A vehicle is usually more than simply a means of transport, and is often an expression of the owner’s unique personality and lifestyle. However, the fitment of aftermarket accessories and non-approved modifications to the vehicle may not just impact the manufacturer’s warranty, but could also pose a major safety risk.
Aftermarket accessories that have not been tested by Ford and are thus not approved as original equipment (OE) items, haven’t been exposed to the same rigorous evaluations and proven under the most extreme conditions, ranging from sub-zero tests in the coldest climates to searing desert heat. Additionally, if the fitment is not done by fully trained and accredited Ford technicians, there’s no guarantee of the quality of workmanship.
“We are seeing a significant increase in the number of aftermarket accessories being fitted to Ford Rangers and Everests recently, from grille replacements to body kits, which are a major concern for us,” says Neale Hill, MD of Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa (FMCSA). “While we appreciate the desire of enthusiastic owners to make their vehicles unique, it has major implications for the performance, reliability and safety of the vehicle.
Fitting these non-approved accessories could result in premature failure of certain components, which could land up being a costly exercise as it may affect the vehicle’s warranty, leaving the owner to cover the repair bills. Even more concerning is the risk it potentially poses to the driver and passengers, as well as other road users.
The more extreme modifications such as body panel changes, suspension lift or lowering kits and performance tuning aggravate the situation further. Even the fitment of additional lighting kits, such as LED light bars, can impede the vehicle’s cooling performance and compromise the integrity of the electrical system. It’s also important to note that the fitment of many of these additional light systems is in fact illegal in South Africa.
Did you know that the fitment of aftermarket accessories and non-approved modifications to vehicles may affect the manufacturer’s warranty, but could also pose a major safety risk? Read more here: https://t.co/b7enwEIGZb pic.twitter.com/PC37E13yfH
— Ford South Africa (@FordSouthAfrica) September 9, 2020
The possible effects of vehicle modifications
Performance enhancements such as aftermarket engine tuning, which is the process of modifying the operating characteristics of an engine results in increased engine and engine bay temperatures. This causes the vehicle to move away from its design intent.
1- Vehicle chipping affects the engine’s performance and also has legislative implications related to the vehicle’s emissions. Chipping devices claim to improve engine performance with better fuel efficiency, but they do not take into account additional wear and tear on engine and drivetrain components. The reality is that such devices result in components experiencing duty cycles that are at the top end or even exceed their nominal design criteria.
2- Suspension lift/lowering kits and wheels with incorrect tyre sizes can result in extra strain being applied on the suspension components, drive shafts, wheel bearings and related components. The vehicle therefore moves away from its original design intent. A high-lift suspension is likely to affect the vehicle’s handling, and may result in a greater risk of roll-over – especially when heavily laden.
3- Aftermarket bumpers and bullbars that are not manufacturer-approved and have not been homologated, may dramatically impact the performance of the vehicle’s active and passive safety features during a collision – including the deployment of potentially life-saving airbags.
Ford-approved accessories for the Ranger can be found by clicking here
Ford-approved accessories for the Everest can be found by clicking here
Image credit: Pixabay