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Old 15th December 2011, 16:22   #16
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Default Re: Are we hypocritical on safety?

In my view modifying a car that will adversely affect the car or Safety in any way is a strict no-no. But most modifications that are good for the car or the safety of passengers/ pedestrians are always a welcome.

Modifications that are fine are

1. Alloy wheels/upsizing - Most cars now come in two variants one with Steel wheel and another with Alloy. one standard size another upsized. So if the manufacturer's themselves are providing these variants there is no harm in modifying the car as long as he mod is in line with Manufacturer's specs.

2. powerful headlights - Yes the battery /wiring would be loaded hence it is advised to add additional relay if required to take the additional load.

3. Wider tyres - This is ok within a specific range. if one uses too broad a tyre then the tyres may foul the wheelarches or impact the suspensions.

Mods that are a definite no-no -

1. Engine ECU remap - Very dangerous in terms of car/passenger safety. It will also hamper the life of the engine, transmission, brakes and other related components.

2. Increasing the Ground clearance by adding suspension spacers. This will make the car unsafe as well as impact the suspension on the long run.

Last edited by DieselFan : 15th December 2011 at 16:26.
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Old 15th December 2011, 16:56   #17
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Default Re: Are we hypocritical on safety?

Good thread Thoma! Can clearly understand your PoV. But a few points to note – quite aligned to what Sgiitk , Anekho, Mayankk etc. have mentioned.

After countless hours of R&D sometimes the same manufacturer may decide to go for a bit of cost cutting. E.g.; cheaper tyres, or low grade music system. And the same manufacturer may assist in a change/modification for a price – change of tyres of chose a better music system from their accessories range.

And at times, the same car manufactured here may carry better fittings on an export version. Which means those additions are tested by the manufacturer, but deemed as unnecessary for our market. Recently I saw an article mentioning that Tata is trying to reduce the weight of passenger cars like Indica by using lighter metal sheets. The current ones were made heavier to meet European safety norms, and now they feel Indian version does not really need it. Isn’t that a bit of negative R&D?
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Old 15th December 2011, 17:01   #18
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Default Re: Are we hypocritical on safety?

Quote:
Originally Posted by figo_mba View Post
I, for one support modifications.
I agree there are design considerations but dont know how adding a spoiler, adding wider tires, including a piggy back ECU etc will harm the user or anyone around.
I also want to say that people are getting hurt on the road even otherwise.
Now tell if we replace the standard brakes with ventilated brakes how is it a problem ?
Same with Bilstein shocks instead of standard shock.
Sorry, I simply think that user of the car should have the choice and I believe no owner of the car would use a component if he/she thinks that is potentially dangerous.
Potentially dangerous for whom? if it dangerous for other, won't we do that? if we have considered the safety and pontential dangers for ourself and others too, we won't be putting those HID, high power lamps, horns, spoilers etc.

I don't believe in modifications, they are mostly to impress others or a cheap way to get a look which we think is cool but can't afford. we don't have any regulatory authority to really look and make sure that all modified vehicle are road worthy.

hell, what i am taking about, we don't have any authority to monitor and control the road worthiness of unmodified vehicles either! so, people can make "jugad" and put them on road without even getting license.
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Old 15th December 2011, 18:03   #19
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Default Re: Are we hypocritical on safety?

Are we hypocritical on safety?

- I would say, more than hypocritical, we are ignorant about safety.

A lot of us believe that accidents happen only to others. These are the people who ride a bike with a helmet on the mirror. These are the people who don't fasten the seat-belt during city-driving.

A lot of us assume that the car would behave the same way even if they don't maintain it correctly or modify something crucial.

A few of us believe that just by having safety equipment in the car is sufficient and do not understand the limits of those safety equipment. (There is a thread on a Merc whose A-pillar was destroyed in an accident and people wondering why the airbags couldn't save the victim).

A few of us have never heard about defensive driving. They believe that if their car has safety equipment and if they know basic driving skills, it is sufficient. They have huge faith in their guardian angels.

A few of us don't know how to utilize the safety equipment in their cars. These are the people who have either switched off passenger side airbags or are unaware that the airbags are useless without the seatbelt or travel with kids in the backseat without the child-lock engaged. (There is a post somewhere in Accidents thread where an Captiva went turtle on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway because the driver was not aware of how does the ABS "feel" and removed his foot from the brake after the pulsating sensation).

It all boils down to ignorance!

Last edited by SDP : 15th December 2011 at 18:07.
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Old 15th December 2011, 18:22   #20
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Default Re: Are we hypocritical on safety?

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Originally Posted by Suess View Post
I don't believe in modifications, they are mostly to impress others or a cheap way to get a look which we think is cool but can't afford. we don't have any regulatory authority to really look and make sure that all modified vehicle are road worthy.
Yes HIDs and white lights definitely blind people but then HID is not a banned items some of the street legal cars also have them.

It is not true always that modifications are for showoff although i think having stickers and graphics are in that direction but never harm anyone. Having snazzy alloys or wings or painted brake calipers never hurt anyone but could be considered showoff.

Coming to other modifications like engine mods, putting a new air filter etc are not visible to the public. It is internal and not meant to showoff.

Take figo for example, it has a very competent suspension but lacks the engine power. Put in a tuning chip and the car gets better power (still safe) and this increases driving pleasure. Lesser gearshift, better fuel efficiency etc. Show off ? I do not think so. Unsafe yes if pushed to insane speeds otherwise no.

Again my point changes need not be necessarily for showoff but for other reasons. I think we spend money on our cars for the same reason why we spend money on our pets. Just my thought.
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Old 15th December 2011, 18:31   #21
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Default Re: Are we hypocritical on safety?

Quote:
Originally Posted by figo_mba View Post
Yes HIDs and white lights definitely blind people but then HID is not a banned items some of the street legal cars also have them.

It is not true always that modifications are for showoff although i think having stickers and graphics are in that direction but never harm anyone. Having snazzy alloys or wings or painted brake calipers never hurt anyone but could be considered showoff.

Coming to other modifications like engine mods, putting a new air filter etc are not visible to the public. It is internal and not meant to showoff.

Take figo for example, it has a very competent suspension but lacks the engine power. Put in a tuning chip and the car gets better power (still safe) and this increases driving pleasure. Lesser gearshift, better fuel efficiency etc. Show off ? I do not think so. Unsafe yes if pushed to insane speeds otherwise no.

Again my point changes need not be necessarily for showoff but for other reasons. I think we spend money on our cars for the same reason why we spend money on our pets. Just my thought.
HID on street legal cars are part of their design and has been put there with considerable RnD and thought.
anyway, i said "most of them", not "all of them" are show off. :-)
having engine tuned is major modification like new alloy/tyre/suspension/spoiler etc., in other countries, you need to get the road worthiness proved again after these kind of modification before putting your car on road again and your insurance liability/emi might shoot up. because these modification might be internal (or external like alloy/tyres etc.) but can put you and other people in danger.
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Old 15th December 2011, 19:06   #22
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Default Re: Are we hypocritical on safety?

well I strongly believe in having safety features in ones ride and put my money where my mouth is. Even though i was all set to buy a Safari, which was my first choice, I ended up buying a Scorpio SLE for the sole reason that at 10L (my max budget) the Scorpio gave me ABS whereas the Safari (EX) did not. the ABS equipped Safari was 12L plus. So I gladly sacrificed what my heart desired and went for what my head directed, and got a Scorp. In the two months that I have had it, I have certainly missed the ride of teh Safari but a couple of emergency stops convinced me that my decision was the correct one.

Simply put, if you love your family and yourself, you will put safety above all else. God knows there are enough mororns and more on our roads, let us at least do what we can to ensure the safety of our loved ones. Even if it means buying a top end hatch with ABS and airbags as opposed to an entry level sedan around the same price that is bereft of these safety features.
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Old 15th December 2011, 19:20   #23
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Default Re: Are we hypocritical on safety?

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Originally Posted by ethanhunt123 View Post
How does one justify putting stuff like Bull-Bars etc on their SUVs ? Not only they are fatally dangerous for pedestrians/other cars in case of accidents, they even make crumple zones useless. Still we have many BHP-ians proudly displaying their cars with bull bars and likes.
Bullbars are sold as OEM by most SUV manufacturers. So if bullbar is harmful, Manufacturers must not sell it even as OEM.

Secondly, While driving in crowded cities in traffic, i prefer to have a rear nudge guard to prevent two wheelers from banging into my bumper and denting/scratching it. It costs 8,000 on an average to paint and remove the dent of an SUV Bumper from an A.S.S.

I agree that Bullbars are dangerous to pedestrians. Assume that I am not using any bullbar and i hit a jaywalker. Do you think law is going to leave me scott free. I really doubt so unless i have some political connections. So if i am doing my part of good by not fixing a bull bar so that a pedestrian is benefit, what am i getting in return. If i hit a jaywalker i save my bumper at the very least, if i have a guard.

I know i am rude, but i am really frustated by the number of bumpers that I have replaced/repainted that i care for my bumper than the average joe.

Last edited by scopriobharath : 15th December 2011 at 19:22.
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Old 15th December 2011, 19:22   #24
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Default Re: Are we hypocritical on safety?

Interesting topic.

Though I kind of agree, I think "hypocritical" is too strong a word.

To put it mildly, I think some of the stock offerings are "simply not enough", or "not right". I'll take just my case. I purchased the Ford Endeavour. I was well aware of the vehicle and capabilities after having followed the vehicle for so long and after three test drives (one being on the pre-facelifted model). I was well aware that the stock tyres were simply no good. After purchase I continued testing this in the terrains and situations that I normally drive in. It only reaffirmed the fact. Too much body roll, longer braking distances were my main concerns and these are safety issues. I went in for the upgrade keeping in mind my safety requirements, the weight of the vehicle, usage patterns etc.

If you read my update on the tyres and alloys thread, I start it off with a "I am pro-OEM but the deficiencies were too much for me to take". Hence in my case, it was out of concern for safety that I had to upgrade.
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Old 15th December 2011, 21:01   #25
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Default Re: Are we hypocritical on safety?

People boast of the best safety having ABS, air-bags and other safety features on their XUV5OO, but still curse the ICE not letting you play videos in motion!

How many people with ABS and air-bags on their vehicle play the loudest of music on their new ICE set-up, voiding the ability to hear the oncoming vehicle's honk round the blind corner? Do we exactly need an amp and a sub-woofer in a car?
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Old 16th December 2011, 00:30   #26
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Default Re: Are we hypocritical on safety?

The topic is do we need to modify our car when the manufacture has already done its homework and potentially make it unsafe?

Firstly a maruti 800 with nothing in it,can be a potentially dangerous car if driven terribly.So its not the question that if i have a 50bhp engine and bump the power to 65 its becomes unsafe.

Modification is an ambigous term anyway,if i put leather seats on my car,i have "modified" it,and also if i put a nos kit its the same..You say if its correct to drive with loud music,why not?I personally cant,but there are many who can,and its thier personal choice and they have every right to do so.The question about overloading electricals,like someone mentioned,we wont put our family's in danger by making a tinderbox,but we know what we are getting into.

Another point,you are correct in saying manufacturers put a lot of r&d into thier components,but then we must know most car designs/platforms,suspension set ups are meant to support a wide variety of engines,vehicle body,different levels of engine tune,so all components have some tolerance levels with will support higher loads/stresses.

In the end,dont worry about modifications,if you want to live,buckle up and drive and safely.
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Old 16th December 2011, 01:34   #27
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Default Re: Are we hypocritical on safety?

Modifying a car is a personal thing. Some prefer to keep it stock, while others like to personalize their cars. It's a subjective topic, and one can't really question the authority of someone who wants to spruce his ride up.

Having said that, some modifications do affect the car in some ways. For example, poorly designed body-kits. They are not designed scientifically and the material used, sometimes, isn't of the best quality.

The thing is, a car manufacturer designs and engineers a car for the purpose of being able to satisfy the public at large. They do put a lot of thought into it, but the cars they churn out must be accepted by all. Not everyone would like a sports exhaust or fat tyres. Not everyone would like leather seats.

When a car is designed and engineered, the company keeps in mind the common man who buys this car. They don't build the car to its true potential. Cars like the Old Honda City could easily produce power upwards of 130 bhp. But the masses wouldn't want a 130 bhp Honda. They want a reliable, fuel-efficient and easy-to-drive car. And that's why most cars that are designed and engineered for the public aren't built to their true potential.

ABS/EBD, Airbags are not 'features'. They are supposed to be mandatory. But they aren't offered in the lesser variants of most cars. It's unfortunate. But that's the case.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DieselFan View Post


Mods that are a definite no-no -

1. Engine ECU remap - Very dangerous in terms of car/passenger safety. It will also hamper the life of the engine, transmission, brakes and other related components.
I hope you're being sarcastic.

ECU mods can be dangerous, if not done properly.

But if you do get it right, it will improve the cars performance a great deal. The life of the engine wouldn't be compromised, and the tranny should be good too. But I don't see how the brakes would be affected by ECU mods?

A reliable engine-guy could do the job well, as long as you find the right guy.

Cars are like human beings in many ways. If you over-do something, you're bound to suffer for it. Eating less veggies, devouring meat and chocolates, etc is never good for the system, and you will pay with consequences. However, if you find the right balance, you should be fine, 99% of the time

Last edited by suhaas307 : 16th December 2011 at 01:36.
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Old 16th December 2011, 07:33   #28
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Default Re: Are we hypocritical on safety?

Bull bars and nudge guards are not merely sold in India. These are available in other countries too, at the dealers place. There must be some logic there, because their safety measures are much more stringent than ours here.

I understand that if the bull bar is bolted onto the chassis of the vehicle, especially in case it is a ladder-frame vehicle, this can cause trouble post any impact.

On a monocoque, I do believe it is very dicey because the whole body acts as a chassis.

Further, the vehicle's inherent safety measures may not work in case a bull bar is mounted - one may find cases of the airbags not coming on etc in case of impact.

There is also the issue of pedestrian safety - modern cars are designed to also look after pedestrian safety and I am sure bull bars will detract significantly from this aspect.

While I had a bull bar on my Scorpio and sold it on along with all its accessories, I would no longer venture into bull bars and the like in the new vehicle (s) that I may buy now and in future.

Quote:
Originally Posted by scopriobharath View Post
Bullbars are sold as OEM by most SUV manufacturers. So if bullbar is harmful, Manufacturers must not sell it even as OEM.

Secondly, While driving in crowded cities in traffic, i prefer to have a rear nudge guard to prevent two wheelers from banging into my bumper and denting/scratching it. It costs 8,000 on an average to paint and remove the dent of an SUV Bumper from an A.S.S.

I agree that Bullbars are dangerous to pedestrians. Assume that I am not using any bullbar and i hit a jaywalker. Do you think law is going to leave me scott free. I really doubt so unless i have some political connections. So if i am doing my part of good by not fixing a bull bar so that a pedestrian is benefit, what am i getting in return. If i hit a jaywalker i save my bumper at the very least, if i have a guard.

I know i am rude, but i am really frustated by the number of bumpers that I have replaced/repainted that i care for my bumper than the average joe.
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Old 16th December 2011, 09:17   #29
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Default Re: Are we hypocritical on safety?

Quote:
Originally Posted by suhaas307 View Post
I hope you're being sarcastic.

ECU mods can be dangerous, if not done properly.

But if you do get it right, it will improve the cars performance a great deal. The life of the engine wouldn't be compromised, and the tranny should be good too. But I don't see how the brakes would be affected by ECU mods?

A reliable engine-guy could do the job well, as long as you find the right guy.
I actually meant it 100%. ECU mods are bad for engines,transmission, brakes, tyres etc. All car components are designed for a specific Max/average Power/tourque. If you do stunts like mods to increase the same it will have impact on not just the engine but also related components especially transmission.

There is no good or bad way to carry out ECU mod. If it was that simple to increase power/tourque without affecting the components of the car then the manufacturers themselves would have done the same. You seem to suggest all our car manufacturers are dumb.

Last edited by DieselFan : 16th December 2011 at 09:19.
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Old 16th December 2011, 09:42   #30
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Default Re: Are we hypocritical on safety?

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Originally Posted by thoma View Post
A manufacturer releases a product after much research and testing. Even the smallest screw used in our car is actually a design component. The slightest modification we do on our car, are we not mocking the countless hours of R & D put behind in building such a wonderful engineering, the car?
Cars are designed with lot of tolerances. And they are also built to certain specs like price, FE, government regulations, etc., in mind. When you deviate from it, it is not the same as stepping off the cliff. It is not tightrope walking all the time. When you modify well within limits, you are not compromising on safety.

For example, in the 80s I remember that whenever somebody buys a HM ambassador car, they had to completely dismantle and re-weld the car in a private workshop. Was that mockery of the HM R&D division? Absolutely and it was a well deserved mockery. In fact, anybody who cared about safety, had to do it.

Even now, many car makers in India sell undertyred cars to get better FE. Same cars are being sold with wider tyres in other countries where safety has higher priority. So who is being hypocritical on safety here?

After market mods don't essentially mean compromising on safety or mockery or R&D holy cows. Lot of us do modifications here. Some people do it well within design parameters, and some go overboard. When the latter happens, they usually get brick bats from the community. That kind of keeps the balance.
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