While purchasing a new car can be exciting, the real fun often starts when the time comes to make it truly unique. One of the components that many car enthusiasts decide to change after they purchase the vehicle is the hood. An aftermarket hood can change the look of the entire car. There are many aspects to consider before buying a new car hood, such as the desired material, unique features, and special designs.
Car hoods typically are made out of one of three materials. The traditional car hood is made of steel, and some aftermarket hoods also are made of this material. Steel hoods are known for being durable, but they can be quite heavy. For those who are interested in racing, carbon fiber hoods usually are lightweight, which can make the car lighter and faster while saving money on gas. A fiberglass aftermarket hood typically is lightweight as well, but it can require pins to hold it in place rather than the usual hood latch that works with the original hood.
One of the main reasons some drivers opt for an aftermarket hood is to have hood scoops. These usually are right above the air intake. In most cases, the more air that is sucked into the engine, the more power it will create. Some owners of an aftermarket hood are interested in scoops merely as a design element, but many still benefit from the scoop's ability to cool down the engine. Adding a rock guard to the hood scoop typically is recommended so that pebbles and other small objects do not get into the engine compartment along with the air.
Another feature on some hoods is a cowl rise. This provides benefits that are similar to hood scoops, except that a cowl rise helps hot air escape from the engine area. Purchasing an aftermarket hood with both a scoop and a cowl rise can improve performance and keep the engine cool. Usually, these can be purchased separately and added to an existing hood.
You might also want to consider if you want any special designs or paint on the aftermarket hood. While hoods usually can be painted to match the car, some car owners get more creative. Having a hood that is a different color than the rest of the car can get you noticed, as can popular designs like racing stripes. If you do not want to have to paint your hood at all, carbon fiber hoods typically look good without paint, as they usually are a dark gray color.