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Aftermarket accessories to get your car noticed

YCN Contributor
Open Road
August 19, 2013

Adding aftermarket accessories to your vehicle is a great way to personalize it and make it stand out from the crowd. Even the most common car on the road can be turned into a one-of-a-kind dream vehicle with a little imagination and creativity. You can choose to add something as simple as a unique hood ornament, or go all out with artwork, lighting, spoilers and glass designs.


You may want to skip the spinners. This wheel style is becoming overused and may not give you the standout look you want. Look into vibrant color options or patterned designs. You can also purchase high-performance wheels that improve the handling of your vehicle. Lighter weight rims reduce the overall load on your car.

Spacers are another option to consider. Adding spacers will move the wheel outwards, proving a unique look as well as better road handling. Before you move your wheels, check for any legal guidelines. If you plan on a large spacing, you should have your suspension adjusted to match.

Pin Striping

Adding pin-striping designs can dramatically change the appearance of your vehicle without requiring a complete paint job. You can even find striping kits and ideas in most auto parts stores. If you want to go to an extreme, take your car to a professional shop. Avoid the quick paint shops; these locations are not designed to provide quality artwork.


The right spoiler on your car will look just as good as a spoiler on a Porsche. The key is that the aftermarket equipment must fit the vehicle correctly, and universal spoilers may not line up well with the trunk or rear quarter panels.

Window Art

Window and fender decals are one type of common artwork. Having a car window etched allows you to have a unique, eye-catching design that does not have to be expensive. Kits are available that allow you to do the glass etching yourself. However, unless you are experienced and artistic, you should have the work done professionally.

Laser engraving gives you another art style that you can try. You are only limited by your imagination (and any legal requirements for visibility). The driver's view cannot be obstructed by the artwork. If you are not sure that you will enjoy the look, try a tinted film graphic first. In addition to reducing sunlight, these film treatments will not block your vision from inside the vehicle.

Remember, before you make any major modifications, check with a mechanic to ensure that your work will not harm the performance of your vehicle. You should also check into legal or insurance requirements if you are raising or lowering your vehicle, extending the wheelbase or adding heavy tinting to the windows.

Content by Barbara L Baird.