Pros and Cons to Import Car Tuning

January 27, 2012

Tuning your import car has gone from a rarely known hobby to a worldwide craze over the past decade, but for those just getting into the subject, questions about the pros and cons of tuning your import might make entry into the subject somewhat intimidating. Before venturing into the world of import car tuning and import car parts, it may be a good idea to get a general overview on the subject.

Benefits to Import Tuning

One of the most common reasons that draws enthusiasts into automotive tuning is the relative affordability to performance ratio. This isn't to say that import tuning is cheap; in fact, it can be very expensive, but the ability to make a cheap vehicle perform on par with exotic high budget super cars with price tags of several hundred thousand dollars can be very enticing. By improving the all around performance of your vehicle, you can greatly increase the enjoyment when driving as well as potentially increase safety and predictability when done properly. For those who enjoy cars and mechanical work, there will always be tuning and planning to do, and it is very likely you will meet many other people who share your passion for cars.

Disadvantages to Import Tuning

One of the biggest disadvantages to import tuning, aside from its sometimes prohibitive cost, is the effect if has on resale value. While an owner may spend tens of thousands of dollars on modifications to increase performance, more often than not, the value of the vehicle will not increase to match. In most cases a modified vehicle will actually be worth far less than a stock example. The reason for this is due to the effects of modification on the overall vehicle's performance. While a manufacturer may spend millions on research and development in order to weed out any undesirable driveability quirks, these quirks are quite common in enthusiast tuned vehicles. Combined with the fact that tuning a car specializes it to an owner's specific tastes, which in turn limits its mass appeal, selling a modified vehicle will generally be nothing but a headache. In addition to resale problems, insurance premiums can drastically increase simply for driving a heavily modified vehicle.

While sleepers, or tuned vehicles purposely kept as stock looking as possible, can evade many problems, for most vehicles that are substantially changed in appearance, problems with police and potential theft can be the thorn in the automotive enthusiast's side. A flashy car will ensure the police see everything you do, which can contribute to harassment as well as an increased chance for tickets. Thieves will know your vehicle can stand to make them a profit, thus making you a target.

From a monetary standpoint, import tuning would seem to be a horrible idea, but for those who love driving and love cars, it can be a labor of love and one that gives great enjoyment and inner peace. For those just getting into the field, learning on a cheap, used vehicle can negate many of the downsides, without giving any less of a reward.