There was a time when car modification and customisation were the preserve of an elite few. Car modification was open only to either trained mechanics or those who had learned from skilled technicians and had an encyclopaedic knowledge of how cars worked. In the digital era, however, the secrets of the internal combustion engine (and all the other myriad systems at work under the bonnet of the modern car) are laid bare for all with the will to learn and the passion to persevere.
If you’re looking to make aftermarket modifications or enhancements to your vehicle, whether the results you seek are performance related or aesthetic in nature, you can do just about anything with the right tools. And by the right tools we don’t just mean socket wrenches, spanners, pliers and jacks. We mean the digital tools that will connect you with the information and compare aftermarket parts you need. Here we’ll look at some of the most popular car mods of 2019 and why the right parts can make all the difference.
The Most Popular Car Mods Of 2019
The internet has made it not only possible but easy for enterprising car enthusiasts, drifters and day track addicts to make whatever mods they wish in their own time on their own terms. Some of the most popular of the year include;
- Fuel upgrades- High-performance fuel pumps and larger injectors to enhance performance
- Brakes- High performance demands more responsive brakes from grooved or perforated pads and larger disks.
- Spoilers / exhausts- Enhancing both the look and performance of your vehicle, spoiler mods are ever-popular among the performance-conscious.
- Bodywork- With a plethora of new body kits on the markets, savvy enthusiasts can save a fortune by fitting their own.
Modifying Your Engine- The Caveats
In the digital era, your car’s engine is as much mechanical as it is digital. Many performance-oriented drivers have sought to make changes to the way in which their engines work without hardly needing to pick up a spanner.
Remapping or “chipping” the engine’s control unit (ECU) can change performance parameters to afford drivers a more customised or higher-performance driving experience. Remapping the engine allows performance-conscious drivers to overcome limitations on power and torque put in place by manufacturers.
Be wary, however, when implementing these mods. While not illegal they can invalidate your warranty as well as your insurance policy. And if you don’t trust the manufacturer or supplier of your modded ECU you could spend your every moment behind the wheel worried about the possibility of a catastrophic error.
Which Mods Are Illegal In The UK
When researching possibilities for mods online, it’s also important to know which modifications are and are not legal in the UK. This can be a tightrope as you may find tutorials for mods which, while perfectly permissible in other countries are against UK law. These include;
- Dark window tints
- Some aftermarket reg plates (and you’ll always need your originals to pass your MOT)
- Under-car neons
- Stretched tyres (not only illegal but potentially really unsafe)
Your Car Mod Is Only as Good As The Parts You Use
Even if the modification you have in mind is perfectly legal and of minimal risk on paper, the safest mods can be rendered ineffective or dangerous by dodgy parts. At best, poor quality aftermarket parts can compromise your vehicle’s look or performance. At worst, they can make your vehicle a liability on wheels.
No matter how reliable the information or tutorial you use, no matter how sure you are of your mechanical skill and no matter how much you’ve done your homework, the wrong parts can turn your modification into a logistical nightmare.
The Importance of a Parts Retailer / Distributor You Can Trust
The ability to source high-quality aftermarket parts, or better yet to compare parts online, is absolutely essential for those who want to make reliable and high-performance modifications to their vehicles. While sites like eBay, autotrader and Gumtree are all potentially useful resources, it’s worth keeping your eye out for the new kids on the block, too.
Compare Parts, for example, is a relative newcomer but one that has already made big waves in the modification community. With a huge range of over 50,000 parts in stock, it is a fantastic resource made with the needs of the serious car enthusiast in mind.
Whatever kind of mod you hope to make to your vehicle, sites like these provide you with a plethora of options to help you make an informed choice.
With the right parts and the right information behind you, you can make the modifications which will help you to get the best out of your vehicle.