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Aftermarket Car Parts: Are They Worth It? Thinking Forward Can Help You Decide Now.

Most people have had to compromise when getting a new car. Instead of getting a model with all the fancy frills and thrills that come with pricey additions, you opt for the more economic basic model of vehicle.

You might think maybe you can mod back those features you missed or add new features all together, but should you? Will customizing your car with aftermarket parts affect its value?

How Aftermarket Parts Affect Your Car

Ideally, you want your car to be what people who are familiar with that vehicle want. Every time an aftermarket part is added, your car is getting further and further away from what people wanted in that base model.

Keep altering your car and you will start to appeal only to a smaller, entirely different crowd, then those interested in the original make. Even if you don’t care about your addon’s effect on value, it is still a clever idea to know what you are doing to your car.

Note that there is a distinction between aftermarket parts and original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts. If you take your car to be serviced at a dealership, they would be using OEM parts which have their own set of pros and cons.

A common aftermarket addition made to cars are tinted windows. Getting your windows tinted, for the most part, will not decrease the value of your car.

If you live in warmer climates, tinted windows could add value to your car and help keep the sun off you while you're driving. However, in colder and less sunny environments, tinted windows could decrease the value of your car.

Make sure if you decide to get your windows tinted that they're legal where you live. You can check state and local laws to see how dark you can go with them.

If you had to skip out on a sunroof you wanted at the dealership, you should be aware that you can mod your own. Beware though, because once a hole is cut into the roof of a car it’s considered damaged by most parties.

Aftermarket sunroofs are also prone to damage and bad weatherproofing, complicating your cars usability and value. This addon will always hurt the value of your car, sometimes lowering it more than the cost of the sunroof.

Stickers are also a customization that people might want but will kill the value of a car. If you’re looking to sell a car, I would recommend removing them. You won't find any stickers in a used car dealership so take a note from the pros.

Electric And Engine Mods

A popular aftermarket alteration for those that appreciate added horsepower is the removal of the catalytic converter. This is, however, illegal and bad for the environment.

Catalytic converters are located in the exhaust system and they convert harmful emissions from the car's engine into ones less toxic to the environment. Removing them is a bad idea and will definitely lower your car’s value.

What if the vehicle you're driving has tinny audio and terrible bass in its speaker system? Replacing the tweeters on your car and adding in a subwoofer could make a morning commute a passionate auditory experience but will it add any value?

For the most part it will not. Messing with a car’s electrical systems always makes it liable to malfunctions and will leave the value neutral or sometimes decrease it. Unless a hi-fi system is installed professionally, then it could increase the car’s value — but I would keep the original speakers somewhere to reinstall when selling.

If you're thinking of fixing up a damaged car, aftermarket parts can be cheaper and even better quality then original parts. Although devastated, totaled cars should be sold as is, small problems such as a dead battery or bad brakes can be replaced a number of ways.

OEM parts will always keep your car in neutral territory value-wise, but aftermarket replacement parts, if cheap, can take away from your car’s value and even void its warranty.

Don’t Mess With A Good Thing

So, are aftermarket parts a good idea? For the most part few additions really add value to your car, but that’s not the whole case.

If somebody really wants a car to be truly theirs, with all the quirks thereof, then they are going to do it. Some additions like tinted windows could add value, but it is ultimately a risk you must be willing to take when customizing your car with aftermarket parts.

This article does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors or management of EconoTimes

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