www.hotcars.com

11 Pickup Mods Cops Always Catch (And 5 We Can Get Away With)

Since the Fast and the Furious premiered, many car enthusiasts had the inkling to beautify their cars by adding or removing parts from their cars. Besides spoilers and under-glow lights, modifiers added NOS, exhausts, and wraps. Some modifiers went overboard and made their cars targets due to certain mods.

Most of the cars that car enthusiasts modified were JDM, but the fad spread to other segments. Considering that the F-series has been the best selling vehicle in the U.S. for several decades and other automakers such as Chevrolet and Dodge have sold many pickups, a large part of the car market remained unmodified.

Pickup owners caught onto the fever and began modifying their vehicles. Like the JDM owners, many pickup drivers made their cars targets due to the modifications. Most drivers wanted to make their pickups more aggressive, broader and flashier. The result of their efforts, in most cases, was a fine from the police.

Their modifications were a danger to the environment and/or other users. Some of the pickup modifications were more serious to the police than others. To distinguish between the modifications that the police issue fines for and the ones they give warnings, we compiled a list of the pickup mods that the police always catch and the ones they let slide.

Continue scrolling to keep reading

Click the button below to start this article in quick view

Start Now

16 Catch: Rolling Coal

via Steamboat

Leonardo DiCaprio isn't the only one who will be upset to see you rolling coal, as numerous environmentalists despise the act. The practice involves modifying a diesel engine to increase the amount of diesel entering the engine to emit large amounts of exhaust fumes into the air.

Practitioners install a smoke switch or smokestacks to emit the fumes. The United States Environmental Protection Agency has stated that rolling coal is no longer allowed, as it violated the Clean Air Act. The police will see you from a mile away if you roll coal.

15 Catch: Bro Trucks

via Off Road Extreme

One of the main reasons that drivers purchase pickups is that the cars offer higher ground clearance than cars, allowing pickup drivers better road visibility and maneuverability.  Some pickup drivers aren't satisfied with the standard elevation, so they fit bigger tires and raise the car's suspension. The pickups look like monster trucks.

Although they get better visibility, drivers of bro trucks put themselves and others in danger due to the lack of handling. Bro trucks are more difficult to control than standard pickups, therefore become a road hazard and something cops can fine you for.

14 Catch: Additional Lights

via Zombie Drive

Pickup drivers who go off-road tend to get additional lights for their cars, especially for the night escapades. Some drivers fit lightbars, and others install additional sets. Drivers who use the additional lights off-road, usually, aren't contravening any rules because they aren't a hazard to other commuters.

The problem that the police have with drivers who have installed additional lights is that they use it on the roads. The additional lights hinder on-coming drivers from good visibility and can be a distraction. The standard lighting on the car should suffice for drivers.

13 Catch: Tinted Windows

via Centex Tint

Different laws apply to tinted windows in individual states. Some states have banned tinted windows, and others allowed it but stipulated the tint percentage, a measure of the amount of light needed to filter through the tint. Some states allow a 5% limo tint, but other states won't accept it.

The best option for drivers to avoid being stopped by the police is to ask a reputable tint shop about the local rules. Some shops won't install prohibited tints so look for those places for advice. The police have a device that measures the tint percentage. They're not afraid to stop you and use it.

12 Catch: License Plate Covers

via siliomessina

Drivers who enjoy pushing their pickups fear being stopped by the police or getting caught by the road camera. One of the ways that drivers avoid getting a speeding ticket is by installing automatic license plate covers. The covers conceal the vehicle's identity, letting the driver reach high speed without worrying about getting a ticket.

The problem with plate covers is that the police pick up on that first when they look at a vehicle. The police won't hesitate to give you a fine when they see plate covers. Some policemen have impounded vehicles for the deed.

11 Catch: Headlights

via Cellcode

Road visibility is important so that drivers avoid collisions, but some drivers modify their vehicles by installing lights that are more powerful than the law permits. Some drivers also want to make their vehicle look better, so they fit hid bulbs onto the vehicle. Although their road vision is improved, bright lights prevent other drivers from road visibility and can be distracting.

The police won't like the modifications made to the lights and won't hesitate to pull you over. Fitting HID bulbs are also not allowed, so the police will give you a ticket for obstructing other road users' view.

10 Catch: Under-glow Lights

via Morimoto

Fast and the Furious franchise has portrayed under-glow light kits on fast vehicles as the gadget to have if a modifier wants to make their vehicle look cool. Drivers will need to check the rules of under-glow lights in their state, but the states that have deemed it to be against the rules have done so due to the distraction that the lights cause.

Some drivers get distracted when they see a vehicle with under-glow lights due to the additional lighting on the vehicle. Certain states have also banned under-glow colors such as blue, white and red, as those colors allude to a police vehicle.

9 Catch: License Plate Frame

via Amazon UK

Modifiers have tried to change most of the car's parts to make it look unique. One of the aspects that they focused on was the license plate frame. Most modifiers didn't think that they did anything wrong by fitting a license plate frame, but the police did.

Some modifiers have used various items to decorate their license plates, but the police weren't thrilled when they saw that some of the items attached covered part of the numbers, letters or the state name. When the cops see your license plate frame that's big and bulky, don't be surprised if you're pulled over and get a ticket.

8 Catch: NOS

via Bang Shift

Most nitrous manufacturers don't claim that it's against the rules for the driver to use a bottle for daily commutes but will sell it anyway. Drivers who fit NOS into their cars want to propel their pickups to higher speeds. One of the biggest problems with NOS is that drivers who use it exceed speed limits when they use it on public roads. That can result in the driver losing control of the vehicle and putting him or herself in danger, as well as other road users.

A nitrous bottle in a car that crashed will make anyone nervous. This is something the cops can catch based on the increased speed of the car and the bulkiness on the NOS tank.

7 Catch: Loud Audio

via Massive Audio

Noise pollution has become a problem in many neighborhoods, so the police are clamping down on drivers who are culprits. Most modifiers want to kit out their cars with performance-enhancing mods, as well as audio to crank the tunes while driving at blistering speeds.

Each state has rules regarding loud audio, but the common rules prevent drivers from exceeding a certain amount of decibels during the drive. The police will hear you coming but will let you off with a warning for first offenses. Continuous use of playing loud music will result in a fine from the police.

6 Catch: Loud Exhausts

via Youtube

Roaring engines and spurting exhausts are synonymous with loud vehicles. That's one of the reasons that drivers fit big exhausts onto the pickups. Some drivers also feel that loud exhausts make the vehicle look fast, even when the car's performance is subpar. Much like loud sound systems, the police don't like to hear the driver's loud exhaust.

Other drivers get a fright from loud exhausts, sometimes resulting in an accident. Most residents also don't like the sound of loud exhausts and complain about noise pollution. If it is too excessive, cops will catch it.

5 Get Away: Cold Air Intake

via Banks Power

Boosting your pickup's performance is as easy as installing a cold air intake. Compared to installing a new exhaust system or superchargers, cold air intake modification is less expensive and easier to do. The only drawback is that cold air intakes don't add as much power as other engine mods.

According to Auto How Stuff Works, a cold air intake moves the air filter outside of the engine compartment to allow cooler air to be sucked into the engine for combustion. Besides the affordability and practicality of cold air intakes, police cannot see the modification.

4 Get Away: Removing Emissions

via Pickup Trucks

Several decades ago, drivers were allowed to remove emissions equipment from a smog-choked car. The main reason that drivers did it was to get more horsepower from the engine. The EPA wasn't thrilled with the modification and had requested the police to take action. The EPA has also taken to court parts distributors that have sold electronic devices that allowed pickup owners to remove the programming for diesel particulate filters from their vehicles.

Edge products, a manufacturer of electric power modules, had to pay a $500,000 fine for selling the electronic devices, according to Pickup Trucks. The police won't pick up that modification unless they have a mechanic inspect your car.

3 Get Away: Muffler Delete

via Youtube

Muffler delete is the removal from the car's exhaust system. The muffler is the device that dampens the sound the car emits due to vibrations and heat that internal combustion engines create. Some of the reasons that pickup drivers perform muffler deletes are to get better performance from the vehicle, reduce the weight and to make the vehicle more aesthetically appealing.

Most states in America require vehicles to have a muffler to prevent excessively loud or unusual noises. The police can hear when you've performed a muffler delete.

2 Get Away: Additional Parts

via GM Truck Club

I've mentioned that the police aren't fond of additional lights due to the distraction that it causes other drivers. The police aren't also fond of additional parts such as the pictured front bumper. Some pickup drivers feel the need to attach gadgets on the car to make it look better, but some of those modifications don't make the car look intriguing.

Although the pictured front bumper is similar to a low rider, the police won't be harsh on you, considering you can remove the part, and your vehicle is at an acceptable height. The only problem with adding parts is that it makes the vehicle less appealing.

1 Get Away: Stance

via IG

Stance cars such as a Nissan 350Z or a Mazda Miata with a body kit might look good, but most pickups shouldn't be stance vehicles. Automakers designed pickups to haul heavy loads and transport cargo. Since a pickup's tires support a heavy load, the driver should ensure that the tire positioning is aligned to perform the duty.

The police won't be impressed when they see your stance pickup and might laugh at you, but they won't be in a rush to issue a ticket. Drivers who want a stance vehicle should rather opt for modifying a JDM, not a pickup.

Sources - How Stuff Works, News Pickup Trucks & Zero To 60 Times

More in Car Culture