What Mods Actually Make Your Car Worse?

Cars are designed with particular parts in mind, and messing with these can have unintended consequences

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Photo: Jalopnik / David Tracy

Modding our cars is a fun and worthwhile way to tailor our machines to suit us, but sometimes our mods have a way of breaking our cars instead of making them better. What are some mods that actually make your car worse?

We’ve warned drivers against making cheap and quick modifications to suspensions before. As we said then, when referring to cutting springs or lowering them, suspensions systems are systems, parts working together. Springs and shocks are more or less matched to each other. Modifying one could have unexpected consequences on the other.


I’ve harped on this before, and I’m going to harp on it again. I dislike lift kits. For anything other than a dedicated off-roading rig, it introduces compromises that I’m not willing to make. Where is your SUV going to live most of the time?Be honest when you ask yourself that, and mod your car accordingly. Save yourself the money, and the trouble.

I can probably count the number of times I’ve seen a Wrangler on the road that wasn’t lifted. Because of that, when I do see Jeep riding at stock height, I nod to myself happily and think that’s a driver who knows themselves and their car better than most.


In fact, I think Wranglers actually look better without lift kits! They look much more balanced with their stock tires, on their stock ride height. My favorite Wrangler of all time didn’t need to be very tall to look awesome. It was just doing its thing, outrunning a T-Rex without a lift kit, thank you.

I’ve never owned a lifted Wrangler, but my lifted Cherokee was a pain in the ass on the highway. So cheap lift kits are my answer to this question. But what about you? What do you think are some mods that actually make your car worse?