Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Restrictions of the Factory

So here’s the thing,

Something I have noticed with my car, and it goes for a LOT of other cars as well, is that some cars don’t come out of the factory as good as they could be. Like this:

Take a good hard look at that. That is when I put in my K&N filter in my Fiesta. To the right is the gargantuan stock air filter, and to the left, the less restrictive K&N filter. Sometimes it just boggles my mind as to why they do this. I know in some cases, especially with cars like my Fiesta, which is a performance version of a economy car, they have to meet a certain price point. However, here is the thing with that as well: I have lights in my freaking cup holders. Yup, lights in the cup holders! Yes, it is pretty awesome because I can use my peripheral vision to put a cup down in it rather than taking my eyes off of the road. But I would much rather not have those lights in there, and instead have something like a less restrictive filter in my car, or a better rear engine mount that helps cut down wheel hop and vibration. The biggest thing that boggles my mind, is there is no belly pan, or skid plate if you will, underneath my engine! A belly pan is on the low end of 100 bucks, yet they didn’t put one on it, so I’m forced to go out and get an aftermarket one. Either way, it presents a unique opportunity, an opportunity to help support third party vendors, doing what they do best. That is to make our cars better, and to have a legitimate excuse to wrench on your vehicle. With everything in the auto industry changing, and things seeming to become more restrictive in regards to wrenching on your own vehicle, you always have to remember that you just shouldn’t settle for what is there. For every factory restriction put on something, there is a vendor out there who knows a way around it. Just putting in that air filter made the take off much cleaner, and it’s just an air filter. We shouldn't be content in just leaving vehicles how someone else thought we would like them. We should make them how we want them to be. Unfortunately a lot of times people that want to do this are left out in the cold because of the very high cost of workshop maintenance books, a lack of a Haynes manual, what have you. I mean the workshop manual for my car costs over 1,000 dollars, and there is no Haynes manual planned for it. When it comes to a situation like that, all you have is your experience, and vendor support. But all it comes down to is taking a chance and trying to change something up, and knowing what you are working with. Companies like Ford make cars like the ST lineup specifically for people that like to go to the track, like to modify their car, like to just change up the status-quo. Not all cars are like that, most are not, but all cars can be changed to suit what you need, or want. When it comes to doing things like modifying cars, and having cars that are easy to modify out of the factory, it is quite a case of use it or lose it. If manufacturers lose those niche market for cars built for car people, then they aren’t going to be making cars for car people anymore, and they will focus more on those beige mobiles. Just because it looks like a complicated design doesn’t really mean it is. In that way it's hard to learn but easy to do. Don’t let some factory restrictions on this or that hold you back. There is always a way to get past it, and make it better. Besides, you’ve got bigger things to worry about, like what happens after you pop off that plastic engine cover...

And that, well that’s the thing about dealing with restrictions -Jeremy

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