Everyone in the world wants their car to stand out from others, and the best way to do that is with some…

Everyone in the world wants their car to stand out from others, and the best way to do that is with some aftermarket mods. However, things can go really wrong when modifications are done just for the sake of it. Whether you take your car to a customization shop immediately after buying it or try to give it a makeover a few years into owning it, the question is: are you getting it done properly? More often than not, people don’t realise the impact of these changes on the lifespan of their vehicles, and aftermarket shops are happy to avoid that conversation. But don’t worry, here’s a guide on what you shouldn’t be doing to your car!

Steering Wrap
Steering wraps are commonly bought accessories for cars. Originally created to offer a better grip to the driver, the accessory is now more of a fancy interior element. With all those furry, velvety, and wool finishes, a badly done steering wrap can land you in serious trouble. In an emergency, you need to be able to have complete control of the car, and proper grip is crucial. However, a steering wrap that compromises this grip can lead to you losing control!

However, in the years since these wraps came about, car manufacturers have started designing steering wheels more ergonomically, allowing you to grip the wheel better. Steering wheel wraps should be a thing of the past. If you still prefer a wrap, a genuine leather one or even a suede cover can improve your grip on the wheel.


We don’t say spoilers are bad, but they can be when installed without proper research on how they will affect the car. Spoilers are designed to increase downforce acting on the car and give you stability while cornering. However, this applies to spoilers designed in the wind tunnel after many hours of testing. What you see in your neighbour’s old Alto isn’t. Many people get aftermarket spoilers installed on their cars without doing any research, and more often than not, these spoilers negatively affect performance by adding weight and drag. This increases fuel consumption and does nothing but make you look silly.

Big Rims and Tires

Broader tires and bigger rims improve the handling and stability of the car. A bigger set of tires accounts for better grip, and reduces braking distance, not to mention increases the visual appeal. But these things can only be achieved when the tire size has been increased proportionately, and if the added weight is marginal. When you install high-performance tires, they have thinner sidewalls which result in a bumpier ride. Additionally, since the rubber is not engineered for economy, it reduces fuel efficiency. The bigger diameter also means fewer rotations, reducing acceleration while increasing top speed.

Nine times out of ten, the stock size from the manufacturer is the best compromise of performance, economy, and reliability. When upsizing, it would be advisable to go a maximum of one or two sizes up from stock. Of course, this will also depend on the car you’re driving.

One of the best enhancements for the performance of your 4×4 SUV off-road is better tires. But again, make sure it is a tire that will fit your wheel arch and doesn’t scrub the insides when at full lock. If you plan on upsizing, you may even need a lift kit, but this will affect the dynamics of your car. Find what works best for the sort of usage you have!

Body Kits
A well-designed body kit aims to improve the performance of cars by making them more aerodynamic. Yes, it not only enhances the aesthetics of the car but is also a performance modification that can be done without hampering the mechanical setup. But, as said earlier, things done without proper knowledge can be unsafe. For instance, body kits do enhance aesthetics, but if designed without proper research, they can increase drag and hamper performance. Also, most of the body kits available in the market are built using fibreglass, which is cheaper than carbon fibre and is less tensile. This can shatter into pieces in the event of a crash, making it expensive for users to fix the part every time after such an incident. When getting a body kit, make sure airflow to critical components like radiators and intercoolers isn’t obstructed!

Bullbars are important safety barricades for off-road vehicles, protecting the body from getting damaged during off-road adventures. But this accessory has managed to creep onto normal cars, perhaps because it contributes to a butch look. Mind you, this accessory is not advisable for normal cars, as they are heavy, reduce the performance of the car, and may interrupt the deployment of airbags, making the cars unsafe for passengers. And, mind you they are even terrible for pedestrian safety.

Exhaust and Air Filters
Aftermarket exhausts and air filters are good mods to boost performance in cars. The aftermarket exhaust system usually frees up the power of the engine, allowing exhaust gases to escape faster with the complete combustion of fuel and air. We do not say that the exhaust systems designed by car companies, given as stock, are bad, but sometimes manufacturers use alternative materials like mild steel, which can deteriorate with time. But in an aftermarket exhaust, you get an option to choose between an exhaust made from aluminized steel or stainless steel, which ensures it lasts longer than a stock exhaust system. But the downside of aftermarket exhausts is their cost, design, sound, and installation without proper research. When you go for an aftermarket exhaust, you know that with improved performance, it also improves the visual appeal of your car, which is why you push yourself to spend more money to get a bigger exhaust with polished muffler tips, which are heavier and degrade the performance of your car. Secondly, if designed oddly, it might have crush bends, which restrict the airflow, leading to slow exhaust of gases.

Similarly, air filters also help you get better performance, as they allow more air intake for the complete combustion of fuel, accounting for more peak power and torque outputs. But if they are installed without proper research, it can get worse. As we know, air filters suck in more air, and the air intake is not controlled, which is why at times they get clogged with debris. Mind you, if debris gets in, it can cause a lot of wear and tear. This is not the case with modern engines, as the Mass Air Flow (MAF) sensor can detect these kinds of situations, but in older engines, this can be worse.

A clear vision of the road ahead is the most important thing while driving. Manufacturers have already started offering LED setups, which are not only durable and efficient but also illuminate the road better. But some of us do not find it sufficient and end up installing extra lights. We don’t say this is bad, as long as they are not too bright and dazzle the oncoming driver. If the aftermarket lights you install are not well calibrated, putting an extra load on your batteries can be dangerous and a reason for electronic failures. Additionally, people also tend to install underbody lights, flashy lights, and strobe lights in their cars, which do not add any illumination to night driving but instead, put an extra load on batteries and distract oncoming drivers as well.

Therefore, we believe that your car lights are sufficient when paired with the surrounding street lights. But if you don’t find them sufficient enough, you can get aftermarket lights installed after proper research about their brightness and power consumption.

That said, we do not say that aftermarket modifications are bad for your car, but they need to be done with proper research. If not, they not only reduce the safety and performance of your car but are also a potential hazard for other road users.

Disclaimer: Images used here are just for representation purposes only.