Just bought yourself a new truck and looking for some quick upgrades to make it yours? Even if you have a truck that is just new to you, there are a few upgrades that can be done fairly quickly that will give you that feeling of ownership and make your truck stand out as unique from the crowd. Here are the top 4 quick upgrades you can do to your new truck
1. New In-Dash Stereo The biggest upgrade to the interior of your truck you should do right away is the stereo. Depending on your truck, this can be done at varying levels of difficulty. Many trucks have a simple dash layout that allows the radio to come out quickly. This is great for you if you love to do it yourself. The basic parts you need to upgrade your radio are: 1) New Radio 2) Dash Kit 3) Wire Harness 4) Antenna Adapter With those basics, you can install your own radio with minimal tools. A great place to get the parts you need for your stereo install is Crutchfield.Com. They often will give you all the parts you need for about $15 when you buy the radio from them. This is great compared to local shops that can charge upwards of $50 for these parts. Now, what kind of stereo to install? Well, this is heavily dependent on your budget. Most trucks have what is called a "Double DIN" opening, which is a large radio opening that can fit in-dash video players. These start around $250 and go all the way up to about $2000, depending on features like DVD and GPS. You can always go for the standard radio that will run anywhere from $50 and up as well, too. On top of video, most new units offer satellite radio like Sirius, which for a monthly subscription can give you access to hundreds of commercial-free music channels. These often have iPod or other MP3 player compatibility, giving them access to literally thousands of songs on demand. Installing a new radio is a killer upgrade that can be done in about 2 hours or less. This makes a new in-dash radio the best first upgrade you can do.
2. Remote Start and Security The next upgrade you can do when you get a new truck is to get a remote start and/or security system installed. Many people think that just because they have a diesel truck that they can't use a remote start. In short, that's just crazy! Modern remote starts have inputs for glow plugs to help them work seamlessly with any type of diesel engine. The remote start helps you to get your diesel engine warmed up while getting the cab nice and toasty on cold mornings. Diesels aside, remote starts work great with gas engines, too. These can help warm your truck up on cold days and can cool it down in the summer. There is nothing like getting into a nice cool truck on a 100 degree day! Most engines do well with a few minutes of run time before you get moving, and with a remote start, you don't have to sit and wait. Along with remote start, many systems now include security. This really is a must with owning a vehicle today. When installed properly, truck alarms are solid, reliable pieces of security that only go off when necessary. The alarms you hear go off for no reason are either inferior/cheap units or were installed incorrectly. This is why alarms and remote starts are something I recommend be installed only by professionals. Spend the extra money now and get it put in correctly. Trust me, I personally have installed many of these myself and you want someone who knows what he or she is doing handling your truck. Pair the remote start alarms with a key fob that reports back to you what the alarm and remote start are doing, and you've got the best security and remote start package out there. Cost on these vary greatly depending on vehicle, but can range from $100 installed up to $500, depending on features.
3. Window Tint Depending on the laws in your area and your willingness to abide by them, window tint is the best exterior upgrade you can do first. This not only gives your truck a much sleeker, meaner look, but it protects your valuables inside while keeping the temperature in the cab lower. Tint also blocks out UV light, helping keep your interior new longer. Tint is something I wouldn't recommend doing yourself. This is a skill that takes a lot of practice to master. Getting 4 windows and a rear window done should coast you around $250 depending on your area. This is not a lot of money to give your truck a more impressive external look and feel, while protecting what's inside it. I personally recommend a 35% tint on all windows (not counting windshield, obviously). This gives a dark look from outside while allowing you to see out without too much effort in the dark. Getting window tint usually takes less than 5 hours and a professional tint job will last as long as your vehicle without bubbling, peeling, or looking worn out. http://youtu.be/wOG0QS9hVgs 4. Train Horn Wait, a TRAIN HORN? Aren’t those supposed to go on TRAINS? Well, yes, sort of. Train horns were created to alert anyone around of the train’s presence, and to let switch operators know from a distance that the train is approaching. Basically train horns were made to make sure people knew where the train was. This is why they are so great for an off-road truck. They are fairly inexpensive, easier to install than a lift kit, and can be used to get you un-stuck when a friend is trying to find you on the trail. Unless you’re using a GPS transponder for your friend to find you so he can winch you out, having something that let’s everyone know where you are is vital. A few blasts of the horn will get everyone coming your way pretty quickly. Also, people tend to ignore car horns, but it’s nearly impossible to ignore a train horn! That’s why ambulances, fire trucks, and other emergency vehicles use forms of these horns in their sirens. On top of this, they’re pretty cool, too. If you are interested in buying a train horn kit, check out my selection
at Train Horns Delivered. Well, there you have it. These are my top 4 upgrades to do when you buy a new truck, even if it's a few years old and just new to you. All totaled, you could get all three of these done professionally and spend around $1,400 for pretty awesome pieces for all three. When looking at engine, suspension, and truck bed upgrades that can cost $1,000 each, getting three for that price is a deal.