So you have opted to buy a COE car. After much deliberation, purchasing a brand new car, especially with the current stratospheric prices, just seems unwise.
Or maybe you’ve had your eyes on an older-generation car that is no longer in production. Regardless, you are now a proud car owner, and chances are you want to make it look as presentable and close to showroom condition as possible.
But even before you break out that cheque book, there are many aspects to focus on, and many factors to consider before you begin your car modification journey.
Why Modify/Service Your COE Car?
A COE car has been on our roads for at least 10 years, and as a result, many mechanical parts are likely nearing the end of their lifecycle, and would be due for a major repair (or even complete overhauls, in some cases!). Aesthetically-speaking, paintwork and upholstery, amongst other components, may also have taken a hit after years of regular use.
With such an expansive list of potential pain points, we aren't surprised if you are feeling a little overwhelmed. Fret not though, as we have identified some starting points for you to consider, so that your car can begin its transformation on the right foot!
Nuts and Bolts
Nothing lasts forever, especially so for cars. Even with careful maintenance, parts can and will wear out over time. We recommend focusing first on the components that directly affect your driving experience and overall safety.
Getting fresh tyres would be a good start, especially if the current ones are already botak (i.e. bald with very little tread left, if any). This ensures that your car hugs the tarmac assuredly, rain or shine. A change in rubber can also result in a quieter and smoother driving experience, even when you’re driving over poorly-patched roads.
We also recommend getting a full mechanical inspection by a reputable mechanic or specialist. They would have the relevant tools to scrutinise every nook and cranny of the car, and recommend repairs or replacements for parts that are about to give out. Suspension components are especially important to look out for, as they are responsible for soaking up all the undulations and uneven surfaces on our roads.
A First-Class Cabin
You will be spending most of your time inside the car, so it only makes sense to invest in the interior and make it truly pristine. Many COE cars have worn out interiors, think cracked leather upholstery, discoloured plastic panels, or even damaged dashboards. The list just goes on.
There are some services that can help you to reupholster your car’s interior, with different types of leather available, depending on your budget. Some specialists can also source new old stock (NOS) or refurbished original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts to replace damaged ones, should you want your car to look period-correct.
One step further would be to install additional sound insulation, preventing unwanted noises from intruding into the cabin once you are on the road.
Beauty on the Outside
A mechanically-sound car is fine and all, but that doesn’t mean you should disregard its exterior. We believe that all cars deserve to look their best, whether it is a Perodua or a Porsche.
Spotted a nasty dent or scratch somewhere on your car? There are many body shops in Singapore that can help resolve these eye sores through expert panel-beating and buffing, or in more serious cases, a replacement of parts. Sometimes, you may also encounter worn-out paintwork or peeling clear coats, which will require a complete respray.
If you are unlucky enough to have a car that is sporting some kerb marks, we also suggest getting replacements, be it OEM wheels or aftermarket ones. Such marks do not usually affect the overall drivability of your car, but changing to a fresh set of wheels do play a role in making your ride look much more presentable and newer than it actually is.
The Next Step
There are many ways to revamp your COE car and make it look as if it just rolled out of the assembly line. From giving it a visual makeover to undergoing a full mechanical overhaul, there are a plethora of options to choose from.
Now that you have a better idea of what areas to look out for, why not swing by the Motor Directory in our Motorist app? There, you will have access to a countless number of workshops and specialists across multiple categories around Singapore, all of whom will be able to help you in revitalising your car!
Other than the Motoring Directory, our Motorist app also provides numerous useful services for drivers based in Singapore, including towing services, battery replacement, and more. We can even help you buy or sell your car! Take a gander on our app - there will be a service for every motorist!
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