Looking for something to fill these long summer evenings? Instead of staying in and watching Top Gear reruns, why not fix up your car with a couple of DIY car upgrades? Whether you want to change up your car’s appearance, or give it a little performance boost, we’ve got 5 quick car upgrades you can do in just one session. And – you don’t have to be a mechanical engineer to complete these upgrades. You just need the right tools, a little patience, and a lot of love for your car. 

Check out some of our favorite quick car upgrades below! 

1. Upgrade your floor mats

car floor mats

One of the easiest ways you can upgrade your car’s overall look and feel is by replacing old floor mats. Over time, floor mats tend to collect a lot of dust, grime, and gunk from years of use, which can make your vehicle look older and more worn than it actually is. 

The good news is, every vehicle ever made is manufactured with a specific size and shape of floor mat, which makes it very easy to find a replacement suited to your particular car. 

When it comes to selecting new floor mats, you don’t just want to go with anything. Consider installing all-weather floor mats for the best overall performance. 

2. Restore your old headlights

car headlights

Another one of our favorite DIY car upgrades you can do in under an hour is restoring old, fogged up headlights. Especially if you tend to drive in extreme weather conditions, or park your car in the sun, your headlights can quickly become foggy. 

And while fogged up headlights certainly aren’t great for your car’s overall appearance, it’s even worse for your car’s safety. Crystal-clear headlights ensure that, whatever light conditions you find yourself driving in, you know you’ll be able to accurately see the road ahead. 

We actually put a DIY headlight restoration guide out a while back, so check that out for some of the quickest and most affordable ways to restore your headlights to their former glory.

3. Change out your spark plugs

car spark plugs

Now here’s a quick car upgrade you might not have thought of before. One of the quickest and most affordable ways to subtly improve your car’s performance is to install new spark plugs. 

Now, it goes without saying that changing out old spark plugs won’t magically overhaul your car’s performance, but they are a very important part of your car’s overall system, and making a quick change can carry its own benefits. 

When you want to get the best performance when firing on all cylinders, replace your old spark plugs with ones of higher quality to create better combustion and improve your car’s overall ecosystem. Quick car upgrades for the win!

4. Replace your windshield wipers

car windshield wipers

It’s never a good idea to skimp on high-quality windshield wipers. Think of windshield wipers as one of your car’s first defenses against extreme weather, dirt, and potentially damaging debris, so investing in a good pair should be top-of-mind for all auto-enthusiasts. 

High-quality windshield wipers create less streaking, and make driving in winter weather much less of a pain. Thankfully, replacing them is a quick DIY upgrade you can do in an afternoon. 

5. Install a smartphone mount 

car smartphone mount quick car upgrades

Nowadays, people use their smartphones for just about everything. From GPS to navigating traffic with apps like Waze, smartphones are becoming more and more a part of people’s everyday driving habits. There are many quick car upgrades, but you can tackle this one in a jiffy. Simply install a smartphone mount to make using your phone in the car safer.

These mounts make it easy to make calls, use GPS, and send voice messages safely while driving. 

Whether you’re a newbie to the world of DIY car upgrades or a bonafide car-mod enthusiast, we hope you found new inspiration in today’s quick post. For more ideas on quick car upgrades, check out our other guide here.

Claire Biggerstaff
Claire Biggerstaff is a freelance writer and photographer from Charlotte, NC. Her curiosity leads her to write about a wide variety of topics. On her off days, she enjoys reading Polygon articles, and curling up to a good YouTube playlist.

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    5 Comments

    1. A smartphone mount was my best investment. I am able to focus on the road while using my phone as a Gps.

    2. New wipers are a must, its the worst when you put on your wipers and it just streaks and makes it worse. Also, I agree with Andrew the smartphone mount was a must for me, it makes using android auto so much nicer.

    3. Upgrading your floor mats and having a proper cell phone mount are two things that I feel go together very well. You can easily clean up any messes and your hands are now free for driving. Both of these items can reduce distractions. When you drop a drink while you are driving, you will not be as worried and will continue to focus on driving.

    4. I only remember I need new wipers when it is raining. I guess I need to start a car list. Consider smartphone mount, floor mats, and windshield wipers added to the list.

    5. Although not necessarily an upgrade, I recommend carrying a jump starter with you. I love having one available knowing I can give myself a jump without needing help from anyone.

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