Car modifications consist of two broad categories including cosmetic and performance oriented. Both have their merits and demerits which is why it is imperative that car owners fully understand the purpose and long-term impact of each car modification. Some car insurance clauses may not allow the car components to change so, the car owner must factor in the insurance as well. Some car modifications also require technical knowledge, so, it is best to let an expert install them.
Here is a detailed guide focusing on do’s and don’ts of car modifications that every car owner must know about to avoid any inconvenience and make the most of them.
Understanding Car Modifications and their Impact
Understanding the distinction between car repairs and car modification is important as well. Moreover, car repairs cannot be classified as car modifications, for example replacing a broken clutch made by one brand with another brand’s is considered as repairs. If a high-performance clutch is installed instead of a regular clutch, then this is considered a car modification.
Numerous car modifications can be done throughout the vehicle to enhance its outlook, performance, or functionality. Some car modifications, for example, getting a chrome engine oil filter may be minor but they impact car insurance claims. So, to be able to avoid any problem, one must determine what changes will prevent you from claiming insurance in case of an accident. Here are some of the modifications that can invalidate your insurance claim:
- Air filter upgrades
- Alloy wheel fitting
- Body kit amendments
- Brake replacement
- Bucket seat/racing seat installation
- Dashboard alterations
- Exhaust system changes
- Light and reflector alterations
- Light changes
- Number plate changes
- Rear and side tinted windows
- Rollbar or roll cage upgrade
- Specialized paintwork
- Spoiler additions
- Sunroof installation
- Suspension changes
- Transmission or gear alterations
- Turbo or supercharger installed
- Wheel arch amendments
Get a Specialist Car Modification Insurance
To counter the insurance issue, it is recommended that you check with your insurance policy provider about the modifications you are planning for your vehicle. They can inform you if the premium cost will be more or if they can accommodate you after the modifications. This usually depends on the risk of theft and the risk of accidents after the modifications.
Car Modification Practices that Must be Avoided
The following few practices must be avoided to ensure that car owners do not encounter any problems while adding modifications to their vehicles.
Do Not Make Modifications without Expert Help
Some car modifications that change the key components such as the engine or even the structure of the vehicle require expert knowledge and skills that a car owner may not possess. If the car owner makes a mistake while doing it themselves, they can cause more damage rather than positive impact. For example, if you decide to replace the standard car brakes with high-performance brakes but fail to fit them properly then it is a safety hazard.
This is a risk that every car owner must avoid, instead, they must seek professional help if they want modifications in their vehicle. It may add to the overall expense of the modification, but it is worth it. Mechanics can make sure that the modifications are done correctly, and they can also inform the car owner in case the modifications have any damaging consequence to the resale value or performance.
There are some minor modifications that car owners may be able to do themselves such as in-cabin amenities or re-working the paint of the vehicle. However, it is recommended that a mechanic is hired for any car related job to save time and additional expense.
Car Modifications that Must be Avoided
Some car modifications are distracting for other motorists on the road and can cause inconvenience. Therefore, it is best to avoid the following car modifications:
Exposed Neon Lights: Some vehicle owners install neon lights inside the cabin or in the underbody. If other motorists can see the glow from the lights it is acceptable, if the neon lights are exposed then they can be distracting.
Dark Tinted window: If the tinted windows are too dark, they will impede the driver’s vision increasing the risk of accidents.
Removing Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF): This filter helps avoid dangerous particles from entering the engine instead they carefully filtered and released through exhaust pipes. If the filter is damaged the replacement is expensive and many mechanics offer an alternate by installing a pipe that will release the toxic fumes in the air without filtering them. This is an environmental hazard so, it must be avoided.
Car owners must make responsible decisions when it comes to car modifications to avoid inconvenience. It is best to conduct research and fully understand the use, impact and benefit of every modification before installing it. The above-mentioned key points can help car owners adopt best practices for car modifications.