6 Worst (And Most Dangerous) Automotive Interior Upgrades
How many times have you have seen a custom car interior done on the cheap that didn't look like it had been assembled by a gaggle of 10 year olds with an unlimited line of credit at J.C. Whitney? It's puzzling, but the worst parts of personalizing the passenger compartment of a vehicle almost always tend towards excess, tackiness, or faux-racer cred.
Each of these dark paths bring with it their own interior upgrade pathos, which is why we gathered up the worst car mods you can make to your cabin and explain why you might want to reconsider all of those stick-on/paint-on accessories and 'functional' track safety gear that's actually going to put you at greater risk out on the street.
Check out the worst interior mods you're likely to find in the wild and woolly world of do-it-yourself style.
Stick-On Carbon Fiber
Carbon fiber is prized among car builders because it's both lightweight and strong, allowing it to serve many roles in the construction of a high performance car. It's also one of the most popular ways for low-buck customizers to add an 'exotic' look to their interior of their automobile by way of stick-on panels made out of the thinnest sheets of carbon fiber swept up from the floors of real tuner shops.
'Just look at how light my interior is!' these adhesive-applied dash panels, door cards, and shifter surrounds scream to uninterested passersby and jealous 14 year olds eyeing with envy in the supermarket parking lot. And yet, little thought is given to the fact that the car would be even lighter if it didn't have meaningless cosmetic carbon fiber added to the mix. Because how would everyone know how fast your car was if they couldn't see the weight savings?
Unpadded Roll Bars/Roll Cages
Roll bars and roll cages make a lot of sense for a car that's going to spend time on a race track, where participants are wearing helmets and are strapped in as tightly as possible to their seats.
On the street, where you're attached with a 3-point belt and only wear a helmet if prescribed one by a childhood doctor, having solid steel anywhere near your skull or limbs is a recipe for broken bones and the kind of head injuries that airbags and soft-touch interior panels are designed to prevent. Imagine yourself flailing around inside a jungle gym during an earthquake and you'll quickly get the idea why you need to fully foam up with padding or simply retire your track car from street duty.
A Dozen LCD Screens
First it was TVs in the headrests. Then on the center stack, whirring out of the head unit to pop-up and block your access to the climate controls.
After that it was a screen on the gauge cluster, one behind each sun visor, and one in between the rear seats that inverts the image so you can watch it in your rearview mirror. Don’t forget the Playstation in the front seat and the DVR so you don't miss a single episode of 'Pimp My Ride.'
Remember what we said above about being tucked in tight on the track? That might be fine when you don't have to deal with cross-traffic, but day-to-day driving in a racing harness means you're stuck to your seat to the point where you can't even lean forward to look both ways through an intersection.
Oh, and if you do loosen the belts enough for a bit of back-and-forth motion, you'll be rewarded with a broken sternum should you ever end up in a collision, because harnesses belts don't have any give to them like a standard seatbelt. It's the impact equivalent of chest-planting onto a concrete sidewalk.
Full Race Seats
Adding to the fun of low visibility in a high stress situation are full race seats. Often equipped with wings that make it difficult to see 90 degrees on either side of your face, and certainly bolstered to the point where turning to check your blind spot is an exercise in futility anyway, these buckets were never designed to deal with the flow of highway or city traffic.
All of this is on top of the contortions required for you and your passenger to get in and out of the vehicle once they're installed. Don't worry—that person riding beside you will most likely only ever want to do it once.
DIY Interior Paint
Tired of the color scheme inside your car? Want to both drastically lower its resale value and advertise to the world your inability to keep it between the lines? Then why not paint your vehicle's interior using the most garish possible hues, either in matte rattle can or brush-marked plastidip?
Try to think of the last time you saw a car come from the factory with bright blue air vents, or a lime green gauge cluster. Then remember that you're thinking of the bumper cars from the state fair. You know, the ones that the kids all threw up in. Because the colors were so awful.
If you thought these interior mods were bad, wait until you check out all the unnecessary aero that's out there.