There are car upgrades you shouldn’t spend your money on

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Sisoje  / iStock.com

Sisoje / iStock.com

1. A massive rear wing

Avoid this modification if you do not commute in a Formula 1 racecar. Matt Degen, senior editor for Kelley Blue Book, stated that it doesn’t look cool no matter what race car driver you are. KBB.com. Degen stated that if your car performed well enough to warrant a wing, the wing would come standard. “Plapping one on doesn’t fool anyone.”

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Evgeny Sergeev / iStock.com

Evgeny Sergeev / iStock.com

2. Racing Stripes

What does this and a large wing on your trunk have in common? Degen explained that these won’t make you car faster. “If you own a track car you race weekends on, it’s fine. “But painting stripes on your 25-year old economy car or family van will only make everyone laugh,” he stated.

Sjo / iStock.com

Sjo / iStock.com

3. Scissor Doors

It is not possible to convert your Mazda into a Lamborghini. This car modification will not only affect the car’s resale price, but can also be dangerous, says Shayrgo Barrazi, an automotive engineer. Barazi explained that if the car flips over it can make it difficult for emergency workers open the door because of the hinge design.

AutoCustom  / Flickr.com

AutoCustom / Flickr.com

4. Low-priced SUVs

Congratulations! You’ve just completed the Trifecta of Bad Car Modifications in One: This one is not only dangerous for resale but also dangerous and plain illogical. Ryan McElroy, features editor at Features Editor of, stated that it was also terrible for your car. Car KeysThe website is a consumer information portal for cars. McElroy explained that, aside from the fact it defeats the purpose of buying an SUV completely, lowering your car down to within an inch is extremely dangerous as it can negatively affect the car’s handling.

MortonPhotographic  / iStock.com

MortonPhotographic / iStock.com

5. Giant Rims

While you may think big rims look cool they can actually cause problems with your car’s handling. Barazi explained that it is particularly important to be able to quickly change lanes or maneuver around an obstacle on the road.

AND-ONE / iStock.com

AND-ONE / iStock.com

6. Tint Jobs

Tinting, when done properly, gives the vehicle a distinct appearance, shade and privacy. Tinting can cause the vehicle to appear tacky or cheap if it is done poorly.

Barry Blackburn / Shutterstock.com

Barry Blackburn / Shutterstock.com

7. Wing Doors

McElroy explained that winged doors have been used in some of the most iconic cars ever made, such as the Mercedes-Benz 300SL, the DeLorean DMC-12 and the Tesla Model X. He advised you to avoid ridicule if you don’t drive an exotic car. McElroy stated, “That sound that you’re hearing, is laughter, and they’re no with you.”

Paul Stringer / Shutterstock.com

Paul Stringer / Shutterstock.com

8. Outrageous Body Kits

Barazi stated that body kits are a relic of the days of “The Fast and the Furious,” but they have fallen from the aftermarket parts scene. Ironically, aftermarket body panels in many cases make vehicles less aerodynamic. They also decrease the car’s aesthetic appeal. He also said that most body kits are made from low-quality polyurethane, which cracks easily and is difficult to fit correctly. There are often gaps between the bumpers.

kiruk / iStock.com

kiruk / iStock.com

9. Coffee-Can Muffler

The factory’s exhaust system reduces noise pollution, making for a pleasant and quiet ride. Barazi stated that coffee-can mufflers have an annoying, raspy tone that makes it seem like you’re trying to take your ears out. A coffee-can muffler can reduce the value of your car from a resale standpoint, as only a few car buyers are interested to draw attention to their cars.

Carmen Martínez Banús / iStock.com

Carmen Martínez Banús / iStock.com

10. Booming Sound System

Everybody in hearing range can relate to it: You love music with bass. KBB’s Degen stated that there is a big difference between immersive sound systems for audiophiles and bass-only aftermarket systems that are purely designed to blast. Degen explained that the sound systems can make your car sound like a rattle trap and vibrate the bones of any passenger.

seanami  / iStock.com

seanami / iStock.com

11. Neon Lights

After the film “The Fast and Furious,” neon lights were popularized. They are especially useful for creating glowing ground effects. “Neon lights don’t look cool. He stated that neon lights were not cool. McElroy claimed that drivers can spot you up to a mile away, and then adjust their course accordingly — to avoid you. McElroy stated that they also give ants nice suntan.

Shutterstock.com

Shutterstock.com

12. Performance Chips

Prosecutors were warning about the fraudulent $69 GForce performance chip in 2015. Fast a decade later, so-called performance chips promise to increase fuel economy, reduce emissions, and add hundreds of horsepower to cars. Although they don’t do these things, they can turn on check engine lights and invalidate warranties.

Shutterstock.com

Shutterstock.com

13. Fuel Line Magnets

One of the many devices that claims to improve fuel economy, increase a car’s mileage per gallon, and save drivers money is the fuel line magnet. This device uses science to enhance gasoline molecules by creating a magnetic field. Fuel line magnets have existed since the 1980s. However, despite the wild claims of manufacturers, study after study has shown that they do not work.

ljubaphoto / Getty Images

ljubaphoto / Getty Images

14. Fuel Ionizers

Another line of fake fuel-saving products is the fuel ionizers. Attaching one to the fuel line connecting the fuel pump and injector creates an “ionic field” which does sciencey stuff to fuel on a molecular basis to increase its combustion. Modern fuel injection systems can spray fuel in a fine mist into the combustion chamber. There is virtually no waste, whether it is with or without ionization.

Shutterstock.com

Shutterstock.com

15. Intake Vortex Devices

Intake vortex devices, like many other fuel efficiency products, rely on drivers misunderstanding how their engines work. Intake vortex devices are an add-on that attempts to change the airflow in the combustion chamber. However, modern cars rely on sophisticated computers to constantly adjust the airflow to match fuel intake.

Shutterstock.com

Shutterstock.com

16. Hydrogen Generators

This fuel efficiency gimmickry claims that hydrogen is more powerful than gasoline. However, it is not practical for cars. Hydrogen generators claim that they can make hydrogen by separating it form oxygen in your car’s drinking water and redirecting it to your fuel supply. The problem with this method is that it can only create the smallest amounts of hydrogen. It puts enormous strain on your alternator which is used to draw power from your vehicle’s electric system.

Shutterstock.com

Shutterstock.com

17. Fuel Vapor Injectors

People who are familiar with engines won’t like the idea of fuel vapor injectors. This fuel-vaporizing device can only give you performance that is identical to what you would get if you let your fuel-injection system do all the heavy lifting. It can make your engine run “richer” by allowing too much fuel and insufficient air to cause performance degradation. All these so-called fuel enhancements can cause engine damage.

Shutterstock.com

Shutterstock.com

18. Whistle Tip

Your exhaust pipe will have whistle tips, which are metal fittings that are welded to it. They make an otherwise normal car louder by forcing it through a narrow pathway. California banned them in 2000, shortly after their appearance. Other states followed California’s lead. They are illegal wherever you live but they can attract traffic stops. You could be cited for violating local noise ordinances.

Shutterstock.com

Shutterstock.com

19. Anti-Static Straps

Anyone who has ever been shocked by static electricity emitted from their car’s doors knows how irritating and disruptive it can be. However, rubber straps with conductive materials embedded in them can almost eliminate the possibility. These straps hang from the undercarriage and contact the ground. Anti-static straps are able to ground the vehicle and remove static electricity, but they only work by dragging something on the road.

Shutterstock.com

Shutterstock.com

20. Rain-Sensing Windshield Wipers

They are a good idea, but most rain-sensing wipers aren’t up to the job. The sensors can turn them on even when it isn’t raining. They can also speed up or down to suit the individual driver’s needs.

Shutterstock.com

Shutterstock.com

21. Oversized tires and wheels

It will cost you more to purchase larger wheels at the dealership than it will be to replace them. Keep the tires on your car that are smaller and less expensive.

Shutterstock.com

Shutterstock.com

22. Heated Car Seats

While heated car seats can be an expensive luxury, they can increase the vehicle’s cost significantly. You can instead buy a heated cover for your car’s seats. Amazon sells heated seat covers specifically made for cars for as low as $25.

Shutterstock.com

Shutterstock.com

23. Car headlight wipers

Clearing ice and snow from your car’s headlights can be difficult. However, paying for car wipers can make it more painful. Reader’s Digest stated that the wipers are fragile and prone to breaking, and they are costly to replace.

Shutterstock.com

Shutterstock.com

24. Keyless ignition

Other than the “cool factor”, there isn’t any real benefit to keyless ignition. It’s nice to have keyless ignition as standard on your car, but it’s not worth paying more.

Shutterstock.com

Shutterstock.com

25. In-Line Electric Turbochargers

According to Hot Cars, while real-deal electric turbochargers provide an immediate boost and are easy to maintain, the price tag of around $6,000 is too high. You can also find cheaper options online at Amazon and eBay, but they don’t really work, so it is a waste of money.

Shutterstock.com

Shutterstock.com

26. Upgraded Alternators

Hot Cars claims that upgrading alternators for standard cars can be costly to install and may put additional strain on the engine. This upgrade is not recommended if you don’t have a custom vehicle.

Juerg Schreiter / Shutterstock.com

Juerg Schreiter / Shutterstock.com

27. Lift Kits

A lift is an expensive upgrade, as is lowering your car. Lift kits are not only expensive at $4,000, but can also make your car illegal if you raise it above a certain level. Hot Cars says that lift kits can lead to performance issues as they can strain the engine, drive shafts, and linkages.

More from GOBankingRates

Andrew Lisa And Gabrielle Olya This article was contributed by the authors.

This article first appeared on GOBankingRates.com: Car Upgrades You Should Never Spend Your Money On

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