Hooniverse Asks: What's The One Thing You've Done To Your Car That Made It So Much Better?


Perfection is a noble but historically unobtainable goal. That doesn’t mean however that we shouldn’t always strive to make the world—or at the very least our little slice of it—a better place. Many of us start small and work our way up, and a good place to do that is with our cars. You may have bought your car thinking it was the one best suited to fit your needs at the time, but I’m sure you found at least some aspect of it lacking. If that was the case, did you take it upon yourself to remedy the situation? What is the one thing you’ve done to your car to make it better?
Image: АвтоВзгляд

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38 responses to “Hooniverse Asks: What's The One Thing You've Done To Your Car That Made It So Much Better?”

  1. P161911 Avatar
    P161911

    On my old eta powered E30, I swapped the 2.whaterver rear end for a 3.25 limited slip diff. The car when from slow and boring to really fun, the 4 door equivalent of a NA Miata.
    On my current Volt, pressing the SPORT MODE changes it from dog slow to normal (I think it just remaps the throttle input.) Which is odd, because on our Volt, the ECO mode makes it dog slow and normal is the equivalent of Sport on the Volt. Neither one is great, but at least 100% torque at 0 rpm keeps things from being too boring.

  2. nanoop Avatar

    Fun answer: power antenna – antenna up, and kids stop and wonder what that lancet is for. Big show for small money!
    Serious answer: tires.
    Actual answer: tie rods and professional alignment – I start to understand why people say this is well-handling.

    1. ninjabortion Avatar
      ninjabortion

      Tires 100%. I upgraded from 14″ stock wheels to 16’s so i could run decent modern tires. Huge difference.

  3. engineerd Avatar
    engineerd

    On my 328xi I got rid of the horrible run-flats and put a proper set of summer performance tires (Conti ExtremeContact DW) and, at the moment, a proper set of winter tires (Blizzaks). It improved the ride immediately, as well as tire feel and stability. The car went from jarring at every crack in the road to absorbing enough to be comfortable.

  4. JayP Avatar
    JayP

    I didn’t add and I might not have bothered but the PO installed jack rails on the car.
    Makes lifting the car with a jack so much easier. I can have the car lifted and all 4 wheels off in about 10 minutes.

  5. GTXcellent Avatar
    GTXcellent

    Gasoline?
    In all seriousness, my aftermarket ‘hot-rodding’ days are over. I’m done with throwing on headers and dual exhaust, and aluminum intakes and whatever other stupid things I did when I was a kid. The only updates I do today are tire changes – and only once the factory tires are worn out.

  6. tonyola Avatar
    tonyola

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/4317306456cea9fcf9bbaa2be072802b8592e6eeddc6e80e05e11538eb7f1eab.jpg Well, “so much better” can cover a lot of territory. However, I put Jackson Racing clear headlight covers and a Honda-accessory rear reflector panel on my year-old blue 1984 CRX 1.5. Perhaps an early example of “ricing”. While rear reflectors have a rep for cheesiness, the Honda panel actually looked good – like it was part of the car.

  7. Kiefmo Avatar
    Kiefmo

    Not my current car, but my ’02 Mazda Protege was transformed by a series of replacement parts stiffer than factory parts.
    First up was a motor mount with a very stiff rubber bushing instead of the super-flexy factory one (which was torn anyway and not doing its job). That one mount took virtually all of the lash out of the driveline, which was great. After that, I replaced the shifter with a B&M short-throw, and the bushings at either end of the shift rods with urethane. It was almost too stiff until it started to break in after a couple of thousand miles. Later on, I swapped on a front sway bar from a Protege5, and springs from an MP3. The last of these could have used upgraded shocks as well, but I was a (dumber) kid back then.

  8. 0A5599 Avatar
    0A5599

    In a few instances, rescue it from a prior owner.

  9. Alff Avatar
    Alff

    A shell for the pickup facilitated family camping trips in bear country.

  10. crank_case Avatar
    crank_case

    Mechanical LSD in an open diff Toyota MR-S (MR2 Spyder), it always had good traction out of corners but an LSD just made that even better, while making the car more friendly once you’d stepped over the limit.

  11. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar

    Replaced it.

    1. Manxman Avatar

      Wrecked it!

  12. Sjalabais Avatar
    Sjalabais

    As a bottom feeder: Washing it. Always a huge improvement.

  13. ptschett Avatar
    ptschett

    When the Thunderbird needed a transmission rebuild a dozen years ago I took it to a shop that the South Dakota highway patrol was using for their Crown Victorias. The way I remember it, it’s pretty close to what the Ford community knows as the “J-mod”. It shifts much more aggressively than the stock setup.
    Tires usually make a difference for me. I usually go with something different from factory, though the last set of tires I bought for the 2010 Challenger were factory spec Firestones for a later year and I’d actually be willing to consider re-shoeing the 2015 with the same type of Goodyear as it came with.

    1. Alff Avatar
      Alff

      AOD-E?

      1. ptschett Avatar
        ptschett

        4R70W.

  14. caltemus Avatar
    caltemus

    A pair of blizzak’s on the rear took my firebird from undrivable to near-snowmobile status last winter. I was shocked at the the impact of just one change

  15. Fred Talmadge Avatar
    Fred Talmadge

    Upgrading the stereo. Sometimes it was as simple as a cassette adapter to play from a mp3 player. Other times adding any kind of tape player. New speakers or what ever. I’m now thinking of updating the Acura’s fine stereo so I can get Android auto.

  16. Maymar Avatar
    Maymar

    I rattlecanned the factory hubcaps (which I use with the snow tires) lime green. It’s not an improvement really, but it makes it really easy for people who aren’t me to recognize my car, helpful when I’m trying to pick someone up.

    1. Alff Avatar
      Alff

      I get that. Chicks dig green wheels.

      1. Maymar Avatar
        Maymar

        Heh, I can confirm that, albeit with just a sample group of one. And even then, it’s not so much my wife digs it, but it’s much easier for her to pick out the searing green wheels than the anonymous grey pod car.

  17. SlowJoeCrow Avatar
    SlowJoeCrow

    Installing a platform style bike rack so we can go to the trails without removing the front wheel or getting chain lube on the carpets.
    Also studless snow tires are awesome in the winter.

  18. Spin Avatar
    Spin

    2001 Sentra GXE, autotragic transmission, got it with 60k km on it in 2012. It was my grandfather’s car.
    I changed the headunit so that I could connect my iPod. That was a good choice.
    I gave it some better, name brand tires. Again, good choice. It was a much better drive than the nonamebrand tires that were on it. (no, the white letters were not stock)
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a44a6212f06f3d742d307713246bf5a28958dabc4317267678bc07275fc91dd4.jpg
    Good choice # 3: I gave it a new horn, because the OEM horn was damaged in an accident years before I got the car. The new one promptly stopped working when I checked out a newer car last June. Here’s my dad fixing it, not because I needed him to, but because he wanted to.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/9c35433a54f5903c1db1a5b7ed97c0b4c4c5573e8d29f88e67483a1ea9bd9d66.jpg
    And now the “I was a 28 year old child” choice.
    Mild to moderate stickerbombing. and the white letter thing. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d5c8c1e92cc53c1bce222774a8437b8640ce328c92353c18fedcbe6a45cc336d.jpg
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/3c8e12fb5787722cf3c1a0b4815c09034416e2678841680cf95bb058eeaf994f.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/80abc8e7c4e4845727ea43ed7557ece84c62cc814ee29a182891889b3357411c.jpg
    And finally, the choice I had to make, the best and worst choice all mixed into one:
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/066703e0fee456dc484863f1b6411c88fad853f8702c25243dc42b7dce25a5a8.jpg

  19. I_Borgward Avatar
    I_Borgward

    My ’82 Volvo came equipped with an optional “MPG” package to squeeze out another 2 miles per gallon of fuel. Its main feature was the newfangled Volvo/Chrysler computer-controlled ignition system, consisting of a special distributor, control box and ignition coil.
    To those familiar with cars of this vintage, the use of the words “Chrysler” and “computer” together in a sentence usually induces wincing, laughter and derision, and in this the MPG package is no exception. Its intent was to more finely control the distributor’s advance curve in different conditions to optimize efficiency. As implemented, its main purpose is to cause ignition timing to scatter like a cockroach on amphetamines. To add to the fun , the electrical connections to the control box are notoriously finicky, leading to short circuits that can kill the engine at random. The small improvement in gas mileage offered by the system is more than offset by the cost and scarcity of weird replacement parts and the uneasy knowledge that you may find yourself stranded at any moment.
    It is telling that the MPG package was only offered across two model years.
    The fix? Convert the car to the bog-standard, perfectly reliable Bosch ignition system used in thousands of non-MPG Volvos. I should have done this mod years ago.

  20. CanAm-Chad Avatar
    CanAm-Chad

    LS Swapped it. Seriously! Replaced a malaise era carb’d pontiac motor that made 180hp and a th400 with a 6.0 LS motor and 4l80e. Car became so much more driveable and FUN but still have the great looks of the old car.

  21. salguod Avatar

    Every car gets silicone wipers pretty soon after purchase.

    1. Rover 1 Avatar
      Rover 1

      New wipers at 6 month intervals and good tyres, properly inflated, make more difference to actual safe driving than anything else.

      1. salguod Avatar

        Silicone wipers last about 3 years or so with no observable degradation in performance. Plus they coat the glass like Rain-X, making the water bead and run off, vastly improving visibility. Look up PIAA silicone wipers on Amazon.

        1. Rover 1 Avatar
          Rover 1

          I now have some ordered.

  22. bv911 Avatar
    bv911

    Wheels off an RX8 for my MS3. Unsprung lightness is some of the best lightness! Factory tire sensors were a nice bonus too…

    1. bv911 Avatar
      bv911

      …oh, BTW, “best” also happens to be the “only” thing.

    1. nanoop Avatar

      Better put that beast behind bars! (I mean the car, not the driver.)

      1. mdharrell Avatar

        Judging by what I can see of the glove and foam collar, that’s Pete Peterson at the wheel.

    2. Alff Avatar
      Alff

      …and subsequently ventilating the block.

      1. mdharrell Avatar

        We were asked to pick just one thing.

  23. peugeotdude505 Avatar
    peugeotdude505

    Keyless entry

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