Engine upgrades and body kits make great conversation pieces, but when you set out for a drive, your experience is determined by the materials and features on the inside of your car. Upgrading and maintaining your car’s interior will be more noticeable in the long run than any exterior upgrade, and will never earn you a ticket.
Where to begin? That’s a good question. Like so many things, it depends on the car you drive and what your long-term vision for it is. No matter your transportation situation, there are many options when it comes to interior upgrades you’ll feel in your daily drive. Here are five of them.
Install a Dash Kit
Automakers aren’t that creative about what they install on the interior of their cars. They tend not to bring out the finer materials until you really drop some coin. Thankfully, the trim pieces that came from the factory are easy to replace.
Dash kits allow you to upgrade your factory interior trim to wood, carbon fiber or metal finish. They’re easy to install, because they take advantage of the same mounting points as your car’s factory interior trim, but the difference they’ll make in your interior’s appearance is astounding.
Swap Your Seats Out
Have you ever been for a ride in a vintage car you’ve always admired, only to find that it’s uncomfortable as all get-out? Who said keeping the factory seats was mandatory? Swap those things out!
There are tons of options for people looking to replace the factory seats in their car. A set of racing buckets will give your vintage racer some real attitude, or if you’re feeling more casual, many manufacturers offer OEM-look seats that provide superior support and comfort.
Rinse and Repeat
Shampoo isn’t just for your hair. A thorough carpet cleaning can do wonders for the interior of your car by removing smells and stains you probably spent years getting used to. What’s best is you don’t need a professional to do the job.
A bottle of automotive carpet shampoo can be found at your local auto parts store. Apply it to your carpet, use a rigid brush to agitate the carpet and then remove with a shop-vac. The result is an interior that feels like a new car again, for about £6. And then, try to keep it clean.
Upgrade Your Stereo
It’s a beautiful day, you’ve got the windows down and your best pals in the car, and someone suddenly throws out a request for “MMMBop.” Now you’re embarrassed, because your stereo can’t accurately convey the transcendental lyrical genius of a ‘90s boy band.
Don’t find yourself in this situation! Installing a new stereo head unit is as simple as prying off a few pieces of trim and twisting some wires. Go the whole nine yards and change the speakers out if you desire, but just by installing a modern head unit, you’ll get perks you never imagined in an older car — like Bluetooth connectivity and hands-free calling.
Get a Detail Job
Have you ever dug an old toothbrush out of the trash and gone on a vent-cleaning rampage, determined to make your car’s interior shine like a new penny? Neither has anyone else in their right mind.
Here’s the thing: Professionals out there will do this — and they really do use toothbrushes. A serious interior detail will not only clean but also protect the interior components of your car, and will help you fall in love with your ride all over again. The cost is typically around £180, and while you might think that’s high for a cleaning job, it’s totally worth it.
This Is Your Happy Place
You spend more time in your car than outside of it, unless you own a British roadster from the ‘70s, but still. Being comfortable and happy while you’re driving can gloss over the most outrageous mechanical flaws. So give your interior the attention it deserves. Not only will your car thank you, you’ll thank you, too!