The dos and don’ts of modifying your car

What you need to know about car modifications

Personalisation is a key trend in the automotive industry, but for those of us who want to invest in pre-owned cars rather than new ones, the modifications often have to be done ourselves. If you’re thinking of doing some car modifications to make your vehicle unique, here are some basic tips to ensure the value and drivability of your motor are preserved.

Do think about resale

Modifications that can be undone are generally preferable to permanent changes if you’re likely to sell your car in the future. Bolt on parts and larger alloy wheels can be removed to restore your vehicle to factory state – and if you don’t wish to pop the parts on your new ride, you can sell them on separately to make a higher return.

Don’t neglect practicality

When you’re deciding what mods to do to your car, the practical side of things isn’t generally at the forefront of your mind. But it should be considered. Lowering a vehicle, for example, might make the ride more sporty and improve the look, but if you’re tackling speed bumps and potholes on a regular basis, you may want to restrain the urge to go super low. After all, you don’t want to end up with unsightly scrapes.

Adding larger wheels can affect driveability too, as the handling of the car changes. Make sure the new wheels leave enough clearance from the body of the car, andbe prepared that the ride might feel somewhat different.

Do be aware of legal constraints

A popular mod to vehicles – especially family vehicles – is adding DVD systems so the kids can stay entertained on long journeys. It’s worth bearing in mind when making such car modifications that it’s illegal for images to be in view of the driver, so it’s best to leave it in the back.

Similarly, lights at the front of a car are required by law to show primarily white or yellow light, with steady red taking priority at the rear. Tinting the lights or adding other colours isn’t permitted, so it’s not worth rushing into fancy lighting displays only to find you have to remove them again.

Do get components fitted correctly

Upgrading your brakes isn’t a problem on the whole – as an important safety feature, better brakes can mean more efficient stopping ability. But be sure to get them fitted correctly by a trained technician – doing it yourself or paying less for a poor job can affect their overall efficacy and end up costing you more.

Don’t spoil with spoilers

Spoilers in rear wheel drive cars are used to create down-force which prevents oversteer. On front- or four-wheel drive models, they tend to be cosmetic. But improving the look of your vehicle with a spoiler is a delicate task. You’ll need to choose one without sharp edges and have it fitted securely in a way that doesn’t obscure your rear vision.

If you’re looking for a reliable pre-owned model that you can modify and make your own, visit Carwise Group, used car dealers in Harlow and Maidstonetoday.