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Do you daily drive a sporty car like a Subaru WRX, a Toyota GR86, or a Ford Mustang? If so, then you have likely thought about modifying it at least once or twice. And if you have thought of modifying it, then you may have considered installing a bunch of race-ready parts.

After all, if certain parts are good enough for a race car, then they should be good for your street car, right? Not really. Here are five race car modifications that can ruin your daily driver.

1. Fixed-back racing seats

Recaro leather front seats in a Ford Mustang.
Recaro leather front seats in a Ford Mustang. | Matt West/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald via Getty Images

Racing seats can provide a lot more support than the stock seats in your car. They’re better bolstered and specially contoured to secure you under high g forces in the turns on a race track. When shopping for a racing seat, you can choose either a reclinable one or a fixed-back one. We suggest choosing the former.

As the name entails, a “fixed-back” seat is very uncomfortable because you can’t adjust the seatback. It keeps you in the same position at all times, which is not fun if you have a long daily commute. A fixed-back seat may be great for the track, but not so much for the street.

2. A roll cage and harnesses can cause more harm than good

A race car with a roll cage.
A race car with a roll cage. | Joseph Prezioso / AFP

You might think that installing a roll cage and seat harnesses will make your car safer than the manufacturer intended, but that may not be true. Race cars equipped with roll cages have the proper padding to protect the driver in the event of a crash. Also, the race car driver has a helmet for extra protection.

In a streetcar, a roll cage can become dangerous in a crash since you most likely don’t drive around with a helmet on and you may not have the proper padding on the bars. Additionally, while wearing race harnesses may look cool, they don’t offer the same mobility that a three-point seatbelt does, which can end up hurting you in the event of a crash.

3. A quick-release steering wheel is dangerous

Quick-release steering wheels have been quite the trend among enthusiasts in recent years. A quick-release steering wheel is an aftermarket racing steering wheel that can be detached quickly from its base. These steering wheels are used in race cars for easier ingress and egress in the case of an emergency, notes Jerry.

However, installing a quick-release steering wheel in your daily driver will mean uninstalling the airbag. As you can imagine, this ruins the intended safety of your car and you could be fatally injured in a crash.  

4. A really loud exhaust can get annoying

Visitors look at a aftermarket exhaust system.
Visitors look at an aftermarket exhaust system. | Jue/Getty Images

Installing an aftermarket exhaust on your daily driver can give it a nice tone and even unlock more horsepower. However, if the exhaust that you install is really loud, then it can get annoying very quickly. Listening to a loud exhaust on a race track might sound cool, but when you have to commute on the freeway at 70 mph and it’s constantly droning, then you’ll wish you never put it on.

5. Installing a stiff race suspension can be uncomfortable over time

Blitz suspension coilovers.
Blitz suspension coilovers. | Christopher Jue/Getty Images

Are you thinking about installing a set of race coilovers on your car? That’s not a terrible idea if you can get everything dialed in correctly. However, keep in mind that many coilover kits use really stiff spring rates that are meant for a smooth race track, not a pothole-laden street in the middle of Detroit.

As such, you may want to consider a set of lowering springs and matching shocks instead. Or just keep the suspension at the stock settings for the most comfortable ride.

Some race car parts belong on race cars

While there are plenty of aftermarket parts that can be successfully adapted to a streetcar, some of them can make it worse. These race-ready parts serve specific purposes on actual race cars and aren’t intended for your daily driver. If anything, remember to modify your car so that it complies well with your daily driving duties and is street-legal. That way, you can just get in your car and go, like it was meant to be driven.


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