Painting the car in the same color as before is allowed, however, if a different color is to be given, approval from RTO is necessary, and the change should be documented in the RC book. Any color can be chosen, except the army green color which is reserved for vehicles belonging to the Indian army. Experts advise that while choosing a different color, make sure that the original color is removed completely by scraping or sandblasting, and not just priming over the existing color and applying the new paint. This is necessary because in case the new color chips, the older color peeking out looks worse. One reason as to why the permission of RTO must be sought before painting the car is to reduce the number of crimes, as changing the color of a car can be used by criminals to get away undetected.
Car horns are generally designed in such a way that other motorists or pedestrians get an idea about the design of the car from the sound of the horn. For example, smaller cars have a horn higher in pitch than the larger ones. Changing the car horn is not illegal, however, the frequency of the sound should not exceed 80 decibels. Air horns or pressure horns are banned taking into consideration the safety of the environment as well as people, as they cause noise pollution,
Sometimes, the car engine may start giving problems even though the rest of the car is in a good condition. A faulty car engine can be replaced with a new one with the necessary permission from the RTO. One can improvise the Horsepower and efficiency by replacing the engine. However, the capacity of the new engine should not exceed that of the original one. It should match the specifications given by the manufacturer. The bill passed by the Supreme Court in 2019 clearly prohibits any modifications that do not comply with the manufacturer’s stipulations. If any changes are made, they must be done with proper approval from RTO. This includes the change in car seat number, which must show in the RC book, and this can be done only with RTO’s go-ahead.
In India, it is illegal to change the exhaust of a car unless it is approved by the RTO. Aftermarket exhausts that exceed 100 decibels and cause nuisance to motorists and pedestrians are banned.
Making alterations in the car suspension and changing the ground clearance can enhance the quality of the drive. However, care should be taken that the ground clearance is not changed by a big margin. A change of a few millimetres is acceptable, but either lowering the height too much or increasing by several inches, can pose problems. When dealing with suspensions, one must understand the difference between coil springs and shock absorbers. Coils basically carry the weight of the vehicle and enhance the quality of the ride. Shock absorbers dampen the oscillations of the coils and smoothen the ride. So changing the shock absorbers will give a better quality of smoothness to the ride. Cracked or worn-out bushings may have to be replaced to improve the suspension.
A tinted window blocks the majority of the sunlight that can otherwise directly filer inside a car through the windows. India being a tropical country, the sun shines almost the whole year, and the summer season can take temperatures to intolerable limits. As a result, in spite of the air conditioning, the sun streaming from the car windows can make the passenger extremely uncomfortable due to the prickly heat of the direct rays. Tinted windows serve the purpose of filtering out most of these rays so that the inside of the car doesn’t bear the brunt of the heat. Tinted glasses also afford some privacy to the occupants as everything inside the car is not clearly visible as it is without the tinted windows. In 1988, the Motor Vehicles Act was passed, stating that the front and rear windshield should allow 70 % VLT (Visual Light Transmission), while the windows should allow 50 % VLT. However, in 2012, the Supreme court of India passed a ruling which prohibits the use of tinted glass or any alternatives like sun film. The trigger for this ruling was the increasing number of crimes that could take place in the close confines of a car with tinted glasses. However, if the tinted glass conforms to the standards dictated by the Motor vehicles act of 1988, then it is acceptable. Lighter shades of tint can be used, which are equally effective against UV rays and sunlight and yet aren’t too dark. While purchasing the product, it is better to confirm that the brand is a reliable one and that all these government regulations are met.
The number of car seats in a car cannot be altered. However, modifications can be made to suit physically disabled persons. These modifications may include customizations like automatic or hand-operated accelerators or brakes, adapted mirrors, or wheelchair lifts. Certain modifications can also be made to make the posture healthy while seating in the car. In India, especially in metro cities where the daily average travel time to and fro from the office exceeds two hours, it is important that the car seats maintain a good and healthy posture. If the car seats do not maintain a good posture, they may give rise to back and neck problems in the long run. Specially designed cushions are available that are effective in reducing the existent flaws in the car seat design and giving a better posture to the rider. Even though the number of car seats cannot be reduced or increase, there are a number of aftermarket modifications that can make the car seats plusher and more comfortable.
In India, the government has laid down rules regarding the number plate, which must be abided by. Changing the font, size, dimensions, or adding fancy animation or artwork is not allowed. So basically any kind of fancy number plates are not allowed.
Car roof is an integral part of the structure of a car, and as such, doing any modifications in the same can compromise the structural integrity of the car. Hence any modifications to the car roof, like cutting the car roof (convertible style) or creating a sunroof are not allowed.
Changing the headlights and tail lights is not allowed. One cannot change the color of the lights as well. Too bright lights can temporarily blind the driver of an oncoming car and this may lead to accidents. Equipping the car with additional flashing lights of any form or color, or beacon lights is illegal and not allowed. The only lights which can be safely installed are LED lights and artillery lamps. The artillery lamps should not be equipped above the prominence of stock headlamps and should be covered while on public roads. Similarly, the tails lamps can be modified with LED intercalate to make them look posher, but changing the color of the tail lamp is illegal and not allowed.
Crash guard, also known as Bill bar, is a metallic structure attached to the front of the bumper of a car. It was originally designed to save the car in the event of a collision, by absorbing the shock of the initial impact. However, crash guards prove to be more dangerous. One reason is that they reduce the distance between two cars and can themselves be the cause of the collision. Secondly, they bear the impact of the collision but transfer the energy to the entire body of the car. And third, the most important reason is that the protective airbags open in the event of collusion only when the bonnet of the vehicle bears the impact. If the impact is on the coast guard and it does not reach the bonnet, airbags do not open, which can be very dangerous.
Car tyres can be altered provided they fit within the speculations laid down by the car manufacturer. While changing tyres, due consideration should be given to the speed rating and the load index. The new tyres should have better quality as regards speed rating and load index, while still conforming to the manufacturer’s specifications. Attaching huge tyres which do not fit into the specifications is risky and illegal. The width of the car should never protrude beyond the body of the car.
The body lift kit is something that helps to increase the height of the car, without making any changes in the car suspension. However, these can prove dangerous and are illegal in India.
Trying to increase the width and length of a vehicle to make it look like an expensive car is illegal, and banned in India.