If you're the kind of person that seeks to get the most out of your car, you've probably thought of modifying it in some way at some point - but some modifications really do more harm than help.
Modifying a car can range from mild to wild - everything from changing your wheels and tyres, to going flat out with a complete engine and gearbox transplant. Within the broad spectrum that is car modification, there are are obviously some really great mods to do, and some mods that just aren't worth the time, effort, or money. Some modifications even make the car behave a little worse than before, so let's get into five of our least favourite items.
Especially common among younger enthusiasts is the idea that going to a louder, unmuffled exhaust system is a good idea. Some people do it under the impression that it brings more power, while others do it simply for the style. In the vast majority of cases, all you really succeed in doing is making the car noisier while not really producing that much more power. For proper performance gains, you actually need to remap or retune the engine's control unit to take advantage of the better exhaust gas flow - and often times there is a practical limit to how large a pipe can be before the gains are negligible.
Being more of a remnant of the stance-centric era of car modification, stretched tyres are something that isn't as common nowadays but still comes about every now and then. Stretched tyres are, as you can imagine, tyres that are too narrow for the wheel they are mounted on. A mild amount of stretch isn't a bad thing, but going too far can cause all kinds of issues: the tyre no longer performs and flexes the way it should, and there is a very high risk that you can de-bead and dismount a tyre if you hit a large enough bump.
Stiff suspension seems to be equated with better handling, but this rings true only to a certain point. The reality is that soft suspension is stable suspension, and while the car may not feel like it responds as quickly, it is also far more forgiving if you are a little rough with your inputs. A stiffer suspension setup also makes your car more likely to be unsettled by bumps and undulations on the road, which is something you will face pretty often unless you drive on track most of the time.
Most cars look great when they're a little lower, but once again you can overdo things by going too far. Going too low with your ride height can introduce other issues with the suspension geometry that can make the car handle in unpredictable or unpleasant ways - it just may not be immediately obvious to you at the time. Many popular performance cars will have geometry correction kits to accomodate the change, so it is important to do your research before you simply lower a car.
This is something that's a bit of a grey area as it varies from car to car, but aggressive tyres can sometimes be more problematic than helpful. It's true that you can get some seriously sticky rubber for your car - most companies will have an extreme option, some being close to semi-slicks, but there are downsides you have to consider. These tyres wear out relatively quickly compared to tyres designed for mass market cars, but more important than that is that they usually need to be warmed up before they perform properly and have pretty awful wet weather performance. If you're spending more of your time on the road, it pays to be a little more conservative with your tyre choices - and ideally, match it to your suspension setup as well (though this is something we'll explain another day).
This kind of goes without saying, but buying fake items is never going to be a good idea. You simply don't get a level of quality or finish that you get with a proper original product, but there are some things that you simply do not fool around with. Fake steering wheels may look great installed in your car, but they can bend or even snap with a little too much pressure. There are plenty of fake racing harnesses on the market - would you really trust them to hold you in if you faced an accident? And of course, there are fake brake discs and calipers that are simply too cheap to be real - would you have faith in them to slow you down or stop you consistently?
We can think of plenty more modifications that could be classified as "bad" or "questionable", but these are a few that really seem to be common among Malaysian car enthusiasts. Let us know what you think in the comments on our Facebook post.