BLOG – UNDER THE HOOD
September 23, 2017
Three Reasons To Go Carbon Fibre (And Three Reasons To Avoid It)
You might not need auto body work (and that’s ok!) But sometimes you’ll want pro advice on all the sweet things that make cars great – and that’s where your local Auto Customization Shop in Bonnyville, Alberta comes in!
Carbon fibre is breaking out of the gearhead custom-car enthusiast crowd and breaking into everyday driving, with more and more manufacturers offering it as an option (check out this cool infographic on carbon fibre cars, parts, gear and care). Like anything, carbon fibre parts have advantages and disadvantages that you’ll want to take into account before you dive right in.
Carbon fibre is eight times stronger than aluminum while also being almost 1.5 times lighter. It’s also a much better material than steel: ten times stronger and eight times lighter. With enough carbon fibre on your car, you’ll definitely notice the difference when accelerating.
Carbon fibre doesn’t rust- ever. It can corrode through sustained exposure to substances like salt water, but there are plenty of resins that will give it protection against anything short of a welding torch. If you’ve ever lost a panel to rust or corrosion then carbon fibre could be the way to go.
It looks good (to some)
Although carbon fibre can be painted with the same range of colours and finishes as any other car body component, plenty of people leave it unfinished to show off their cool new parts. On the right vehicle (ie, a Dodge Challenger rather than a KIA Sedona), and with the right paint job surrounding it carbon fibre can look great.
But there are downsides…
It Can Crack
Carbon fibre is rigid, like glass, rather than flexible, like metal. That means that if you hit it hard enough it can shatter instead of denting. Even in minor collisions, it can cause problems: while a metal panel can be bent or even hammered back to factory-fresh quality, carbon fibre is much harder to repair.
It Can’t Be Recycled
Melt aluminum and you’ve still got aluminum, but try to recycle carbon fibre and you’ll come out with a weaker, unusable material. Carbon fibre has to be thrown out rather than recycled, creating waste.
High-performance cars and formula one racing cars made from carbon fibre are common, but it’s uncommon to see even a single panel on a car on the road, and there’s a reason for this: carbon fibre is expensive. Just picking a car at random (a 2006 Acura NSX), shows that a replacement hood can set you back anything from $700 to $1200 dollars.
With our extensive experience in customs as your local Auto Customization Shop in Bonnyville, Alberta, and our no-nonsense approach to making sure that you enjoy driving any vehicle that comes into our shop, we should be able to give you the right advice on whether a carbon fibre part is right for you.