Modifying your car is almost an Aussie tradition at this point, from a new set of wheels for your Hyundai, to a lift kit and CB radio for your 4x4.
In fact, many aftermarket parts are designed to improve your cars looks, handling and performance, squeezing out the little extra that owners really wanted from the factory.
But is it worthwhile to modify your car?
What are some of the effects that it has on your day to day driving or even your warranty?
In Australia, you might be surprised to learn many vehicle modifications are restricted or even banned. This comes about due to a number of scientific, safety and societal issues. For example, it’s illegal to remove the catalytic converter from your car as it causes excess emissions. It’s also illegal to lift or lower your car beyond a certain amount as it effects the suspension and can make the car more dangerous to drive. The final example is how it’s illegal to make your car louder than (approx.) 96db due to noise pollution, which is a societal issue.
Because of this, many of the modifications that you see on Australian cars have to be safety certified before they go into production by the government. Which is why there are limits to the type and extent of modification you can do to your car.
The other main concern when modifying new cars is the warranty. Even though many modifications have little to no effect on the car itself, many manufacturers will void warranties for a small modification as they did not certify it. This is partly due to manufacturers trying to reduce any issues with their vehicle, but it is also a way to try and reduce warranty work (saving them money).
For owners of Land Rover Defenders, adding wheel spacers is one of the easiest and most common modifications as they allow the vehicle to turn better in tight corners, a common complaint from owners. Even though this modification doesn’t make a big difference to the vehicle itself Land Rover would claim it voided your driveline warranty, which effects everything from the engine and gearbox to the wheel bearings.
If you are concerned about voiding your warranty it is best to just wait until it has expired. Then if you’re interested in getting a little bit more from your cars looks and performance, modifications are a great way to personalise your car to your driving.