What's the "Best" mod for my car?

Friday, July 10, 2009 by Luke Pavlick

    A question I hear quite often is exactly that "What is the 'best' mod for my car?".

    It is asked with full expectation to hear something like "get some new tires and wheels they'll look great and really handle the corners" or "an AEM cold air intake will up the performance of your car and that would be really cool". While both of those statements are accurate they may not be the best answer.

    I find that many times the people who are asking that question are younger drivers who are excited to get their life behind the wheel jump started. They over look the fact that their driving skills are still under-development and they still need improvement as well as experience before they can truly appreciate what any upgrade or a mod to the car can offer.

    Every year more than 5,000 American youths ages 16 - 20 die behind the wheel. Nationwide, a teen dies in a traffic crash an average of once an hour on weekends and nearly once every two hours during the week. That means every week more than 100 families will lose a child.


    The Tire Rack has joined with the non-profit BMW CCA Foundation and the SCCA to bring Tire Rack Street Survival teen driving program to the nation. Through the efforts of members of the BMW Car Club of America, the Sports Car Club of America, the Mercedes Benz Club of America and the Porsche Club of America as well as other automotive enthusiasts who volunteer their time to serve as coaches with each teen, over 80 schools will be held in locations across the U.S. and benefit over 1,600 student drivers this year.

    The point I am making is quite simple, the best 'mod' for a young inexperienced driver is more often than not  "fix the loose nut behind the wheel"

    Even older, more experienced drivers can improve their skill set behind the wheel by enrolling in a high performance drivers education course or a full on race school with professional racers as instructors. These are typically held at major race tracks around the country. 

    Many local car clubs with national affiliates run these schools and are very friendly, helpful and fun to hang around with. To find a club near you search your favorite marque like Audi, BMW, Porsche or Mustang. The SCCA as well as NASA are also involved in schools and welcome new members at all events. For you Mid-West guys and gals you might want to look into the Audi Car Club Chicagoland Chapter, The North Shore Corvette Club and the Salt Creek Sports car Club as all of them organize great events.

   
And befor you go there, Yes, I remember the old adage "practice what you preach"

    I recently attended the Ford Racing school at Miller Motorsports Park in Toole, Utah and came away with better understanding of vehicular dynamics and car control skills. The lead instructor at the school was Professional racer Cyndi Lux. She and her team of instructors were fantastic as their instruction was helpful and easy to understand. 


   

In addition to the great driving instruction I was also able to learn about a couple of BF Goodrich tire models and how they perform and react under extreme conditions.

    Let me tell you I had an absolute blast pushing them to the absolute limit. Actually, a little beyond their limit, at times, according to one of the the instructors 

My name is Luke Pavlick ... I'm a car guy


 

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