Why Should You Have Aftermarket Performance Car Parts?

13th Jun 2016

When considering different performance levels for a vehicle, some drivers regard only what is directly available from the auto manufacturer. Depending on the car, parts manufacturers offer different performance packages that can be quite impressive. But there is another spectrum of parts that can be used to maintain or enhance the performance of a vehicle in ways that the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) does not have the components to support.

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Known as aftermarket performance car parts, these components are aptly named because they are installed after a car is purchased and removed from the new car market. Aftermarket performance parts range from hood pins that keep hoods secure during speedy drives, to turbo drives that increase torque, to spoilers that improve aerodynamics. However, all these parts fall into one of two broad categories: replacement parts or accessories.

1. Replacement Parts
These parts are re-manufactured or built to replace original auto components that are no longer available from the original auto manufacturer. For example, if you would like to replace the turbo drive in a 1991 Saab 900 Turbo, you may find that no one produces the part anymore. You would have an easier time purchasing the part in re-manufactured form than trying to locate the original part in new condition. The goal of installing a replacement component is to maintain a car’s original performance.

2. Accessories

Accessories are typically parts drivers regard as aftermarket performance car parts because they are designed to enhance a vehicle’s performance in a noticeable way. For example, if you have a 1991 Saab 900 and you want to speed it up by installing a turbo drive, you would get the turbo drive from a seller of aftermarket performance parts to enhance the automobile’s performance.

While replacement parts are used after a vehicle’s original parts are worn or damaged, accessories are installed for the sake of comfort, convenience, performance, safety, or customization that the original manufacturer lacks the components to support. Together, both types of performance parts represent a $318.2 billion market in the U.S. that is steadily growing, with 4.2 million people working in fields that are related to aftermarket performance car parts.

Why Use Aftermarket Parts?

So far, we’ve seen that aftermarket performance parts are used in two capacities: to maintain standard performance and to increase performance. Installing replacement parts to maintain driving performance is fairly straightforward, but what about installing accessories to redefine performance? The reasons can be as individual as the drivers who acquire the accessories, but there is a general appeal:

1. Decrease Fuel Consumption

Some cars are a blast to drive, until you realize that you’ve burned through a full tank of gas in less than an hour. To be fair, most cars that consume fuel voraciously have formidable power under the hood and aren’t intended for long distance driving.

This is why drivers of high performance sports cars accessorize their vehicles to make them consume less fuel, as measured by fuel consumption readings, emissions tests, and kinetic energy that the vehicles produce at different levels of acceleration.

2. Reach Performance Potential

Peak performance potential is not something that auto manufacturers want prospective car buyers to dwell on as they peruse the car lot, but some vehicle models are purposefully designed to perform at less than optimal capacity. In some cases, this is done to extend a vehicle’s lifespan with less high-stress driving. However, it is also done to make another vehicle model from the same auto manufacturer more attractive to certain consumers.

In many car circles, it’s known that 3rd and 4th generation Chevy Camaro has a throttle that restricts the car’s performance. This makes the Chevy Corvette, which offers more power and speed, seem appealing despite its heftier price tag. For sports car enthusiasts who like the Camaro body, but prefer the performance of a Corvette, the dilemma is simple—accessorize the Camaro to perform like the Corvette.

3. Create a Unique Automobile

For car hobbyists, the goal of accessorizing a vehicle with aftermarket performance car parts is to create a one-of-a-kind automobile. These drivers like to customize their cars piece-by-piece, researching which areas of the vehicle can be improved significantly with aftermarket performance parts. For them, the customization aspect of a car is the journey they enjoy.

Drivers who accessorize automobiles for the thrill of creating unique driving machines are commonly called “car tuners”—a name that aptly describes what they do to vehicles: tune them with aftermarket performance car parts to create something unique on four wheels. To pull off such comprehensive projects, tuners need to thoroughly understand the vehicles they work with.

Prioritizing Parts Installation

Let’s assume you want to decrease fuel consumption, maximize performance potential, and moreover, make a custom car from fender to fender. It might sound like this involves a lot of time and money, but if you prioritize installations and implement them over a reasonable period of time, your project will ultimately be less stressful and more economical to complete. Some priority installations you might make are:

1. Cold-air Intake

This component replaces the standard air-box installed by the manufacturer. Because the accessory facilitates more airflow than the original, restrictive air box, it improves acceleration and fuel economy. A quality cold-air intake can be purchased in the range of $100 - $300, making it one of the most affordable aftermarket accessories that delivers a significant impact on engine performance.

2. Cat-back Exhaust


Also known as a catalytic converter-back exhaust, a cat-back exhaust system is coupled with the air intake to help air taken into the engine escape easily, and provide larger cooling capacity. Primary benefits of using a cat-back exhaust are increased acceleration and improved fuel economy. This type of exhaust system is commonly used with resonators and mufflers to increase exhaust magnitude.

Most aftermarket cat-back exhaust kits start at approximately $250. However, even if you decide to splurge on an elite piece of equipment that costs thousands, there’s a financial trade off. Immediately after installing the equipment, your car’s fuel economy can improve by about 5%.

3. Strut Tower Braces

Also known as strut bars, strut tower braces are located at the top of a car’s front shocks to distribute force equally on both sides. This helps keep your tires on the road when you make high-speed turns or encounter a rough, bumpy driving surface. With strut bars, you’ll get improved handling. This makes strut bars one of the most popular aftermarket performance car parts for high-powered tuner cars. A good set of strut bars can be purchased for about $100 - $300.

4. Computer Tune

A computer tune is an optimization of a car’s performance that is performed with the use of a handheld device containing a “tune profile” that the manufacturer provides. A computer tune can optimize the amount of horsepower an engine receives and read performance results in real time. Using a dynamometer to measure horsepower and torque, the programmer can optimize air-to-fuel ratios and other settings to maximize performance.

A computer tune generally costs between $400 and $700, which some assume is a small price to pay for drivers to unleash the automobile’s maximum performance ability.

5. High-Performance Tires

So far, we’ve looked at aftermarket performance car parts that boost driving performance internally, but increased performance is ultimately realized where the rubber meets the road. That’s why high-performance vehicles need high-performance tires. You wouldn’t wear sandals to a worksite that required heavy boots; why outfit a performance vehicle with tires that don’t withstand the rigors of high-performance driving?

High-performance tires can improve handling, boost fuel economy, and extend the lifespan of tires. Several factors determine the tires’ cost, including brand name, tread design, tire circumference, and profile width. You can find a set of four high-quality performance tires for around $700, but there are also sets that cost over four times as much. The key to finding the right tires is defining what you want in a high-performance tire and shopping around for the best deal.

6. HID Headlights

High intensity discharge (HID) headlights use a secondary electric amplifier that contains a special gas, making the headlamps exceptionally bright. When they feature projector-based focus lenses, HID lights can easily double the length of forward visibility on the road. A set of HID headlights typically runs between $50 and $300, but it’s a worthwhile investment if you drive your high-performance automobile aggressively at night.

7. Spark Plugs and Wires

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Spark plugs and wires aren’t typically considered aftermarket performance car parts, but that’s exactly what they are when you use them to reduce pressure on conductive elements; sparking your car’s ignition coils and reducing electrical interference due to reduced electrical resistance and insulation. One of the main advantages is improved fuel economy, an aspect that every high-performance tuner car needs.

High-performance spark plugs and wires can be bought for $40 - $80 per piece/assembly, but the prices can be much lower depending on the capabilities of the item. When it comes to cost versus benefit, even the priciest spark plugs and assemblies can be worth the investment if they deliver a significant improvement in fuel economy.


Need Quality Performance Parts?

A vehicle whose operation is defined by aftermarket performance car parts is truly the sum of its parts. That’s why it’s important to find an aftermarket auto parts seller you trust to supply the best components for each part of your vehicle customization project and help you understand how each performance part you install can affect the operation of the vehicle.

In addition to supplying best in class parts, we can also help you choose the right components for your requirements and help you prioritize their installation. Simply put, there is no aftermarket auto part we can’t supply. Even if we don’t stock the component you need, we can order it straight from the manufacturer or, if the part can’t be found, we can supply you with a custom component.

To find the best aftermarket performance car parts, take some time to browse through our store. If you need help selecting parts, call our line at 352-241-8363 or email us at [email protected]. To place an order, simply select your parts and proceed to the online payment destination or give us a call at (888) SR20DET. We look forward to supplying you with the best aftermarket performance car parts for vehicle customizations!