Top Ten illegal vehicle modifications
Everyone likes to make their vehicle their own when purchasing a new or second hand vehicle. Whether it is a set of fluffy dice, cow print seat covers or My Family Stickers on the back window. There are many different ways to have your vehicle feel like it is expressing you and your individuality. It also helps to find your car when you are searching for it in a large shopping centre car park especially if you have a popular make, model and colour vehicle.
The only problem is that some of these items are actually illegal and when you are pimping your car you need to know what changes can be made according to the rules and that your vehicle is kept road worthy.
1- One of the most common items is the size of the car’s rims. Nothing makes a car look tougher than a brand new set of alloy wheels. What needs to be kept in mind is that to pass a Safety Certificate in Queensland, the Department of Transport allows the vehicle to have rims that are either 2 inches larger or smaller than the size that the vehicle comes from the factory standard with. Anything above or below this is illegal and will not pass a Safety Certificate Inspection.
2- Another top favourite is window tint. It makes a huge difference to the temperature inside the vehicle and the summer road trips more comfortable but you need to keep in mind that there is a limit to the darkness of the tint that is legal. Anything that is darker than 35% is illegal and the vehicle will not pass a Safety Certificate Inspection.
3- Tinting headlight and taillight covers are popular on many vehicles. The unfortunate thing is that it will need to be removed to pass a Safety Certificate Inspection and a lot of the time this is one of the hardest tints to remove. Think twice about applying this to your vehicle.
4 - Race seatbelt harnesses are not legal to fit to any vehicle that is registered on Queensland’s roads. There is no modification plate that can be obtained that can allow them to be fitted legally. If you wish to modify a vehicle to this spec, best to be de-registering it and turn it into a track car rather than an everyday car.
5 - Seats – Removing, adding or changing them to bucket seats. All seat modifications require a modification plate to be legal. There are many regulations and specifications that need to be met when changing the seats in a vehicle. Common seat removals are when a van is converted into a camper van and the back seats are removed to create room for a bed or a bench seat is removed from an older vehicle and replaced with bucket seats.
If the seat modification plate is not attached the vehicle at the time of inspection it will not pass a Safety Certificate Inspection.
6- Xenion headlights are illegal to fit to a vehicle aftermarket even though they are fitted standard in some vehicles from the factory. The reason for this is because the high intensity discharge lenses that are fitted in the headlights have self-levelling headlight assemblies and washers. However, fitting these lenses in the taillight of a vehicle as an aftermarket part is okay.
7- Lowering the height of a vehicle is very popular when making a car your own. However, the Code of Practice states that a vehicle cannot be lower at any point under the vehicle than 100mm.
8- Removal of leaf springs or coil springs to fit air bag suspension is illegal. It is often used by vehicle owners who wish to control the height of their vehicle from being very low to normal height. Airbag suspension can be used though in conjunction with its current suspension system to help take larger loads of weight.
9- Steering wheels – if a vehicle comes with an airbag from the factory standard then any aftermarket steering wheel must have an airbag. The size of the steering wheel cannot be lower than 25mm than the factory standard steering or be under 350mm in diameter.
Wood Grain steering wheels can only be fitted if they are from a factory.
10- The fitting of any turbo chargers to a vehicle aftermarket requires a modification plate. When planning to modify your engine it is best to contact a business that is qualified to issue the modification plate for the changes you want to make. That way then you can discuss the regulations and make sure that you are purchasing parts that you are going to be able to keep on the vehicle.
If in doubt of any modifications to your vehicle, contact the Department of Transport and they will be able to advise you on whether or not you are legally allowed to make the changes.