Car Modifications in Singapore: Will Modifying Your Car Void Your Warranty?
October 14 2022
Whether you grew up on the Fast & Furious franchise of films, or recall fond memories of your school holidays spent playing Need For Speed, you probably remember the feeling you got when you first saw a flashy sports car fully kitted out with body modifications, a unique paint job, and fancy rims.
But life isn’t a movie or a video game, and car modifications aren’t as simple or hassle-free as pressing a button. Besides requiring research and time, the issue of legality is also an important factor when figuring out what you can do with your car. In fact, there’s a huge list of modifications you can and cannot make according to the Land Transport Authority (LTA) in Singapore from bumpers and car seats to tinting and superchargers.
While there are several modifications that are allowed on our roads — some without approval required — you should know what to steer clear of so you don’t void your car warranty. In a nutshell, any modification which is not done by an authorised workshop and which will adversely affect a car’s performance may void your warranty. Here are five car modifications that can affect your future car warranty claims.
Electronic Control Unit Modification AKA Chip Tuning
Engine Control Unit (ECU) modifications — more commonly referred to as chip tuning — are usually performed by “hacking” the onboard memory chip. This allows you to tune your car according to your specifications, such as adjusting the ratio of fuel to air that goes into the engine’s combustion chamber and tweaking its performance.
However, this customisation often results in tweaks that do not meet road regulations, and will void your warranty once it is done.
In addition, any form of engine modification that is not homologated — to have gained proper approval according to the original specifications — when the car was first imported cannot be driven on our roads, according to the Road Traffic Act.
Any turbocharger or supercharger modifications will require prior approval and evaluation from LTA before it can be performed. An extensive amount of information must be submitted to LTA, such as technical specifications and installation details of the modification and more.
While such modifications to your vehicle are technically permitted, this will most likely result in your car warranty being voided as it is considered a performance modification.
Exhaust system modifications
While modifications to your car exhaust pipe may be permitted subject to LTA’s approval, changing the entire exhaust system will have to meet a stringent set of requirements as it directly affects your vehicle’s performance due to potential changes in the exhaust-emission control system.
New exhaust systems that do not comply with these requirements are not allowed and will not be covered under warranty.
Factory fitted High Intensity Discharge (HID) headlamps are a permitted modification to your car. Not only can HID headlamps be more energy efficient than traditional halogen headlights, it can also provide better visibility on the roads.
However, aftermarket HID headlamps are strictly not allowed as they do not meet vehicle and manufacturer specifications, often due to higher wattage which will result in more glare to other drivers on the roads. Having this headlight modification will result in a voided warranty.
While changing your suspension is something that does not require approval from LTA, it must adhere to a stringent set of requirements.
The new suspension system should not affect the vehicle’s maneuverability nor result in the vehicle body becoming low enough to touch the road, and the vehicle shouldn’t require modifications to its body kit to fit the new suspension system.
Making big changes to your suspension and not meeting these requirements is not allowed and may result in having your warranty voided.
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