Is Modifying a Lease Car Allowed?

modifying a leased car

Do you drive a leased car? The car technically still belongs to the dealership. As such, this drastically limits what you’re allowed to do with the vehicle. With respects to modifying a leased car, what is and isn’t permissible?

What’s Allowed?

We can’t give you a universal answer because every lease contract is different. Always review the terms and conditions. Just to be sure, you could also contact your dealership and enquire whether the desired modification is allowed.

Generally, major modifications, such as adding an aftermarket air intake or performance brakes on a street performance car, are out of the question. However, some mods that are reversible might be okay.

Again, always speak with your dealership. We have, however, performed the following modifications on leased vehicles:

  • Tow bar: This is usually an acceptable addition for off-road performance cars.
  • Dashboard camera: This is usually allowed because it’s a safety feature that could help you avoid a collision. In fact, most modifications meant to protect a vehicle are usually okay.
  • Roof rack: Most overhead car racks are easy to install and remove. Therefore, they’re usually permissible.
  • Car decals and wraps: These are common on leased commercial fleet vehicles for advertising purposes.

Be Mindful of Wear and Tear

Cost of damage on a leased vehicle that’s beyond normal wear and tear comes out of your pocket. This is where you have to be careful with modifications. Installation and removal of add-ons may cause damage. For this reason, we suggest installation and deinstallation by a professional rather than trying to do the job yourself.

We Modify Leased Cars

Our auto service performs modifications on your vehicle to the extent it is allowed under your leasing terms. Bring your car to Northwest Performance and Off Road for mods and maintenance. We are occasionally modifying a leased car for clients who are requesting modest add-ons.

Modifications for All Car Types

Passionate auto repair service in Everett, Edmonds, Lake Stevens, Lynnwood, Marysville, Monroe, Mill Creek, Mukilteo & Snohomish

Improve Car Performance with a Lip Kit

lip kit

If you’re exploring various performance modifications for your street car, then you may have come across automotive lip kits. Do these kits work or are they merely aesthetic add-ons? The consensus regarding lip kits is mixed. 

What Are Lip Kits?

A lip kit mainly consists of a spoiler that goes underneath the front bumper and side skirts. The spoiler improves balance and aerodynamic performance. In addition, it may also serve as a barrier that protects from scrapes and bumps. Lip kits are also known as lip spoilers or chin spoilers. 

Does a Lip Kit Work?

Don’t expect the addition of a lip kit to shave minutes or even seconds off your lap time. However, the spoiler does reduce lift and increase down force. It improves aerodynamics by reducing the airflow that passes underneath the vehicle, thus preventing too much drag. This also cuts down on turbulence. Some drivers also notice better handling especially during tight turns. They note that the car feels more solid and stable.

We must emphasize again that the increased performance is not massive, but you may notice subtle improvements in speed.

Lip Kits Vs Body Kits

A lip kit should not be confused with a body kit, though the two share similarities. A body kit is available in different varieties and typically includes a set of aftermarket bumpers and/or spoilers. It may certainly include a lip spoiler among other add-ons.

Body kits may be available as self-installation kits, or you can arrange for installation at your local auto service and maintenance.

We Install Automotive Performance Enhancements

A lip kit is one of many aftermarket parts we install for street performance and off-road vehicles. Bring your car to Northwest Performance and Off-Road for add-ons. These include automotive lip kits and other cost-effective mods that improve performance in subtle but noticeable ways.

Spoiler and Other Performance-Enhancement Installations

Passionate auto repair, performance enhancement & service in Everett, Edmonds, Lake Stevens, Lynnwood, Marysville, Monroe, Mill Creek, Mukilteo & Snohomish

Can Your Car Benefit from a Raised Air Intake?

raised air intakeFor optimum off-road performance, one worthy modification is a raised air intake. This may boost engine performance if you frequently drive on dirt and muddy tracks. Here’s how to tell whether this add-on is right for your pickup truck or 4×4.

What Is a Raised Air Intake?

A raised air intake is exactly what its name suggests. It’s an air intake that’s higher off the floor. Stock intakes are normally located near the front wheel arches, just a few inches above the ground. A raised intake is located flush with the roof or above the roofline. Due to its appearance, some people refer to a raised air intake as a car snorkel.

What Is the Purpose of a Raised Air Intake?

Air that is higher off the floor is cleaner. Air closer to ground level has dirt and other pollutants especially as the tires kick up debris. This makes stock air intakes more likely to allow in dust, causing the filter to clog. A raised intake, being higher off the ground, absorbs cooler air that is free of contaminants and water. This means purer oxygen that mixes with the fuel for more efficient combustion. The end result is more power and torque. Continue Reading →

Does an Anti-Roll Bar Increase Performance?

anti-roll bar, stabilizer barFor performance car owners who race their vehicles, every microsecond counts on the track. Various modifications help decrease lap time. One of the more affordable add-ons is an anti-roll bar. Let’s look at how this contraption really improves performance.

What Is an Anti-Roll Bar?

Anti-roll bars also go by the names anti-sway bars and stabilizer bars. When you make a sharp turn, you should notice the car and your body pull towards the outside. The outside of the car pushes down while the side of the car on the inside of the turn rises. It could even rise completely off the track if you make a sharp enough turn.

From a racing perspective, this weight redistribution is bad. This reduces traction and makes steering more difficult to manage. Ideally, you want the car to remain as flat as possible for the duration of the entire turn. This is where the stabilizing action of an anti-roll bar comes in. Continue Reading →

Does Your Car Require Performance Brakes?

performance brakes, racing brakesUnless you race your car on tracks, performance racing brakes are not necessary. For weekend racers, they are an absolute must. Find out why aftermarket brakes are a necessity for street performance cars.

Why Stock Brakes Are Insufficient

OEM brakes are susceptible to what is known as brake fade under racing conditions. Brakes disperse a car’s kinetic energy as thermal energy. Overuse can result in loss of effectiveness. Performance brakes can more effectively dissipate heat build-up.

How Are Performance Brakes Superior?

Performance brakes come in various styles, but all of them withstand greater heat buildup. Some utilize braided stainless steel with a polyurethane jacket for the brake lines. This provides more rigidity than the rubber hose in a standard brake system.

Other upgrades include slotted and cross-drilled rotors. These more efficiently remove heat because of increased airflow. Continue Reading →

Tow Strap Vs Recovery Strap: What’s the Difference?

tow strap vs recovery strap, tow strap, recovery strapOur modifications for off-road vehicles include additions that enhance towing capability. SUVs like the Jeep Wrangler are made for towing less capable cars out of ditches and rough terrain. This nitty-gritty task requires either a tow strap or recovery strap. So, tow strap vs recovery strap; which should you use?

What Is a Tow Strap?

The two straps are not interchangeable; each one has its own specific application. You use a tow strap for just that—towing a freely moving vehicle. The characteristics of tow straps also differ from recovery straps. The former consists of non-stretchable polyester with metal hooks on the end.

The non-stretchable characteristic is why you cannot use them for recovery. Excessive pulling force can cause the strap to snap, causing the metal hook to be propelled in the driver’s direction. Tow straps need to remain taught with minimal slack. Too much stretching and contracting creates dangerous jerking motions. Continue Reading →

Four Types of Car Wraps for a Slick Look

car wraps, car film wrap, car vinyl wrapWindow tinting is a form of car wrap, though other types of car wraps exist as well. These modifications especially are especially stunning with sport performance vehicles. The aesthetics really create that street racer appearance. Let’s take a look at some of these wraps.

Headlight Tinting

You can tint your car headlights much the same way you can tint the windows. Contrary to popular belief, headlight tinting is not illegal. Of course, the tint can’t be so dark that it blocks out the lights. The film that goes over the headlights also acts as a barrier that protects the headlight cover from clouding up.

Roof Wrap

Vinyl wraps can go over the roof. These provide a snazzy visual impact and are an affordable alternative to repainting your car. Wrapping only requires a single sheet of vinyl and is quick to install due to the uniform shape of the roof. You can just as easily remove the wrap anytime without damage to the paint. Continue Reading →

Five Low-Cost Car Mods Under $100

low cost car mods, inexpensive modificationsCar modifications don’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. You can improve both your vehicle’s performance and aesthetics without breaking the bank. Here are some low-cost car mods that usually cost no more than $100.

1. Air Intake Filter

An aftermarket air intake filter is an especially good, yet inexpensive, modification for off-road performance. Dirt-heavy trails mean that more debris enters the engine cabin. Manufacturers design factory filters mainly for regular road conditions. Low-cost aftermarket filters, though, use media filtration technology that blocks dirt while improving airflow.

2. Exhaust Muffler

An aftermarket exhaust muffler is not as expensive as most people think it is. Of course, it varies, but most non-factory mufflers are low-cost yet come in sleek designs that add horsepower. It’s also an inexpensive way to create that roaring engine noise street performance car owners love. Continue Reading →

Should You Install HID Headlights?

HID headlights, high intensity discharge headlightsHigh-intensity discharge (HID) headlights are a fairly common modification for street performance cars. They’re also popular among off-road vehicles due to their greater luminosity. Are HID headlights right for your type of vehicle? Precise installation is required depending on the car model.

What Are High-Intensity Headlights?

HID headlights, also known as xenon headlights, are a signature staple in aftermarket upgrades. Performance-wise, they’re comparable to LED headlights. Foreign models, such as Audi and BMW, come equipped with these stylish lights.

Positive features of HID lights include a higher spectrum of visibility and three times the longevity of traditional halogen lamps. HID headlights are also energy efficient, using about 25% less energy than halogen bulbs. Finally, you can’t deny the cool factor of xenon lights. They exude all things Fast and Furious.

HID Drawbacks

HID headlights do have a few negative features. For one, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety won’t say definitively that HID lights outperform Halogen headlights. It cites too many exceptions. No two HID lights perform the same; vehicle model also affects overall quality.

Consumer Reports also weighed in. The lights received mixed scores with respect to low beam performance, scoring “good” in some models and only “fair” in others. Continue Reading →

How to Safely Reduce Vehicle Base Weight

reduce vehicle base weightAs you incorporate add-ons to your vehicle, its weight goes up. For performance car owners who wants to own the fastest possible set of wheels, this presents a dilemma. One solution that will compensate for this weight gain is to reduce the vehicle base weight. We’ll list some parts you can remove without drastically affecting function.

Weight Reduction Increases Speed

You can shave about 1/10th of a second off your lap time for every 100-pound reduction in weight. That may seem miniscule, but for avid racers, every little bit makes a difference. In addition, cars will also experience about a one horsepower increase for every 18-pounds you remove.

We do advise car owners to be strategic about what they take out. To maintain optimal handling, aim for an even 50/50 weight reduction in the front and rear. A car with uneven weight may not have maximum momentum when entering and exiting the apex of a turn. Continue Reading →