If you’re a real gearhead, you can’t have a car that’s just like everyone else’s! That base model just won’t do it! You’ve got to throw in a turbo, get a sweet new paint job, hell, throw some racing harnesses in that bad boy!
But, be careful, because there are a lot of ways you can completely ruin your ride by modding it the wrong way! Luckily, we here at Ideal are going to help you avoid these common mistakes. These are the most common mod mistakes that are just so wrong. Let’s go!
Adding Power and Nothing Else
Of course, we all want more power, but if you aren’t careful, you might end giving your car more horsepower than it can handle. If you add heaps of extra power without any additional modifications, you’re going to have some serious regrets.
The transmission will start to struggle, the chassis will torque, and all you’ll get is wheel spin. That is, until you actually get traction. Then you’re probably going to want to stop, and chances are that your factory brakes won’t get the job done.
So, maybe think about throwing in an intake and an exhaust along with that turbocharger. Just remember, once you start adding serious power, other modifications are necessary. Otherwise, you’ll be left stranded with a shiny trophy sitting on the side of the road.
And if you’re going to shell out the dough to boost that power output, don’t get a bunch of cheapo parts to compensate, they ain’t going to work either.
Buying Cheap Parts
Now, not all cheap parts are crap. But those eBay specials probably weren’t put through the same testing that certified manufacturers require. And, as you can imagine, they tend to break easier, a lot easier.
So, buying cheap parts might save you some short-term cash, but in the long run, most of the time cheap parts are going to end up where they belong… in the trash! Just wait and save up and get the good part. Pay for the quality and don’t cheap out. Your ride’s going to feel a whole lot better, and it’ll definitely end up helping your wallet out.
Another financial nightmare to avoid? Modifying your car without a plan.
Not Having A Plan
So, why do I need a plan? Can’t I just toss a massive exhaust on my whip and listen to that sweet rumble? Well, let’s say you take your stock car and modify it. Looks good, right? But, if you haven’t planned out your build, things can get out of hand real quick! Don’t be that guy.
The key is to plan out what you want to do before you go overboard without a life jacket. So, make a list, check it twice, and don’t overdo it.
And when you’re making that list, please make sure to pay attention to the order you want to get your mods in.
Modifying in the Right Order
Yeah, I know this seems pretty straight forward, but trust me, I’ve seen this mistake all too often. If you want to put in some new badass racing seats, take your damn carpet out first! Why? Because if you want to remove that carpet later, those seats are going to have to come right back out.
Save yourself the headache. Do the seats and the carpet at the same time.
But also remember, if you do plan on taking out your factory seats, you may be sacrificing some safety, and the same goes for your steering wheel!
Changing Seats and Steering Wheels Removes Safety Features
All cars come with built-in safety features. Unless, of course, you drive a Ford Fiesta. Just kidding, even that deathtrap still has airbags and seatbelts. And all airbags and seatbelts are built to fit the seats and steering wheels from the factory! So, if you go out and switch the seats, the seatbelts won’t work as well as they were designed to.
And it gets even worse if you change out the steering wheel. The stock one is designed with an airbag in the middle to help protect you in a crash. Change it out with an aftermarket quick-release one, and you lose a bunch of protection against a crash. So, while it might look super stylish, it’s just not safe.
Another one-way ticket to the hospital is changing your wheels or suspension without getting an alignment.
Lowering and Changing Wheels Without an Alignment
Getting an alignment even on stock wheels and tires can be helpful. So, you should definitely be getting one if you have aftermarket wheels. An alignment essentially lines up your tires perfectly with the road. And if you’re running on an altered suspension setup at a different height or on different wheels, your tires won’t line up with the road perfectly, causing your tires to wear out in a matter of seconds. Well, not seconds, but faster than they should.
And that’s the best case scenario if you don’t get an alignment, necause without an alignment, these mods won’t just wreck your tires, but other suspension parts too. Nobody wants to drop a bunch of dough on new wheels and suspension just to see it all wear out in a few thousand miles.
And even if you do get an alignment to save your tires, it really doesn’t matter if you got the wrong tires in the first place!
Cheaping Out on Tires
Buying the wrong tires can lead to some pretty devastating results. Tires are the absolute most important modification to any car. So, don’t buy the wrong tires. How do you know which tires are right for your car? Well, it says it right on the tire itself!
Sure, there’s a lot of gibberish with numbers and letters on them that no one understands, but forget all that. There are numbers and letters that are actually important. For starters, you’ve got to have the right size tire, between the width sidewall height and the wheel diameter.
Of course, they have to fit your wheels and fenders, but to get to the more important things you’ll have to read deeper, starting with the load rating. Essentially, it’s a number ranging from 0 to 279, the higher the number the more weight the tire can handle. So, yeah, you can fit Miata tires on your Mustang, but chances are they won’t be able to hold up to the weight of that Mustang. You do that and you’re looking at a blowout for sure.
Another tire marking that’s super important is the speed rating. Your mom’s Camry is probably slower than your AMG, unless you ignored the first mistake on this list and dropped a massive V8 in that Camry. But the lesson here is that you shouldn’t take the stock tires from a Camry and slap them on an AMG. Again, that’s just a great way to have a blowout.
Also, be careful of your tires’ max air pressure. Pump them up too much and boom! Sayonara! Basically, don’t mess with your tires unless you know what you’re doing. Do your research and don’t cheap out, because that could cost you some serious dough or even your life.
Another way to seriously mess up your funds is by misreading trends.
Modifications are expensive. Just imagine dropping hundreds, if not thousands, on modifications only for them to be out of style in a few years or even a few months. Don’t believe that things go out of style? What about chrome spinners? What about Lambo doors? Fake hood and roof vents? I think you get the idea.
There was a time when these were considered cool, a dark time, but it was a time. Nowadays, people understandably call them ricer. So, if you decide to modify your car in a trendy way, just understand that it could go out of fashion just as fast as it came in.
If you go out and spend a ton of money on a trendy mod, and then it goes out of style a week later, you may not have the money to replace it, or even get it taken off! Don’t get stuck with the world’s ugliest chrome spinners. Understand that trends are trends.
Another mod that could send you into a pit of regret is gutting your car.
Gutting Your Car
I know, I know, gutting your car sheds a bunch of weight, and I want to go fast! Not to mention, your car will handle better and brake better too. So, what’s the downside of gutting your car? Well, you’re pretty much throwing all practicality in the trash.
In a track car? Okay, it makes sense. But in your daily driver? Trust me, you’ll prefer that you didn’t. Imagine taking out the back seats, the carpets, the door panels, and the headliner. What you get is a tin can where you hear every rock and stone hitting the car. And you have a bunch of sharp edges that’ll make you look like Freddy Kreuger every time you try to get out of the driver’s seat
And when you eventually get tired of your bare metal bucket? It’s going to be a nightmare trying to put it all back together. Good luck with that.
It doesn’t take an expert to ruin a car by stripping everything out with a crowbar, but there are definitely some mods that should be left to the professionals.
Trying Something Out of Your Pay Grade
We all want think we’re garage mechanics, until you totally botch a modification and have to hang your head while a real mechanic cleans up your mess. Just swallow your pride and go to the mechanic’s the first time!
Go ahead and change your own oil, but if you threw a rod, don’t try to pull out your motor to replace the bearings unless you really know what you’re doing. Just spend the money at the mechanics. Trust me, there are just some things that are better handled by the professionals.