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Riding Dirty: 9 Cool Things to Do to Your Car to Make it Stand Out

Would you put a $7,000 radar detection system in your car? There’s one auto shop New York that is doing just that as a part of their $50,000-plus vehicle customization projects.

We could think of many other cool things to do to your car than buying a radar system that no one will ever see.

Customizing your car is about making it an expression of you and standing out from the crowd. But where do you start and how far do you go?

We can help you get started customizing your car so that it stands out. Get inspired by these nine ideas that will have your ride looking like a one of a kind.

1. Get Low

This customization can go wrong quickly if you aren’t careful. Don’t overdo it and drop your car as far as it will go. All this will accomplish is you ruining your body panels as you take 20 minutes to scrape along your driveway’s curb or over speed bumps.

Don’t skimp and try to lower your car by cutting your coils. You won’t cut them exactly the same and your ride will forever be slightly off. This means reduced handling and uneven tire wear.

You can lower your car a few inches and accomplish a new profile and stance without going overboard. Just be sure to check your wheel wells so that your tires aren’t getting worn when you steer around turns.

When looking for a lowering kit, think about the stiffness of the springs. The stiffer they are, the harder the ride, but the tighter your handling will feel through the turns.

2. Custom Exhaust That Sounds Great and Is Powerful

Those who don’t know any better pick the loudest exhaust they can find. This isn’t attractive and just makes people cover their ears and wince as you cruise by.

Instead, go for one that sounds good with a nice tone and decibel level. A nice rumble will be more appealing to the ladies than you screaming at her over your whining exhaust.

The other big mistake people make is that they only go for sound. Your exhaust affects the performance of the whole car’s performance system. Look for an exhaust that will enhance your car’s horsepower.

3. Help Your Car Lose Weight

Do not think you will fool anyone by cheating and putting carbon fiber vinyl on your hood. This doesn’t magically make your car lighter or faster.

Instead, replace your car’s heaviest body panels, such as the hood, with a carbon fiber one. This will reduce the overall weight of your car and give you a cool custom look.

Replace your body panels thoughtfully. Such as you could also replace the roof and trunk lid. But replacing all of the panels will give your car an overdone look. It may also make your car too light and that will sacrifice traction.

The lighter weight allows your car to accelerate faster as your weight to power ratio is now changed. It will also affect your handling as the car will be lighter when going around turns.

4. Step up Your Stereo Game

If you have a brand new car, it probably already has a sweet stereo system packed with the latest technology. However, the rest of us need to do a little work to catch up.

Many owners think they can replace the radio control piece in their dash and they are done. This is a mistake as you ignore your speakers and subwoofers.

If you want to make an impact and stand out, you need to design a whole sound system. Remember, the goal isn’t to go as loud as possible or as much bass as possible. You want a good decibel level and quality sound for the music you intend to play.

5. Roll on New Wheels

One of the easiest ways to stand out and have a custom look is to put aftermarket wheels on your car. If you stick with the same size and dimensions of your stock wheels then it is an easy change out.

If you decide to go bigger and/or wider, then you’ll need to make some other adjustments. For example, if you increase the size of the rims but not the tire, then the sidewall height shrinks. The smaller your sidewall, the harsher the ride will be.

You will also need to adjust your speedometer. It was calibrated for your stock size, so it will be off when your wheels are bigger.

Go for wheels that will enhance and not distract from the overall look of your car. This means stay away from those comically oversized blinged out spinners.

6. Custom Coloring

Go to a car show and you’ll quickly realize that manufacturers only use a handful of colors for each model of car they produce. So the odds are good that you’ll run into someone with the same color ride as you.

To make sure that this never happens to you, you need a custom color. When it comes to color, pick one that you’ll love for years as this isn’t a modification you do often.

Don’t let other people tell you what to choose. Color is a personal preference, and there will always those who love and those who hate your choice.

Sparkle or Flat

Flat black paint is all the rage these days. It looks cool, but remember, this is a trend.

Trends like this one mean there will be plenty of others who choose it. It also means that your car will look dated and “old” as soon as the trend goes out of fashion.

When done right, adding a bit of glitter or sparkle to your paint will add dimension and depth. You could also create a modern take on the chameleon paint that was the hot choice a while back.


This isn’t a look for everyone, and it doesn’t look good on all cars. If you like the look and it fits your car, then go for pinstriping.

Just make sure you choose a professional who is artistic and has a steady hand. This way they will create a pinstriping motif that accentuates the curves and lines of your car.


If you aren’t ready to commit to a whole new paint job you could opt for a wrap instead. This is a more temporary option as they can be removed when they have reached their useful lifespan or you grow tired of it.

The best part about a vinyl vehicle wrap is you aren’t limited by the restrictions of paint. You can have patterns, graphics, or even a mirror finish applied to your ride.

7. Trick out Your Trim

Most people only focus on the exterior of their car when it comes to making it stand out. That means that you’ll stand out even more by adding custom details from suppliers like Southern Car Parts to your car’s interior.

You could replace your car’s dashboard body pieces with carbon fiber inserts. Or how about a hydrocarbon knob kit? The touch of carbon fiber without going overboard with give your car that lux racing vibe without being cheesy.

Another nice tough are airbag warning label covers. You shouldn’t ignore the airbag warning, but covering them up with give your interior a sleek and clean look.

8. Stitch It up

To continue customizing the interior, take a look at your seats. If you have a modern sports car, your seats are probably pretty nice. However, the rest of us have boring stock seats.

If you plan on doing a custom paint job on the outside, keep this color in mind when picking your seat fabric. Don’t pick more than two colors, unless you like that fun house look.

If you want a racing look go for custom barebones seating with accommodation for a five-point harness. If you are going for luxury, look at leather and memory foam for a truly comfortable ride.

9. Be Mysterious

Nothing makes people more curious and interested than when they feel like they are being kept from something. Create an air of mystery by tinting your windows and making it hard for people to see in your car.

Before you go blacking out your windows you need to check your state’s laws on how dark you can go. There’s nothing stopping you from going darker, just be prepared to get pulled over by law enforcement.

The majority of people go for a black tinted film. But if you want a unique look you could choose one that has a different color to it.

Do These Cool Things to Do to Your Car and Get Noticed

Remember that it is about taste and moderation when customizing your car. You don’t need to go all out on everything. These cool things to do to your car will make your car noticeable in a good way.

Start by looking at your car and budget and deciding which customizations will give you the most bang for your buck. You may find that you can do a few that pair well together.

Get started on number 9 with this handy article on how to DIY tint your windows.