The automotive industry is one of the most rapidly growing industries in Pakistan. Unsurprisingly, so is the number of automobile enthusiasts and their exposure to car culture. “My car is perfect the way it is!” said no car enthusiast ever. Even though everyone enjoys the honeymoon period right after buying a car and they want to keep it as neat as possible, however, a true car enthusiast can’t help himself from experimenting with his car. Although there is seemingly little to nothing wrong with adding your own personal touch to your car, there are a few aspects that you must know before you decide to modify your car.
First of all, you must familiarize yourself with the car. Every car is built and wired differently. Things such as throttle response, brake-force, gear ratios, suspension & chassis rigidity, the power to weight ratio etc. are all unique to each car. Therefore, you must drive the car for at least a couple of months before thinking of modifying it.
Furthermore, you must keep in mind that modification is going to affect your vehicle’s resale value. Even though, ‘spending money on performance enhancement leads to the devaluation of the car’, is a fact that defies logic but it’s a fact nonetheless. It is important to realize that the majority of people are casual motorists who just need a reliable vehicle for daily commuting. On the contrary, car enthusiasts are unique individuals who care less about reliability and more about the thrilling experience every time they hit the road. To comply with a “casual-owner” dominated market, the sensible decision would be to only apply bolt-on upgrades. Parts such as larger diameter catalyst-back exhaust, less restrictive air-intake, wider wheels & tires, high-performance suspension etc. are all bolt-on upgrades that can actually enhance the car’s performance and require little to no alteration to the original bodywork. With that said, you should always keep the car’s original parts. This way, when you decide to sell your car, you can have the original parts bolted back on and sell the upgrades in the market or online. This will not only help preserve your car’s resale value but also pay back a decent percentage of the money that you spent on upgrades.
Also, you must know that if your car is brand new and you modify it right away, you may end up losing your warranty. After-market upgradation can often lead to various kinds of mechanical or technical issues, at which point, the car manufacturers refuse to entertain the owner, which can result in a crippling devaluation of the vehicle. This also holds true in case of any cosmetic customization that might have caused any alteration or damage to the original bodywork or frame. Therefore, if you wish to modify or accessorize your vehicle, it is advisable to do it once your warranty has expired.
On the contrary, if you buy a used car and decide to modify it, it is important to plan your modification in advance. Many enthusiasts go all-in and end up heavily modifying their cars without considering the availability and compatibility of spare parts. This results in mechanical or technical failures which ultimately leads to hefty maintenance charges and general displeasure. To avoid such problems, it is important for you to be well-informed about your car, and the best way to do so is by joining various online forums and communities. These platforms will enable you to identify the parts that are compatible with your car. Moreover, you must do a thorough survey of the market to better judge the quality of parts and negotiate the price with sellers so that you can better plan your car’s modifications that fit your budget.
Another rather common trend among Pakistani car owners is the cosmetic modification. Although the ‘ricer’ culture in our country is almost non-existent, people are still prone to visually customizing their cars to stand out among the crowd. Some enthusiasts make the mistake of fabricating the original body-work or replacing the paint-job of their brand-new vehicles, which is not only impractical, but it can also diminish the car’s value. Therefore, to have your car look different, you can apply bolt-on parts such as front and rear bumper extensions, side skirts and a trunk spoiler, which are easy to install and do not require any alteration. You can also install aftermarket headlights and tail-lights, but remember that they should be compliant with the battery to avoid any electrical failures. In the case of the paint job, it is advisable to not have the new car repainted. Instead, you can have your car wrapped in the colour and skin of your choice, which will not only allow your car to look apart but also preserve the original paint and value of your car.
Last but not least is the regular maintenance of your car. This aspect is equally important for both stock & modified car owners. You must regularly check your car’s mobile-oil, coolant, gear oil, brake fluid and battery fluid to make sure that the car is working properly. Furthermore, you should have your car serviced and waxed on regular basis. This will not only prevent your car’s paint from fading but will also protect the car’s bodywork and frame from oxidation. For interior care, you should have your car detailed on a quarterly or semi-annual basis to preserve car accessories like the seats, door panels, dashboard and other interior components. You should also cover your car with a parachute car cover to protect it from dust.
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