People are always looking to get the most out of their cars. A great way to maximize your vehicle’s potential is to add performance accessories.

Affordable vehicle performance accessories
Looking for more performance? There are a few options available that will add horsepower without breaking the bank…unless you’re trying to build a big bad dragster. Then you’re on your own.

However, accessories are expensive and there are so many to choose from that it can be hard to determine which ones are right for you. Here are five basic accessories that will give you the most bang for your buck and increase your car’s performance.


Often overlooked, your vehicle’s tires are a hugely important performance part. The right tires can make a big difference in your car’s overall performance, helping your car turn and brake better at any speed. Performance tires also resist heat better than standard tires, so they are much less likely to blow out. This combination of heat resistance and improved braking not only improves your car’s performance, but also makes it safer.

Although you may lose a bit of fuel economy by switching to performance tires, the decrease in fuel economy is usually minor. You can often “make up” for a loss in fuel economy by focusing on using your cruise control, checking tire pressure more often, etc. Besides, what you give up in gas mileage you more than make up for with performance.

Exhaust System (Cat-Back Exhaust)

Exhaust systems are important to your car and can contribute to power and efficiency. One way to make your engine more efficient is to add a cat-back exhaust system. A cat-back system will remove exhaust gases more efficiently and reduce the levels of back pressure, which in turn will provide the car with more horsepower and torque. This increase in the engine’s efficiency can also provide gains in fuel economy (which may make up for what was lost with the tires).

For more reasons on why you should upgrade your exhaust, check out Three Great Reasons To Upgrade Your Vehicle Exhaust System.

Cold Air Intake

Although this is one of the more basic upgrades you can make, it is still an important one — and it’s also relatively cheap. The cold air intake can improve the amount of air that is available for your engine to mix with fuel. Installing a cold air intake brings in cooler air (which is denser) and increases airflow. An increase in the amount of air your engine has to work with means an increase in power.


Another basic but valuable performance upgrade is to replace your vehicle’s stock exhaust manifold with a set of performance headers. Headers can complement any cat-back exhaust upgrade wonderfully. Headers work with the cat-back to remove exhaust gases from the engine and its cylinders more efficiently. Having performance headers improves on power by helping the engine and cat-back expel these gases while losing the least amount of power possible.

The most noticeable power upgrades will be seen when combining performance headers with a performance exhaust.


Last, but certainly not least, we have the turbocharger. This is probably the most popular and well known performance accessory. A turbocharger can not only improve power dramatically, but it can also increase emissions efficiency. Of all the performance accessories listed in this article, a turbocharger will provide the biggest boost to power. If you can only make one performance enhancement to your vehicle, this would be the one to make. Unfortunately, turbos aren’t exactly cheap…they often cost thousands of dollars.

Still, if we’re talking about “horsepower per dollar,” a good turbo kit is very affordable. If a turbo kit isn’t available for your vehicle, be sure to investigate after-market superchargers as well, as these also tend to be very economical in terms of dollars per hp.


While there are a variety of options to choose from regarding performance accessories for your car, some are more effective than others. It can be hard to decide which upgrade to make and which accessories are worth the money. The five accessories listed here are some of the most basic and simple enhancements you can make to improve your car’s overall performance. Hopefully the accessories mentioned in this article can provide a starting point for you when making your next performance accessory decision.

Guest author Vince Evans was a light mechanic and auctioneer until he went back to his old love, writing. Rather than shouting at North Easterners, he prefers to write about New York used cars.