Adding modifications to cars is not a new subject; people have been doing it for decades. Depending on what modification you choose will also depend on how much you are willing to spend and whether the modification serves a purpose.
There are many different reasons for wanting to modify a car from those who are doing it to make the car look more appealing, or to breathe new life into a tired, dated carto those who modify their car to add extra features such as a Towbar, which do affect performance but enable the car to carry extra weight such as a caravan.
Whilst a Towbar is traditionally used to transport a large vehicle such as a caravan, it can be also used in the event that another car needs to be towed away.
Another common use of a Towbar is the ability to attach a small trailer that can be used to transport goods that you don’t want inside your car. Things such as rubbish bags, car parts and furniture for example.
It is important to make sure that if using a Towbar, you follow the exact guidelines for your car, you can usually find this in either your car manual or on the car manufacturers website. In addition to this, never try to tow something over the maximum weight for both your car and the maximum Towbar weight. Towbars are split into classes, which each class carrying a different max weight. Find out what is compatible with your needs before going out and getting one installed.
Another feature that many car enthusiasts like to add is extra space for their car. There is a really simple way to do this, one of which is mentioned above but a mini trailer is just one option. One of the most popular options is a bike rack, also known as a cycle carrier. Cycle Carriers are a great choice for people or families who like to go out cycling far from home. They are also removable and therefore only need to be attached when being used.
The downside to a cycle carrier is that it adds extra weight to the car and also greatly reduces the aerodynamics of the car. An average cycle carrier weighs between 6-11lbs.
It is highly recommended, that if you don’t need to use your cycle carrier for that particular journey as you are not taking your bike, simply don’t take it with you. Leave it at home. An empty cycle carrier creates wind resistance, causing a drag effect which is why your car then consumes more fuel to compensate; in some cases the fuel consumption is as high as an extra 10%!
There are many other ways in which a car can be modified and the following examples are typically used when trying to increase the performance of the car. Although it is important to note that these modifications can in fact void your warranty!
Cold Air Intake
A cold air intake is probably the cheapest way to improve performance without breaking the bank. A cold air intake replaces the cars factory fitted airbox and filter, with an alternative cone shaped filter, typically accompanying either a plastic or light metal, such as aluminium intake tube. The reason people choose to do this is to provide the engine with more air, which in turn boosts the power of the engine and helps increase fuel efficiency.
A word of warning though, you will need to mount the new intake higher under the bonnet, as accidental moisture intake can result in something called hydro lock, which will seize up your engine and stop it from working. This is very difficult, if not impossible to repair and may result in you permanently damaging your engine.
Tyres are extremely important to cars, without them you’d be stuck! Keeping them well maintained is an absolute must, not only for safety, but also to enhance performance. Properly inflated tyres and good tread will help you consume less fuel and will make the car easier to control in hazardous conditions such as ice and water on the roads. You can also upgrade your tyres to either summer or winter to suit the seasons. Tyres are also relatively easy to change and upgrade, provided you follow the manufactures recommended fittings.
Whilst modifying your car to increase performance is a great idea if done properly, you run the risk of decreasing value, especially if one of the modifications doesn’t quite work out the way you expected. Some modifications can also make the car look less appealing to potential buyers and can even put off insurance companies from providing car insurance. Before you chose to do anything, research it well, especially if it is a permanent modification.