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Top Five DIY Car Mods

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You don't have to spend thousands of dollars to modify your car. In fact, if you're willing to roll up your sleeves and do the labor yourself, it won't set you back that much at all. Here are five easy and inexpensive car mods you might consider to improve your driving experience.

1. Automatic Car Adapter

Whether you're a tech lover or just a morning commuter tired of rising gas prices, the Automatic car adapter will change your life. It plugs into any diagnostic port (OBD-II) and will connect you instantly to driving, fueling and even speed-monitoring resources. You'll never again have to worry about driving too fast while your mind is elsewhere! The Automatic smartphone app decodes engine warnings, checks gas prices along your route, remembers where you parked, and calls for help in the event of an accident.

2. Headlight

HID and LED headlights are one of the easiest and most affordable car mods on the market. You can buy them to upgrade just about any make or model of car, and they are available in multiple colors, sizes, and luminosities, making it easy to contrast or complement your vehicle.

Besides making your car look really cool, the biggest reason to upgrade your headlights is safety. When you invest in HID or LED lights, you're getting the kind of illumination that halogen bulbs simply can't match. HID and LED lights will improve your visibility on the road tremendously, and the good brands will last for 10,000 hours or more. If you're serious about protecting your passengers and cargo, upgraded headlights are the way to go.

3. Stereo

Car stereos are so much more than what they used to be. Rather than just providing upgraded sound, stereo systems today can connect you to the internet, let you talk on the phone hands-free, guide you on the road, and keep your kids entertained in the backseat. While many newer cars have the latest technology already installed or available as an option, you may be in tech catch-up mode.

Here are some features worth considering:

  • Multimedia
  • Apps & smartphone integration
  • Satellite radio
  • GPS and navigation
  • Bluetooth audio streaming & hands-free for cell phones
  • Detachable face panels for added security

Popular TV shoes like Overhaulin’ and the old school Unique Whips and Pimp my Ride sometimes showcase extreme audio upgrades like placing subwoofers in your car's interior or huge “I can hear you down the street” speakers in your trunk, which may be overkill for most drivers. Generally speaking, the more options you have from your stereo system, the more you'll be able to customize your audio experience to your exact preferences.

4. Underbody Lights

Underbody lights are what you buy to make your vehicle stand out from the crowd. Like headlights, they're available in all shapes and sizes, but unlike headlights, they come in every color of the rainbow as well. Would you like to give your sports car a cool blue underbelly? Do you dream of adding red stripes to your monster truck or even your motorcycle? Underbody lights can make it happen. The high-end brands even come with things like remote controls and silicone waterproofing so you'll be able to flash your colors for years to come.

5. Hood Ornaments

And now for something completely different …

Hood ornaments are a fun way to give your vehicle a one-of-a-kind look. The most common motifs are things like birds and stars, but you can also buy ornaments shaped like flowers, devils, dragons, planes and women. Animals are also popular, including toy dogs for the tongue-in-cheek driver or sleek ram horns for the sophisticated one. The possibilities are endless, so don't be afraid to experiment with different ornaments or even switch them out on a regular basis. They're just as versatile as bumper stickers, but they won't leave any sticky residue behind. Just for fun, check out this cool hood ornament identification guide for unique hood ornaments through the ages.

These are just five great ways to mod your car. Best of all, none of them require an expensive trip to the mechanic; you can make some or all of the modifications yourself with a little help from how-to guides and elbow grease. Get cracking!