Have you spent your stimulus check yet?

There’s no doubt that 2020 is off to a rough start, and there are better roads ahead for the country. If you have received the government issued stimulus check, and you have some cash left over to spend, your car is one asset that could always use some care and attention. Why not use some assistance money to prolong the health of your car? If you’re searching for ways to spend your stimulus money, here are the top car upgrades and repairs to consider for your car, truck, or SUV.

Spend your stimulus check on vehicle repairs or service

If it’s been some time since your last visit to the auto body shop or auto center, using some extra cash on vehicle maintenance or repairs will keep your car fresh and functional. Below are some typical car services to consider.

Oil Change & Filter Replacement: Your car depends on fresh oil to maintain robust performance and functionality throughout its lifespan and if your car is due for an oil change, most auto shops charge anywhere from $20-$55 for a routine oil change and oil filter replacement.

New Tires: Usually tires last between 30k and 60k miles, and if your tire tread is going bald like George Costanza, you can make the switch to enhance your capability on the roads. Depending on the type of tires you’re after, drivers can spend anywhere from $400 to $750 on four tires with installation included. It’s unwise to drive on balding tires and it not only increases your chances for roadside assistance or an accident but can cause harm to other components of your car such as your steering or rotors. Gain the grip of the road you need for road trips or your daily commute and purchase new tires for your truck, SUV, or sedan.

Cold Air Intake: Do you drive a sports car or custom truck and you want to boost gas mileage and street performance? Having cold air run through your engine helps cool an engine while adding a few MPH to your speedometer. Cold air intakes can be easily installed on your own or through an auto shop. Depending on which air intake is best for your vehicle’s make and model, a cold air intake can cost anywhere from $90 to $300. 

Window Tint: Bored with driving inside a clear fishbowl? Window tint is designed to keep temperatures inside your car at a minimum and if you’re tired of entering a blazing hot car in the summer months, having window tint can shade your vehicle, which in turn reduces any cracking of your dashboard or leather seats. Not only is window tint ideal for UV ray protection, but it keeps other drivers from viewing your belongings that may be in the center console or back seat. Window tint is fairly affordable and having a professional window tint installer is best. Window tint can cost anywhere from $75 to $150.

New Brakes & Rotors: Braking power is always an essential component of your commute. Over time, the brake pads on your car wear down, which reduces your ability to sufficiently stop. If you haven’t had your brake pads or rotors changed in a few years, for under $350, you can have brand new brake components installed on your vehicle.

Car upgrades to consider buying with your stimulus check

Don’t need basic maintenance for your car? Why not customize your vehicle or upgrade it with some new parts? There are so many custom options for drivers of SUVs, trucks, and even sedans, and here are some additional ideas to consider for your vehicle.

Seat Covers: Protecting your car’s interior promotes its long-term value and having reliable seat covers for your truck, SUV, or sports car keep your seats fresh and untouched throughout your car ownership. With the abundance of seat cover brands online, finding the fit to your car model is simple on most websites, and prices for car seat covers range from $50 to $200.

Roof Rack: Love hitting the outdoors on the weekends? If you’ve always wanted a roof rack carrier for our camping gear, kayaks, or paddleboards? Most car roof racks are easy to self-install and under $500, and for the active driver looking to clear space in their cargo space, a roof rack attachment is the way to go.

Bike Rack: For cyclists or mountain bikers who want an easy tailgate rack installation, bike racks range in a variety of sizes and styles. Pick a single, or double bike rack and attach it to your trunk or tow-hitch for under $400.

Magnetic Phone Holder: Fed up with having your smartphone on your lap when driving? Not only is it dangerous to keep looking down at your phone while driving, but when you use your phone GPS often, it’s essential that you have a magnetic phone holder on your dashboard. Keep your attention span on what’s ahead over the steering wheel and with a phone holder, you can spend less than $50 while increasing safe driving.

LED Light Bars or Headlights: Drivers of older vehicles have a choice in today’s world when it comes to their old halogen headlights. If you’re bored or fed up with the dull amber color of your lights when commuting through the night time, LED light bars are excellent upgrades for your car. Brighten your driving visibility with affordable LED headlights and spend between $25-$100 for LED bulbs or LED light bars for your pickup truck or SUV grille.


Patrick Kirk
I am a full-time copywriter from Naples, FL and living in Austin, TX. I have written for the automotive industry for three years, and enjoy other hobbies such as camping and mountain biking. I received my Bachelors from Florida Gulf Coast University, and served in the U.S Coast Guard.

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    1. My car could definitely use some upgrades. I am reminded that I need window tints every summer. Unfortunately, my dashboard has fallen victim to the heat and has begun to crack. I’ve also been considering seat covers and definitely need a new phone holder since getting a newer and bigger phone. These are all great ideas. I wish there was a way to mend a cracking dashboard though.

    2. Often overlooked maintenance items include fuel filters and ignition system components such as spark plugs, coil packs, and wires. Replacing all of these components in a 100,000 mile vehicle in combination with a new intake and exhaust system will not make your car noticeably faster, but it will run correctly and efficiently. You may notice an increase in gas mileage and responsiveness during most types of driving environments.

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