5 Mods to Avoid on Your First Car

Picture this: You finally got your first car, and you are itching to start modifying it. Sometimes, especially when we're young, that excitement or bad external influences can lead to some questionable decisions when it comes to first modifications. We're not hating - we've all done it. Bad stickers, poor choices in wheels, and overconfidence with a can of spray paint all come to mind, but it doesn't have to be that way! We wanted to take a moment to break down some modifications that you should avoid on your first modified car.

1. Straight-Pipe Exhausts

A lot of young enthusiasts - and unfortunately a lot of enthusiasts in general - think that louder = better. This is not the case. A louder exhaust doesn't necessarily make it sound good. We've seen people drill holes in their exahust because they think it will sound good. If we can hear you across town, it's probably not great. Also, don't completely cut your exhaust off to make it louder. Not only is that illegal in most places, but you're also going to draw a lot of unwanted negative attention to yourself, making people around you hate modified cars. The more people that hate modified cars, the harder it comes down on all of us.

It's much better to just buy a good exhaust. It's among one of the most affordable first modifications, and we promise it's worth the money. Resonators and mufflers are not evil - they actually can go a long way in differentiating the sound your car makes, rather than just going for maximum volume. If you're looking for good exahust recommendations, be sure to visit our Exhaust Buyer's Guide.

2. Too Many / Awful Stickers

This is one we see a lot of, and it's an easy way to identify someone who is modifying their very first car. We know you're eager to put *something* on your car, and show off your personality, but please don't go overboard with too many. You'll especially want to avoid that "forbidden aisle" in the local hardware store an automotive section with all of the cringey stickers like "LOCALLY HATED" on your windshield. Although, if you cut off your entire exhaust, you might actually be hated locally. Also, please avoid that 3-claw slash mark Monster-energy style decal across the headlights. 

3. Gutting It For "Weight Reduction"

Unless you're building a bonafide racecar dedicated to shaving seconds off lap times, there is no need to strip out your rear seats, speakers, interior trim, sound deadening, door cards, air conditioning system, spare tire, and everything else for the purpose of "making it faster." Does reducing weight equate to going faster? Yes, but in small increments, and that usually only applies when your car is already being pushed to its limits. If it's a street car, do yourself a favor and keep the creature comforts intact.

4. Fake Badges / Up-Badging

Sorry to pick on you, BMW guys, but we see this from you pretty often. Please stop putting M3 badges on your 328i. This isn't limited to BMW owners, either. We recently made a video ranking R34 Skylines for Sale in Canada, and one seller had a GT-R badge to - and I quote - "troll people." For that alone, the seller lost a rank. There's just nothing cool about faking the funk, and it doesn't look any better if you're "just joking," either. You won't fool anyone who knows what they're looking at, and it just makes the car look cheap.

Additionally, stay far away from that "forbidden aisle" at your local hardware store's automotive section. Those universal badges like "turbo powered" or "Sport model" among other awful badges aren't good for anything. If anything, debadge your car if you want to change the look of that particular aspect of the car.

5. Bad Spray Painting / Plasti-Dip

Getting eager to change the color of some part of your car can often lead to disaster. We've seen a lot of bad examples of this one over the years, from terrible attempts at paint-matching with a can of spray paint, to unpleasant homemade wheel finishes complete with overspray on the tires because the owner rushed it. If your World Rally Blue Subaru didn't come with the signature matching gold wheels, we promise it's worth getting the wheels professionally coated, getting a whole new set of wheels, or - if you must do it yourself - taking the time to prepare and do it properly. A little bit of research goes a long way. When it comes to Plasti-Dip and related products, it almost never looks good, and if you apply it poorly, it looks even worse.

Speaking of wheels, this is a good segway to our BONUS mod you should avoid:

BONUS: Fake / Counterfeit Wheels

Replica wheels in general are a hot topic. You either like them or you don't, and we'll remain neutral on that topic specifically, but please be careful about what you're buying. If you find the Alibaba special, and the cheapest wheels on earth, be aware that they may not be tested and constructed the way a brand-name wheel would be, and lack structural integrity and safety testing. You do not want the danger of a blown up wheel because you hit a pot hole.

The overarching theme of these modifications to avoid is that you want to avoid things looking cheap on your nice car. Take some pride in your ride, and pay attention to the details - often times a "less is more" approach will yield more appealing results.

Now that you know what not to do, you might be wondering what you should do! Luckily for you, we've got annual issues about Style and Performance to help guide you in the right direction available at Shop.PASMAG.com

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