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Upgrades That Make Your Pickup Truck More Powerful and More Durable

Upgrades That Make Your Pickup Truck More Powerful and More Durable

Pickup trucks are already among the most powerful vehicles on the road. But, a few simple upgrades can vastly improve its performance. From increasing horsepower, torque, or off-road ability, these upgrades will turn an average truck into a powerhouse.

Wheels and Tires

The wheels and tires that came with your truck may have been alright for a while, but if you’re upgrading, these are a good place to start. This is especially true if you’re planning to lift your truck as well. You can customize the size, metal, and color of your wheels, among other things. 

For example, you might choose steel wheels, which are very affordable compared to other metal options while still remaining quite strong. However, they’re also heavier and could rust. Aluminum wheels are much lighter than steel, and you can choose from the cheaper cast aluminum wheels or the more expensive forged aluminum wheels. Each of these has different levels of durability.

The tires you choose will depend on how you use your truck most often. If you tend to go off-roading, you’ll need all-terrain tires that can handle that. These can also be good if you have to drive through the snow regularly. If you don’t plan to go off-roading much, look for all-season tires instead. 

Cold-Air Induction System

A relatively inexpensive upgrade, a cold-air induction system cools the air going into the engine, increasing oxygen. A faster airflow and more oxygen mean more power and better gas mileage. It’s also something you can do yourself, saving you labor costs.

Turbochargers and Superchargers

There’s a good chance that your truck already has a factory-installed turbocharger. This is a great upgrade if you’re often driving at high altitudes, where the air is thinner. Both turbochargers and superchargers use forced induction to increase airflow and oxygen into the engine. In this way, it doesn’t matter if you’re at 100 feet above sea level or on top of a 10,000-foot mountain top. This upgrade will also increase your pickup’s torque.


A lift kit increases your truck’s ground clearance, typically anywhere from two to five inches. Four-wheel drive, lifted trucks are great if you’re often offroad, whether hunting, camping, or working. A lifted 4×4 truck not only can tackle a rutted dirt road, but it also looks tough. Lifted trucks are also highly desirable and hold their resale value. However, if you’re often on the highway driving at high speeds, an extreme lift can make a vehicle unstable. It’s best to keep your truck’s lift reasonable.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that using a DIY lift kit could void your warranty. You can avoid this by instead looking at lifted trucks for sale at local dealerships. If you buy from a reputable seller, you’ll be able to trust that the warranty remains intact.


If you’ve installed a lift kit, you may also need to regear your truck. Factory gear ratios often cannot accommodate the rolling resistance of a lift. It can make shifting difficult and you’ll also lose fuel economy. While a lift will allow you to conquer the remote locations, it can also cause a loss of power and performance. If you plan to lift your truck, also look into regearing it to maintain its performance.

Bed Liner

When it comes to upgrading your truck, you need to take care of the bed of your truck as well, especially if you plan to be hauling a lot. Truck bed liners protect the interior sides and bottom of your truck’s bed from damage. Otherwise, you may find dents and scratches that shouldn’t be there. You may also find rust from water that collects after a rain or snow storm. You can get bed liners in a variety of materials, including carpeted.

Bed Storage

There are a lot of different storage options for your truck. You might just need a large box for tools and emergency supplies. However, if you use your truck for work or to haul handyman equipment, you may need a more complex system. You can find storage systems that are the length of the entire deck or that stack.

Bed Cover

Bed covers, often called tonneau covers, protect not only your truck bed but anything you’re hauling in it. Because they smooth out the back of your bed into a flat surface, they also reduce wind resistance, improving your gas mileage a small amount. You can find those that are for basic protection that roll up easily and those that are made for security, which are more durable but more difficult to open. Look at your specific needs before you decide.

Aftermarket Exhaust System

If you also want a more powerful sound, an aftermarket exhaust system will not only increase horsepower, it will also have a beefier rumble. Stock exhaust systems are designed to be quiet, not powerful. Think about replacing the stock manifold with high-performance headers and tuned cat-back exhaust. A smoother flow of exhaust can give your pick up an additional 20 horsepower.

Floor Mats

Floor mats may seem like a small detail or like more of a convenience than anything else. However, if you’re missing them, it can quickly become a problem. Mats protect your vehicle’s floor from spilled drinks, wet or muddy shoes, tears or scratches, and a variety of other issues. Initially, these may just be cosmetic problems. However, spilled liquids can seep into your truck’s carpeting, allowing mold to grow. They can even get into your vehicle’s electrical system, causing serious issues. You can find pre-made mats online that meet your vehicle’s needs, or you can purchase liners. Liners are usually custom-made for your car’s exact dimensions.

A pickup is a powerful vehicle, designed to take you to work and to play hard. However, by making a few strategic upgrades you not only increase its power and durability, but you also improve its resale value. If you’re looking for ways to upgrade your truck so that it can better handle your day-to-day needs, try one or more of these upgrades. A few small changes can make a big difference in your truck’s performance.