Steering wheel modification - yay or nay?
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Thinking of adding a personalised touch to your steering wheel? We explore the pros and cons of replacing your steering wheel.

Category: Car Ownership Advice

Aftermarket steering wheels have been a rising trend among new and seasoned drivers over the past few years. This performance modification provides drivers with the freedom to display their personalities and styles while maintaining the basic mechanisms of the wheel.

However, there are still several drivers who remain hesitant due to various disadvantages and apprehensions.

Some questions that might come to mind are "Is it better to use an aftermarket steering wheel?" or "What are the advantages or disadvantages of changing my steering wheel?".

Read on to find out!
Is it legal to modify your steering wheel in Singapore?

It's perfectly legal to swap your stock steering wheel for an aftermarket one
While there is no law set in place to indicate that it is illegal to swap out your car's steering wheel, most drivers are puzzled and worried about the potential legal ramifications of getting a new steering wheel.

According to the guidelines provided by the Land Transport Authority (LTA), it states that "any modifications made to the steering wheel must be performed in consultation with the vehicle's manufacturer or agent".

To clear it up, this means that with approval from your car manufacturer, it is completely legal to switch your steering wheel in Singapore with the aid of qualified personnel!
Pros of modifying your steering wheel

You can't deny that modifying your steering gives it a unique feel and it certainly looks cooler
Most drivers view the act of modifying their steering wheels as an aesthetic change rather than a practical one. Contrary to that belief, there are a few additional hidden benefits to having a custom aftermarket steering wheel.
  • It helps you to drive better
Most aftermarket wheels are smaller in diameter (~33cm to 35cm) than the stock wheels (~36cm to 38cm).

A smaller steering wheel blocks a smaller portion of the dashboard, which would allow most drivers to view their dashes easily without having to strain their neck while driving.
  • Aftermarket steering wheels last longer
Most aftermarket steering wheels are made from a range of durable materials, including wood, leather and synthetic suede. These wheels last longer over the long run and are more durable than stock with proper care and usage.
  • A 'one size fits all' modification
Steering wheels are universal and can be installed in most vehicles with the aid of a wheel hub adapter or a boss kit. Choose a steering wheel that suits your specific driving needs and tastes, and you can bring it with you for your next car and the ones after.
Cons of modifying your steering wheel

Drivers should know that there are potential risks with aftermarket steering wheels which could cost them a fair bit of money eventually
On the other hand, most drivers are unaware of some concerns that you might have to consider before making the switch.
  • Complete removal of built-in features
These features include audio volume control, cruise control and the equipped airbag hidden in the middle of the wheel - all of which are essential in providing a safe and comfortable driving experience.
  • Installation
While there are video tutorials online on how to change a steering wheel, modern wheels contain many wires due to their wide range of functions.

It is crucial to engage a professional's help to prevent any accidental damages or airbag engagement when changing the wheel.
  • Insurance
If the modification is left undeclared, insurers retain the right to decline your claims or even stop insurance coverage for your vehicle according to the company's policies. Be sure to check and inform your insurance company of the modification - even if the local authorities approve it.

Seek help from professional workshops that specialise in steering wheel modification and aftermarket steering wheels 
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