November 4, 2014

The Best and Worst Ways to Customize Your Oklahoma Used Car

The Best and Worst Ways to Customize Your Oklahoma Used Car

Our cars, in many ways, are extensions of ourselves. You can often tell a lot about a person by the kind of car they drive – someone who drives a box-standard pickup is probably very different from someone who drives a minivan, and both would be different from someone else who drives a rear-wheel-drive sports car. However, many people also take car ownership a step further and customize their vehicles to make them truly unique.

The range of car customizations and aftermarket add-ons is endless. Spoilers, body kits, stereo equipment, electronics, engine and suspension equipment, remote starters – the list goes on and on. But before you go wild on customizing your car, you should know that some of these alterations can actually hurt its resale value. On the other hand, others can potentially help it.

Customizations That May Hurt Value

It’s easy to understand why some aftermarket additions can hurt your car’s value. People are often less-inclined to trust non-OEM parts and work done outside of factory-approved shops. However, even if your additions are subtle, you might still be hurting your car’s value by making changes to it.

bad auto customizations

In general, you might want to reconsider making any of the following changes to your car:

Aftermarket Engine Parts: If you’re thinking about putting a supercharger, turbocharger, or other aftermarket engine part on your car to increase its performance, you might want to think twice. Though you might enjoy the effect these parts have, they also send strong negative signals to buyers if you ever want to sell. These parts basically shout that the car has been driven hard or used for racing, and that kind of driving can drastically lower a car’s value.

Dropped Suspensions: Lowriders can look cool, but they usually don’t look attractive to potential buyers. This is usually because dropping or lowering the suspension also voids the car’s warranty and prevents it from being serviced or repaired in factory dealerships or body shops. The same goes for “stancing” your car or otherwise modifying the suspension. We probably don’t have to mention that these mods also hurt the handling and ride quality of most cars.

Loud Exhausts: If you can hear your car coming from more than a block away, you probably won’t be able to sell it for it’s Blue Book value. Loud exhausts create several problems when you’re trying to sell your car. First, they often don’t work properly with the vehicle’s computer, leading to emissions problems and reduced performance. Also, if you’re looking to sell your car in another state, an aftermarket exhaust likely won’t pass emissions testing. Finally, many people simply don’t enjoy the increased exhaust noise. All these factors limit the market for your car and lower its value.

Loud Stereo Systems or Subwoofer Boxes: Large, high-powered stereo systems with heavy bass don’t make a great investment. Not only do they take up a large amount of space in your car’s trunk or cargo area, they also draw more power than the factory stereo. Generally they need an aftermarket amplifier to work properly, making them complex and difficult to service if something goes wrong.

Large Rims or Super-Low-Profile Tires: While some people might like the look of a car riding on huge rims with ultra-skinny tires, these modifications can actually hurt the overall value of the car. If you’re looking to sell after making this kind of modification, you might want to consider selling the rims separately or keeping them to install on another car.

Customizations that Can Add Value

Though many of the aftermarket additions we see on used cars don’t help their resale value, some do when they’re done well. The key to a positive add-on is to make sure it’s adding a desirable feature to the car that won’t impact its driveability or performance. Some of these additions include:

good auto customizations

Higher-Performance Wheels and Tires: Since the weather in Oklahoma is generally mild, most cars can get away with all-season tires. That makes high-performance tires that hold the road better a good investment for your car. These tires (unlike their super-low-profile relatives) make the car handle better without impacting the ride quality.

Satellite Radio: Many cars come with satellite radio already installed, but for those that don’t it can make a desirable addition. Since satellite radio is a subscription service, buyers can easily transfer their accounts between cars. It also doesn’t detract from the appearance of the car’s interior or the performance of the stereo system.

Bluetooth or Hands-free Calling: This is another option that’s found on many newer cars but might be missing in a vehicle that’s more than a few years old. Bluetooth connectivity allows drivers to make and answer phone calls on the road without taking their eyes or hands off the wheel. As laws regarding using the phone while driving become more common and restrictive, these systems are a great idea in any car.

GPS Navigation: A modern GPS system integrated into the car is a great investment, especially in higher-end vehicles. If you’re getting one installed, though, make sure that it blends well with the dashboard and doesn’t look like it’s out of place. The more it looks like a stock part, the better off you will be when it comes to selling.

Back-Up or Parallel Parking Cameras: These unobtrusive add-ons often work together with the in-dash GPS system to provide live views from the rear of the car. This allows people to reverse, park, and in some cases check their blind spots with more confidence. Again, installation is important. Make sure the cameras are installed in unobtrusive locations and are sealed against the weather.

These aftermarket additions might help you sell your used car for more – which will make it even easier to buy a better used car at The KEY! We have tons of vehicles from all the major manufacturers at our Oklahoma City special financing car dealership, so you’re sure to find something you love. We can even approve your application online to save you time. Come down to our used car lot today and find your next car, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter to see what we’re up to.