their family vehicles. 

Volvo and Dodge are the only cars with rear child-friendly seats, and although the external market is brimming with separate alternatives, having that capacity built into the car is a fantastic choice.

Heated seats

In the case of severe cold, heated seats might be minor but significant features that offer you considerable comfort when travelling. You feel a comforting warmth while sitting comfortably in your seat, and getting up is difficult. 

This mild warmth enables you to relax your muscles and have a better driving experience.  Keep in mind that most modern automobiles come with these seats, but you can also purchase heated coverings for your old seats.

This mechanism, which is particularly handy in the winter, keeps the seats warm so that you don't become chilly as soon as you step inside the car. Some people don't appreciate them, but it's an intriguing choice.

Children's head support

Young toddlers often fall asleep on lengthy trips; as a result, ensuring their comfort is critical. A good child's head support typically consists of a set of two pads with velcro fasteners.

The organic cotton construction prevents the head from moving suddenly or causing neck pain due to improper positioning. We recommend choosing one with cloth and a design that draws inspiration from children's drawings.


Air intake system

Let’s equate your vehicle's air filter to a human nose; if it gets more air flow, your car's performance will improve. Although the increase in power is not significant, this improvement, when combined with other upgrades, significantly enhances your car's performance.

This upgrade, which costs about 200 USD, allows you to optimise the airflow that the engine breathes. 

It is essential to install it in an appropriate location, since the goal of an intake kit is to transmit as clean and cold air as possible for combustion.

High-performance air filters: how do they work

High-performance air filters let only clear air reach the engine's combustion chambers, resulting in increased efficiency and fewer constraints.

Performance air filters are devices that enhance air flow to the engine, thereby increasing its performance via improved combustion efficiency.

Feeding the engine with more clean air improves the throttle response, leading to smoother acceleration and increased power.

On the other hand, since they have a larger ability to hold dirt and particles, they may better filter contaminants in the air, safeguarding the engine.

Cold Air Intake Systems (CAI) draw air from colder regions away from the engine's heat, producing denser, cooler air that improves combustion and efficiency.

Scheduled ventilation

Scheduled ventilation like the BMW Vent Time allows you to configure the car's air conditioning or heating before you get in. Vehicles are increasingly incorporating this technology as optional equipment, similar to the heated seats previously discussed.

Select BMWs feature an additional "Rest" option in their air conditioning system, which allows heat to transfer from the engine to the interior during short engine shutdowns. When you returned, the car would still be warm.

Tire pressure indicator

The TPMS (tire pressure monitoring device), a device that alerts you if the pressure in any of the wheels is insufficient, has long been required for cars in Europe and the United States.

Typically, the indicator just signals that one of the wheels is not under the correct pressure—by the way, cease kicking the wheels—but provides no more information about the precise wheel affected. 

Amazon has more exact indicators priced below 40 USD which is very beneficial to many drivers, particularly when travelling long distances. 


Changing your rims has two purposes: it improves the aesthetics of your automobile and its handling.

People on a daily basis have tires that leave much to be desired, owing to two factors: weight and width. Let us start with the first one.


It's common knowledge that lowering the car's weight improves acceleration, braking, and cornering, but because the tires (and the entire set of wheels) in a car are rotating mass, this has a much greater impact when it comes to creating inertia, making it difficult for us to change speeds.

For a city vehicle with 13 or 14-inch wheels, 15-inch rims will provide a noticeable improvement. For an SUV, you may go up to 17 inches, which provides a decent balance of comfort and efficiency without slipping into the tuning element of doubtful taste. 

For sedans and minivans, 17 inches is also quite nice; try not to go beyond 18 inches to prevent seeming ostentatious. 

For instance, a 19-inch tire on a 100-horsepower Opel Corsa is not ideal for your vehicle. A 16-inch rim, on the other hand, may be beneficial because it allows you to fit a sportier, wider tire without compromising performance. Aesthetics plays a crucial role in this choice, and having larger wheels doesn't necessarily mean it's better.


You must not overlook the breadth, which is almost as significant as the diameter. The wider the tire, the better the handling; nevertheless, the higher the consumption. 

Also, keep in mind that the rim width has an impact, although minor, on the turning radius. So if you like doing rapid U-turns around town, you may want to reconsider. Still, the impact is often quite limited.

There is a wide selection of extremely good wheels at reasonable prices that, when combined with suitable tires, can completely change the characteristics of your automobile.

However, be cautious; you don't simply fit any rim to any automobile. By doing so, you risk causing the automobile to behave badly while also failing the technical examination. 

In reality, a chassis/running gear combination is intended to work with certain rim forms. To find out the permissible dimensions, visit any technical inspection facility, and they will provide you with a list of tire measurements. Be aware, however, that a rim can allow many tire formats.


Adding a turbocharger or supercharger can effectively boost power and torque, but it requires careful planning. Adjustments to the car's existing parameters and "mapping" are essential to optimise the performance of these modifications.

When done correctly, significant performance improvements are achievable, although the driver's skills also influence the outcome.

Supercharging is the most expensive method of enhancing your car's performance. If money is not an issue, supercharging is one way to gain significant power.

Installing a turbo in a naturally aspirated engine will significantly improve the torque, power curve, and HP, whereas if your engine is already supercharged, you can increase the turbo pressure, but this must be done in conjunction with a good reprogramming of the control unit and reinforcement of various engine components that require higher pressures.

However, if you want a larger power unit, you can do an engine swap, which involves replacing your engine with a new or larger one to give yourself more space to move around or a solid foundation to build on.

A common method is to install the engine that powers the most powerful and sporty version of your vehicle; for example, if you own a BMW 3 Series, you may install the engine from the BMW M3. However, don't forget to add stronger brakes, since all that power is meaningless without complete control.

The turbocharger and supercharging system stand out for their ability to boost power and torque, thereby revolutionising the driving experience for the user.

What exactly constitutes overfeeding? How does a turbocharger work?

Supercharging is a way of enhancing engine power by bringing more air and fuel into the combustion chambers, with turbochargers playing an important role in the process. The fundamental goal is that the more compressed air used, the greater the power and torque gains.

In addition to the aforementioned, there are numerous critical issues that you must consider when adding a supercharging system to your car.

  • Adjusting the air and fuel mixture: To prevent explosions and overheating, adjust the fuel supply in proportion to the increase in air.
  • Cooling system: Supercharging generates extra heat in the engine, necessitating a sufficient cooling system to keep temperatures under control and avoid overheating.
  • Enhanced engine strength: It is crucial to confirm that all engine components are prepared to withstand the increased strain resulting from the increase in power and pressure.

Reprogram the ECU

The ECU (Engine Control Unit) is a critical component of the engine management system, controlling many elements of its functioning. 

Reprogramming this software, also known as remapping the ECU, is one of the key principles that can dramatically improve engine performance in a variety of ways, including boosting engine power, enhancing engine torque, and optimising fuel efficiency. 

However, you should realise that changing it without the manufacturer's approval may invalidate the vehicle's warranty.

Reconfiguring the ECU, among other things, results in an improvement in accelerator response, a rise in power and torque, an improvement in fuel economy, and a customisation of the driving experience.

High-performance exhausts

A high-performance exhaust system is a collection of components intended to enhance the performance, efficiency, and sound of a vehicle's exhaust system. 

A well-designed and modified exhaust system can significantly improve power, torque, and fuel economy because it must remove the exhaust gases produced during engine combustion smoothly and without creating excessive back pressure.

These components often provide a number of benefits to the vehicle, including improved engine efficiency, a sportier and more unique sound, lower back pressure, and a more appealing visual look.

An efficient system must include an effective gas evacuation system, as the greater the capacity to remove combustion residue, the better. A straight, lightweight exhaust system will improve economy, resulting in a little more horsepower for your automobile.

This allows for faster and more efficient exhaust gas evacuation, reduces back pressure in the exhaust system, and increases power and torque.

Increasing air flow to the engine is an important factor to consider if you want to boost its efficiency.

To change the exhaust line, you have two options:

  • For a sportier variant, modify the exhaust line.
  • To create a customised line, contact an exhaust manufacturer.

Before making any modifications, keep in mind that installing high-performance exhaust systems may be subject to local noise and emissions rules and legislation.


Because the clutch slips during acceleration, some automobiles need a clutch replacement to boost transmittable torque. A clutch that slides as soon as you accelerate has a negative impact on the vehicle's overall performance.

Thus, we propose installing a stronger clutch as part of your upgrade to prevent slippage during acceleration.


The tire is the single component that links the automobile to the ground. Often overlooked, this piece of rubber ultimately shapes the characteristics of the car. 

Changing tires may not increase power, but it will improve grip and responsiveness because softer compounds and broader profiles provide better dry starts.

Although this is obviously linked to the point on wheels, it is not the same, since in that one, we discussed why to improve the rims, but in this one, you will talk entirely about other reasons to enhance the tire. 

Buying better tires for your vehicle will provide performance that is difficult to obtain with other upgrades. The goal is to get tires with the widest possible width and softest compound, which will increase grip.

Always chose high-performance tires

The design of high-performance tires enhances performance in sporty or high-performance driving scenarios, outperforming traditional and resulting in increased responsiveness, more stability at high speeds, improved water evacuation, and decreased rolling resistance.

Don't forget that these tires are built for sports, high-performance, or luxury cars, so if you just drive in the city, you may want to consider alternative additions.

Avoid second-hand tires and Chinese brands, which are notoriously harsh and provide poor grip in most situations, while keeping in mind that a worn tire performs poorly. 

There are several sports tires available from companies such as Michelin, Dunlop, Bridgestone, and Pirelli that offer exceptional lateral grip and a great driving feel.


A car's standard brakes have limited functionality; therefore, a high-performance brake system increases the vehicle's braking force and resistance, resulting in improved handling and reaction in sporty or demanding driving conditions.

Stopping quickly is as important as rapid acceleration, so it is ideal to have brakes designed for more sporting usage than those found on most street vehicles. 

To do this, you must first improve the pads, since the ones in use have a very short working window and a low temperature, making them useless in maximising your vehicle's potential.

That is why it is ideal to use mixed sports pads, which combine circuit components like carbon fibre with those you see in everyday life. If you wish to go further, the next step will be to replace the clamp with one that provides additional pressure. 

You also need discs that can withstand the pressure and heat generated by your superior brakes, and your performance will benefit from having vented, lightweight discs as large as your rims can accommodate.

An original pad is intended to endure a maximum working temperature of 300 °C, which implies that around 300 °C, braking vanishes and becomes much less effective. Sports brake pads can withstand temperatures up to 650 °C. As a result, they offer more braking power, bite, and road safety. 


The differential is an important component of your vehicle's gearbox because it is responsible for maintaining constant traction on your driving wheels (as much as possible). To enhance your differential, you need to switch to a self-locking differential (LSD).

This allows you to prevent traction loss in straight lines when you don't have enough grip, as well as in bends when you drive aggressively.


Even though some automobiles have excellent original shock absorbers, this mechanical component does not endure forever. Upon reaching 100,000 km, the shock absorbers start to deteriorate and necessitate replacement.

Examine and replace the shock absorbers as necessary during stages 2 or 3. You can begin with a selection of enhanced shock absorbers, as with the other mechanical components indicated above, or with bespoke shock absorbers.

Despite its seemingly insignificant appearance, it is a crucial component that requires careful consideration and can significantly reduce time.

Sports tires boost grip and traction, while suspension improves cornering by preventing rolling and loss of traction.

The suspension, which regulates the available grip, will improve the vehicle and provide the desired sportiness.

While street suspensions aim to provide comfort, their grip becomes ineffective when situations demand limits. Changing the springs and shock absorbers with ones that are typically lower and stiffer will give benefits in areas such as braking, acceleration, cornering, direction changes, and, for the most brave, desired drift. This is crucial because it's the fundamental factor that will enable you to achieve the desired level of sportsmanship.

Replacing your suspension system has the potential to dramatically alter the situation in two ways. First and foremost, superior suspension not only enhances handling due to modern technology, but it also occasionally allows for a reduction in ride height.

Reducing the riding height has a variety of benefits, including low fuel consumption, an unquestionably winning look, and a quick response. 

But there are several flaws. If you are too low, some sections or obstacles may be more difficult to navigate.

Some prefer to purchase a short spring and install it on the original shock absorber. This is acceptable, but not ideal, since you should choose a shock absorber with a short rod; otherwise, the shock absorber/spring combination may not work well together. 

A short spring of a given stiffness may not work with a shock absorber built for another sort of adjustment. However, this seldom causes an issue in regular usage. 

Regardless, we recommend choosing kits that include both a spring and a shock absorber to ensure their optimal performance.

Finally, threaded shock absorbers allow for on-demand ride height modification. Everything is perfect here, since you can adjust the height as needed. 

There are also shock absorbers that allow you to change the calibration directly with a manual dial (no tool is required) or by connecting them to the vehicle's electrical system if it has active or semi-active suspension.

By upgrading your suspension and shock absorbers to a big brand (Bilstein, KW, etc.), you will obtain a safer automobile that will be even more dynamic if you consider reducing the ride height to a suitable height (from minus 10 to -30 mm). 


LED light

In addition to enhancing the look of any car, LED lights have two significant benefits over conventional lights. The first is that they are more energy efficient, which saves energy and extends the usable life of the vehicle's battery. 

Second, they respond faster—the LEDs switch on and off practically instantly—which is particularly advantageous for brake lights and turn signals since other cars will get a stop or turn signal sooner. 

Body work

A Teflon or ceramic-based treatment will improve your bodywork's protection and give it a richer gloss. In fact, if you "coat" your automobile in this manner, it will collect less dust, thereby saving you money at the car wash. In addition, the bodywork will be far more resistant to external attacks, such as pigeon droppings. 

Teflon treatment typically costs between 200 and 400 USD for ceramics, but if you do it yourself, you'll only need to purchase one product, which will cost between 50 and 100 USD.

Total covering, also known as total wrapping, is another form of bodywork that is becoming more popular. 

It involves completely shielding your bodywork with large stickers that fit precisely (hand-adapted by trade specialists), allowing you to temporarily alter the colour of your automobile.

In reality, when you're tired, just remove the "stickers" to expose the "real" bodywork. This typically costs approximately 1,000 USD.

A luxury interior

What distinguishes the basic car variants from the better-loaded ones is usually the car upholstery. More expensive automobiles usually feature leather-upholstered seats and wood trim on the dashboard.

So, if you want to emphasise or personalise your automobile to make it seem more luxurious, you should invest in leather or vinyl leather upholstery and hardwood dashboards to enhance the inside appearance. 

Plastic boards may lose their colour over time, so covering them with wood will give them fresh life.

The most significant benefit of customising an automobile is that you can choose the colour and material of the upholstery.

Luxury exterior

Although a leather-upholstered interior gives your automobile a new appearance, an exterior that matches what you see through the windows improves the car's attractiveness significantly.

If you really want to transform your car's image into one of luxury, you must make the outside seem more sporty. 

Even if you don't want to make the vehicle appear more opulent, modifying the outside is a great way to customise and make it distinctive.

Here are a few options:

  • Use spoilers for a similar look to a sports vehicle. 
  • Replace the rims on the tires.
  • Sports exhausts.
  • Change the paint on the automobile.


Unique seat belt adaptor

This is a really useful product for pregnant women and those who have recently had stomach surgery. 

You can easily install this belt adjuster under the seat and fasten the top portion to the front of the seat. 

Positioning the seat belt in this manner relieves pressure on the belly during quick braking.

Double-emergency beacon

The double-emergency beacon is an addition that will come in handy if you have to park on the side of the road due to an unexpected incident. 

These are two emergency lights that attach to the vehicle's roof using a magnetic and non-slip base. 

Particularly in these conditions, they are highly visible, casting a beam of light up to two kilometres away.

LED door lights

Opening doors while parking is one of the most dangerous things you can do, particularly if you park in a double row. To avert greater dangers, you should install this set of four high-intensity lights. 

They each include five miniature LED lights, are waterproof, and do not need any wiring for installation. 

The light only flashes when the door is opened and goes off when closed. 


These are just a few changes we suggest to make your car more capable, but you must always hire skilled workers, invest in high-quality parts, and complete the work in specialised workshops.

When making drastic changes, exercise caution. It is essential to remember that excessive engine alterations may jeopardise its efficiency and usable life, so always consult with professionals and strive for a balance of performance and dependability.

Risks of modifying the car

Not everything about automobile customisation is perfect. Certain conditions or alterations might jeopardise the functioning of or hinder the automobile from performing well. Some modifications may increase your car's susceptibility to rollovers by altering its centre of gravity.

As a result, before upgrading the vehicle, you must be familiar with this process. If you're unsure about how to locate it or how to prevent altering your car's centre of gravity, we recommend the following:

  • Do not cut or enlarge the structure.
  • Do not exceed the permissible weight.
  • Attend an approved workshop.
  • Understand maintenance techniques.
  • Going to an automobile modification pro is undoubtedly the best option.

Consider adopting high-performance parts: spark plugs, ignition coils, and improved camshafts may all help to improve combustion and overall engine performance. 

It is crucial to perform a thorough adjustment and calibration of the motor. This guarantees that the modifications function properly, releasing their full potential and providing the intended ideal performance.

Consider safety and legality while making changes. You must guarantee that whatever modifications you make to the vehicle, whether to increase performance or look, are both safe and legal.