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Car Mods That Are Police Magnets

From underlighting to blaringly loud sound systems, these are the car mods that are most likely to cause you to get pulled over.

By Ossiana TepfenhartPublished 7 years ago 5 min read

I'm a huge fan of looking at cars that are heavily modified — and really, who isn't? Ever since Pimp My Rideon MTV, it seems like car mods have become a part of American youth culture. Car mods are a status symbol. They're edgy. They're neato, and often push the engineering capacity of the car to its limits.

In a word, car modifications are amazingly impressive, and it's totally understandable why so many television shows, music videos, and communities love souped-up cars.

Unfortunately, modded up cars have a lot of stigmas attached to them as well. Because of the history of modified cars, most people associate them with gang activity, street racing, and other unsavory lifestyles.

If you're like me, you love car mods but you don't want to get pulled over by police. That's why you might want to avoid the car mods that are known to be police magnets... such as the ones below.

Underglow, Colored Headlights, Strobes, or Any Other Unusual Lighting

Car mods involving lighting are notoriously risky, especially if it comes in the form of exterior lights. Most shops that do car modifications and customization actually will warn people against these mods because of how often they can cause cars to get towed.

They are natural police magnets, primarily because the human eye is trained to notice light from afar. If cops see your car glowing, it's an easy target to pull over — especially since it looks so sketchy compared to other mods on this list.

Many states outlaw lighting setups like underglow, specialized color headlights, and spotlights on non-official cars. This means that a police officer that sees your car's light gear could potentially have your car towed and deem it "street illegal" depending on the state you're in.

Moreover, if your light kits are yellow, red, or blue, you could also end up getting fined for impersonating an official vehicle. Some inspections stations also will not greenlight a car with lighting kits because of the laws against them.

Yes, light kits are awesome, but are they worth it? Probably not.

Loud Soundsystems

Nothing is quite as awesome as seeing car mods that involve ear-splittingly loud speakers. In fact, one of the cars on Pimp My Ride actually became famous for being loud.

However, making your car as loud as an Ibiza nightclub also has a side effect that can make it a bad option: it attracts police. Most areas have nuisance laws that can cause you to get pulled over and fined for music that's louder than 40 decibels.

Assuming that you don't push the limit with this car mod, it's very possible that you can still fly under the radar while having a killer sound system built into your seat. So, if you want a gangster car mod which won't get you into too much trouble, this is a good one to choose.

Exhaust Mods

The entire category of car mods dealing with exhaust tends to fall under the "cop magnet" category.

Loud exhausts, oversized exhausts, or turbo exhaust kits on your car will often make way more noise than usual — and that attracts police attention for the same reason that a sound system does. Unlike sound systems, though, you can't really turn off a loud exhaust.

However, loud exhaust mods aren't the worst thing you can do to your exhaust system. It's better to have a loud eCat-Back exhaust than a rolling coal exhaust mod.

Rolling coal releases black emissions into the atmosphere, which makes it fairly visible to police. Moreover, states are beginning to outlaw rolling coal and place heavy fines on cars that have this mod. In certain states, rolling coal can also be a reason to deem a car illegal for street uses.

The verdict on these car mods really depends on how much risk you want to take. Rolling coal exhausts are not worth it, at all. Loud exhausts may be doable and less risky. However, it's a matter of "mod at your own risk."

Limo Tints

Though they may be a common car mod to spot, the truth is that blacked-out windows are anything but legal in most states. Limo tints, as they're called in some circles, are graded by how much light they remove from regular vision.

Most windows have a very light window tint applied to them as standard. However, if your windows look like a limo, your car might end up getting pulled over for an illegal car mod. Large portions of the country have laws against very dark tints on windows.

Blacked out windows naturally look a little sketchy, so you shouldn't be surprised if you get pulled over for it. If you do tint your car windows, make sure you get tints under 35 percent shade so that you don't get pulled over in most part.

Lowered/Lifted Bodies

It shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone that lowrider cars often end up getting unwanted police attention. Lowrider cars, as well as car mods that give your car a lowered look, will naturally get you pulled over, since they have long been associated with organized crime.

What most people don't realize is that overly lifted bodies can also cause equally large amounts of attention. Most states have a maximum lift they allow for street legal cars and trucks. Pushing that limit may mean that your car will get pulled over for being too heavily modified.

Generally speaking, most car mods that involve subtle raising or lowering will be acceptable or unnoticed by police. However, if your car scrapes the ground or resembles a monster truck, you might want to reconsider that mod.

Spinner Wheels and Colored Chrome

Yes, colored chrome tires are great — and spinner tires will make your car look like a rap video prop. They are awesome. However, they also tend to attract police attention, as well as thieves' attention.

Chrome tires and spinner wheels are no joke when it comes to the sheer price of them. As a result, many car thieves end up looking at those tires as potential reasons to steal your car.

Additionally, like lowriders, chrome wheels have gained a stigma over the years. Because these two mods are often heavily linked to street racing and urban gangs, they also tend to be cop magnets, too.

Generally speaking, if you want to fly under cop radars, make sure that your chrome wheels are low-key for the area that you're in.


About the Creator

Ossiana Tepfenhart

Ossiana Tepfenhart is a writer based out of New Jersey. This is her work account. She loves gifts and tips, so if you like something, tip her!

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