Worst Aftermarket Car Investments

Sports car

When it comes to making your car unique there are options, my goodness are there options.  There are solutions for everything depending on how deep your pockets go. Now, when it comes to maintaining your car’s value and performance there are aftermarket add on’s that might actually do more damage in the long run.


It is undeniable that maintaining your car’s service appointments is the best way to maintain your car running smoothly into the future. The reliability and longevity of your vehicle depend on how well it is cared for.  Tires, oil changes, ensuring that the fuel you use is the correct type for your car and not abusing of it, like any piece of machinery, it needs to be oiled and well maintained for it to work.


If you think that buying aftermarket parts for your car are going to increase its value it may or may not, here we discuss some purchases that end up costing you more in the long run than they are worth.


Wheels –

If your car comes with some standard “mickey mouse” tires and you decide that you want something edgier, something to enhance grip or performance or can allow for bigger and cooler rims.  What it can do, is reduce your car’s overall performance, comfort and gas efficiency.  Lets say if you have a coupe and want some really slick pirelli wheels that have some really nice 20” rims… this means that the amount of rubber between your rims and wheel base is minimal, looking very cool perhaps but making the ride incredibly uncomfortable because there is not enough to cushion the obstacles on the road.  The same goes for knobby and extreme tires for an SUV or 4X4 rig, they will eat up your gas mileage and adding a lift to your vehicle to accommodate larger wheels can make the vehicle more susceptible to tipping over if the center of gravity is thrown off.


Tinting Windows –

There are advantages and disadvantages to placing dark tints on your windows and or windshield.  Yes, you get privacy and protection from the bright sun rays, but it can also reduce visibility when it is dark out.  There is no real rule nationwide when it comes to rules and regulations regarding windshield tinting specifications.  This means that when you decide to sell your car, you may be limited to where it will be easily sold based off of location because being constantly harassed by police officers is not high on their list of daily chores. These window tints are not inexpensive, they can be several hundred dollars and then you may have to get it removed in order to sell your car, so you may want to opt for a middle of the road tint, something that will offer some anonymity but also allow you to see and remain within the bounds of the state tinting law.


Exhaust systems –

So, the muffler right? Who would want to change that out or adapt it in some way?  There are manufacturers that promise deeper sounds emit from their exhaust than the manufacturer muffler.  Some advertise more power by controlling the escape of said exhaust emitted from the engine. There are strict guidelines set by the EPA regarding emissions test that are mandated every year for your vehicle.  If you install an aftermarket exhaust system you may not pass this test because it may not be coherent with the manufacturers specifications. If said system is not installed properly or if it not congruent with your particular vehicle, premature damage may be done to the underside of your car and it may overheat rust and disintegrate at an accelerated rate.


Personalized Paint Jobs –

They are expensive and if you choose a color that is representative of your personality, like a matte baby blue finish on your rig, then you limit your potential buyers for said vehicle.  Customizing the paint job, may alter or void the warranty for a lot of car manufacturers if the car a newer.  It is almost impossible to get the same quality with an aftermarket paint job as you would get with the factory paint job, before the car is assembled.


Customizing Threads, Messages or Seats –

At times depending on your reasoning you may choose to have your seats or interior modified.  The reason behind this varies of course, some to reduce weight and drag on their vehicles, some just want their name “Charlene” written in stitching in the car. Disadvantages of removing your original seats are that some vehicles are equipped with sensors for safety precautions.  Like the weight sensors that turns passenger airbags off or on depending on weight.  Therefore not deploying if no one or a young adolescent is in the front seat. You may be making your car more dangerous if you remove the original seats which were made specifically to fit within the safety precautions already installed in your car.

So You Want To Buy A Car?


There are certain things to keep in mind when it comes to buying a car.  Some of which have been laid out before you in previous articles, some perhaps not.  What you need to remember first and foremost is that you have choices.  You can choose to purchase a car online, at a dealership or by a private party is up to you.


  • Think of the type of car that you are interested in.

Type of car: SUV, sedan, coupe, truck, hybrid, station wagon, sports car.

Once you have that down, then you need to figure out what you can afford, that will give you an idea of whether you will be looking for a new or used vehicle.  If you wish to own a Chevy Silverado truck and you only have $15,000 to buy a car, or can finance that much comfortably, then you will need to look used vs. new.  Not to worry, you can get some great deals on used cars in almost every market.


  • There are other questions to consider as well.

Is this the best time for you to buying a car? Is this something that is necesary for you at the moment?  If it is, then after deciding how much you can afford and what type of vehicle you want, is what will you be using it for?  I know people who have bought SUV’s with the dream of going out and off-roading, going hiking and camping every weekend and never do.  They have paid for their dream with every additional mile and gallon of fuel that they purchased for their city driving needs.  If you are a city dwelling person there are some cars that are more affordable to gas up and that are more efficient than a v8 monster of a truck that weighs ¾ of a ton.  So, being realistic with your needs can save you money and a headache in the future.


  • Are you going new or used?

There are advantages to both options, it just depends on what your budget is and what you really want from a vehicle.  Perhaps you can get a much better car, truck or SUV if you get something a few years older?  You may be able to afford a much more elegant car with more features if it is used than new off the lot.  Also, there are so many dealers that have pre-certified and pre-owned deals on used inventory, ensuring you additional peace of mind.


  • Test Drive your car

If you never have or have been intimidated to do so, then cut it out and get going.  What better way to know what your future car is like then getting behind the wheel. Perhaps there is a disconnect between the car you think you want and the car that you actually love. Before you put your money where your mouth is, take the car you think you want out for a drive and confirm it.


Now that you have thought of all of these possible issues or possible scenarios then go out and enjoy the process.  It should be fun and not a hassle, because every time you get into your new or used car you should be so excited to do so and not merely have a constant reminder that you got what you thought you wanted and not what you REALLY did.

What’s Better? New or Used?

potential car buyer

Ever ask yourself whether it is best to get a new car or an older one?  I suppose that if you own a car you may have, it is a question that many of us pose, here are some of the pros and cons of going new vs. old.

Advantages of Buying Used:

  • Depreciation: When you buy a new car your car depreciates every mile and every month you own it.  The most dramatic depreciation happens almost immediately and in a few cases some cars depreciated more than 40 percent of their value within the first year of ownership. You will be able to buy a car that is great at a huge discount.  As stated above, some cars lose up to 40% of their value in the first year, most cars are driven between 15,000-20,000 miles a year. You can get a higher priced and a better vehicle if you purchase one that is a year old. More bang for your buck. So, it allows you to enjoy your used car more, you will not be obsessing over the first rock chip or accidental scratch to the rims.
  • Insurance Rates:  Insurance rates are less for used vehicles, similar to insurance rates are also affected.  Since used cars are usually less expensive than new ones the cost to insure them is also less.  Saving you additional money and allowing you the flexibility to make your dollar stretch even further.
  • Better Vehicle:  When you purchase a used vehicle vs. a new one you can get more for your hard earned money.  You will be able to get more features, more options and more gadgets for your dollar than if you bought a new car.  Since you are limited to what is available you may have to look around and do the work to find exactly what you are looking for, but like all things worthwhile, its worth the work and the wait.
  • Price:  If you were to do a side by side comparison between the price of a new vehicle and the same vehicle that is a year older, you will see that in some cases the differences externally are very few.  But the price you would pay for one vs the other is substantial.

Advantages of Buying New:

  • What you want:  Have you over looked at a car catalog?  Maybe you have, maybe you have not.  Imagine therefore that you at a restaurant and are hungry, you look the menu over and decide exactly what it is that you want.  It is the same when you buy a new car, you get these sales packages that show you every feature and additional options, like rims, exterior and interior colors, upgrades to your brakes, upgrades in wood, leather, carbon fiber you name it.
  • Maintenance:  When you buy a new car there might be anywhere between 0-1100 miles on it. That is it!  It has gone from the assembly line to the transport to the lot, that is all it has ever been driven.  A lot of new cars come with the need for little to no maintenance that is in addition to their regular scheduled ones that are usually free. When you buy a new car all types of warranties and services are thrown in to make the offer more attractive.
  • It is New:  When you buy a new car, it is similar to getting a puppy vs a dog.  With a dog you do not exactly know what to expect, you did not raise it, you were not there every step of the way.  With a used car, you do not know how the car was treated, maintained and care for not to mention driven.  You do not know if your car might suddenly stop working or why.  When you buy new you are the only one who has driven it, you are in charge of all of it and can insure that the car runs well into the future.
  • Safety:  Every few months there are safety features that are available and perhaps even standard that were not available or commercialized in later model cars.  For example, curtain airbags, stability control, blind spot monitoring systems, brake assist and more.  Some of these are available as add on’s when you purchase a new car, but for some added safety is always worth it.
  • Better for the Environment:  With each passing year, there are more and more advance in the field of lessening the carbon footprint that we may inadvertently leave behind. Newer cars are more fuel efficient and have hybrid options and with each new generation are becoming more and more powerful while remaining good for the environment.
  • Warranty:  A lot of new cars come with 100,000 mile warranty – that means that if something were to become a problem you would have no out of pocket costs, thus ultimately simultaneously giving you peace of mind, which onto itself if priceless.
  • Cool Features:  With new cars there are new gadgets and gizmos, most of these are also available as aftermarket parts, but for those of you who would rather not have to worry about it and have someone do it for you, new is a great way to go.
  • Financing:  You may get a better deal on financing if you get a new car as the value of the car is higher.  Ensure that the APR and your payments are what you need them to be as to fully enjoy your possible new car.

Can you imagine cars being tracked constantly?

Data NetworkThat is what the trends seem to be forecasting. Actually if you have purchased a car in the last few years chances are that you are already being tracked.  There is a device called a little black box in your car, it records information like GPS location, speed, Traffic violations, etc.

The difference with the new tracking system and those little black boxes such as planes have are different because the other drivers would be receiving warnings.  This would be a revolutionary system as far as some critics are concerned.  Why?  This would allow you to know if there is a car driving in your direction which is swerving, speeding and running red lights.  Chances are you can receive this information and then take defensive measures like turning down a side street and possibly saving your life.

Of course, if other drivers who purchase this V2V  (vehicle to vehicle)

type of communication for approximately $350 USD by 2020 will have access to your information.  This would include all light autos (as opposed to semis, etc.) However, police cruisers would also be privy to this type of information and insurance agencies.

Then we are begged with the question, what is best? To create and enforce a system that can possibly save lives and make driving less dangerous.  In the U.s. in 2012 according to the Driving deaths per year 33,561 people died from automotive accidents.  That is a large number of accidents, it begs the question, how many of those could be avoided.  What is the cost for this additional safety precaution like airbags, seat belts and seat belt warnings, not to mention tickets if caught not wearing one correctly or at all.

A while back the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or NHTSA for short, published a “notice to rule-making” in the Federal Register.  The intention is to have the V2V software mandatory for all vehicles.  The officials believe that it will save thousands of lives and improve highway safety. The thought is that if you help drivers avoid car crashes then, we ensure that highway safety is ensured and the U.S. remains a leader in the car safety industry worldwide.  The global automotive industry looks to the U.S. for some of the latest safety innovations, to some law makers this is important.

Some it might save more lives which is good, but it could potentially take away some of our basic freedoms, let us discuss this other possibility. If you are a privacy advocate and after reading George Orwell’s 1984 who can blame you, then this might be cause for some concern.   96% of cars mass produced in the last few years have the little black box according to sources.  So these machines with their V2V information will be collecting pertinent information.

Information as detailed as speed, red light ran, directionality, and an accurate description of your vehicle, just the information that insurance agencies and police agencies drool for.  Who is in control of this information and what is being done to safeguard our basic rights?  Does this override the believe assumption that this information could be life saving and help avoid crashes and car related deaths all together.

Would this deter drivers to drive smarter, take less chances on the road if the chance is greatly improved of them getting caught by patrol cars if they venture behind the wheel?  Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx believes that this technology could move us from helping people survive crashes by helping them avoid them altogether”.

Will we have to purchase these V2V systems for the proposed price of $350?  What if we choose not to use them, will we be punished, will our tracked information in a new car be used in the same way?  How much of a say do we have in any of this?  What should our say be, isn’t preserving life what is most important while on a dark road at night?