Can your car go any faster? Could you make it handle better? How about tweaking the steering response? Several must-have car performance upgrades make driving your daily ride a lot more fun and sporty. Granted, a station wagon will never be a muscle car, but it is possible to make even the grocery-getter just a bit more fun to drive around.
Polished Intake Manifold
This will decrease air resistance and increase engine power. Pick an aluminum model for a lightweight. Couple this purchase with a larger air filter to further improve air flow.
Forged-alloy Wheel Set
In the case of a BMW 3 Series, a set of 20-inch after-market wheels can "reduce unsprung weight by 2.4 pounds per wheel," Autoweek asserts. The same holds true for other forged-alloy wheel sets and models -- as long as you do not overdo the sizing. Go too big, and the wheels get heavier as the car gets more difficult to handle.
Larger Exhaust Pipe
Size matters and the exhaust system is no exception. If your engine has at least 250hp, you should have a tail pipe that measures 2.5 inches. When your daily driver sports a 400hp engine, a three-inch diameter is appropriate.
High-end Spark Plug Sets
If the idea of installing a nylon-Kevlar conductor material into your engine makes your heart beat faster, you are not alone. Replace the wiring as well as the plugs to ensure longevity from your performance upgrade.
Check with your mechanic before adding and subtracting stock pieces. If your car is still under warranty, this kind of tinkering can cause problems if you ever need a service under the contract. Moreover, aftermarket parts may accommodate certain makes and models but not necessarily all model years. Make sure your purchase is compatible with your particular car before you start wrenching.
Content by Sylvia Cochran.