Give your vehicle a new summer look

(BPT) - You don't have to splurge on a brand-new vehicle to sport a new look while traveling down the road this summer. The automotive aftermarket offers a variety of products and accessories that can be used to transform the appearance of any vehicle quickly, easily and affordably.

According to the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA), thousands of specialty parts are available that will give an older vehicle a completely new appearance. Owners have the option to give their vehicle a fresh, new look with just a few simple steps, or they can go all-out and create a one-of-a-kind masterpiece with extensive upgrades.

Start with the obvious. A thorough detail and cleaning will make an immediate impact on the looks of any vehicle. Many wax and car-care products - made for specific colors and any type of finish - are available to make old paint shine again. While a little elbow-grease may be needed, specialized tools can be attached to a portable drill to apply product and get professional results.

From control knobs and seat covers to new steering wheels, upholstery, instrument panels and dash kits, many options are available to completely refresh a vehicle's interior. Covers of any type are easy and inexpensive to add, but if budget allows, custom components such as steering wheels and instrument panels can be purchased in different materials such as wood, leather, carbon fiber and other high-tech materials.

Even easy-to-replace items like seat covers and knobs can dramatically change the look of the interior. The color and fabric combinations are endless, and these can be accentuated with custom logos, emblems and designs. The interior provides a great opportunity to personalize a vehicle.

Updating a vehicle's exterior is a surefire way to get noticed. Adding a new grille, taillights, bumper, hitch or a ground effects kit will help a vehicle stand out among the summer crowd. Wheels and tires, both among the most popular vehicle accessories, instantly update the look of a vehicle. Prices, styles and finishes vary greatly, especially for wheels, so doing a little bit of research to know what's available will go a long way.

If the vehicle's paint is dull or damaged, automotive paint companies offer repair treatments that can help cover scratches and restore its shine. If a complete makeover is needed, repainting or wrapping the vehicle will provide a variety of color and pattern options. With vinyl wrapping, changing the look is simply a matter of peeling off the current wrap and laying on a different one. Wrapping costs less than a custom paint job, and the possibilities are endless.

For older vehicles with outdated sound systems and in need of modern mobile electronics, different types of products with Bluetooth integration, GPS navigation and video monitors can be installed. Parts for just about any vehicle, regardless of its age, are available.

Aftermarket restyling parts are designed to be easy to use and can often be installed with reasonable care and patience, but for more involved makeovers - such as applying new paint, performing extensive bodywork or replacing advanced components - hire a professional who has the tools and experience performing that kind of work.

Manufacturers and buyers within the $46.2 billion specialty automotive industry come together at the Las Vegas Convention Center for the annual SEMA Show, the industry's leading automotive trade show. The 2021 SEMA Show, scheduled for Nov. 2-5, 2021, in Las Vegas, Nev., will feature manufacturers unveiling groundbreaking and ingenious products that enhance the performance, styling and functionality of cars, trucks and SUVs. For more information, visit

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