The Do's and Don'ts of Buying Performance and Tuning Accessories

Like if this guide is helpful
The Do's and Don'ts of Buying Performance and Tuning Accessories

The term performance auto parts refer to any parts that are used to enhance a vehicle's performance in any way. While most of these parts boost speed or pick-up, others increase fuel efficiency or reduce emissions. Though some individuals are content to leave their vehicles as is, others prefer to fine-tune their vehicles and put time and effort into improving their vehicle's performance. To accomplish this, vehicle owners need to invest in performance and tuning accessories and install them in their vehicles.

There are thousands of performance accessories and tuning accessories on the market, some of which are a waste of money and some of which are worth their weight in gold. The key for vehicle owners is knowing the difference between the valuable parts and the junk, as well as how to combine these parts and accessories for the best effect. Knowing the do's and don'ts of buying performance and tuning accessories can help vehicle owners find the perfect parts for their vehicles.

Do Know the Types of Performance and Tuning Accessories

While there are a wealth of various parts that could be included under the umbrella of performance and tuning accessories, there are several main categories of parts and accessories that are commonly used by individuals interested in enhancing the performance of their vehicle. Some individuals prefer to use only one or two of these parts and accessories, while others mix several items together for a more powerful punch.


Installing an intake is one way to provide a small power boost, though exactly how much of a boost depends on the vehicle's horsepower and whether the vehicle has a bad stock intake or not. It is also a fairly inexpensive option, which means adding a higher quality intake does not break the bank and could add just the boost needed.

Motorists should realise that this method of boosting performance only adds a couple of horsepower to a vehicle's performance, so they should not expect a huge change in performance if only the intake is changed out. Vehicle owners should keep in mind that some intakes can be a bit difficult to install, so individuals that are not completely experienced in auto repair may want to have a professional install the intake or purchase a more expensive intake as these are often easier to install.

Suspension Accessories

The suspension accessories category encompasses a wide range of parts and accessories, including shocks, springs, struts, and lift kits. Some of these items can improve how a vehicle handles though other parts and accessories in this category could actually cause a vehicle to perform more poorly. Figuring out which suspension parts and accessories are best for a specific vehicle depends on a variety of factors, so individuals who lack this knowledge may want to consult a professional before making a purchasing decision so they do not end up wasting their money on parts that may actually reduce their vehicle's performance.

Turbochargers and Superchargers

Both turbochargers and superchargers are forced induction systems that compress the air that enters a vehicle's cylinders. More air in the cylinder means more air and fuel is burned each time the cylinder fires. Although both of these performance parts boost a vehicle's power, there are several differences between the two types of forced induction systems.




Power source

Belt connected to engine

Exhaust powers turbine


Less efficient; uses energy from engine

More efficient; uses energy that would otherwise be wasted

Turbo Lag

Not an issue

An issue until vehicle reaches sufficient RPM to make turbine spin

Ease of Install


More difficult


More expensive

Less expensive

Since each of these methods of increasing performance has pros and cons, vehicle owners need to weigh the advantages and disadvantages and determine which is the better option for their vehicle.

Nitrous Oxide System

NOS, which stands for nitrous oxide system, is a system that provides bursts of nitrous oxide to a vehicle's engine to provide a short performance boost. These systems are typically quite expensive, and buying nitrous oxide for these systems can be somewhat difficult. Additionally, nitrous oxide systems are normally not legal for street use, so individuals who want to be able to use their performance enhancements on regular roads may not want to use a NOS.

Performance Chips

Performance chips are electronic chips that can boost a vehicle's performance. All vehicles have factory-installed chips when they are built. These chips are programmed to operate at specific horsepower and torque settings. Reprogramming a factory chip or installing a new performance chip with different parameters could help a vehicle owner make the most of the equipment already underneath the hood without the need of additional performance accessories.

While many performance chips do what they promise to do, others simply cause the engine to generate error codes. Prospective buyers should use caution when buying performance chips, especially if they are a brand the vehicle owner does not recognise.


A performance exhaust system is another way for individuals to boost their horsepower by as much as 40 per cent. There are several manufacturers that produce performance exhaust systems, some of which are quieter than others, so prospective buyers should have no problem finding the perfect exhaust system for their vehicle.

While exhaust systems are fairly easy to install and can usually just be bolted into place, they do require the use of a torque wrench and some other tools, so individuals who are not skilled at using these tools may want to have their performance exhaust system installed professionally.

Don't Skimp on Quality

There are plenty of performance and tuning accessories on the market that are a huge waste of money primarily because they do not do what they say they do. These parts do not boost a vehicle's performance like they are supposed to and may even cause engine problems or reduce a vehicle's performance in some circumstances.

The best way to avoid getting ripped off is to buy parts from manufacturers a vehicle owner recognises. Typically speaking, the more expensive parts are the ones prospective buyers want to consider; however, buyers should be sure the parts are from a reputable company before deciding on which parts to purchase.

Don't Install Parts Without Proper Knowledge

Vehicle owners who do not have the proper experience working on cars may want to have their performance parts installed by a professional or at the very least ask someone with the proper knowledge to help them. Installing parts incorrectly could result in engine damage, vehicle damage, and injury to anyone in the vehicle as well as other motorists on the road. Some problems may not manifest immediately, which means an individual could get behind the wheel and not find out there is a problem until he or she is involved in an accident. Rather than risking injury and expensive engine repair bills, individuals looking to install performance parts on their vehicle should obtain the proper training or hire a professional to do the work.

Buying Turbochargers on eBay

Vehicle owners may find some performance and tuning accessories at local auto parts stores; however, for the best selection, individuals need to turn to the Internet. When shopping online for performance and tuning accessories and parts, prospective buyers should first determine which parts they wish to purchase and then determine which brands they consider reputable.

If you are ready to take a look at the listings for performance and tuning accessories on eBay, go to the site's homepage and type your search phrase into the box. You should select a specific type of performance and tuning accessory to search for; otherwise, your search results may be quite broad, and it could take a lot of time to narrow down the listings. For example, if you are looking for a turbocharger, type that phrase into the search box. You can use the filters on the search results page to narrow down your results by a number of criteria, including price, manufacturer, and shipping options.

Before making a purchasing decision, buyers should read through the listings carefully to determine exactly which performance parts are being sold. If a buyer has any questions regarding the quality of a specific part, he or she should contact the seller to obtain more clarity. Prospective buyers should also review the seller's return policy to determine whether the part can be returned if the buyer is not satisfied with it or if it is not compatible with their vehicle.


Although some motorists do not bother to improve their vehicle's performance, those who do take pride in enhancing their vehicles enjoy adding new performance and tuning accessories from time to time to continue to coax more power from their vehicle. Many individuals consider this a hobby and may or may not actually race their vehicles or use the performance enhancements on a regular basis.

Individuals who want to boost their vehicle's performance should carefully consider the function of each performance part and determine which part or parts best suit their needs. When considering multiple parts, individuals should also confirm that the parts they are considering work well together. Inexperienced individuals may want to talk their options over with someone who does have experience so they do not make expensive mistakes. Shopping for performance and tuning accessories does not have to be difficult, especially if prospective buyers keep in mind the do's and don'ts of buying performance and tuning accessories and shop on eBay.

Have something to share, create your own guide... Write a guide
Explore more guides