What you need to know about upgrading your car in Nigeria

What you need to know about upgrading your car in Nigeria

Readers would learn about how to go about upgrading/facelifting their cars to a newer model year just to cut costs on buying a brand new car.

Why buy a 2020 year model car when you can upgrade your 2015 car to look just like the 2020 model? sounds like magic I know but it isn’t. In Nigeria, we call it “upgrade” but the global definitions of this process is called facelifting.

It became very popular in Nigeria when owners of the 5th generation Toyota started facelifting their cars to look like a Lexus.

Upgrading Toyota muscle to Lexus face

You would save a great deal upgrading a car instead of buying a new one

Automobile manufacturers themselves release facelifted cars as new models and honestly if they can do that, who are you not to?

Upgrading a car these days can go as far as also changing the interior components like the infotainment & steering, for example. It is just a way of cutting costs on buying a brand new car.

So how do you go about upgrading your car in Nigeria? I will show you in 6 simple steps.

1. Is your car running well?

You need to be sure that the overall health condition of your car is in order so that your facelift won’t be a case of an empty vessel making the loudest noise. Your car has to be properly fixed before you start planning for a facelift. Suspension, drive train, transmission and the other parts that make it a car.

2) Research if the upgrade you want is possible

The internet is your best friend, all you have to do is check if the year model you want to facelift your car to is possible. There is a simple hack to that, you just have to confirm that the car you want to facelift to is the same generation as your car.

The W212 was in production between 2010 till 2016 before a new generation was introduced. So you can upgrade your W212 from 2010 up to 2016 only just because they are in the same generation and they have the same chassis which makes all the replacement parts fit easily without any extra fabrication.

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Another way is to seek professional advice from automobile mechanics around because upgrades sometimes come with changes to your car that can’t be reversed. Should in case you want to sell the car to somebody that is not interested in the facelift then you might be on the losing end.


First note to take is to facelift one of the same generation

3) Know the extent of upgrade your car can take

There are different levels of upgrades that can be done to cars and you need to know this. Normally, the parts for an exterior facelifting would include the bonnet, front & rear bumper, fenders, front & rear lights but sometimes, some parts might not be needed for your upgrade because it’s the same you already have on the car.

Conversion- kits-for-a-Lexus-facelift

The exterior need carefully inspecting

So you have to look at pictures of what you want to upgrade to and know what you are buying and leaving out. Interior upgrading is very tricky when it comes to compatibility so you need to read forums to see people that have done it on the internet.

Please note that I am only talking about facelifting here, meaning that you are using parts that are existing on the newer model of your car not modified parts from an aftermarket parts manufacturer. You have to careful at planning for your facelift to exclude modified parts because that would just be against what you are trying to achieve.

Infotainment system upgrade on a Toyota Landcruiser

Upgrading a car meanin making changes to the interior as well

4) Where to get the upgrade parts

To get parts for your upgrade from Nigeria, you have only two options to explore.

I) You can order the conversion kits from an international online store that would take several weeks for shipping and delivery to you.

II) You go to a reputable car parts market in the country to buy the conversion kits.

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If you are buying online, you will see a guide that shows you if the parts you want to purchase is compatible with your car and you can make special requests by calling the distributors.

If you are exploring the second option, you should explain what you are trying to achieve with your upgrade so that they sell all you need to you. Also, you have to make sure you test all the electrical components like lights to make sure they are working normally.

You want to make sure you have no reason to return parts to the seller during the process of facelifting your car.

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5) You need professional help

Now that you have all your parts, remember that upgrade has nothing to do with the drive train of the car ( i.e the engine & transmission) so you will only be needing the services of a panel beater and an automotive wiring technician (re-wire) to install these parts on your car. A lot of fabrication and joining processes are needed for facelifting of cars so, you need to be sure to hand the job to professionals that you can easily communicate with because a lot of improperly facelifted don’t look good when you look closely at the joints. For example, the joint between the bumper and fender might not fit together well and this gives the car away too easily as facelifted.


Facelifting takes time and professionalism. For that, you need professional assistence

Upgrades normally shouldn’t take more than two days for a proper complete installation. There is no part of an upgrade that requires waiting time and please do not freak out when some cutting and joining processes start to happen on the car. It is very important that the new parts fit perfectly so the panel beater needs to cut away some parts that interfere with this perfect fit, told you earlier.

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6) Give the car a  blending makeover

Now that you have all the parts in place, you will notice that there is a colour variation especially because of the new parts fixed on the car. You have to give the car a total oven baking paint job that brings the paint scheme on your new car to unity in terms of appearance. Make sure it is an oven baking paint job so that you can enjoy the full potential of the new look.

You can also upgrade the upholstery of your car to have a totally new accent but to achieve this, it has to be done very professionally. You could get images of the newer model upholstery and do something similar to this.


Upholstery wears out over time, so you might need to think about changing it as well

That’s all you need to know about upgrading your car in Nigeria. The cost savings on a brand new car is very significant. The 2018 Lexus LX570 costs N65,000,000 brand new and you can upgrade your 2010 LX570 that is worth about N15,000,000 now with just N4,000,000 and save about N50,000,000 naira guess what ? Their engines are the same.


And your final result would be a pride to boast

When trying to buy a new model of your present car, your first option should be facelifting and do not lie about facelifting your car to anyone, it is not a thing to be ashamed of at all because remember, automobile manufacturers sell facelifted cars as newer model cars.