Why decorating your Ford Ranger with accessories is risky business
PRETORIA - It’s a sight we see on the roads every day - the Ford Ranger Raptor that’s not actually a Raptor, but rather the product of an extremely enthusiastic owner who has blown loads of cash at the nearest accessories shop.
This may be all good and well, but many owners don’t realise that making non-approved modifications to their vehicles may affect their warranty, and potentially even pose a safety hazard, Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa (FMCSA) warns.
“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 FMCSA Managing Director Neale Hill.
“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.
“Ford spends an inordinate amount of time and money developing every aspect of its products, with millions of actual and accelerated kilometres of testing completed before any new vehicle is signed off and goes into production,” Hill added.
The same goes for Ford’s Original Equipment parts and accessories, which have also been through an elaborate development process. Non-approved accessories, Ford explains, could result in premature failure of certain components, and this could invalidate the vehicle’s warranty, leaving the owner with a huge bill.
There could be safety implications too
Neale Hill gives the example of those ‘Raptor’ style grilles that are fitted to so many Rangers.
“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.
“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.”
Ford adds that the more extreme mods, such as suspension lift kits, panel changes and performance tuning can aggravate the situation even further, particularly the latter as it can lead to premature wear and tear on the engine components. 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.
Furthermore, those suspension kits and wheels with incorrect tyre sizes can result in additional strain being put on the suspension components, drive shafts and wheel bearings. Not to mention that raised suspension significantly increases the risk of a vehicle roll-over.
Even the fitment of seemingly innocent components like aftermarket bumpers and bull bars can come back to bite you in an accident, as they could prevent airbags from deploying.
Bottom line: think twice before you fit non-approved parts to your vehicle, and this applies to all makes and models out there.