The Dos And Don’ts Of Car Modification


All across the world, car modification has gained popularity and become the huge deal that it is today. There’s a subculture of petrolheads who just love to tweak and experiment with their cars, and the great thing about it is, there aren’t any rules. The things you do to your car are all down to your own individual taste, whether you want to spend a little on a better engine or a lot transforming your car into a completely different vehicle.

However, there are a few dos and don’ts of car modification that need to be considered for the ultimate result. Read on to learn more!

Your Air Intakes

Cold air intake is the place where a beginner modder can start with little worry. It’s quite straightforward, providing a free flowing air filter is used. When this has been properly installed the car will have more of an induction roar when accelerating hard, which can sound really cool. That being said, it’s worth bearing in mind that the noise can be anti social, especially if you live in a quiet area, or your car is low and you run the risk of sucking up debris. Bear in mind that some cars handle this better than others, so don’t do it on the wrong type!

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Your Exhaust System

The exhaust is usually the first thing petrolheads think of when they want to change their car up, however, you need to pay attention to the law. Depending on where you are, you may be forbidden from altering the exhaust system from that of the manufacturer’s in order to make it louder. You can still fit other engines, such as a lighter model, but if it’s louder then you will be doing something illegal. When your engine is done correctly you may be able to increase the power levels of your vehicle, and the sound may even improve. However, ignoring the law could potentially damage your car and get you in trouble at the same time. Feel free to add a new exhaust to up your horsepower, but remember that it must be quiet – you may want to add a silencer.

Your Car Entertainment

Adding car entertainment is great for families with kids, especially if you go on road trips and vacations in your vehicle. You could potentially upgrade your speakers, and install a TV/DVD system for your passengers. However, these images can not be in view of the driver by law. Installing a visual entertainment system is best done in the back.

Your Lights And Reflectors

The lights on the front of your car must have enough white/yellow light, and red for the rear. Having other colors may look fun but it is totally illegal. You shouldn’t tint these lights either, as you will reduce the amount of light emitted and the effectiveness and safety of them will be reduced.

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Your Wheels And Tiles

Changing your wheels for a better look and drive is great, but the handling of the car will change. Only fit wheels and tyres that have been approved by your car’s manufacturer. There must be space between the wheels and the body of the car when steering, so check this too.

Your Suspension

Some people like to play with the suspension of their car, adding stiffer springs, shock absorbers, and lowering kits. This can occasionally improve handling, or just add visual appeal. However, this is the sort of thing that should only be carried out by a trained mechanic. The components you are adding should never be altered, as this can make the car dangerous to drive.

Your Windows

When it comes to car windows, tinted windows are a popular choice. Many manufacturers offer these as an extra, but it’s possible to add them later on down the line too. When looking for

tinting for car window, you need to make sure you find a quality tint or service, and that you stick to the law. For instance, you can’t have the front windows or windscreen obstructed with tint, as it can impair your night time driving.

Your Brake System

Brakes are the most important safety aspect of any car, so upgrades to the brakes need to be taken very seriously indeed. It’s always best having a qualified professional make these changes for you, if you must make changes. Don’t be tempted to drive recklessly if you make changes to your brake system, even if you’ve made them sharper than before!

Your Number Plates

Having a personalized number plate added to the car can be great fun, but what’s the point if it’s worth so much more than the actual car? Having a cheap little run around and then adding on a personalized number plate seems a little ridiculous! It’s all down to the person though, so if that’s what you want to do, go ahead. Bear in mind that your plate can’t be obscured or misleading, or you may get into trouble.

Your Spoilers

Spoilers can actually have a use on certain cars, as they can be used to create a down-force on the suspension and prevent the driver from over steering. However, in sportier cars, it is usually a cosmetic addition. Whatever the reason is you’re adding a spoiler, remember that it can’t obscure your vision, that it must be securely fitted, and that it shouldn’t have any sharp edges.

A Few More Things To Think About

There are so many things to think about when you modify your car. One of the most important things you’ll want to look into, is how the modifications you have in mind will affect your insurance. Will you pay through the roof to make one small change? Will your insurance still cover you in the event of an accident? If you’re unsure, it’s always best to check. Never lie about it or keep it to yourself, or your insurance may well be void and you could have even more substantial costs to pay in the long run!


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About Sean Mackay

Sean writes about cars, golf and events going on in British Columbia, Canada. He is also the editor for The Automotive Review - an automotive publication bringing a West Coast flavour to its editorials.
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