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These legal car mods can still throw a wrench in your plans - by getting you stopped by the LTA officers so frequently you wished you had taken the bus instead.

Category: Car Ownership Advice


This isn't another article telling you what you can or cannot modify on your car legally. If you are driving a modified car, legal or otherwise, you would probably agree that getting stopped by an LTA officer when you are trying to get to work on time, isn't the ideal Monday.

The five modifications mentioned today aren't outlandish, highly illegal mods that will land you in jail, but they surely have the potential to mess up your day. If you are planning to kit up your car with one of them, maybe you would think twice after reading.


1. Exhaust system

A loud legal exhaust system is all it takes for an LTA officer to pull you over
Those who own loud cars will know how much of an LTA magnet it is, be it due to complaints from neighbours (seriously though, don't rev your engine in the neighbourhood in the middle of the night) or getting pulled over while driving along. And it doesn't matter if your exhaust system is legal, getting pulled over or sent for an inspection is still a huge hassle.

Aftermarket exhaust systems that have been tested and approved by LTA are legal to use on the car models that they are certified for. Such aftermarket performance exhaust systems are designed to flow better than the factory components. The increased flow is usually achieved with larger diameter, straighter pipings with less baffles and mufflers, resulting in increased noise - the one thing that draws all the unwanted attention to you.
 
 
2. Massive rear spoiler and bodykit

A massive spoiler turns heads - of both onlookers and LTA officers
Bodykits and spoilers are allowed on cars here, as long as they are not massively oversized or have sharp edges. They are a nice addition should you wish to alter the design of your car, or to make yours look like a race car.

However, having a huge spoiler or bodykit that looks at home on the next Fast and Furious movie is definitely one way to get the attention of onlookers, and LTA officers alike. "But wait, my spoiler while massive, isn't illegal!". Well that might be true, but the LTA officer standing at the roadside will want to have a closer look to corroborate that claim.
 
 
3. Livery and graphics

A full livery is a surefire way to attract all kinds of wanted and unwanted attention
Race cars are usually covered in fancy graphics to capture the attention of spectators. They are also full of sponsor stickers (how else to pay the costly bills?). Before you decide to imitate that style, remember that making your daily car too fancy can come with its fair share of issues.

While getting your car plastered in a full-on race car inspired livery is usually legal, it is extremely effective at making your car stand out from the other mundane vehicles. And as they say - "the nail that sticks out, gets hammered" - guess who's the hammer here?
 
 
4. Bright-coloured paint job or wrap

Which is the first car you notice in this photo?
Colour has always been used as a tool to attract consumer attention. While it can be a rather extensive topic, with different colours attributed with different emotions, as well as matters such as brand identity, we can all simply agree that bright colours draw our attention.

Like cars with fancy eye-catching liveries, having your car painted or wrapped in bright colours will make it easy for LTA officers to spot and stop you.
 
 
5. Pop and crackle tune

Imagine the look on the LTA officer's face when your car rips out a huge 'bang'
Engine Control Unit (ECU) tuning is all the rage these days. As the amount of fuel and the ignition timing of an engine are all controlled by a computer, that is the ECU, it is possible to alter these parameters to improve power and efficiency. Thus far, it seems like there isn't any rule that outlaws ECU tuning, hence it shouldn't get you into trouble with the law.

Recently, 'pop and crackle tunes' have been very popular. As its name suggests, these are tunes (settings) that make your car's exhaust burble or pop and crackle when you let go of the throttle, much like what you'll observe on supercars.

While it isn't outright illegal, try giving a loud 'pop' as you pass by an LTA officer and we reckon you'll be invited for a coffee session.
 
 
Here are some articles you might be interested in

Wheel alignment - why it's probably the best $50 you can spend on your car

Wobbling wheels - what's causing them?

6 types of car performance modifications to make your car faster on the track

5 types of car aesthetic modifications you should do

Unfazed by the potential hassle with modified cars? Check out these highly recommended car modification specialist workshops!

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