Modifying your car can go two ways. The car can end up looking incredibly unique, making it stand out from the crowd of default-looking cars, leaving them looking boring and plain against your vibrant and stylish modifications. On the other hand, it could end up making your car look ridiculous, leaving car-enthusiasts and non-enthusiasts alike, laughing as you drive past in your auto that looks like you let your 8-year-old nephew make all the design decisions.
If you want to paint a clearer picture in your head of just what that looks like, here are 5 modifications that may leave your car looking (or sounding) more stupid than stupendous.
1. Wheel camber
Negative wheel camber shouldn’t be a thing, but it is. This is when modders want to make their ride look like it’s been sat on by a giant and the wheels couldn’t take the pressure. For some reason, making your car look like it’s struggling to stand up like a new-born deer is cool?
Wheel cambering is used in racing to increase the car’s grip when taking corners, however, the camber is only about 3 degrees. Modders on the other hand like to add 10 degree cambers to their wheels because they want their tyres to wear out prematurely.
2. Lowering suspension
There’s a fine line that marks how low is too low. The image above is a fine example of it being too low. Of course, moderately lowering the suspension will look quite nice, but it’s when the wheels begin to disappear under the arches and speed bumps become impassable barriers that you know that you’ve gone too far. Imagine driving with the constant fear that the next road you go down will have a speed bump or that the bumper will scrape the incline in the multi-story car park that you’ve already entered. Also, a lot of after-market spring sets can harden the suspension, making your journeys rough and uncomfortable.
On the other hand, when done correctly not only will it look good, it will also slightly improve your aerodynamics and increase fuel efficiency and performance.
3. Making the car loud
The ultimate jerk move in car modding. It’s one thing to make your car sound nice, but making it just loud is a pointless exercise. Perhaps some people believe that attaching some exhaust mods to their 2002 Renault Clio will fool others to believe that it can perform the same as a sports car. But of course, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, meaning some people will see nothing wrong with waking their neighbours up at 1 AM when pulling into their drives. Translating to “hey everyone, please look at me!”, the loud exhaust mods should be avoided and replaced with something less disruptive. After all, you can have a fast car that doesn’t produce a deafening noise all the time.
Commonly bought from eBay, these stickers often do more harm than good to your car’s appearance. On one hand, you have the butterflies, minions, stickman family, playboy bunny silhouette, tribal decals, paw prints and eyelashes. Not to forget, the mother of all that is awful, the transformers’ autobot logo.
Of course, more acceptable and fitting stickers exist, ranging from nice graphic designs, racing stripes and so on, but I feel that it’s more common to see it done badly then it is to see it done well. If you’re modding your car, try to leave out the Nürburgring sticker.
5. DIY paint jobs
It may be tempting to cover up that paint scratch you have, or paint your alloys black, but unless you know what you’re doing, don’t. On the rare chance that it does look good, the paint may not last and begin to flake off 2 or 3 months down the line. Also, you may end up getting paint spray on the windows, the body or the tyres or brake pads. It’s a high risk, high reward scenario, with the possibility of saving hundreds of pounds if you’re successful.
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