Designer driving: Customizing your ride


Vehicle customization is bigger, better, and more beneficial than ever. Find out what your commute has been missing.

Your vehicle is exactly that: your vehicle. And when it comes to customization, the aftermarket automotive gods have you covered. Depending on what circle you roll in, the options for custom components are almost endless. Forums and weekend meet-ups are flush with drivers from all over, snapping pics of their favorite (and favorable) angles and ogling each other’s souped-up Subarus, Toyotas, Hondas, Beamers, and trucks, along with just about every other make imaginable.

What makes you stand out?

Whether under the hood or at your fingertips, when it comes to custom add-ons for your vehicle, you’ve got a ton of options. What are they? Here are a few.

Exterior accessories

Ford F-150
Fab Fours Front Bumper with Grill Guard

Custom grilles, chrome trim, custom hoods, body kits, and more await the enthusiast who wants to deviate from factory and drive straight into fashionable. Depending on your make and model, adding exterior components can either make or break you and your car’s constitution, so choose wisely.


Remember when a giant subwoofer was all you needed to feel like a badass? Oh, how times have changed. Today’s stock vehicles are flush with pretty screens offering navigation, audio, phone, Wi-Fi connectivity, HVAC controls, and whatever else you need to keep yourself comfortable, safe, and happy with your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel.

Most people are buying their trims at least in part based on what type of infotainment is available, but you can still add aftermarket gadgetry to your 1996 Honda Civic if you really want to. Do you?

Suspension systems

lifted truck

Raise the bar on your truck’s stature with a leveling or lift kit, perfect your racing stance, or simply better enjoy the daily commute with a custom suspension system. Want to explore treacherous trails? Look into a lift kit and get the ground clearance you need to comfortably and confidently forge into the unknown. Want to fit the local track for a little weekend racing? Install that coilover suspension and anti-sway bar set for complete control and no rock and roll – unless it’s coming from the radio.

Performance chips

Driving has gone digital. Plugging in a tuning programmer is today’s key to unleashing the full fury of your vehicle’s potential. Take your head out from underneath the hood and custom-tune your vehicle’s intake, exhaust system, and more with a few carefully calculated clicks. Don’t you just love technology?

Additional performance components

Screamin Diesel Performance Turbo
Screamin Diesel Performance Turbo

Need even more muscle? Getting pumped is easy with the sheer amount of performance products currently available. Fuel injection, air intakes, turbochargers, brakes and rotors, and intercooler systems let you live life in the fast lane – and possibly save a few mpg along the way, along with adding a few more HPs on the dyno.

New tires and custom wheels

Now you’re entering our wheelhouse (get it?).

Getting a nice new pair of “shoes” is one of the easiest things you can do upgrade your ride, and they look even better when paired with some sleek-looking wheels. Tires and wheels are multipurpose, as they can add performance, practicality, and style. Tires give your vehicle grip on a variety of surfaces both on-road and off, which is important if you like control. They wick away rain, provide smooth comfort, and make you go – and go fast, with the right tread.  Switching tire performance categories – from a touring tire to an ultra high performance sport tire, for example – can have a major impact on handling and road feel. Just want to look good? The right tires can do that, too, along with any or all the aforementioned.

Nitto Ridge Grappler
Nitto Ridge Grappler

Oh; you want examples? Nitto tires are Fueled by Enthusiasts. Really; that’s their motto. Drivers love Nitto’s feel for aesthetics and proven, cutting-edge technology along with their almost uncanny ability to stay on top of trends and drive emerging markets before they hit the mainstream (or main road). In that respect, the brand is kind of like a hipster – if a hipster was actually cool and useful.

Check out our selection of Nitto tires for all your off-road, ultra-high performance, and everyday needs.

Gear Alloy 726MB Big Block
Gear Alloy 726MB Big Block

When done correctly, aftermarket wheels come with their own set of performance benefits which may include lighter weight, greater strength, improved acceleration, cornering, and braking, a smoother ride, longer life, and increased value for your vehicle. And of course, there are major aesthetic benefits and it’s easy to achieve the exact look you want – a new set of custom rims instantly transforms and personalizes your vehicle to make it uniquely you. TireBuyer has all the top wheel brands, like Gear Alloy wheels for your truck and ICW Racing wheels for your car. Cruise on over to our wheel lineup and if we can help in any way, just give our tire and wheel experts a call at (866) 961-8668.

Enjoy the customization adventure – and happy driving!

Photos by: Jake Thomas (1,5), 2010 Ford F-150 FX4 Car leasing made simple, Jason Thien

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