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3 Common Mistakes When Modifying Your Vehicle

Change is good–and this applies to your vehicle as well. Of course, there’s a limit to how much you can modify your vehicle. Do a bit and you can probably get away with it. Do too much and you won’t recognize your vehicle–or worse, fail to drive it again.

Here’s a case in point: How far should you go to adding more horsepower to your car’s engine? If you’re not careful, you’d be surprised with a mountain-full of maintenance (and repair) bills slapped on your face. And if you’re lucky, your vehicle will vibrate like a road-drilling machine that sounds like it can dismantle the earth’s molten core.

So yes, change is good–but make sure you can back it up with solid knowledge and a couple of hefty piggy banks that your wife doesn’t know–in case things don’t work out according to plan.

Here are some common mistakes you need to avoid to make your life easier:

Going overboard with the ‘juice’

Like we’ve said earlier, adding more horsepower to your car engine can be very tempting, especially if you’re really into speed. However, the question is: are you willing to pay more, not just for the modification itself, but also on regular maintenance?

Also keep in mind that adding more juice requires updating your other car parts to keep up with all that ‘extra power’. So expect to upgrade your vehicle to heavy-duty brake pads, better-cornering suspension systems, and stronger tires.  And they’re just the basics.

Avoid going too much for the looks

Yes, we know one of the main reasons why you want to pimp your ride is to impress girls (or boys). And that’s just the wholesome part of it (we’re aiming for PG-13 ratings, here). Whatever reasons you have, getting a major facelift–like adding flared skirts bigger than your mother’s balloon skirt–can affect your vehicle’s performance.

For instance, lowering your car’s suspension to the point that you can’t distinguish where the chassis meets the concrete is a headache in the making. Not only will your tires and suspension suffer the brunt of all that friction, but you will need to spend a lot on scrapes, floodwater, and dirt getting inside your car’s interior. Now that’s a nightmare.

Adding too many “interior” modifications

It’s one thing to add a couple of exotic carpets, a snazzy steering wheel, or even seats with premium leather from time to time. But taking out your seats to make them lighter, reshaping your dashboard to look like Batman’s,  customizing seats to fill in that extra space on the sides, or even using incompatible seat belts can mean higher premiums in your car insurance.

What’s more, even helpful modifications can be more expensive for your car insurance. Adding car ramps or lifts for passengers with limited or no mobility may be practically sound for those who need it, but insurance companies see these “retrofits” as added expense.

So, the moral of the story?  Think twice before you make those modifications on your vehicle. They might look good on paper, but not all of them are worth it–especially if you’ll spend more than your vehicle’s price value. Make those changes only if it’s what you really want–and you’re sure you won’t be disowned by your family once you make them.

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