If you have ever watched MTV’s “Pimp My Ride,” you will always be amazed by how great an old car has turned out after undergoing serious customization. It might have even inspired you to make some minor adjustments and add upgrades to your vehicle. Some little tweaks might not hurt, though.
But then your dreams and visions have become wilder. You are now thinking of going for full customization — as in you’ll give your used SUV or even a new car a facelift. This sounds like an exciting project, but do not rush to it; you will only end up feeling regretful. Before you go at it, there are some questions that you need to ask yourself. Here are some of them:
Is it going to be legal?
Engine modifications and customization efforts might be illegal, so before you finalize your plans, check first with your state or local government. Some states have federal and emission laws that should be observed. When your car’s engine is found out to be illegally customized, you might be denied specific certificates and registrations. Most customized car engines should be compliant with rules and regulations on air and environmental safety.
Will it affect my insurance?
Insurance will always be hinged on risks. Its value even depends on how much risk is involved. And when you modify your car, certain unknown risks also come with it. With this in mind, the insurance value can become much higher. When you get your car aftermarket parts, you are basically increasing your chances of accidents and untoward incidents. And this is something that your insurance company will also have to cover, thus an increase in premium or payments.
Will it void my warranty?
This is something that many new car owners should look into first. Some car brands and service centers do not recommend going to customization and tuning companies for the enhancement of certain car features. If these have been discovered, the carmaker or service center will have the right to deny any warranty claim. This is especially true if the damage is a result of the car modification procedure. If you are not so confident with this one, it’s better to leave your car as is or have it enhanced by an accredited tuning company (granted that the warranty still covers it).
Lastly, is it safe?
Car customization might be all about looks and aesthetics. It is also about performance. But you have to remind yourself that at the bottom of it all, safety matters. The customization that will be applied to your car should not compromise safety. Improper installation of new parts or substandard parts can affect the reliability of the unit, thus increasing your accident risks.
Always think things through
It is exciting to have a car customization project, but before you go for it. It would help if you thought things through. You need to see to it that safety is prioritized. With that, it helps that you talk to your insurance agent, car mechanic, and the dealership before doing or changing anything.