Whether adding aftermarket accessories or making repairs with aftermarket parts, safety concerns need to be considered. Additionally, while aftermarket accessories are created to work with your vehicle, they are often not a seamless connection, and there may be gaps in its ability to merge entirely with the systems of your car. Many of these products are sent for rapid prototyping for the automotive industry, and then pushed to the marketplace without in-depth testing in real world applications.
Most Popular Aftermarket Accessories
Some of the most popular aftermarket accessories are intended to make it easier to do tasks such as make phone calls, park or back up safely, and operate hands-free devices. Stereos and the speakers may be the most replaced item that is upgraded with aftermarket stereos to allow for better sound, more control, or new functions. Others include backup sensors that go around license plates, rearview mirrors that include backup cameras, dash cams, radar detectors, and voice command.
For hard-wired items into the vehicle, there is a risk that they will pull more power than the car is prepared for and drain the battery faster, or they may interrupt the functions of the included accessories that are factory installed. With a focus on wiring and keeping the original wiring in place, there are often no consequences other than functionality; however, safety concerns need to be considered.
Some installations can create wiring shorts. When this occurs, the safety features of the vehicle may be interrupted. In addition, a command start that is installed incorrectly or that is not the appropriate fit for the vehicle can affect the wiring safety, in some cases leading to the car being unable to start or even start fires under the dashboard.
Cameras added afterward, even those that replace or fit over the rearview mirror can block the line of sight for the driver. Dash cameras can create a blind spot in the front of the car. Depending upon the blocked area and the size of the space that is not easily visible, it may or may not be legal to have them in place.
Any item installed to block or cross in front of an airbag is a safety hazard for those seated in the car. If an accident occurred, these items would strike the passengers within the vehicle and cause damages. In addition, aftermarket items installed on the dashboard, near or on the rearview mirror, or mounted to the vehicle’s vents can become dislodged in a sudden stop or an accident and injure the passengers and the driver.
How to Choose Safe Aftermarket Products
Consulting with a mechanic is one way in which to determine what products and accessories are safest and which are the biggest safety risks. It is essential to have any accessories that will be attached to the wiring system or within the computer system of the vehicle installed professionally for the best results and the least risk.