Five simple car mods to improve performance

There’s nothing more satisfying than DIY car mods you can do yourself to eke out a few extra horsepower of performance in a matter of minutes.

Here are five simple car mods that even a novice motorhead should be able to handle, which will also help you to learn your way around your engine a bit better too.

1. Throttle response

This one depends on the age of your car. In older vehicles, throttle response is mechanical and any slack in the cable to the throttle body can be adjusted with just a couple of wrenches.

Newer vehicles may be equipped with an ECU, the car’s electronic control unit, in which case you should refer to the manual for how to adjust throttle response.

In either case, it should be a straightforward DIY car mod that gives your vehicle even faster response times when you press the pedal to the metal.

2. Brake pads

Replacing your brake pads is something most motorists can do themselves with a medium amount of knowledge, providing that the brake enclosure is in good health.

It doesn’t have to cost the earth – a decent set of aftermarket brake pads should offer better performance than the stock brake pads fitted on your vehicle as standard.

This is especially true if your existing brake pads are worn, in which case you’ll not only get better performance, but improved safety under hard braking too.

A pile of brand new tyres getting ready for changing.

3. Tyre rotation

It’s normal for tyres to wear down at different rates depending on the balance of your vehicle, whether you have passengers, the number of left and right turns you make, and especially whether it’s front or rear-wheel drive.

By regularly rotating your tyres, you move the freshest tyres to where they are needed the most, helping you to get longer from them before they hit the dreaded minimum tread depth.

As always, keep a 20p coin close by, insert it into the tread of each tyre, and if you can find a spot where the border of the coin’s design remains visible, it’s time to get your tyres changed.

4. Spark plugs

Probably one of the best known and easiest ways to improve car performance, spark plugs affect the combustion in your combustion engine, so a bright spark is definitely a good thing.

Choose a good quality spark plug set and switch it out with your current plugs, and you can expect everything from faster ignition on start-up, to better acceleration and improved fuel economy.

5. Reduce weight

You can decide for yourself whether this counts as a true DIY car mod or not, but cutting some weight from your vehicle will certainly help it to go faster.

This can range from the simple – removing heavy items from the boot that aren’t part of your emergency repair kit – to the complex, like removing and replacing interior seats and trim.

Once your car is stripped down and tuned up, you’re ready to hit the roads and get faster response and acceleration out of your engine — all for just a few minutes’ effort.

A dark car boot, having being stripped to reduce weight.