Going for a drive with the windows down on a lovely day is one of life’s great pleasures. Beyond this, a good vehicle can become a staple in your life; you probably spend more time than you realize in your car and have come to rely on it to get you to work (providing your income), get you to your friends, and family (keeping your relationships thriving) and get you to the various stores you use (providing your food, clothing and other material needs). A reliable vehicle can support pretty much all areas of your life.
Once people realize the profound role a car has in their life, they often become more interested in vehicles. Some go so far as to develop the skills and wherewithal to maintain, repair, and even build their own car. The following will explore a few things you need to keep in mind if you’re looking to build a reliable vehicle.
One of the more common places a car can wear out is its battery. Batteries that can’t handle the cold or which drain quickly for other reasons can quickly turn pleasant driving experiences into nerve-wracking terror where you’re not quite sure your vehicle is going to make it. If you take the time to find and properly install long lasting batteries, you won’t need to worry about constantly needing to jump your car to get it going again. A good battery will keep your car going for years to come. Of course, no matter how stellar your car battery is, it is important to keep jumper cables in your vehicle in case of emergency; it might not be your car that needs jumping but someone else’s.
Brake Pads And Brake Lines
Your brakes are a vital component of your car; they’re what allow you to stop when you need to stop. Without brakes and brake pads in excellent condition, you’re putting yourself and everyone around you at serious risk. You’re also definitely going to end up with a ticket even if you avoid collisions. It’ll be a couple of hundred dollars for quality brake pads and somewhere between 50 and 150 dollars for stainless steel brake lines, but they’re utterly essential. In addition to making your vehicle much safer, quality brake pads can also drastically improve the feeling of driving and your ability to complete minute adjustments while driving.
Tires are expensive, but they’re expensive for a good reason. High-performance tires can improve each aspect of your vehicle’s performance. Acceleration, braking, and cornering can all be smoother with the right tires. It’s also critical that you understand the climate where you live and regularly drive and seek out a set of summer and winter tires if winter is something you’re going to have to deal with. Summer and winter tires have rubber compounds that are optimized for different temperature ranges.
Cold air intake is a fairly easy and quick modification to any vehicle that allows for improved acceleration. It also improves fuel economy. It involves replacing the stock, restrictive air box that your vehicle uses for intake. This allows your engine to breathe easier and get more air when it’s needed. You ideally want one that seals off the connection between the engine bay ad the air filter area, and you definitely want to include a high-quality, long-life air filter.
Remember, no matter how powerful of an air filter you find, you’re still going to have to maintain it and clean it regularly for optimal performance.
If you’re focused on good air intake, you also need to be focused on how that air is getting out. A solid cat-back exhaust can cost upwards of $250, but it results in improved acceleration and improved fuel economy (sometimes as much as a 5% increase). Beyond this, your exhaust is a large component of how loud your vehicle is and can be a part of keeping your engine running smoothly. It’s important to note that most states have regulations surrounding exhaust standards for environmental reasons. Do your research to ensure that you’re meeting the legal requirements.
Standard headlights involve regular halogen bulbs. High-intensity discharge (H.I.D.) lamps are lights that include a secondary electric amplifier as well as a bulb that is charged with a special gas to make it brighter. This can improve driving safety, sometimes doubling your visibility on the road. This is particularly important if you’re driving in rural areas where there are fewer streetlamps.
The above list should have given you an idea of a few things the car you’re building needs. It’s important to ensure that you feel comfortable and knowledgeable regarding any car builds you complete. If you’re not confident in your abilities, reach out to a professional for guidance.