Car modifications can vary from simple to extreme, but more often than not both the modifiers and the owners miss out on certain details. We look at ten such pieces of information that are left undiscussed.
First, the most common modifications,
The only contact patch with the road, tyres play a vital role in the way the car grips the road, rides over potholes, and also reduces speed when there’s an obstacle in the path. Now getting the tyres wrong is one of the most terrible things that a modifier can do. And sadly that’s what happens.
One must keep in mind that oversizing has its limitations, crossing which can lead to tyres rubbing against the wheel arches and even suspension components. Wrongly mounted tyres can have an effect on the grip, water wading capabilities, and also on the way the tread wears.
Upsizing, as mentioned above, has to be done keeping in mind the wheel gap — gap between the wheel arch and the wheel. As a rule of thumb, one should not exceed the original tyre’s outer diameter by 3 per cent.
Do your homework before making a purchase. Tyres with lower sidewalls are great for handling but the ride comfort and the ability to absorb road undulations go for a toss. Also, tyres with not so rigid sidewalls are great for ride comfort but high speed handling isn’t their forte.
The standard steel rims don’t look cool enough and you want something better looking? Well, switch to alloys. That’s the right direction but stay away from Chinese brands as the quality is questionable, and you must not take that big a risk, even if it helps you save a few thousand rupees.
Another thing that should be avoided is spacers. A lot of car buyers want their vehicle’s wheels to protrude, which might look cool to some, but can have adverse effects. Some modifiers want to use spacers to increase the width. It’s not only moving away from the mechanical originality of the vehicle but is also dangerous. Same goes for PCD adapters.
You can read about it upgrading your tyres and wheels in detail here.
It isn’t uncommon to have your vehicle’s headlamps upgraded. Better bulbs mean better visibility. Same goes with auxiliary lamps. Now apart from being considerate and not getting them fitted higher than the vehicle’s headlamps, powering the extra lamps is key.
Re-routing the original wiring, splicing wires, etc. will lead to failure — both electrically and in terms of warranty coverage. Get it sorted professionally, with a relay with connections straight from the battery, without touching the original connections.
LED Light bars
While a lot of off-road-related modifications made to road-going vehicles are deemed illegal, LED light bars should ideally be banned. Because while they are a boon off the road, if used on the road, these can potentially blind the oncoming traffic.
Cover them when not in use, like one would in case of auxiliary lamps, etc. Also, never switch them on. Also, like lights they also need separate connections from the battery, because modifications to the current ones can possibly void your vehicle’s warranty.
Bull bars might be offered at various dealerships and accessory stores, they can quite be the worst enemy to a car’s chassis in disguise. If they are being used on a ladder on frame chassis, they are still fine, but on monocoques they can misalign the chassis in case of an accident. Also, positioned straight ahead of the bumper, bull bars can reduce the chances of airbags opening at the correct time, too.