Snapshot – Modifying a car is tricky business. Done right, carefully chosen and executed modifications can actually make your car look like a million bucks. Performance too can be enhanced with intelligent modifications done by experts. If amateurs take control though, all hell can break loose. Modifications that are actually means boost a car’s looks and performance can actually result in the exact opposite happening. Here are five sure fire ways to degrade your car’s performance.
Massive wheels such as the one on this monster Jeep offers tremendous street presence, and that’s about it. Dig deeper and you’ll find that people who own such Jeeps have to take an expensive upgrade route, which includes longer drive train components, longer suspension and a slew of other measures to just keep the vehicle road worthy. Then there are factors such as the handling dynamics and ride quality, which usually go haywire as the manufacturer tolerances go for a toss after modifications.
Low profile tyres
Low profile tyres look very good on cars, but beware. You cannot take on rougher Indian roads with low profile tyres, which could damage the alloy wheels on which your car’s running. Damaged alloy wheels means expensive replacement costs but that’s not all. Imagine this. You’re happily doing about 100 Kph on a road and a pothole springs up from nowhere. You brake hard and try your best to evade the pothole by changing direction.
However, some part of your car’s wheels hits the pot holes. A low profile tyre means two things in such a situation – a messy flat and rim damage. If something like this happens in the middle of nowhere, it isn’t a pretty picture. Accidents can happen when a tyre suddenly loses pressure and this is situation that’s best avoided. Also, you driving style will have to be more ginger if you are low profile tyres on less than perfect surfaces.
Body kits that sit too low
Body kits that sit low make your car look oh-so-sporty, but when it comes to real world conditions, can leave you with a fender bender. Body kits, especially the ones that supplement the front and rear bumpers, and side skirts are usually the first parts of the car to scrape larger than usual speed breakers. By adding such accessories, you are playing around with the approach, departure and breakover angles that the automaker designed the car with, keeping Indian roads in mind.
K&N/free flow air filter
K&N free flow air filters are great for cars that don’t have to deal with dusty, grimy conditions. In India though, dust rules the roost in most parts. Dusty roads mean that your stock air filter needs to work harder to filter out impurities that are heading directly into your engine. What a K&N/free flow air filter does is, it allows more air inside, which combines with fuel to give the engine a small, extra burst of power and torque. The K&N or any other free flow air filter allows more air by lowering the standard of filtering. This also means that smaller particles that your stock filter would protect your car’s engine from will be allowed to go through in a free flow filter. This can reduce engine life, and as a consequence performance too.
Lowering your car
America is the land of low riders for a reason. Most parts of that country’s urban areas have good tarmac, which is forgiving for lowered cars, known as low riders. In India though, lowering your car is a sure fire recipe for scraping every speed breaker in town. This scraping also endangers vital parts on the car’s underbody such as the engine sump. Worst case, a bad scrape could give you a busted engine sump that also means a blown engine if you don’t react fast enough. Lowering your car in Indian conditions is simply not worth the pain, especially if you already drive a low slung sedan or hatchback.