08 Feb Viva Auto Repairs: Vehicle Modification
Most automotive manufacturers today produce a wide range of car models, each with its own range or options available. This helps to provide a car that will be just right for the vast majority of the population. Even with this huge diversity each of those cars is built with some compromise within it. Due to this compromise there are some people that need their car to be more specialised for particular purposes.
This could be because they need a car to tow trailers, caravans or boats regularly, or maybe they spend a lot of time in extreme terrain as they explore our great nation. Maybe they are like me, and want to use the car on the racetrack or in other competitions. Without getting a custom built car, that would probably be unaffordable for most, the only alternative is to modify a vehicle that is close to what they need.
These modifications could range from the very minor like adding mudflaps or extra lights, right through to extreme driveline, suspension & brake modifications. The original manufacturer spend millions of hours & dollars researching & developing all the systems on their cars so that they not only perform exactly how they are designed, but also work together as a whole to give smooth & seamless motoring.
For this reason, if you feel the need to modify a vehicle, it really pays to seek out an automotive repair centre that has previous experience in modifying your make & model of car. With so many computer systems that are linked to each other in a car these days, you may find that certain modifications may actually make the vehicle less suitable for your use than it was originally. For example an engine modification, could end up making the transmission shift very erratically or harshly, unless that too is modified & reprogrammed to suit. Stability control, brakes & even steering systems could also be compromised.
Some changes can be made to enhance performance without having detrimental affects but these are usually restricted to simply making the engine breathe easier by reducing restrictions within the intake & exhaust systems. These days even trying to upgrade shock absorbers & springs, brake pad material or even minimal changes to tyre sizes can create new issues in some of the more refined vehicles, so research and care needs to be done before you spend what could large sums of money on modifications, only to find that even more needs to be spent to return it back to original.
Due to these possible side effects from modifications, most Road traffic authorities will require full engineering submissions before even considering if they will allow a vehicle to be altered in anyway. Vehicle made before the advent of multi computer system controlled vehicles will often be given more leeway but will still require prior approval, before being allowed.
As you can see, if you have a vehicle that you feel needs improvement it is imperative that you do your homework, and seek out a workshop with the right experience to make your project as pain free as possible.