The Ford Mustang is an iconic American muscle car manufactured since 1964 and features six generations.
If you’ve treated yourself to one of the current generation Mustangs built since 2015, here’s a guide to improving your vehicle’s performance and handling to better than when it rolled off the assembly line.
Mustangs are so popular, they’re ripe for theft. With that in mind, it’s worth upgrading the vehicle’s security systems. But did you know thieves can steal your car without the key fob?
Using a laptop computer and a device held near your front door to scan for remote fob transmissions coming from inside your home, thieves can quickly steal a vehicle. They can clone the signal from your remote fob and fool your car into unlocking itself.
Ford Mustang: New fogs, steering wheel lock
Once they’ve gained entry into your car, they can then use their laptop and the cloned remote fob to start the engine and drive away.
There are several ways you can upgrade your Mustang’s security. You can store your remote fobs inside a Faraday cage. It’s a container that blocks transmissions from your remote fob. You can also a use GPS tracker device fitted to your Mustang.
If your vehicle is stolen, you can work with the local police department to quickly locate your car.
You should also consider using a visual deterrent such as a steering wheel lock.
Winter Wheels and Tires
If your Mustang is a daily driver, chances are you’ll use your car during colder months. As such, some Mustang and other car owners forget installing to proper wheels and tires for winter.
Winter tires, also known as all-weather or “mud and snow” tires, are ideal for wintery conditions, such as ice and snow. The tires greatly diminish your chances of skidding and sliding.
Mustangs are powerful cars, but they can lose traction very quickly on icy and snowy roads. It makes sense to invest in a second set of alloy wheels and have the best winter tires fitted to them. When the weather forecast indicates near-freezing temperatures, swap your summer wheels for your winter equipment. You can buy the same design wheels or get a different style to distinguish the two sets.
Here are a few tips for selecting the proper tires:
Opt for premium brands. You can save money on cheap winter tires but it’s not worth risking your safety.
Look for the M & S lettering on the tire sidewalls. Those letters, along with the ‘mountain’ symbol, denote they were tested and approved for use as genuine winter tires.
Check out the online reviews. Don’t ‘buy blind’ when choosing winter tires. Make sure you select tires that perform well in real-world tests and not just what the manufacturer claims.
When not using your winter wheels and tires, store them in a secure, dry location.
Mustangs are surprisingly notorious for not having the best suspension and handling characteristics. But there’s good news, particularly if you sometimes race. You can buy Mustang coilovers for the latest-generation Mustang models.
Coilovers offer easy ride-height adjustment. They replace factory shock absorbers and springs. You can lower your vehicle or raise it to negotiate on rugged road surfaces. It will prevent your Mustang from “bottoming out” on uneven or unpaved roads like dirt tracks.
If you decide to upgrade your Mustang’s suspension to coilovers, be sure to renew other related components for optimum handling performance. The parts to change include: suspension bushings (such as the anti-roll bar bushings); ball joints, control arms and strut top mounts.
Even when your Mustang is only five years old, its suspension components could be worn out. For added driving confidence and cost savings, renew those parts while you’re upgrading the coilovers.
Stainless Steel Exhaust
Mustangs have appealing engine notes while idling and with the throttle fully open. But the vehicles’ stock exhaust systems limit their performance potential.
An exhaust system’s job is to expel waste gases from the engine efficiently and in an environmentally-friendly way. Custom aftermarket exhausts for the sixth-generation Mustang are superior. A customized stainless steel system can make your Mustang loudly growl or quietly purr.
With a custom exhaust system, you can still keep your Mustangs emission in check to pass smog tests. You can also have a larger bore for increased power if you combine the upgrade with an ECU remap.
The aftermarket stainless steel exhaust system purchased depends on various requirements. And don’t forget, there’s also a large selection of customized tailpipe options.
Manufacturers detune their vehicles, even muscle cars like Mustangs. It gives owners a car that offers a good mix of performance and fuel economy, although the latter is unlikely a priority when for potential Mustang buyers.
An ECU remap helps you unlock your car’s potential while still making it a road-legal vehicle. There are many ways you can get an ECU remap for your Mustang. But the safest option is using an authorized engine tuning company.
An authorized business can “tweak” various settings while your car gets tested on a rolling road or “dynamometer.” An unauthorized shop could remap your ECU with generic maps rather than specifically tailored machinery.
A sixth-generation Ford Mustang can realistically achieve a substantial gain with a properly done ECU remap. Consider: A 2.3-liter Ecoboost will improve, 24 horsepower and 19 lb/ft of torque; A 5.0-liter V8 will increase 29 horsepower and 34 lb/ft of torque.
The improvements are for stock engines, not special editions like the Bullitt. And a reminder: the stock map can be put back onto your ECU. It’s useful if you’re going to sell the car or perhaps want to start again and get a remap tuned with different characteristics in mind, such as fuel economy or emissions.