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Modifying Cars Why Do You Do It

Modifying Cars: Why Do You Do It?

You can find advantages and disadvantages to every choice we make, including the idea of car modification. You’ll find plenty of people out there that love to create changes to their rid to personalize the look or feel of it for driving, aesthetics, and more.

Most people modify their cars, although we don’t usually think about our activities in that way. When you slap a bumper sticker on the back, add a band sticker to your rear window, or pay for window tinting, those are all mods.

Anything you do to your vehicle that is different than how you received it means you’ve entered the world of modifying cars.

Some people modify vehicles to make them more accessible to match a person’s abilities or living needs. The only difference between a minor and major change is that one typically focuses on visual aesthetics while the other impacts performance.

Modifying Cars: Why Do You Do It?

Car modification involves changes made to a vehicle. These alterations are introduced to stock makes and models to alter their performance, appearance, or both. Owners can change how it drives, looks, or make functional changes that introduce improvements over the original design.

Today’s car modification options are typically broken into three generic categories. Each one provides a different outcome to consider for the vehicle, often based on the driver’s preferences or requirements for it when getting behind the wheel.

Performance Modification:• This modification category upgrades a car’s performance.
• Although most efforts are made to boost handling, power, or speed, a growing number of enthusiasts are also looking at everything from fuel efficiency to air filter performance.
• You can change the engine, exhaust system, suspension, brakes, tires, and other items in this category.
Functional Modification:• These changes are the ones that add specific functions to a stock vehicle.
• A spoiler or a roof rack are common upgrades you’ll see to a car’s exterior in this category.
• It could also involve a sunroof, air conditioning, navigational system, or internal Wi-Fi using a cellular hotspot.
• The only qualifier is that it wasn’t there before ownership.
Aesthetic Modification:• Although some functional mods could fit in this category, the investments usually focus on making the vehicle look unique.
• Any changes made to the appearance, either externally or internally, fit into this category.
• It can range from a custom paint job to a body kit that offers more stability or aerodynamics.

Since the number of passenger vehicles is increasing continuously globally, more drivers are leaning toward car modification to stand out from everyone else.

Even if the urge isn’t to get noticed, these mods can make a car feel like an extension of a person’s home. That makes it feel like a place of rest, even if you’re commuting to or from work throughout the week.

What Are Today’s Most Popular Modifications?

Although drivers can change their vehicles in multiple ways, some modifications are more popular than others.

If you have a van, it makes more sense to trick it out as a mini RV than it would if you were driving a Dodge Journey.

When you own a Journey, it will make more sense to turn it into a cargo hauler or add roof and bicycle racks to take advantage of the vehicle’s durability and size.

That’s why you’ll find some popular upgrade options in each category.

◼️ List of the Best Performance Mods

When drivers don’t like how their vehicle performs, these mods can change a stock car into something better. These are the choices that you’ll find getting worked on the most within the modification industry.

  • Turbocharger. This modification can significantly upgrade the engine’s performance for any vehicle. It improves the torque delivery and peak power to achieve a better acceleration profile.
  • Supercharger. With this mod, drivers can get an even higher level of performance than they would with a turbo.
  • ECU Mapping. The Engine Control Unit (ECU) is responsible for controlling the engine’s air-fuel mixture. Most automakers map this ratio well below a vehicle’s full potential to maintain safety. A quick change to it can significantly enhance how it operates.
  • Nitrous. An injection kit is popular because it multiples the power an engine can achieve for a short time. This option is usually considered illegal for street cars, so check local laws before investing in its installation.
  • Transmission. Upgrading this component to improve the gearbox can maximize a vehicle’s performance. It can enhance acceleration, maintain safe RPMs at cruising speeds, or create better uphill or downhill driving opportunities.
  • Brakes and Suspension. The brakes handle the stopping power of a vehicle. It is often necessary to alter the shoes or master cylinder when changing the speed curve. The suspension can help the car adapt to its new performance by keeping it stable and comfortable when behind the wheel.
  • Exhaust System. Free-flowing exhaust improves a car’s performance, adds a signature sound, and can reduce greenhouse emissions. Even a simple air filter adjustment or a muffler mod is enough to create results in this category.

◼️ List of the Best Functional Mods

Did you know it is cheaper to install your own functional mods than it is to have the automaker or dealership do it for you? When your car needs some extra support for your driving needs, these are the popular upgrades that are getting installed on almost every vehicle today.

  • Parking Sensors. This upgrade makes the entire parking process more manageable, especially when you need to do some parallel work. They guide you by offering information about whatever obstacles could be in the way. Some options today can even automatically park your vehicle.
  • Air Conditioning. If your vehicle doesn’t have air conditioning, adding this functional feature can make the driving environment more comfortable.
  • Navigational System. A satellite navigational system (GPS) is helpful if you don’t have it already installed. It allows you to find the best route to your next destination, find traffic information, and discover potential hazards, accidents, or delays that could interfere with the experience.
  • Car Phone. Although most drivers have a smartphone to use, new laws prohibit people from holding an electronic device. That means this upgrade can make it easier to communicate with others because you can have a hands-free way to pick up a call, dial out, or send a voice text.

Additional functional mods that you can see on vehicles today include different lights, hand controls, wheelchair accessibility, roof racks, and bicycle racks.

Before you install a functional mod, you’ll want to review the legality of your upgrade to avoid getting in trouble. Window tint can be especially problematic, especially with darker shades or products applied to the windshield.

◼️ List of the Best Aesthetic Mods

The best aesthetic modifications for today’s vehicles change the car’s appearance in unique ways. This area is where most drivers get started with their mods because they tend to be the most affordable.

Here are the popular choices you’ll find in this category that are worth considering today.

  • Decals. Decal work is growing in popularity because it offers infinite customization options. You can put on flames, your favorite anime characters, or anything else you want. Even entire body wraps are a possibility. They’re easy to install, remove, or replace so that you’re not locked into a specific look.
  • Paint. If you want something more permanent, a new paint job can give your car a fresh look. It’s often a single-stage enamel adjustment that’s made, but you can also work with anything from airbrushing to pearlescent products.
  • Lighting. If you install a new lamp cluster at the front or back, the look can be more appealing for your vehicle. Some drivers love the underbody neon mods, although they aren’t always street legal.
  • Body Kits. These products are extra panels that can get installed on a car. They change the size, shape, or appearance of what you’re driving. This upgrade can include anything from bumper alterations to spoilers to wheel fenders. You can even find new side skirts or hoods in this category.

Interior modifications are included in this category. You can find everything from upholstery upgrades to leather added with a single investment. Drivers even have the option to change their dashboard, update cabin electronics, or remove seating.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Modifying a Car?

Since every vehicle modification comes with a series of potential advantages and disadvantages, it’s important to weigh both sides of the investment before proceeding.

Although some mods look fantastic, the changes made to the car might make it undrivable on city streets and highways. The last thing you need is an expensive violation!

Here are the general pros and cons to review before starting a car mod. Specific advantages or disadvantages apply to each situation, so you’ll want to perform your due diligence across the board before finalizing your decision.

List of the Pros of Modifying a CarList of the Cons of Modifying a Car
• Most car modifications make minor improvements that make an existing vehicle more valuable to own.
• If you add an aftermarket free-flow exhaust or air intake, you could increase the engine’s horsepower.
• Most minor changes to a vehicle seldom negatively impact the car’s value.
• You can use car modifications to improve the look and feel of a vehicle.
• Items like tinted windows or larger wheels can make everything more visually appealing, which can help it to keep depreciation losses to a minimum.
• Some mods can enhance the safety and protection features that come in the stock vehicle.
• That means you can increase your risk of walking away from an accident with this investment.
• After getting modded, the improved performance of a vehicle can give you the acceleration profile needed to pass safely, get through an intersection, or prepare for merging on the highway.
• Interior upgrades can make the vehicle more comfortable to use, especially when the cabin needs to support long road trips.
• You can use this option to modify the components of an older vehicle model so that it offers modern performance values.
• Car modifications often void whatever warranty could be on the vehicle.
• Since you’ll pay upwards of $3,000 for some coverage types, you’ll want to think carefully about how much gets put into the vehicle before modding it.
• Some car modifications can damage the vehicle.
• This issue often occurs when using an oversized wheel and tire combo or changing the stancing to a severe angle.
• Manufacturers won’t cover repair costs if this happens.
• Some mods aren’t deemed legal, although the laws are variable across different states, provinces, regions, and countries.
• If you drive to a place where your legal mod is considered illegal, you can still receive a violation.
• In California, all parts must be CARB-approved to be considered valid.
• If you use poor-quality parts to complete the vehicle medication, the safety of the car could get compromised in unpredictable ways.
• Lifting a vehicle can cause the center of gravity to change, changing the vehicle’s stability at low speeds to increase rollover risks.
• Lowering the suspension on a car can cause the body panels, exhaust system, or other components to be more susceptible to scrapes and damage.

What to Watch Out for with Vehicle Modifications

The primary issue you’ll want to consider if you’re looking at vehicle modifications today is the expense you’ll face.

Some modifications are relatively affordable. You can install window tint for less than $500 in m most locations, and a new seat cover is likely less than $50.

If you want to install a spoiler, change the engine dynamics, or modify the exterior with new panels, the cost can rise to several thousand dollars. Since some mods can damage the vehicle, you can end up hard-parking the car sometimes because it is undrivable.

The reason why car modifications are addictive is that you’ll often think of several more that you’ll want to add once the first one is finished. You can develop a habit of constantly tweaking your ride, which can be just as detrimental as voiding your warranty because of the changes getting made.

Simple Car Modifications You Can Make Today

If you want to try some simple car mods today to see if you like this idea, here are some of the best options I recommend.

1. Vehicle Hitches

When you have a hitch attached to your vehicle, you can take advantage of its towing capacity. Each car has a different rating that you must respect to avoid damaging your vehicle or the trailer or item you decide to bring along while driving.

Your automaker likely offers a hitch that can get added to your vehicle through your dealership. If you don’t want to manage that hassle, I recommend the Buyers Products Universal Fit Hitch Frame Mount. It’s designed to help you carry a cargo rack, bicycles, or towing a second trailer when allowed.

It adjusts from 47 to 77 inches for convenience, supporting a max gross trailer weight of 3,500 pounds.

2. Brake Kits

If you want to mod your vehicle with safety in mind, the braking system is one of the best places to start. I love the Power Stop K2291 Front and Rear Z23 kit. You receive carbon fiber brake pads with drilled and slotted rotors to enhance your car’s performance.

It has a lower dust profile than other pads and rotors, even when compared to the original parts. What I appreciate is the fact that the dual-layer rubberized shims can handle high temperatures and provide noise insulation benefits.

3. Stereo Upgrades

With the exception of the 1980s Ford luxury cars that were produced, most stock stereo systems are trash. Although you can listen to music or your favorite shows, are you getting the best sound profile from your speakers?

Does your vehicle still use the knobs and dials for the radio instead of a touchscreen infotainment system?

The Vanku Android 10 Double Din car stereo delivers multiple upgrades to consider in one investment. You’ll receive a support backup camera, Wi-Fi, GPS, and up to 64 GB of storage to manage your apps.

It pairs with your smartphone quickly for hands-free calls. With multiple supports, steering wheel controls, and a built-in amp, this investment makes a lot of sense.

One More Thought on Vehicle Modification

My father and I worked together to modify the stereo system in a Nissan extended cab pickup when I was young. Although it was only an EQ modifier, the audio system was greatly improved after that effort.

That truck would eventually become my first vehicle. I got to change the paint on it, upgrade the suspension, and throw in some subs in the back.

They say you never forget your first love. That truck was mine! Even when I was in a serious accident, the upgraded safety structures we put into it gave me the protection I needed to walk away from a head-on collision at over 60 mph.

Some people like doing car mods for fun. Others think about the practical benefits of these investments. When I think about it, those moments working with my dad are some of my best memories growing up.

We all have our reasons for modifying cars. What could be yours?


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