Suspension Truth

March 19, 2017
Posted by: Team Autodoc

Should you invest your time and money required in getting your vehicle’s suspension lowered? Before you decide to lower your vehicle’s suspension, you are advised to carefully consider the options and understand the pros and cons that a lowered suspension entails.

The lowering of a vehicle’s suspension is basically an aftermarket alteration that makes your vehicle sit a little bit lower to the ground. There are several implications to this, including a number of performance and safety advantages.

Potential Benefits

Lowered centre of gravity

A lowered suspension will allow your car to sit even closer to the ground (due to the lower ride height) and thereby increases stability through turns or during maneuvers.

Enhanced aerodynamics

When the vehicle sits closer to the ground, it means there is less air going underneath the vehicle, which reduces wind drag imposed on the vehicle. Consequently, this will provide you with a smoother ride as you escalate your speed.

Better handling and traction

Lowering the vehicle closer to the ground improves the tyres’ grip on the road, and thus provide better handling and traction. A lowered suspension will reduce wind resistance and the vehicle’s center of gravity. This will enable drivers to handle better and sit flatter through turns hence reducing the risk of a rollover. However this is not always the case. In some instances, the lowering of the suspension may actually impair the vehicle’s handling.

Enhanced comfort

Some drivers report improved driving comfort upon lowering their suspension. Extra stiffness can be desired in a suspension, resulting in cars being less prone to rattling around at higher speed and more comfort.

Potential Drawbacks

As the advantages of suspension lowering are indeed weighty, nonetheless it is vital to point out some of the potential downsides to lowering a vehicle’s suspension. Below are a couple of drawbacks you should be wary of:

Increased bottoming out

The most common problem with lowered suspensions is the high risk of the vehicle’s bottom hitting the road when it bounces. Poorly constructed speed bumps will be your worst nightmares. Contact with the ground can potentially lead to damages to your vehicle’s undercarriage components, especially with oil pan and exhaust system.

Increased wear and tear

A lowered suspension will mean your car will likely be damaged due to road imperfections. This will pose a significant risk to your wheels and suspension components. Beware that the increased wear and tear applies also to the vehicle’s interior as the fasteners utilized to secure components will gradually loosen and eventually give way.

Uneven tire wear

In some instances, lowered suspension can cause tires to wear unevenly or even result in extreme wear patterns. This is definitely something to ponder prior to getting your suspension lowered.

Conflict with other components and systems

Sometimes when you lower the suspension, elements of the suspension system can come into contact with other components and systems of the car. It is also known that lowered suspensions can get caught up in anti-lock brake apparatus, sway bars, or with the sidewalls of the tyres. Always be aware that an improperly set up suspension may harm and damage the car tyres.

Reduction in ride quality

This will vastly depend on the how much has the car been lowered as well as the quality of springs and shock absorbers used. Drivers will either experience a slight or, if unfortunate, a dramatic loss of ride quality.

Conclusion

This article covers most of the key considerations to keep in mind, for car owners who wish to mess around with the original suspension system direct from the factory. Always opt for better quality shock absorbers and other related parts, and avoid cheap aftermarket systems that can lead to unwanted faults and failures.