Cars are the toy of choice for most men. That is why they spend a lot on accessories which add style and make a statement. Some of these accessories are extremely functional, like seat covers and steering wheel covers. Others simply add shine and flair while there are outright tacky add-ons that are a waste of money.
If you have cash to burn, no one’s stopping you from adorning your vehicle with the latest frills designed by clever manufacturers to entice you to part with your money. But some of these fixings are so silly, you’d be best advised not to put them on your car or risk the snickers and ridicule thrown your way. Here are some useless accessories and recommended alternatives.
Mufflers – mufflers with large diameters on the tips may add visual appeal but attached to four-cylinder cars with small bores, they create an obnoxious sound and decrease the car’s performance with the increased back pressure. Moreover, the noise harms the environment and annoys the people you pass by.
A muffler, as the name implies, muffles or tones down the sound coming from the exhaust of the car’s engine. The manufacturer-installed muffler should be enough. Accessorize somewhere else in the car, not by adding those large tins to the tip of the tailpipe.
Airscarf – this tiny heater at the base of the head rest is seen on certain models of Mercedes Benzes. It blows warm air into the nape of the person sitting on the car seat, ostensibly to create a top-down ambiance.
The head restraint, more commonly called the head rest, is a mandatory component of all cars in the United States, so there’s no need to buy it. In case of a rear end collision, it protects the person from whiplash, a condition where the neck muscles and ligaments are displaced from their normal positions. Whiplash may be a minor injury or it could be severe enough to cause a fracture.
Although some insurance companies like http://www.allstar-lincoln.com say they specialize in higher risk auto insurance, avoiding a car accident is still better than being involved in one.
Wings – these pieces made of carbon fiber, plastic or aluminum are great if you’re driving a racing car at very high speed. They provide downforce to increase the tires’ grip so that they stick to the ground as you whiz by. If your daily commute is on a modest front-wheel-drive sedan, wings will only succeed in producing more drag and increasing the vehicle’s stability.
A spoiler, not to be confused with a wing, affects the flow of air over the car to reduce drag and increase its aerodynamics. Although spoilers were originally meant for race cars, they work in passenger vehicles to decrease drag and increase fuel economy.
Opinions differ and some auto experts prefer spoilers over wings. Both add to the sporty look of a car but a malformed piece can make your automobile look funny. Also take into consideration the type of car you will attach a wing to. Obviously, it shouldn’t be a town car.
Big Wheels – the 18- to 20-inch wheels gained popularity in the early 2000s. Now they have grown to 24- to 30-inch disks with tires so low that driving over curbs and small potholes can result in damage that otherwise would not be so in regular-sized wheels.
Other disadvantages to ultra large wheels are an increase in overall weight, rotational inertia and the un-sprung weight. You’ll have a harder time maneuvering the car in parking lots and turning the steering wheel.
Marie Miller is a salesperson who’s on the field most of the time. She drives a lot and likes to dress up her car.