Top 5 illegal car modifications

aftermarket modified headlights

Car modification have been around since the first Model T was produced in the United States. Since then, they’ve become more advanced in terms of technology, performance, and convenience. However, there are plenty of highly illegal mods on the market. Out of all of them, these are the top five. 

1. Nitrous

Most people outside of track racing only know about nitrous from The Fast and the Furious. This cannister can amp up speeds, making it something police in high speed chases don’t want the average driver owning. 

More importantly, it can pose a serious danger to first responders. The high-pressure contents could cause an explosion, while those that leak their contents onto the road create an equally dangerous scenario. You would need an incredible lawyer, like this OC car accident attorney, if you get caught with nitrous in your ride. 

2. Extremely Dark Tint

While laws surrounding window tint vary from state to state, all of them have a particular point when they consider it too dark. Some states also dictate which windows can have any tint at all. Often times, however, limousines get a pass. 

The shade of tint is measured by the law through percentages, measuring how much light can pass through the window. You can also get a ticket if your cross state lines where laws vary. While most shops won’t apply illegal tint, offenders are often drivers who performed a DIY job. 

3. Modified Headlights and Taillights

This one should be obvious since your lights are one of the primary safety features of your car. Chrome, black paint, and fake carbon fiber modifications can lead to visibility issues. Often times, these modifications are so cheaply made that the glass around your lights will fog up. 

4. Lighting Modifications

Underbody neon lights, interior lighting packages, and anything else flashy can look great when done right. However, every state has their own laws surrounding the legality of these mods. The primary reason for added lights being is illegal is to ensure drivers don’t try to mimic police lights.

There are plenty of states that go beyond flashing blue and red lights, though. Many ban any sort of neon, claiming exterior lighting is a distraction on the road. If you plan on illuminating your ride, make sure it falls in line with local laws. 

5. Loud Exhaust

There’s a common misconception that a louder exhaust equals better performance, while others simply like the sounds. The law, however, does not. This is perhaps one of the easiest modifications for officers to spot because of the noise itself. 

Cities and other localities have their own rules on noise levels, but most consider anything over 90 decibels worth a ticket. There’s a little more to each law that, like decibels divided by distance, and many are vaguely worded so an officer can cite you regardless. 

Bonus: Radar Detectors

In most parts of the country, radar detectors are prohibited in commercial vehicles but perfectly legal for the passenger variety. Only Virginia and the District of Columbia have a complete ban on them. Regardless of their availability for the average driver, many states strictly prohibit where they can be placed or if they can even be turned on.