06 Sep 5 Street Legal Car Mods to Boost Performance and Appearance
You like to make a statement. You like to be seen. You don’t settle for good enough, you want the best, no matter what. Then why are you stuck driving around that stock car that’s like so many others just like it on the road when there are dozens of ways to modify your ride and make it a true original?
Whether you want to make your car faster, louder, sleeker, or sexier, there are lots of ways to make your vehicle your own. But what about the legality of modifying your car? There are some things you can’t do, like put flashing red and blue lights on top of your vehicle or blackout window tint on the front windshield, but there’s no shortage of things you can do. Here are just a few of the best street legal car modifications that can help take your vehicle to the next level.
Aerodynamics is one of the most important factors when it comes to how a car handles, feels, and performs—and it can also have a pretty big impact on how a car looks, too. That’s why aerodynamic upgrade kits, or aero-kits, are incredibly popular with car enthusiasts. An aero-kit can make your car look like a sleek and stealthy dragster, and depending on how you drive (and what you drive) you may notice significant improvements in key performance areas like top speed, cornering speed, and handling. To capture the aggressive look and performance of a wind tunnel tested racecar, go for a full body aero-kit that includes air dams, skirts, diffusers, and a rear spoiler.
OEM, aftermarket, and custom aero-kits are available. And if you’re thinking of having your car painted or wrapped, have the aero-kit installed first so the new body panels match the rest of your vehicle.
Turbochargers and superchargers are known as “forced induction systems,” meaning they compress the air flowing into the engine to provide more power. Some forced induction systems can boost a car’s horsepower by as much as 50% or more, which means a turbocharger or supercharger can make transform a super mild car into a super wild one in an instant. But which forced induction system is right for your car? That depends. A high-performance tuning shop can help you choose between a turbocharger and a supercharger, but in the meantime here is a quick look at some of the pros and cons of each system to help you with the decision.
- Pro: Greater power to size ratio (good for smaller engine displacements)
- Pro: Power boost delivered at higher RPM range
- Con: “Turbo lag” delays useful boost
- Con: Installation requires additional plumbing (more expensive)
- Pro: No lag, immediate power delivery
- Pro: Cheaper to install, easier to maintain
- Con: Less efficient than turbochargers
- Con: Long-term reliability concerns
An aftermarket exhaust can give your car a throaty, intimidating rumble that turns heads well before your vehicle is in sight—but that’s not all. Because performance exhaust systems eliminate the restrictive bends commonly found in OEM exhaust systems, the greatly improve exhaust flow which means increased horsepower and torque. Performance exhaust systems can also give your vehicle a stylish flair thanks to polished chrome tips or muffler placement at the sides of your vehicle.
Note: Refer to Florida law regarding motor vehicle noise to learn about the legal sound limit level.
If your aim is purely to improve the appearance of your vehicle, window tint is one of the best street legal car modifications you can make to your ride. Dark window tint can give your whip a mean, menacing look. And if you happen to be among Miami’s rich and famous, window tint can also provide some relief and protection from South Florida’s relentless (and notorious) paparazzi. However, there are limits to how dark window tint can be before it crosses the threshold of “street legal.” A professional window tint installer in Miami can give you specific details about car window tinting laws in Florida.
Vinyl Car Wrap
Some car mods are almost unrecognizable; others are impossible to ignore. If you want your car to be seen and remembered, a vinyl car wrap is the way to go. With a custom wrap you can completely transform the look of your ride. Snakeskin? No problem. Chrome? Definitely. A custom themed design? If you can dream it up, vinyl wrap installers can put it down. In addition to making your car stand out, a vinyl wrap also protects the factory paint and finish underneath from scratches, fading, and corrosion. Some of the most popular types and styles of custom car wraps include:
- Color changing car wraps
- Chrome car wraps (including colored chrome)
- 3D animal print car wraps (snake, tiger, rhino, etc.)
- Custom theme car wraps
- Matte car wraps
When in Doubt: Check the Motor Vehicle Code
If you’re thinking about doing something wildly outlandish to your car and aren’t sure about the legality of the mod, refer to the motor vehicle code (MVC) in your state. The same book of codes that dictates how fast you may drive on the highway and whether you can make a right turn at a red light also outlines the requirements your vehicle must meet in order to be “street legal.” The Department of Motor Vehicles in your state can steer you toward applicable MVCs regarding the modifications planned for your car. Note: If you’re modifying a car for use at the racetrack or drag strip, MVC regulations generally do not apply and are not enforced (as long as you keep that souped-up whip on the track).
Serious about modifying your ride? Check out our previous blog about the best car customizations shops in Miami[JL1] . You can also call Auto SuperShield to learn more about custom luxury car wraps and performance window tint. We’re one of the premier car wrap and window tint installers in South Florida, and we look forward to helping you customize and modify your ride to your heart’s content.