Cars are generally a mere mode of transportation, but people from all over the world have an undeniable affection with these commuting machines. Not only that people buy & change cars ever so often, they even spend a lot in terms of their performance, maintenance, and more on how they look.
Of course not everyone can buy expensive and exclusive automobiles just to be different & cool. That’s why people spend money on customizing their everyday cars to make them look different from several other similar cars running on the roads. Car customization is a huge industry itself. You get to choose from innumerable items which can give your car a distinguishing look from the rest. But not everyone has the perfect idea of how to achieve this goal.
Most of the times people end up letting their cars labeled as ‘Riced.’ The term Rice (Race Inspired Cosmetic Enhancement) is generally used for those cars with unnecessary cosmetic add-ons without any performance modifications under the skin. Not everyone can afford, or wants to drive a track-oriented modified car for daily use, so people often opt for visual modifications only, however in most cases they fail to do it in the right way! This premature approach of wrongly modifying vehicles can waste a lot of money and greatly reduces the resale value of the car itself.
We are sharing here some very decent ways of customizing which will aesthetically and subtly enhance the looks of your car while still ensuring a higher resale value! A car with tasteful modifications will always differ from the rest in a better way, and more importantly the vehicle won’t be termed as Riced.
This trend of getting the roof black is becoming increasingly popular, not just in Pakistan but across the globe as well. Although colored roofs were found in older cars from the 60s & 70s as well but most recently the trend of painting the roof in black is particularly inspired from powerful race cars which have a carbon-fiber roof.
Carbon-fiber, due to its extreme expense, rarity, and impressive physical properties (lighter than aluminum, stronger than steel, used in Formula1 cars, and high-end sports cars), is often left unpainted, to show off its characteristic “weave” pattern. The black roof also perfectly mimics the panoramic sunroof glass that’s found on most high-end cars these days.
Nowadays most automakers in various markets are rolling out black painted roofs in standard cars which gives the vehicle a unique visual property. So if you wish to customize your car, painting the roof in black is considered a visual enhancement that is quite “in”, in terms of style & fashion.
However if you live in a city where temperature is usually hot, do remember that a roof in black when exposed to sun may result in your car heating up quicker and cooling down slower. Not so sure why we said this, read our earlier article about the impact of heat on dark colored cars.
Air Press are acrylic or aluminum strips that fit over the cars windows and provide a kind of small awning over the windows. They not only add a style to the vehicle, they serve a useful purpose too. In rainy weather, Air Press allows you to open the windows just a little to provide some ventilation to the car’s interior.
Related: When to Change Your Old Car?
However, you can also use this to counter the excessive cabin heat when your car is parked out in the hot. When you park the car, keep the windows open just a little bit that they stay hidden under the Air Press, so it won’t be a security threat. But at the same time, it will allow hot air building up inside the car to escape through this gap.
Spoiler is the most common modification element people install on their cars. A spoiler is basically an automotive aerodynamic device whose intended design function is to ‘spoil’ unfavorable air movement across a body of a vehicle in motion, usually described as turbulence or drag.
Spoiler are usually found in sports cars, since at higher speeds the vehicle needs to press itself to the ground for better traction, cornering, braking etc. Spoilers in common passenger cars are mainly for styling purpose, they just make the car look attractive & sporty.
Related: Car Spoilers: Style vs Purpose
Many owners however, are seen installing huge spoilers at the back of their cars but before doing that one must remember that such big spoilers create extensive down-force & drag, which would significantly affect fuel economy while the engine may have to work harder too.
Instead, you should opt for lip spoilers which are smaller and sleeker than regular rear spoilers yet add to the aesthetic value of the vehicle.
This is another features which is a useful element found in sports cars and considered a vital component in terms of performance modifications. The side skirt basically splits the bottom of the car in two parts: one, the underbody which is a region of low pressure and higher air velocity and second, the side of the car, which is a region of relatively higher pressure.
Without the side skirt, the air from the side of the car will rush in to the underbody due to pressure difference causing a reduction in down-force. The presence of the side skirt prevents this from happening by behaving as a simple blockage. In sports cars, it is a great way to improve down-force levels. On everyday cars, it’s more of a style statement, better still it can be installed to enhance the visual appearance of your car.
Plus sizing is considered a popular trend among car enthusiasts. It is the practice of replacing the wheel with one of a larger diameter fitted with a new tire of lower aspect ratio so that the new tire has the same diameter and circumference as the original tire.
Adding inches to the wheel diameter for wider, low aspect ratio tires can not only increase your car’s performance including handling and stability but will amplify its appearance, as a larger wheel and tire will fill up the wheel well of the car thus enhancing the looks of the vehicle. To read more about Plus Sizing, click below:
Another way to customize your car is to put alloy rims, which are made of an alloy of light metals, namely aluminum, nickel, magnesium, or a combination of these metals. They offer performance advantages over conventional steel wheels, as they are often few kilos lighter per wheel – less weight means quicker acceleration and faster stopping. Less weight also means less strain on suspension components.
In extreme driving conditions, alloy wheels are better able to dissipate heat away from brake components than their steel counterparts. Plus, alloy rims are more conducive to complex styling of the wheel itself and improve the overall looks of the car.
It’s not necessary to change the entire exhaust system, just to customize your vehicle. Not everyone wants to drive a louder car every day. However, installing a chromic exhaust tip can add a style to your vehicle and looks a lot better than the naked exhaust pipe itself.
Related: Guide: How to Sell Your Car
Mostly, these exhaust tips can be attached to your car’s tailpipe via screws. However, different varieties may use welded joints or clamps. There are some tips which has a resonator and can change the sound of your vehicle up to some extent, so it’s better to check before installing whether you are okay with the sound.
License plate frames
Many might not agree but a vehicle is not complete without a good looking license plate. If you really want to give your vehicle a distinct & attractive look, install one. They are durable, they protect the license plate and don’t let it get easily rusted. They can withstand the wrath of time and ensures a long-lasting readability of the plate number.
Installing darker of jet black tints are prohibited by law but, installing 50% or less grey tints can not only improve the vehicle’s overall appearance, it can subtly reduce the impact of sunlight in the cabin.
The tints have many other advantages, as they blocks harsh sunshine that can fade upholstery and discolor leather and vinyl. It protects car interiors from cracking and warping to keep your car looking newer for a longer period of time. Window tinting can also block windshield glare to decrease eye fatigue from direct sun and bright nighttime headlights. According to a research, professionally done window tinting can block up to 99% of the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays.
A decal is generally a plastic, paper substrate that has a printed pattern or image that can be moved to another surface upon contact. Putting decals sensibly can add a style to your vehicle but never try to overdo it. Some people also put decals related to brands or OEMs but before you decide to put such a decal, please Google!
Related: 8 Ways to Make Your Old Car Feel New
I have seen people putting TRD stickers on Honda City, that’s absolutely not right at all. TRD stands for Toyota Racing Development and thus its fine to put TRD decals on any Toyota but pasting it on Honda won’t make sense. More appropriately, if you have a Honda, put a Mugen decal instead, or Nismo decal for Nissan and Ralliart for Mitsubishi etc..
You can also consider improvising the interior with wooden or carbon-fiber like accents which are available in the market. They can be added to the door cards, dashboards, gear knobs and instrument panel etc. It depends on your taste but try not to overdo with these add-ons.
Car seat covers are required for the protection of your car seats. They are available in any size and color to fit any model of car. Good seat covers protect your seats and provide a lot more comfort while traveling. They also help retain the value of a vehicle and keep it looking great to protect your investment.
Although you might just consider the steering wheel cover as just another decorative item, it actually serves a number of benefits. If you spend hours behind the wheel, these small benefits can add up to a major improvement in your driving comfort. Steering wheel covers improves the grip and help ensure that you’ve got steering control at all times. They make driving more comfortable while reducing driving fatigue.
Often a neglected accessory, shaved off brake pedal covers can be extremely dangerous. When braking your foot needs to be in proper contact with the brake pedal, if the rubber on the pedal is worn out it can expose the slippery metal underneath which can affect your braking capabilities. Timely replacing the rubber pedal covers or installing billet pedal covers will not only ensure safety but will be good to look at too.
Keeping a beautiful car is a prestige itself, if you take the above recommendations in consideration, you will have a car that not only will be the reason of your own contentment but the vehicle will maintain a decent resale value too.
A 3d animation professional with over 20 years of industry experience having served in leading organizations & production facilities of Pakistan, an avid car enthusiast and petrolhead with an affection to deliver writings to help shape opinions. Formerly written for PakWheels as well as major publications including Dawn. Founder of CarSpiritPK.com