Modifying cars is all about personalizing them to fit the owner’s preferences, and there’s nothing wrong with that. After all, who wouldn’t want to add some personal touches to their car and make it extra special? However, some car owners take their car modification to the extreme causing inconvenience to other road users and potentially making their modified car more dangerous to drive.
These cars often ignore the Road Transport Department (Jabatan Pengangkutan Jalan – JPJ) car modification rules and guidelines, effectively making the modifications illegal. If you’ve always wanted to modify your car but are worried that it’s against the law, here are some illegal car modifications to avoid.
1. Excessive Window Tint
Whether you buy a new or used car, one of the first modifications you’re most likely to make is installing window tint films. Tinting the windows can reduce the heat that enters your car and keep the interior cool. In fact, most Malaysians consider window tinting a necessity considering how hot a car can get under our hot tropical sun.
VLT (visible light transmission) is a measure of how much visible light a material allows to pass through it. In the case of window tints, the higher the VLT, the more visible light goes through the tint. Here are the permissible VLT percentages for windows on private vehicles as set by JPJ:
- Rear windows and rear side windows: No limit
- Front side windows: 50 percent
- Front windshield: 70 percent
What happens if you install window tints with a VLT lower than the specified limit? If found guilty, you can be fined up to RM2,000 or jailed for up to six (6) months for the first offense. For subsequent offenses, you can be fined up to RM4,000 or jailed for up to 12 months, or both.
One car modification that might look appealing to a small group of people is getting a ‘stanced’ look on a car. This modification involves stretching the tires over oversized sport rims, lowering the suspension, and setting excessive negative camber. As a result, the tires look stretched and flush to the car. This creates a hellaflush or stanced look, like the car is squatting on its haunches.
It might look cool and impressive to some, but this car modification can actually damage both the car and the tires (which are among the most expensive car components). Furthermore, the tires not being in the correct position can compromise the car’s stability. Due to these reasons, stanced modified cars are more suitable for automotive exhibitions and not the road.
If you’re thinking of having a modified Honda City or Myvi with stanced wheels, you can be fined up to RM2,000 or imprisoned for up to 6 months.
Read More: How to Spot Fake Sport Rims
3. Loud Exhausts
Nobody likes loud exhausts except maybe the owner of the car with the said exhaust. People who modify their cars with extremely loud exhaust systems often claim it’s for safety reasons, that it’s to alert others around them that they’re driving or riding nearby. However, loud exhaust noises can actually damage your hearing and disrupt the peace of people around you.
In the past, driving a modified car with loud exhausts was a traffic offense that was punishable with a fine of up to RM2,000 or six months imprisonment. However, since March 2021, it’s no longer subject to fines but rather, the alleged offender receives a ‘Notice 114’ which is a letter summoning them to JPJ for further investigation, where they can give a statement to JPJ. If they are found to have broken the law, JPJ can proceed with the appropriate penalty.
Read More: Auto vs CVT, Which One Should You Choose?
4. Musical Horns
A car horn typically produces a single honk when you press it and that is often loud enough to warn other road users of your presence or intent. However, some drivers install musical horns on their vehicles that play different tunes at the press of a button. These horns are most commonly used by truck and bus drivers, probably because they’re on the road a lot and would like a more interesting horn sound.
That said, musical horns can confuse other road users which is why they’re categorized as an illegal car modification. JPJ frequently conducts operations to apprehend drivers who use this type of horn. Each offense can result in a maximum fine of RM2,000 or imprisonment for up to six months under Section 119(1) of the Road Transport Act 1987.
Modifying your car is an exciting project but just be sure to exercise caution when choosing the right car modifications to install. By complying with JPJ’s car modification rules and guidelines, you can avoid being fined. Furthermore, you’ll ensure that any parts you install don’t compromise the safety of your modified car.
Have Peace of Mind When You Buy a Car from CARSOME
Worried about buying a used car with illegal modifications? You can rest assured that all cars sold on CARSOME are thoroughly inspected to ensure they’re safe with no mods that can get you in trouble.
What’s more, each CARSOME car comes with a fixed price and no hidden fees, a five-day money-back guarantee, and a one-year warranty.