Three Must-Have Aftermarket Car Gauges

aftermarket gaugesGauges monitor different aspects of car performance. If you have existing modifications on your vehicle, aftermarket car gauges help you keep tabs on overall engine performance. Plus, having more gauges just makes the dashboard look cool.

Aftermarket Car Gauges: Our Recommendations

Gauges measure various facets of engine performance, including oil and water temperature, oil pressure, exhaust temperature, and more. Of course, your dash only has so much space. If you can only accommodate two or three gauges, then here are our top three picks for high-performance cars.

1. Oil Pressure Gauge

Oil pressure is absolutely important in cars with a turbocharged engine. Insufficient oil pressure means lack of lubrication, leading to a seized engine. We have performed countless auto repairs on damaged turbocharged engines for this reason. Continue Reading →

Four Top Jeep Wrangler Modifications

Jeep Wrangler modificationsThe Jeep Wrangler is the ultimate off-road vehicle. This is why we service this vehicle often. For greater ability to handle the formidable terrains of the Pacific Northwest you’ll need enhancements. We’ll outline some of the top Jeep Wrangler modifications. Adding these will enhance your first off-road adventure for 2018.

Best Jeep Wrangler Mods

1. Winch

A winch can bail you out of emergencies if traveling with more than one vehicle. If the other vehicle becomes trapped in mud or is rendered inoperable, a winch can save the day. With a winch, you can also be a Good Samaritan if you find a fellow off-roader stranded. Continue Reading →

Five Reversible Car Mods

reversible car modsCar modifications can hurt a vehicle’s resale value. Changes and add-ons are also a no-no for leased automobiles. Nevertheless, some motorists can’t resist beefing up their set of wheels with functional and aesthetic enhancements. If you fall into this category, then consider reversible car mods. This way, you can return the car to its factory condition come time to sell it or return it to the dealership.

Car Mods That Are Reversible

1. Tires

Most auto services and maintenance shops can easily remove aftermarket wheels and replace them with standard rims and tires. This also goes for tires on off-road performance 4-wheelers.

2. Window Tint

Window tints give cars an edgier look. Removing the tint is fairly simple, though it should be done by a professional. DIY removal may leave behind residual adhesive. Continue Reading →

Which Truck Bed Liner Type Is Best for Your Heavy-Duty Pickup?

Truck Bed LinersA pickup truck is the workhorse of cars. It’s designed for heavy cargo hauling. This means the bed needs to be strong enough to accommodate immense loads. The stock bed liner, though, may not be sturdy enough for this. For daily freight transport, you may need an aftermarket truck bed liner. We’ll explain the two types of liners and which is best for your needs.

Drop-In Truck Bed Liner

As suggested in its name, a drop-in liner is simply a detachable liner that goes over the truck bed. The liner is made from heavy-duty plastic sheeting. Installers simply remove the stock liner and bolt the drop-in liner in place. You have the choice of covering just the floor of the bed or covering the sides as well. This is usually the more affordable option, ranging around $100 to $400.

Some car owners also request custom drop-in-liners for the cargo area of their Jeeps or other off-road vehicles.

Spray-In Liners

With this option, an auto service sprays a polyurethane elastomer coating onto the bed. Spray-in liners typically have a gritty surface, providing a better grip that prevents cargo from sliding. This can also be a drawback, though, because it also makes it harder to slide a heavy item off the bed. A spray-in is also thinner than a drop-in, so it doesn’t add as much bulk to the bed.

While DIY spray-in liner kits are available, we do not recommend spraying in the liner yourself. Various factors, such as temperature or improper spraying technique, can cause uneven distribution of the coating.

We Install Both Types of Truck Bed Liners

Bring your pickup to Northwest Performance and Off Road. Our auto repair technicians can install aftermarket liners to improve your vehicle’s hauling capability. We supply both types of truck bed liners for private and commercial fleet trucks.

Edited by Justin Vorhees

Truck Bed Liner Installation and Repairs

Passionate auto repair service in Everett, Edmonds, Lake Stevens,Lynnwood, Marysville, Monroe, Mill Creek, Mukilteo & Snohomish

Does a Strut Bar Increase Performance?

strut barYou can modify your vehicle with a number of braces, including fender braces, under body braces, and suspension member braces. A strut bar is another add-on car owners often add for their street performance vehicle. Do strut bars increase performance, and if so, how?

How Strut Bars Work

A strut bar is simply a metal rod that connects the left and right strut towers. Supposedly, making this connection reduces chassis flex by reinforcing the frame. The chassis flexes during tight turns, which causes a delayed steering response and reduced cornering ability. For those that race their cars on racetracks, chassis flex is a major problem that affects lap time. A strut bar nullifies this issue to some degree, hence their demand at auto service stations. Continue Reading →

Does Your Performance Car Need a Hood Scoop?

hood scoopYou may have seen a hood scoop on some performance car models. They’re especially a common add-on for the Ford Mustang and other pony cars. In case you don’t know, a hood scoop is essentially a hood with an open vent to give the engine a bit more room to “breathe.”

Engine Creates Heat

First, let’s discuss some engine mechanics. An engine burns fuel, and burning fuel requires oxygen. The engine’s performance depends heavily on the amount of available oxygen from the air. Typically, cool air is denser and more oxygen-heavy than warm air.

The engine generates heat as it’s operates, which warms the surrounding air. The engine’s cramped compartment leaves little room for the heat to escape. Continue Reading →

Does Your Four-Wheeler need a Skid Plate?

skid plate

A skid plate may be a necessary add-on if you frequently use your SUV or pickup for off-roading. Some car owners have reservations about adding a skid plate. This is often due to online information containing half-truths. We’ll attempt to clear up any confusion and explain how a skid plate protects your four-wheeler in off-road terrain.

What Is a Skid Plate?

A skid plate is a steel plate that covers the vehicle’s undercarriage. It acts as a shield that protects vital components, such as the suspension, differential, control arm, and the housing containing the engine oil and transmission fluid. Novice off-roaders often end up with hundreds of dollars in auto repairs due to driving through rocky terrain without a skid plate.

Some vehicles come with factory skid plates. However, these may not be sturdy enough for extreme off-roading. Hence some owners upgrade to an aftermarket version. Aside from a skid plate, we also recommend a lift kit to increase the ground clearance as a secondary protective measure.

Common Concerns

Some online forums have raised concerns about skid plates trapping mud, salt water, and other debris, leading to corrosion. This can indeed happen, which is why you need to periodically bring your vehicle to an auto service provider to remove the plate and clean the undercarriage. This may require pressure washing, so this is in no way a DIY job.

Another point to keep in mind is that skid plates are not one-size-fits-all. Some styles provide additional protection for the lower control arm. Others protect the urea injection system in a late-model diesel truck.

We Install Steel-Reinforced Skid Plates

Frequent off-roader? Bring your vehicle to Northwest Performance and Off Road for a skid plate installation. Skid plates protect the vital undercarriage components from bumpy rocks that dot the off-roads of Washington.

Edited by Justin Vorhees

Skid Plate Installation for Off-Road Vehicles

Passionate auto repair, performance enhancement & service in Everett, Edmonds, Lake Stevens, Lynnwood, Marysville, Monroe, Mill Creek, Mukilteo & Snohomish

5 Car Modifications for Increasing Horsepower

Upgrades for High HorsepowerMuscle car and hot rod enthusiasts want to pack as much horsepower and torque as possible for their modified street performance vehicle. What is the best way to achieve this short of replacing the engine altogether? We’ll outline the top 5 modifications for increasing horsepower.

Our List of Modifications for Higher Horsepower

1. Cold Air Intake

This is the easiest and most cost-effective way to add horsepower. Cold air intakes have a larger area for pulling air through. This minimizes resistance that may hamper airflow into your engine. Continue Reading →

Make Your Classic Car Road-Ready

classic car road-readySome people dare not to part with their classic car. These motorists take pride in their 1969 Mustang, 1972 Plymouth Barracuda, 1967 Camaro, or some other muscle or street performance vehicle. Cars nearly as old as their owners require upgrades to continue to operate reliably. Here is our list of four essential updates to make a classic car road-ready.

1. Disc Brakes

Older cars use drum brakes. These brakes are susceptible to wear and tear from heat build-up. Stress factors, such as abruptly stopping at a high speed or braking during a steep descent, wear down drum brakes. Replace your drums with the modern disc brake. Our auto service recommends enhancing the conversion with a dual master cylinder brake for added durability. Continue Reading →

Cold Air Intake Vs. Short Ram Intake: What’s the Difference?

Cold Air Intake Vs. Short Ram IntakeMany high-performance car owners eventually replace the factory air intake system with an aftermarket variety. Simply switching your air intake can add an additional five to twenty horsepower to your engine. There are two primary aftermarket intake systems: cold air intake vs. short ram intake. We’ll give a brief overview of these two varieties and how they differ.

Cold Air Intake System

As suggested in its name, a cold air intake is designed to draw in as much cool air as possible. This enhances engine performance since cold air has a richer concentration of oxygen. Cold air intakes are often placed in the fender or to the rear or side of the engine. This prevents it from drawing heat generated by the engine.

Cold air intake systems are not compatible in every car model. An auto service technician can determine if a cold air intake is compatible with your car. Or he might recommend a short ram intake system as more feasible. Continue Reading →