Home » What’s The One Thing You Wish You Could Change About Your Car?

What’s The One Thing You Wish You Could Change About Your Car?

Aa What Would You Change Ts
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As paths of car ownership pile on the years, a certain level of maturity in respect to modification is often achieved. For instance, coilovers may be an easy way of dialing in ride height, but don’t expect cheap units to ride well. However, that doesn’t mean vehicles can’t be improved. For lifelong tinkerers, there’s always something to do, something to optimize, something to tweak. Today we’re asking about the modifications on your must-do list, or the minor annoyances you’d wish to improve on.

I’ll give you an example. While I wouldn’t really want to change anything about my Boxster, I can tell you right away what I would change about BMW 325i — I would give it a limited-slip differential.

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Before my 325i, I had a 2004 Infiniti G35 sedan with the six-speed manual transmission, notable because 2004 was the year the viscous limited-slip differential came to the manual sedans. Now, viscous limited-slip differentials are inherently flawed because spirited use can overheat the special silicone fluid inside, leading to a substantial loss in effectiveness. However, a viscous limited-slip differential still beats the brakes off of an open differential when it comes to regulating wheel speed differences.G35

Although my 325i is brilliant to drive, there are conditions in which a limited-slip differential would be nice. A helical unit wouldn’t sacrifice everyday manners in pursuit of performance optimization, and it would be a relatively easy thing to install. So yeah, that’s one thing I’d change about my car. What would you change about yours? Perhaps there’s a modification you’re craving, or a factory option you feel you’re missing. Whatever the case, I’d love to hear about it.

(Photo credits: Thomas Hundal)

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Bill Garcia
Bill Garcia
2 months ago

I bought my Jeep used yet it was as if it had been built to my exact specifications… except that it has the auto transmission.

Anyone up to help a fellow autopian do a trans swap on a ‘19 Wrangler? Even better if you have a manual trans Jeep, want to swap to the automatic, are closeby to zip code 10583! Hahaha

Andrew Bugenis
Andrew Bugenis
2 months ago

I’d like a manual handbrake in my 2017 Chevy Volt. Because snow.

Scott
Scott
2 months ago

My daily driver is an ’04 Volvo XC90 front-wheel-drive with the light pressure turbo 5-cylinder engine. This is the original/first generation XC90 that was developed before Chinese ownership of Volvo. I bought it on a whim after running across it while browsing local ads over my morning coffee: single owner, 130Kmiles, and less than 15 minutes from my house. I wasn’t even in the market for another car (I had two at the time already) and have never had any sort of truck or SUV before, but I do like Volvos and I also like to drag stuff home, so the space afforded by this three-row SUV intrigued me.

I’ve had it for about five years now (it cost $3,100. just before the pandemic) and frankly, I kind of love almost everything about it. It’s comfortable, extremely safe-feeling, and big enough to seem spacious (though it was the biggest Volvo twenty years ago, my neighbor’s brand new Toyota Rav4 is almost as large… everything’s grown over the past two decades). The overall quality is quite good: it’s generally rattle-free despite its age and miles, and so far, I’ve had no significant repair expenses of any kind, which is appreciated.

But it’s not perfect: my particular XC90 is a very bland metallic beige (that Volvo actually calls a ‘green’ for some reason) and the leather on the seats is too thin. And despite the quality feel of the dash/controls, no manufacturer seems able to install a headliner that’ll stay up for 20 years. I’ve needed AWD a few times, and struggled a bit on steep/slick inclines with the FWD, but it’s pretty infrequent.

However, my main gripe about the car is the poor mileage. Most of my driving is around town (no freeways for months at a stretch) and I live in the hills, so there’s that too. As a result, I average about 16MPG per tank despite a very light right foot. That’s pretty annoying. The first-gen XC90 was available in either FWD or AWD, with four different engines in the US I think: two fives, a six, and even an eight cylinder version. But we never got the diesel versions sold in the UK and elsewhere… I’m not sure how much better the MPG would be with a diesel, but even a 25% bump would be very welcome. SO, if I could change just one thing about my XC90, it’d be to improve it’s efficiency so that in-town MPG reached the low 20s. I’ve been entertaining a fantasy about kludging together a sub-$5K ‘hybrid’ system (maybe from a wrecked BMW i3?) so my Volvo could go just 10-20 miles at around-town speeds mostly on electricity. I’m in my late 50s now, and not nearly as ambitious as I used to be, so I doubt such a project will ever get undertaken (I’d happily spend that $5K if someone ever released such a system in a turnkey package).

Despite the disappointing city MPG, I actually think I’d buy another first-gen Volvo XC90… it really seems safe and the older I get, the more I appreciate that feeling. I’d try to get a better color next time though. 😉

Darek Stelmaszewski
Darek Stelmaszewski
2 months ago

For my VW Multivan I’d love to have a heated steering wheel. Best automotive invention, yet never available for this car.

Derek van Veen
Derek van Veen
2 months ago

I’m assembling the bits for an LSD for my 128i. All I can say, Thomas, is “Do it.”

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
2 months ago

Make it a PHEV

I have a fever. And the only prescription is MOAR miles per gallon!

Parsko
Parsko
2 months ago

I wish (it could happen, but chances are it won’t) my CTS had the “V”.

Last edited 2 months ago by Parsko
MikuhlBrian
MikuhlBrian
2 months ago

2023 Chrysler 300C. I wish that it was available with the 6-spd manual that came in the Challenger Scat Pack.

EricTheViking
EricTheViking
2 months ago
Reply to  MikuhlBrian

Since both cars are more or less identical in term of power train and chassis, perhaps you can swap the gearboxes…

MikuhlBrian
MikuhlBrian
2 months ago
Reply to  EricTheViking

The gearbox swap has been done on a few cars (Chargers, Magnums, and I think I’ve seen a 300). Maybe someday after the warranty is up, but not right now.

Myk El
Myk El
2 months ago

I’ll stick to things I wish were done differently at construction as opposed to the repairs it needs. Big thing for my 2005 Pontiac GTO…I wish it had cloth seats. I live in the desert, leather is generally bad for most of the year and the black leather my car has even worse.

As for my 2012 Accord, I wish it was relatively easy to retro-fit Android Auto into it.

Internal Error
Internal Error
2 months ago

Bought a ’21 Ram 1500 Bighorn 4×4 with the 5.7 eTorque new off the lot. Tows great, ride decent and has plenty of power to spare in just about every situation. It’s a couple of weeks shy of 3 years old and we’re over 50k on it already.

Major fail on our part when shopping was not realizing it doesn’t have remote start. So for mine specifically, that would be the one thing I’d want to change.

But, only because the AC and heat sucks balls. When you turn them on it’s like they have to think about kicking in. Then when they do, it’s time to be patient and wait for them to start doing their thing. So, from the factory it’d be that. If I had remote start I could live with it easier.

MikuhlBrian
MikuhlBrian
2 months ago
Reply to  Internal Error

Have a 2020 Ram 1500 Hemi (non-eTorque) and its about 6 months shy of 4 years old and we are over 60K now. Just eats up the miles. Love the truck.

67 Oldsmobile
67 Oldsmobile
2 months ago

I would like to make my Olds manual and fit a lsd, that would make it awes. Unfortunately the manual ones are really rare so I would have to adapt soneth to make it work. Does anyone gave experience with manual shit kits for th400?

Jalop Gold
Jalop Gold
2 months ago
Reply to  67 Oldsmobile

I’m hoping there are typos here

67 Oldsmobile
67 Oldsmobile
2 months ago
Reply to  Jalop Gold

Haha,fucking auto correct 🙂 I wonder what a manual shit kit would do though?..

Jalop Gold
Jalop Gold
2 months ago
Reply to  67 Oldsmobile

I could show you….. but I don’t want to.

67 Oldsmobile
67 Oldsmobile
2 months ago
Reply to  67 Oldsmobile

That is probably for the best I think..

Ben
Ben
2 months ago

Ram: Let the seat go a couple of inches lower. My head brushes the roof unless I recline the seat pretty far.

Prius: Heated steering wheel. Especially because this gets parked outside.

Corvette: Ventilated seats. Would be a killer feature on those hot days when I want to have the roof off but don’t want to end up sitting in a puddle of my own sweat.

JumboG
JumboG
2 months ago
Reply to  Ben

I’m with you on the Ram seat lowering – but my complaint is a bit different – when you lower mine all the way it seems the seat pad rests on something that it doesn’t hit when you raise it just a bit and whatever it’s hitting takes away a bit of the cushioning. Also, you must be giant, because I’m 6’3″ and don’t hit my head on the ceiling.

Ben
Ben
2 months ago
Reply to  JumboG

I’m 6’5″ with a long torso, so pretty much, yeah. 🙂

I also have a sunroof, which was probably a mistake, but I do like it a lot so I guess it was a fair trade.

Not The Ford 289
Not The Ford 289
2 months ago

one thing I would change about my car is the fact that it doesn’t have a motor.

Greg Rodenhiser
Greg Rodenhiser
2 months ago

Have a JL Wrangler, love it, EXCEPT it’s inability to hold onto paint anywhere near the hinges and door/hood edges (blisters and fails). An otherwise awesome car to us is severely curtailed by it’s insistence to look like an ’89 Accord in the rust belt. Of all the things that can go wrong (c’mon its a Jeep) paint issues were the last thing I’d expect on a 2020 vehicle.

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