While modification of automobiles is a big culture in many international markets, Indian rules are quite strict about it. Yes, there are legal ways to modify your vehicle, but it involves a long process of getting your car tested by ARAI or getting the Registration Certificated updated from the RTO. Not doing so will get your car instantly seized by the cops. Here are ten such modifications that are illegal without informing the authorities in India.
Turning it into a Limousine
Any modification that involves altering the structure of the vehicle is illegal. Making a limousine out of a regular car by stretching it means that the car has to be cut in half and then stretched from the middle. This structural change can be dangerous if not done properly. If your car is converted into a limousine and if it is being used it on public roads without getting it certified by ARAI, it can be seized instantly.
Making it smaller
While most people go for the stretch job for their vehicles, there are many enthusiasts who shorten their vehicle’s length to gain more attention on the road. Again, shortening a vehicle is altering its structure and is extremely dangerous. It is mandatory for every vehicle selling in India to get an ARAI certification and altering the length of the vehicle means one has to get it re-certified by the government authority.
Customising the vehicle in any form by changing the way it looks or putting a different body on it is illegal. Customising the vehicle for making a replica can get your car seized immediately. There have been many instances when the cops have seized customised bikes and cars in India.
Convertible cars are quite expensive in India. Taking the easier route, many people get their vehicle’s roof chopped off to get a convertible look. While it may look good, it is illegal as it changes the structure of the vehicle and makes it weaker. All the convertible cars have a strengthened body that makes them much heavier than their solid-roof versions.
An external roll-cage is placed on vehicles to make it more rugged and save the occupants during a rollover. Such modifications are mostly done on the hard-core off-roading vehicles. The exoskeletons increase the weight of the vehicle and makes it top-heavy that can topple it easily on regular roads. While it is perfectly legal to drive such cars at private events, they are illegal on public roads and can be seized by the police force.
The Indian government has set a loudness limit of 82 decibels for any vehicle’s horn. All the stock horns in the vehicles comply with this norm. However, aftermarket horns and pressure horns are extremely loud and cause noise pollution. If you have installed an aftermarket horn, always check for the decibel rating. Pressure horns are not legal in India and have been banned from the market.
Just like the horns, the exhausts also have a maximum decibel rating and if the exhaust is too loud, your vehicle can be seized. While many highly acclaimed exhaust manufacturers provide street-legal exhausts, most of these aftermarket performance-oriented exhausts are extremely loud and are allowed to be used only in a private area, like racing tracks.
All the vehicles that are sold in India are homologated by ARAI and the weight is mentioned on the Registration Certificate. If you modify the vehicle in a way that its weight changes by more than 2% of the original value, and the cops check it, be assured that your vehicle will be seized. The weight increase of decrease can happen due to alloy wheel upgrades, performance body parts like carbon fibre bonnet and similar things.
There are tuning boxes, ECU remaps and ECU swaps available in the market that can increase the power of your engine. However, it is illegal to drive such cars on public roads. Pumping more power to the car’s engine can be dangerous and can get your car seized. If the engine is much higher powered than the stock, it can put extra pressure on the chassis and can cause big problems. If the cops find out about the higher engine output, they will definitely take the vehicle away from you.
Engine swapping means putting a newer engine or a more powerful engine in the vehicle. While it may sound like fun, it is illegal. Apart from the safety of the vehicle, many thieves sell the engines separately and if the cops find out that the engine number of the vehicle is different from the one mentioned on the RC, your vehicle can be seized for good.