From Legal to Illegal: Top 10 Modification Trends on Custom Cars for 2023!

Car aficionados throughout the United States modify their vehicles. Some are merely aesthetic, while others affect the automobile’s performance. There are numerous car modifications that are completely innocuous, but some modifications are likely to result in a ticket and fine because they are not street-legal.

Top 10 Modification Trends on Custom Cars for 2023

If you’re new to the idea of modifying your vehicle, you may be startled to learn that some cosmetic upgrades can get you in trouble with the law, but there are numerous performance enhancements that are perfectly legal. Here, we will examine a portion of both. We will begin with the permissible ones. (Of course, you should verify your state’s laws as they can vary.)

1. Suspension Upgrades

As long as you adhere to your state’s ride height adjustment limits, an aftermarket suspension system is completely lawful. Moreover, the right aftermarket suspension system can be an excellent method to improve the performance of your vehicle. When done correctly, your vehicle will perform much better, and you (or a qualified shop) can even optimize the suspension for the way you drive.

2. Turbochargers and Superchargers

The addition of a turbocharger or supercharger is another common performance modification. These devices “boost” your engine’s output by forcing additional air into it. In contrast to nitrous oxide, turbochargers, and superchargers are legal as long as they do not cause your vehicle to fail its state’s emissions test or safety inspection. Let’s examine California, the state with the most stringent vehicle pollution standards.

3. Sport Seats

Seat upgrades are common car modifications, whether you’re a beginner racer or just want to look like one. Sport seats look nice, and if you buy the proper ones, they may be far more comfortable and supportive than the original seat in your car.

Top 10 Modification Trends on Custom Cars for 2023

Sport seats might even assist you get a better driving position. Many producers of true racing seats warn consumers that they are not suited for street use, owing to the fact that racecar seats are designed to be used with race harnesses, which are not allowed as a replacement to a car’s factory seatbelt.

4. Painting

An obnoxious paint job may be a violation of good taste, but it is not a crime. In general, you can paint your automobile whichever you want, or use a vinyl wrap to achieve a similar effect, as long as it does not appear to be an attempt to imitate police or an emergency vehicle.

However, there are a few things to keep in mind when repainting your car. It’s expensive to have a car professionally repainted, and it’s a time-consuming chore to do it yourself.

5. Window Tinting

Some states have highly rigorous window tinting restrictions. In Illinois, for example, any front or side window tinting is illegal unless the driver has a proven medical condition. Many other states have rules against tint that is reflective or makes it impossible to see inside the car.

Here are Some Unauthorized Modifications

1. Nitrous Oxide

If you’ve ever watched a movie about street racing, you’ve likely heard at least one character refer to nitrous oxide, also known as NOS. Nitrous oxide’s popularity fluctuates, but there’s no denying that it’s an inexpensive method to add significant horsepower to a vehicle. Nitrogen oxide works by momentarily increasing the amount of oxygen in the engine, allowing it to burn more fuel and generate more power.

2. Underbody Neon Lights

Underbody glow kits seem to have had their 15 minutes of renown a while ago, but fashions always come back around. If neon lighting becomes popular again, remember that it is prohibited in many areas.

Top 10 Modification Trends on Custom Cars for 2023

In some states, adding blue or red exterior illumination to your car could be construed as an attempt to impersonate a police officer, while other colors are permitted. Since neon lighting can be a distraction for other vehicles, some states prohibit it outright.

3. Racing Harnesses

You may believe that racing harnesses and seat upgrades go hand in hand, but that is not the case if you want to maintain your car street-legal. Most manufacturers of race harnesses warn purchasers that using a harness in lieu of a factory seatbelt is illegal and puts you at risk in the event of a collision.

Even though a race harness is designed to hold you securely in position during a collision, an unfamiliar harness could hinder the ability of emergency personnel to remove you from your vehicle.

4. Modification of Emissions or the Catalytic Converter

When you start customizing your car for performance advantages, it can be tempting to experiment with your emissions controls.

Emissions changes are especially popular among diesel truck drivers, who enjoy disturbing onlookers and other vehicles by blowing massive plumes of smoke, a technique known as coal rolling. Tampering with emissions controls in any way, however, is banned across the country since it violates the Clean Air Act.

5. Excessive Ride Height Modifications

Ever wonder why someone would jack up a vehicle so high that they need a ladder to get in, or why someone would drop an old sedan so low that its belly scrapes the ground? Extreme height alterations to a vehicle, whether up or down, are illegal in most jurisdictions, while each state has its own set of rules.

Some states, for example, have laws that vary depending on the type of vehicle. That is, a truck or SUV can be raised higher than a sedan. Other states take the distance between the bumper and the ground into account.

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