For many Australians, our cars truly are our most prized possessions, one in which many of us invest considerable sums of cash. This is especially true for those who’ve modified their vehicles to improve aesthetics and functionality. These modifications often come at a significant expense, and not only in terms of the actual modifications themselves, like aftermarket rims, tinted windows and lowered suspensions, but also in terms of the fines dished out for non-compliance with Government regulations.
While there are often many benefits to vehicle modifications, for example, raising the suspension on a 4×4 to further your off-road adventures, you must be aware of the Government standards which concern vehicle modifications and specifications.
Falling foul of these strictly enforced rules could see you cop an infringement notice and may make further expensive modifications necessary to make your car legal for use on Queensland roads. Here are three common vehicle modifications that can see you get into trouble with the law.
1 – Wheel/Rim Size
Switching the standard rims for flashier aftermarket rims isn’t usually a problem for most car owners. However, Government regulations permit you to only fit wheels that are up to two inches larger or smaller than the car’s factory standard wheel size. This means if your rims are 17”, you can increase the rim size to 19” or decrease it to 15”.
It’s also important to note that regulations for tyre width apply and that for passenger vehicles the maximum tyre width is 1.3 times the widest optional tyre (for a specific make and model) and 1.5 times for 4x4s fitted with front and rear beam axles.
2 – Tinted Windows
Whether you’re concerned about privacy or the sun getting in your eyes while on the road, tinted car windows are one of the most popular vehicle modifications in Queensland. But before you tint the windows on your car, it’s advisable to do your research to ensure you’re up to date on local window tinting requirements.
In Queensland, the darkest tint you can have on your front side windows (driver’s and passenger windows) is 35% (T35), with the rear side and back windows 20%. With regard to the windscreen, only the uppermost 10% can be tinted. While tinted windows do look cool, opting for a darker tint could see you in trouble with the law.
3 – Lowered Suspension
Whether you’re raising a 4×4 or lowering a sedan, making adjustments to your car’s suspension can be risky. Lowered suspensions are a particular issue in Australia and if you’re planning on lowering your car, you need to be aware of the regulations.
Except for components connected to the car’s wheels or mudflaps, the general rule is that a fully laden car shouldn’t be lower than 100mm from the ground. Police often run a dedicated wheel under cars to check ride height and if your vehicle doesn’t meet the latest standards, you could face a serious fine. What’s more, you also need to have your car lowered professionally so that the modifications don’t compromise handling, traction or drivability and put you and other road users at risk.
Planning to modify your car or want to find out if your modifications meet the latest regulations? Read more about the Government’s standards and guidelines here.