There are´plenty of excellent reasons to customise a Mazda besides the fact that your vehicle just looks so much cooler when doing so. Some modifications, like upgrading the intake and the exhaust, improve the vehicle's performance. Other modifications like a nose mask and tinted windows, protect the car and keep it looking like new. Still, other modifications like alloy rims change the way the car handles and add to the 'cool' factor. These five 'mods' as car enthusiasts call them are some of the most popular ways to customise a car. Some can be done at home, while others require professional installation.
Regardless of who does the installation, customising a car is something that gives any car that 'new car' feel. There are as many ways to customise a Mazda as there are Mazda owners. Installing a cold air intake, a cat-back exhaust, a nose mask, tinted windows, and alloy rims is just the beginning for those who are passionate about car performance and looks. By learning to shop for Mazda accessories online at helpful websites like eBay, Mazda owners can customise their cars easily and affordably.
A cold air intake can increase the horsepower of a vehicle significantly. This is because cold air is more dense than warm air, and therefore has more oxygen per volume of air. Introducing cool air into the engine maximises efficiency and performance. A high-quality aftermarket intake is designed with a few factors in mind.
First, they reduce the air path restriction as much as possible, so that the amount of air that reaches the engine is maximised. Secondly, they eliminate muffling devices so that there is a more direct route to the air intake. Finally, they position the duct so that air enters with some pressure due to the movement of the vehicle.
Beware of kits that place the intake opening closer to the ground than the OEM intake, because this can increase the risk of flooding the engine when crossing flooded roads. Air intake kits are available for all Mazda models. Installation does not have to be complicated. There are kits that are designed to be installed in just a couple of hours with a minimum of tools, and no cutting or drilling. These are ideal for anyone who would like to learn to modify their vehicle themselves. The most well-known brand for intakes is K&M. Other brands include AEM, Volant, and Airaid.
The second modification many people make to enhance both the performance and the sound of their vehicles is to change the exhaust to a cat-back exhaust. A cat-back exhaust starts at the last catalytic converter and ends at the tail pipe. It usually includes a rear pipe, a resonator, and a muffler, but can include more pipes as well. It allows more airflow than a stock exhaust, which allows the engine to breathe more freely, increasing the horsepower and fuel efficiency. The tubes are also designed to produce a more pronounced engine note that can range in tone. This 'purr' from the exhaust is a big reason to get a cat-back system as well, but different systems sound very different.
Since the cat-back exhaust does not replace the catalytic converter, the quality of the converter has a lot to do with how much the cat-back exhaust can increase power. If the stock converter restricts air flow significantly, the cat-back system cannot do anything to increase horsepower. However, when the stock muffler is the weakest link in the exhaust system, a cat-back exhaust can make a big difference. Some brands to look at include Flowmaster, Banks, Magnaflow, and Borla.
A bonnet protector protects the paint on the front of the car from chips caused by rocks and other falling debris. One type of protector is a stretchy vinyl with a soft felt-like backing. It covers the front bumper, part of the bonnet, and the sides of the fender. While there are bonnet protectors that are supposed to fit a number of different vehicles, the best masks are custom designed for just a certain make and model. While these masks protect the car on the road, they do require a significant amount of maintenance. If they are not cleaned periodically, they can trap dust and dirt, which can also scratch the paint. Also, leaving a wet mask on the car can lead to fogging the paint job leaving the car with a 'tan' line.
Another type of bonnet mask is made of clear sheets of 3M ScotchGard film. This protective covering is cut to the exact shape of the vehicle's front area, and sticks to the vehicle with a special adhesive. Also called a 'clear bra kit', the original 3M film does not harm the vehicle's paint, and can be easily washed and cleaned when needed. It requires no maintenance but has to be replaced periodically when the film is marred or scratched beyond repair. A 3M clear bra kit is an excellent way to protect one's investment in a Mazda and maximise its resale value by keeping the paint job as good as new.
Tinted windows are one of the most common car customisations and one of the most affordable as well. There are both pros and cons to tinting windows that one should consider carefully. There are also laws concerning tinted windows in the UK that must be observed. Window tinting is popular because it blocks UV radiation, keeps the interior cool, protects the upholstery from fading or suffering from premature wear, and prevents the glass from shattering in the event of an accident.
By keeping the inside of the vehicle cooler, it lessens the load of the air conditioning system. It also gives a small level of privacy as well. However, those who tint their windows should be aware that too dark of a tint is not only illegal, but also dangerous to other drivers. Drivers need to be able to see through the windows of other vehicles in order to see hazards or obstacles on the road.
UK regulations state that the front windscreen must let at least 75 per cent of light through, and that the front side windows should let at least 70 per cent of light through. There are no regulations about tinting the rear windscreen or the rear passenger windows. There are many options for tint levels, and even colours, and it is fairly easy to find a tint that blocks just enough light. However, it is best to have a quality tint professionally installed because cheaper tints not only fade quickly, but are also more difficult to install properly.
It would be impossible to talk about customising a car without mentioning an improvement to the rims. There is no doubt that alloy rims look fantastic, but the real question is whether there is actually some benefit to using them over steel. The major benefit of alloy rims (which are actually made of a mixture of aluminium with other metals) is that they are lighter and stronger than steel rims. This means they handle very differently, and generally improve the feel of the car. It does not take as much power to turn the wheels since they are lighter, and the wheels typically do not flex when turning corners because they are stronger. On the other hand, the fact that they do not flex means they are more likely to break as the result of a major impact like a big pothole.
Many people who change the stock steel wheels for alloy wheels also upsize their wheels. This means using a larger rim and a smaller profile tyre. This move is mostly made for looks because a low profile tyre means a harder ride. Changing to alloy rims is not always the cheapest modification, but it does completely change the look of the vehicle. When making a statement is part of the fun of customising a car, there is no substitute for some flashy alloy rims.
Finding Mazda accessories online at websites like eBay is key to keeping the cost of the customisation low. This is most easily done on eBay where you can easily see the feedback score of every seller. By comparing feedback scores, you can find a seller who has built up a reputation for excellent products and service. These sellers are usually more than happy to help you choose the correct products for your car, an added advantage of buying on eBay.
To find Mazda accessories on eBay, just go to any eBay page and enter a search term like ' Mazda bonnet protector'' in the search box found on any eBay web page. Then refine the search even further by choosing the appropriate subcategories. Once you are within the correct subcategory, you can refine the search once again by make and model, price, and other criteria.
Once you find product that you are interested in, check the seller's feedback, the return policy or warranty if there is one, and the shipping information. Remember to come back to eBay to leave the seller feedback once you receive your item in the mail. Leaving feedback for sellers is an important part of being in the eBay community, and encourages a high quality of exchange of goods and services.
Mazdas are vehicles with style and power but they can always be enhanced further to reflect the personalities of their owners. Customising a car means making upgrades that increase the attractiveness and value of the car. An aftermarket cold air intake, for example, brings air with a high oxygen content quickly to the engine where it is needed, increasing the efficiency and horsepower of the engine.
A cat-back exhaust achieves the same thing by pulling the exhaust out of the car faster than a stock Mazda exhaust, allowing the engine to breathe freely. It also produces a 'purr' that car aficionados associate immediately with the smoothest and strongest engines. A nose mask protects a Mazda's paint job, while tinted windows protect the interior from the harsh rays of the sun.
Last but not least, alloy wheels add an element of flash while improving the car's handling. Learning to customise a car is an enjoyable journey for car lovers everywhere. Mazda owners can get started with these five modifications and find the necessary accessories on eBay without breaking the bank.