From simple aesthetic mods such as tinted glass to all-out performance modifications that claim to give your car Hollywood-worthy performance and power, there seems to be an endless number of different car modifications or “mods” available out there for people to customise their car to their liking.
While they may look good, many car mods are both costly and completely useless. It has even been observed in studies that car modifications actually lower the value of your car. So before you get to pimping out your car, read on to find out what the most useless car modifications are and why you need to avoid them.
(Related story: Car Modifications That Are Illegal In Singapore )
First of all, spoilers and wings actually do improve performance when used correctly. The science behind them is that they make the car more aerodynamic by “spoiling” drag and turbulence, giving the car better grip. On a sports car, these are completely sensible and functional.
On a city-going sedan, however, you are actually creating drag and reducing your performance, as well as increasing your fuel consumption due to the weight. As with most things, moderation is key. Spoilers might look cool and add to performance, but overly-large ones are undeniably just a waste of money.
Fake Hood Vents (Hood Scoops)
People buy cheap, fake stick-on vents, or scoops, to attempt to make their car look like racing models. Real vents serve a functional purpose: they improve airflow and increase heat efficiency and air conditioning. Fake hood vents are simply pieces of plastic that are glued to a car and serve no practical purpose.
Unfortunately, they often look incredibly out of place, especially on your typical urban commuting vehicle. Not only do they tend to fly off while you are cruising down the highway, but they also ruin your paint job, leaving you with a much heftier bill than the initial cost of the fake hood vents. Save yourself some embarrassment and steer clear from these.
Bigger is not always better when it comes to wheels. Every car has a recommended wheel size, which you can find in your owner’s manual. While larger rims and thinner tyres might look more aesthetically pleasing, you might be inadvertently reducing your car’s performance and fuel efficiency because of improperly-sized wheels.
If your wheels are too big, you can damage your chassis. Thinner tires are also more prone to punctures and pressure issues, which can compromise your safety. To be safe, do not go two inches larger or smaller than your car’s recommended wheel diameter.
Real body kits made for racing cars serve actual functional purposes. They decrease the car’s weight, making it more aerodynamic and fuel-efficient. However, they serve no practical purpose for your typical car.
Body kits on regular cars only add to the weight of the car and lower the car to the point that speed bumps may be a hazard. So while extravagant body kits look amazing, you might want to consider the reduced fuel efficiency, increased drag, and poorer aerodynamics.
Ridiculously loud pipes
Loud pipes may sound cool but you will definitely annoy other people with the noise in a country as small as Singapore where the roads are so close to HDB blocks. In addition, an excessively loud exhaust is basically a one-way ticket to drawing attention from the LTA.
Fake Performance Badges
Sticking a fake performance badge on your everyday sedan will not turn it into a high performance vehicle. It is not only easy to spot a fake performance badge, but people are more likely to feel pity rather than admiration for the owner.
Somehow, people still buy these badges thinking that they can fool others into believing that they are driving a higher-end model than they possess. They reflect poorly on the owner and are frankly embarrassing. Instead of slapping on these fake badges, learn to love your car for what it is and you will save both your money and your dignity.
Car modifications with both form and function
Now that you know what car modifications have no functional use and also will burn a hole in your wallet, check out what car modifications are actually worth your money.
(Related story: Car Modifications That Are Actually Worth Your Money )
At the end of the day, car modifications are a great way to express your personality and make your car your own, so you can do whatever you want within LTA’s guidelines. Just be sure that you are getting your money’s worth and are not spending on modifications that reduce the performance and value of your car, or cause you more embarrassment than pride.