What Is Full Bolt On? All You Need To Know

If you live around car enthusiasts or hear them discuss, you’ll often hear some unfamiliar terminologies. One of these terms is a bolt-on. Of course, you may wonder, what is a full bolt-on? People have different definitions of bolt-on, but what exactly does it mean?

That’s the focus of this article. By the time you finish this short article, you’ll understand the full bolt-on meaning of BMW and other car models. Some examples will make you clear about a full bolt-on and whether you need it or not.

what does bolt-on mean

What Is Full Bolt On?

A bolt-on means simple modifications to your car. This implies removing the OEM parts and replacing them with an aftermarket part without cutting, tuning, or fabricating the part to work on the vehicle. 

For instance, let’s say you removed your aftermarket tires and wheels and installed wider ones to improve handling, braking, and perfect road contact without any fabrications (which you don’t need). You have a full bolt-on.

This means “plug and play“ because you don’t have to do any tuning or other work for the aftermarket component to work. Let’s get this straight; you may have to tune a bolt-on to get your desired result but not for the part to work.

If you have a Mustang, you may wonder, what is a full bolt-on for a Mustang? A Full bolt-on car means there are several bolt-on components installed on it. For instance, if your Mustang has aftermarket parts like wheels and tires, Coilover suspension, exhaust muffler, air intake, or manifold, the car can be referred to as a bolt-on car.

It’s somewhat difficult to point out what a bolt-on is, but let’s see why people have different definitions.

For instance, since you can remove and install an aftermarket turbo or supercharger without cutting or fabricating anything, it’s easy to say it is a bolt-on. But that’s not always the case. Since turbo and superchargers require some know-how and tuning, they’re not a ‘true’ bolt-on. At least, you need the tuning, so you do not blow the engine. Yes, some car enthusiasts may call it a bolt-on.

Generally, it doesn’t matter what it means. As reiterated above, car enthusiasts have different definitions of a full bolt-on. One can call a car that he only changed the OEM wheels and tires to wider ones for the perfect handling and road contact a full bolt-on.

On the other hand, another fellow may only refer to a car as a full bolt-on only when there are several aftermarket parts on the car that doesn’t require fabrication and tuning.

How does a bolt-on work?

Bolt-on works like the OEM parts, and in most cases, it offers more benefits to the car owner, depending on why he wants it. For instance, installing wider aftermarket wheels and tires will offer better gripping on the road pavements, better handling, and proper wheel balance.

In terms of installing a cold air intake, the vehicle will have improved acceleration, increased horsepower, better sounds, better mileage, and increased throttle response. A bolt-on works by simply removing OEM parts and replacing them with aftermarket parts.

What Should You Know About Driving With Full Bolt-Ons?

Driving with full bolt-on parts is not bad. In fact, it offers more benefits than the OEM parts. You don’t necessarily need to install them when the old OEM parts wear out. For instance, let’s say you bought a new Toyota Corolla but don’t like the wheel designs or prefer alloy rims to the OEM ones. In such a case, you’ll need to get your preferred design and bolt it on.

You can all get a full bolt-on because you want to improve your car performance without any tunings or fabrications. You can also decide to get an aftermarket cold air intake, performance exhaust headers, aftermarket throttle bodies, or a cat-back exhaust system.

Technically, people go for a full bolt-on because they want to improve the car’s handling, sound, performance, or aesthetic feeling. Here are some full bolt-on lists you should know.

  • Cat-back exhaust system
  • The cold air intake system
  • Throttle bodies
  • Mass air meter housing
  • Performance exhaust headers
  • Aftermarket sway bars
  • Quality wide tires and rims
  • Comforting car seats
  • High-performance shocks

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)

Q: What is considered an FBO car?

The acronym FBO stands for full bolt-on. A bolt-on car is a car with modifications on a component or different parts that are carried out without any form of tuning and no cutting or welding processes involved. These parts or components can be exterior or interior car parts to improve aesthetic feeling, comfort, performance, or wheel handling.

Q: What mods are full bolt-on?

If you’re wondering what are full bolt-on mods, kindly note that there are several full bolt-on mods.  Here are examples of full bolt-on mods, high-performance shocks, cold air intake, wide or custom tires and rims, performance exhaust headers, mass air meter housing, throttle bodies, comforting car seats, etc.

Q: What does it mean to go full bolt-on?

When someone says he wants to go full bolt-on, it means he wants to do a total upgrade or replace several OEM parts and install (bolt-on) stock parts for a replacement. In this case, the upgrade doesn’t involve installing parts that involve fabrication, tuning, or cutting. It should be” plug and play.”

Q: How much HP do full bolt-ons add?

This depends on the component you’re replacing. Some bolt-ons may not add any torque or horsepower. However, there’s good news. A full bolt-on (depending on the parts replaced) can add up to 4% torque and 2% horsepower or more. For instance, the amount of increased horsepower the vehicle will gain when you ‘bolt-on’ a cold air intake depends on your aftermarket component.

Q: Do you need a tune with bolt-ons?

For the most part, full bolt-ons don’t need tuning to work properly. However, you may have to tune the engine or part to get the full capacities of the bolted parts.

Q: Is a cam considered bolt-on?

Some people may say a cam is a bolt-on, while others will say it is not a bolt-on. It boils down to a personal preference. But is it really a bolt-on? By redefining a bolt-on as any component or parts that do not involve any tearing, cutting, or fabricating as bolt-on, you can call a cam a bolt-on on your car if it meets these criteria. Unfortunately, it won’t meet these criteria on most vehicles.

Q: Is it a supercharger bolt-on?

Some superchargers require a bolt-on installation without needing any tuning. These types of superchargers and turbochargers are considered bolt-ons. However, as explained earlier, some car enthusiasts can still call superchargers that require tuning a bolt-on.

Final Words

At this point, you will no longer ask what is a full bolt on the next time you hear it. We’ve explained what it means, how it works, and everything you need to know about driving with a full bolt-on.

If you want to run a full bolt-on upgrade on your car and wondering what is a full bolt-on kit, scroll up. We’ve listed some of the common bolt-on parts you need to know.

Osuagwu Solomon

Osuagwu Solomon is a certified mechanic with over a decade of experience in the mechanic garage, and he has over five years of experience in the writing industry. He started writing automotive articles to share his garage experience with car enthusiasts and armature mechanics. If he is not in the garage fixing challenging mechanical problems, he is writing automotive repair guides, buyer’s guides, and car and tools comparisons.

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