• Many motorists add aftermarket accessories to their cars.
• Ford SA has warned customers that non-approved modifications can impact the vehicle's warranty.
• The US carmaker also says non-approved modifications can pose a safety risk.
Ford South Africa has sent out a gentle warning that 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.
"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," Hill continues.
Aftermarket accessories that have not been tested by the manufacturer are not approved as original equipment (OE) items. Ford says these 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.
The result of fitting non-approved accessories could foresee 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.
It is also could pose a risk to the driver and passengers, as well as other road users.
A popular cosmetic modification on the Ranger is a similar-looking Raptor or F-150 Raptor grille. "The grille of the vehicle is carefully designed to manage the air flow characteristics through the radiator and engine bay, which is critical to the vehicle’s cooling and performance," Hill points out.
"An aftermarket grille could lead to increased air temperatures in the engine bay, which has an adverse effect on numerous mechanical and electrical components, dramatically increasing the risk of premature failure."
Even the fitment of additional lighting kits, such as LED light bars, can affect the vehicle’s cooling performance and compromise the integrity of the electrical system says Ford. It’s also important to note that the fitment of many of these additional light systems is in fact illegal in South Africa.