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Car tuning is modification of the performance or appearance of a vehicle. Most cars leave the factory set up for an average driver’s expectations and conditions. Tuning, on the other hand, has become a way to personalize the characteristics of a vehicle to the owner’s preference. Cars may be tuned to produce more power, to look different or to provide better handling.
The essence of car tuning is an attempt to extract the greatest possible performance—or the appearance of high performance—from the base motor vehicle through the addition, alteration or outright replacement of parts. Although this largely involves modifying the engine and management systems of the vehicle to increase the power output, additional changes are often required to allow the vehicle to handle this power, including stiffened suspension, widened tires, better brakes, improved steering and transmission modifications such as the installation of a short shifter. Although largely invisible from outside the vehicle, certain modifications such as low profile tires, altered suspension, and the addition of spoilers can change the overall appearance of the car, as well as adding downforce to increase traction.
Cars have always been subject to after-market modification. Even before the second World War small workshops offered modifications to improve a cars performance and handling. In the 1990s the popularity of Japanese cars spurred a rise in car tuning culture in the United States.
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