It’s a loud and obnoxious sound that starts somewhere off in the distance. “Is that someone playing a humourously long fart tone through a megaphone?” you may ask yourself. Then it comes into sight. You think it used to be a Civic, but you’re not too sure anymore. A body kit straight out of The Fast and the Furious circa 2001, with stupidly large vents jutting out from everywhere has seemingly engulfed the car. You wonder why a car with a 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine would need that much cooling … It’s slammed right to the ground; squeaking and scraping like someone dragging a broken wheelbarrow. Probably cut the stock springs to be “stanced, bro”. Who would do this to a poor car? Why are there so many stickers on it? Am I in any danger? Shhh, it’s okay. I’ll give you the down low.
See, this would be a classic case of what we in the automotive community call “Ricers”, but I feel that may not apply anymore. “Ricer” is derived from where the cars often mistreated in this way come from, Japan. First, it’s not only imports that get this treatment and secondly, it’s a little derogatory, so let’s drop that term for now, shall we? Let’s refer to them as what they really are: idiots. It’s not just old Hondas, Toyotas, and Mazdas that get this treatment. I’ve also seen Dodge Neons, Chevy Cavaliers, and even the odd Mustang see this treatment so don’t get too smug there, domestic people. Even Euro enthusiasts have been affected by this plague as I’ve seen my fair share of VWs and even Volvos come down with the sickness.
The perps can be identified as cocky teenagers or young adults who wear “street clothing”, flat rim hats, and love to hang out on their cars in various parking lots. Their vocabulary includes basic English, swearing, VTEC, “bro”, and “my mom says I need to be home at 11, that’s so unfair”. They love to take their cars to the extreme but with no reason to do so. Unneeded vents, fake turbo noises, over-exaggeration of specifications, and “custom fabrication” runs rampant with these people.
I’ve already addressed the unneeded vents, as a stock 4-banger is not going to need anything but what it came with from the factory. The body kits are not in style anymore and look gaudy. They need to stop. Idiots are the type of people who buy turbo whistles for their mufflers to gain “respect” at the local Tim Horton’s parking lot. They buy into electronic “superchargers” on eBay, which are pretty much electric fans that attach to the end of the intake pipe and are supposed to force air into the engine. They don’t do this and they don’t increase horsepower. You’d have to be an idiot to believ… oh, right. For that “supercharger”, you’re going to need more ventilation for all those gains, bro. This is where the “custom fabrication” comes into play. I’ve seen cars with a square of metal cut right out of their hoods and then what looks like half a cowbell welded into place to provide extra air cooling for all the nothing going on under the hood. More custom work would be cutting springs to lower the car. Lowering the car is taboo in some automotive circles, but cutting the factory springs is even worse. The suspension is going to quit. I guarantee it.
Now that you can identify these hooligans, you can stay far away from them. They may say things like, “My exhaust and intake give me 20 horses each!” or “Nice Honda, man. How many VTECHs is she pushing?” At this point, laughing in their faces is encouraged. Other suitable reactions would be: “stickers don’t add horsepower” and “my bowl of cereal this morning has the same displacement as your engine.”