Despite increasing gas prices, trucks and SUV's are still among the best selling and most profitable of automobiles available. And coming in at a close second, the aftermarket community is just as profitable as most owners look for the right mix of personalization and performance to further set themselves apart from the crowd. That's what makes customizing a new or pre-owned truck an unforgettable experience. The great news is, that most aftermarket add-ons are readily available and take little effort to install using simple hand tools and a couple hours of your time. I will go over a brief list of some of the most popular and cheapest performance accessories to make that truck more powerful, more economical, and have an enhanced satisfaction value.

One of the easiest and most affordable add-ons is of course a high flow air filter. Not only will this allow the truck's engine to breath more efficiently, but will give you a part that is reusable. In the long run, this will save the enthusiast in maintenance costs and will give the driver a fuel economy boost of 1-3 mpg on average. In addition, manufacturers like K&N and Airaid have a wide selection of air filters to choose from for any make and model of automobile, these retail for only $35-55 and the benefits will exceed itself in a matter of months. I would also recommend the fuel injection intake kits if money is no object, again these install in less than 45 minutes and have the same function as a basic air filter. These are also available in a cold air variety that feeds air from behind an air dam or bumper, therefore getting more increase of horsepower......

One such other add-on that is most popular is a custom exhaust. To compliment a more free flowing intake system, a quality exhaust is a must and will help dispel of all the burnt gases from the engine efficiently. An aftermarket system will also enhance performance figures and give it's driver a slight edge in fuel economy as well. There are some exhaust systems from Borla and Magnaflow that have a bolt on kit available which will eliminate welding work and having to bring your ride to a muffler shop. But for a more economical system, Flowmaster has a wide variety of kits that cost only several hundred dollars and is the most popular. In your exhaust search, try to focus on stainless steel kits to help hinder rust for many years to come. And most kits come complete with all the hardware-muffler(s), tubing, hangers, clamps, bolts, instructions, you get the picture. But best of all, a custom exhaust will give the truck a nice throaty sound that only a muscle car can do.

And finally, another basic add-on is a performance chip. Made available by companies like Hypertech and Superchips, a performance chip will re-educate the computer system in your truck to adjust shift points to better your fuel economy. These chips take very little time to install, less than 15 minutes in most cases, and cost around a $100 on average in most autos. A more technological accessory is a power programmer, this tool does everything a chip does, but there is more driver intervention of specs of your engine vitals. You can literally customize your truck's computer more completely than just a chip. But beware, these programmers cost more than 3 times the performance chip, and it's worth every penny.

And so there is my short list of performance goodies anyone can install in an afternoon's time. Additionally, these parts will not affect your manufacturers warranty. There are other inexpensive performance add-ons like hedders, mass air flow sensors, and transmission shift kits to consider, but require a little more work. The overall end product however, will be one of complete amazement and satisfaction as you finally turn the key and feel the results!

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Author: If you enjoyed this article, please feel free to visit my website containing more advice & tips to enhance horsepower and fuel economy in your car, truck, and SUV:

Shaun Davidson-Automotive and Finance Consultant-2008

Trick My Truck - Chevrolet Silverado Performance Add Ons to Increase Horsepower and Fuel Economy