5 Good Reasons Not to Modify Your Car

Did you just buy a new or used car and are thinking about modifying it? Sure, that sweet Toyota Corolla you just bought would sure look good with a lowered suspension and some aftermarket wheels. But have you thought about just keeping it stock instead? We know, that’s boring. But here are five reasons why keeping the car like it was from the factory could be a better idea.

1. Modifications can hurt your car’s value, not help it

The lowered suspension of a modified vehicle.
The lowered suspension of a modified vehicle. | AFP PHOTO / OLI SCARFF

Are you thinking about adding an exhaust or an aftermarket intake to your Honda Civic in order to squeeze a little more power out of it? How about a supercharger? Either way, those modifications won’t actually help your car’s value when it’s time to sell it. The truth is that most buyers aren’t into modifying cars. So if you plan to sell your souped-up Honda Civic and think that you’ll get what you paid for those modifications, think again.

2. Some modifications can make your car unsafe

Although there are plenty of aftermarket modifications that are built to perform just like some of the factory parts, others are not. Unfortunately, there are many knock-off parts being sold on sites like eBay and Craigslist that are sub-par compared to other quality-made parts. That means that really awesome suspension sway bar or lowering springs could make your car a potential risk when driving down the highway if something were to break.

3. Modifying your car can be expensive

Visitors admire the souped-up vehicles at a modified cars.
Visitors admire the souped-up vehicles at a modified cars. | STR/AFP via Getty Images

Nowadays, a simple intake or exhaust can easily cost $500 to $1,000, depending on the brand and car application. If you want to buy a turbocharger kit or change the aesthetics with a body kit, then you’re looking at spending a few thousand dollars. That may be a drop in the bucket for some enthusiasts, but for others, that could mean spending most of their savings. If you fall in the latter category, we suggest saving your pennies instead.

4. Some modifications are illegal

A car drifts with smoke coming from the tires.
A car drifts with smoke coming from the tires. | Mihail Siergiejevicz/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

States like California and Colorado have been cracking down on car modifications lately. In fact, California doesn’t even allow enthusiasts to tune the ECUs (computers) in their cars anymore. That means that there are plenty of modifications that aren’t street-legal anymore, which can be a hassle when it comes time for your car to pass an emissions inspection. These illegal modifications can also get you into trouble with the law if you get pulled over.

5. Modifications can void your car’s warranty

A modified Porsche 997 Carrera S sports car driving on a rural road with a sunset visible in the background.
A modified Porsche 997 Carrera S sports car driving on a rural road. | Steve Hall/Future Publishing via Getty Images
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5 Car Modifications That Are a Waste of Money

If that car you’re planning to modify is brand new or still has a warranty attached to it, there’s a possibility that the warranty can be voided. According to Consumer Reports, “While modifications don’t necessarily void a warranty, an alternation that causes vehicle malfunction or damage can void warranties for related parts.” For example, if you install large wheels and tires on your car and they end up damaging the fenders or steering components, then the damaged parts may not be covered under warranty.

Ask yourself if modifying your car is really worth the time, money, and effort

Before you start spending a lot of your hard-earned money on modifications for your car, consider keeping it stock. While it may fun to add a little horsepower or some flair to your ride, it may not be worth it in the end.