Helpful Automotive Articles

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Since the demise of built-in running boards after World War II, auto manufacturers have been using rocker panel moldings to dress up a vehicle area that would otherwise be plain-looking and nondescript. Technically, a rocker panel is the section of a vehicle’s body below the doors and between the front and rear wheel wells. For decades, stainless steel molding...
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One of the more eye-catching tricks automobile manufacturers have used to differentiate higher-priced luxury versions of a car model from value-priced versions of it has been to vary the amount of chrome trim on the vehicle. Base model cars and trucks (also known as "strippers" or "entry level") have little if any chrome while luxury and top-of-the-line ones...
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You may be wondering why so many aftermarket performance exhaust system manufacturers are offering dual exhaust systems connected by "H-pipe" or "X-pipe" sections. After all, aren't two separate pipes, or so-called "true duals", the best for performance? The answer is no, but to understand why we have to examine how a typical internal combustion engine works.
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Engines have often been compared to air pumps, because the engine that’s most efficient in terms of economy and power is the one that can get air in and out of its cylinders the easiest. That’s why most performance modifications like conical air filters, cold air intake systems, headers, and cat-back exhaust systems are aimed at making the intake and exhaust...
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Let’s say that you’re in the market for wheel spacers. Whether it’s because you’ve added jumbo brakes, sprung for a set of custom wheels, or just want to widen your car’s stance (the VIP look), you’ve concluded that spacers are going to do the trick for you, and will solve your fitment dilemma.
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It's an age-old question that many have asked. Will an aftermarket exhaust be worth the expense? While they definitely can be, an important question to ask yourself is do you care more about the deeper sound they’re designed to produce, or the added performance gained from being less restrictive? As car enthusiasts, we’ve become accustomed to associating the...
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A tonneau cover is one of the most useful accessories you can buy for your pickup truck. Tonneau covers provide protection from the weather, security, increased gas mileage, and improved styling. But with so many types and styles to choose from, which tonneau cover is right for your truck? Read on to find out.
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While we love the idea of customizing every corner of our vehicles, we also know that we sometimes face constraints, whether they be logistical, practical, or financial. Custom tail lamps? Sure, there are plenty of choices out there - the reality is that your particular situation may force you to consider a factory-style tail lamp. And in doing so, you may be...
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If you're shopping for a new custom grille to add visual impact to the front of your car or truck, you'll see the installation methods described using such terms as "replacement", "insert", and "overlay". In this article, we’ll discuss what makes each of these methods different from each other. Whenever possible, we recommend reading a manufacturer’s...
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Automotive enthusiasts enjoy engaging in discussions about which car model is sleekest, which truck is brawniest, which wheels are best-looking, which car wax makes paint its shiniest, and so on. The conversations are eternal, encouraging exploration of minute details on any given subject. But ultimately, there really isn't any answer to the question of what is the...
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When you’re doing any kind of performance or off-road driving at night, the right lights can brighten your path, make the adventure more enjoyable, and literally save your life if the going gets rough. Because the staff at CARiD is comprised of many individuals that enjoy 4-wheeling activities not limited to daylight hours, we seek to offer fellow enthusiasts...
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To define a "Euro tail light", it's important to first define a modern "Euro" headlight assembly. Dating back to the 1950s, headlights on European cars were distinctive for their flush, aerodynamic glass surfaces, a design not permitted in the U.S. until 1984. At first, these Euro style headlamp assemblies did not feature a great deal of distinctive styling other...
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One look through the Custom & Factory Tail lights section of our website will convince you there’s no question that tail lights equipped with LED (Light Emitting Diode) lights boost the look of any car, pickup, SUV, or van. Once you consider that more time is spent looking at the rear of vehicles compared to the front, purchasing LED tail lights to create a...
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While custom grilles are among our most popular accessories, due to their relative affordability combined with the ease with which they can be installed, not everyone wants to change their vehicle’s look. Yes, that billet or mesh grille transforms the front of your car; but it’s still your car and therefore still your choice. You may, for various reasons,...
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The grille on your car or truck is its most distinctive signature, and it's one of the first things people notice about your ride. A well-designed grille can make it easy for those with even a passing interest in cars to recognize the type of vehicle you drive. In our Car & Truck Custom Grilles section, we allow you to go a step further with grilles that...




Taking care of your vehicle or modifying it can be challenging if you don't have accurate and thorough information. If you're like the average enthusiast, you have plenty of questions about parts and accessories. You may want to know how to lower your car or what you need to do to fit your truck with big tires, how spoilers work, how to set up your truck for towing, or how your car will benefit from adding a cold air intake or cat-back exhaust. Maintenance and repair jobs present their own set of queries, like how do you change coolant, what parts are needed for a tune-up, what tools are necessary for brake service, or how do you know when to replace shocks. We created these Helpful Automotive Articles to answer these and many more parts and accessories buying and automotive service questions.

Our staff of professionals has decades of combined automotive experience, and they've compiled these articles to give you the benefit of their accumulated knowledge. If you're considering buying accessories to improve the look or performance of your car or truck, or obtaining parts to perform routine maintenance or repairs, these articles will help you make an informed purchase. And if you're unsure about working on your car or how parts and accessories are installed, we've prepared articles that detail the most common service issues, including how to tell when replacement is required, how to use specific tools, and how to perform the service procedure. Even if you ultimately decide that you'd rather have a professional technician do the job, you'll still have a basic understanding of what's involved so you can better communicate with the service provider.