Some people take pride in lowering their cars a few inches closer to the ground. Whether it is a family station wagon or a muscle car, there is something fascinating about lowering your suspension. It could be the desire to get a better ride or boost the general appearance of your auto. It is a worthwhile custom car modification but at a price.
The cost of lowering a car range from $ 300 to $ 1,500, inclusive of labor. The price depends mainly on the type of vehicle you have, the lowering methods you choose, and the quality of components. The mechanical company you use will also have an impact on the cost. A more realistic figure for better methods is above $ 1000.
Before deciding, first, check if the type of your car and the outcome you want after lowering deserves a professional installation, or you can do it yourself. That could alter the cost slightly and also determine the methods to use.
Please read this to the end to learn how you can enjoy a comfortable driving position by lowering your car.
What Do I Need to Know Before Lowering My Car?
Lowering a car might sound like a fascinating venture everyone wants to jump into, but not so fast. The experience will definitely not be the same when your vehicle is a few inches closer to the ground.
The aim is to prepare you mentally for what you expect from your new ride. Before getting down to the task, there are a few things you need to know.
It Might Be a Rough Ride
When you lower your car, you reduce the suspension travel, increase spring rates, or both. It effectively decreases the “give” amount in your vehicle’s suspension, leading to a rougher ride than stock springs.
The rough ride challenge becomes worse if:
- You continue using the initial struts and shocks rather than improving them to match the new spring rates
- You add extremely low-profile tires plus heavy aftermarket wheels to your auto.
You need to know what exactly will work with your car setup. The best way to avoid the rough ride problem is to purpose on buying new shocks and struts to work with your new springs. Also, delay buying new wheels and tires until you test the setup first.
You, Will, Have to Be Extra Careful
If you watch the road closely, some drivers take the road bumps super-slowly, and others navigate potholes with extra caution. Dropping your car too low will get you in more clearance problems. It is not only potholes and road bumps you have to watch.
A lower car has more difficulties navigating exits and entrances to their parking lots and driveways because of the change in angle.
You might also encounter some roadway changes that might force you to bottom out. It may result in damage to your exhausts or undercarriage parts. In the worst scenario, it can be harmful to your body. Prepare yourself to lose paint off your car to the road.
Consider Your Environment
If you live in an area prone to snow, lowering your vehicle might not be wise. You will be at risk of suffering traction issues, mainly because most people replace stock wheels and tires with aftermarket wheels that often do not work with all-season tires.
In addition, the new wheels and tires are more comprehensive than the stocks, which affects wet-weather traction further.
That should not stop people living in seasonal climate regions from lowering their rides. It is just to let you know that you will need alternative transport means for snowy days if you drop your car.
Do Not Do It Without Compressor
Keep this in mind, especially if you are taking the task yourself. It is essential to prevent property damage and injury during installation and post-installation problems. Never attempt installing any springs, including lowering springs, without a suitable compressor.
If you do not have access to one, you may consider ordering a spring compressor online before settling to execute the task. The other option is to remove your strut or spring compressor from your car and give it to a local mechanic to do the decompression work.
Do I Need New Shocks with Lowering Springs?
It is highly advisable to use shocks or struts when lowering your auto. Their design is meant to work up and down in the springs’ range.
The shocks and struts wind in a new usual position resembles the middle of their travel if you use it with shock springs. It is because the stock springs are longer than the lowering springs.
How Much Is a Lowering Kit?
A complete aftermarket car lowering kit ranges between $ 170 and $ 1000. There are several factors behind the cost, though. Here are some of the factors that will determine the cost of the kit.
- The components in the kit
- The material
- The kit brands
When shopping for a lowering kit, it is advisable to consider your type of car and preferences so that you do not make a purchasing mistake. There are various types of lowering kits in the market, so go for what pleases you.
How Much Does It Cost to Lower a Car 2 Inches?
If you want to lower your auto up to two inches, you have to apply the Install Drop Spindles method, which will cost you $ 150 and $ 1400. It is a method that shifts the shafts to a higher point, typically 2 to 3 inches. Doing so will allow the wheels to go higher in the fender well, thus lowering the truck.
Installing drop spindles allows you to continue using your vehicle’s factory shocks and spring. You can either do it yourself or involve a professional.
DIY kits: The kits’ price range from $ 150 to $ 1300 according to the car’s brand, model, and make. You will need additional tools besides the kit to perform the task.
- Floor jack
- Jack stands
- Open-end wrenches
- A torque wrenches
- A ratchet
- A hammer
- A screwdriver
- A pair of pliers
- Probably a spring compressor
Professional installation: an experienced mechanic will charge you between $ 300 to $ 500 for labor, exclusive of the necessary materials. The total cost will depend on the cost of the materials.
How Much Does It Cost to Lower a Car 3 Inches?
To lower your car three inches, you have to apply the lowering springs installation method, and it will cost you about $ 100 to $ 1200. The price depends on whether you do it yourself or through a professional.
DIY kits: the kit costs from $ 100 to $ 700 according to the type and make of your ride. You can buy the kit from a car parts store or order online.
It works with other accompanying tools to accomplish the task.
- Floor jack
- Jack stands
- Fractional sockets and metrics
- A ratchet
- A pry bar
- An impact wrenches
Some vehicles need a spring compressor but using this tool can be risky. Suppose your auto requires this; it would be best to take it to an expert.
Professional installation: most professionals will charge from $ 200 to $ 500 for the short springs installation labor. The total cost will include the cost of materials.
What Is the Cheapest Way to Lower a Car?
The cheapest way to lower your car is by adjusting the springs. Unlike the Coilover that makes the spring coil and stock strut assembly expendable, the lowering spring method only requires you to replace the stock spring.
The aftermarket spring has a dense winding to compensate for being shorter. The thick winding results in a stiffer ride and better handling.
Here is what you must know about lowering springs.
- It is relatively cheaper than Coilover
- The best set goes for $ 50 to $ 100 per piece or $ 300 to $ 400 for a complete set
- It is better to let a professional do the task as the force can cause injuries
- An expert charge around $ 200 for labor, which is cheaper than risking an injury
Is It Worth It to Lower Your Car?
People decide to lower their autos for different reasons; it is not only for aesthetic value but also to boost their performance. If you do it in the right way, you will enjoy a personalized appearance and the best performance out of your car. Here are some fantastic benefits of lowering your ride.
Enjoy More Road Feel
Lowering your car gives you a better road feel as all the road vibrations come through the steering wheel. You easily attune yourself to how your vehicle behaves on different pavements and road imperfections.
For example, most people enjoy a stiff riding experience on the road compared to a smoother one from a luxurious sedan.
With this kind of setup, you have to ensure that your springs are rigid to prevent the front and back of the vehicle from bottoming out over depressions or bumps.
When you drop your ride a little closer to the ground, you can enjoy more stability, a better grip at speed, and better responsiveness.
Lowering comes with stiffer springs, which means less weight transfer when you step on the gas or brake hard. You will be enjoying better accelerations and faster stops.
Less Dragging of Air
Lowering a vehicle makes it more aerodynamic. There is minimal air hitting the wheels and the tires, which makes lowered cars faster in speed.
Some vehicles with a lower stance also display an improvement in gas mileage. But, avoid lowering your car too low as it can increase wind drag.
If you lower your car with custom wheels and tires, it gives it a show-stopping look. It is more aggressive and poses a performance-oriented look that makes it stand out in a crowd.
Reduced Lean in Road’s Corners
A low-stance auto has a lower center of gravity and consequently less shift on weight. The advantage of the center of gravity is that it significantly reduces the lean of vehicles around sharp bends.
The car parts on the outer side of the corner maintain a uniform balance with the inside part. As a result, the car can settle more quickly around a sharp bend and behave more responsibly.
More Comfort and Less Rollover Risk
A high center of gravity poses a risk of a rollover to many vehicles, making lowering your ride an advantage against rollover. The higher the car, the higher the chances of tipping over and vice versa.
In addition, some drivers of low-stance rides confess a greater comfort than when driving regular vehicles. The additional stiffness that comes with lowering your suspension offers much-appreciated comfort.
Can Lowering a Car Cause Problems?
With all the good vibes it offers, lowering your car can cause problems. As a rule of nature, every good thing has a faulty side, no matter how small. Here are some of the drawbacks of lowering your suspension.
It Increases Bottoming Out
One of the most common setbacks of lowering a car is that it becomes too prone to hitting the road when it bounces. Speed bumps can also be a common problem.
The major challenge with bottoming out is the damage that occurs on the car’s underside when it hits the road. The most vulnerable parts, in this case, are the oil pan and exhaust system.
It Increases Lifting and Towing Problems
A simple maintenance task becomes a nightmare on a low-stance auto if it requires lifting with something like a jack. The lowered suspension will be a challenge if you ever need towing on your automobile.
So, to be on the safer side, consider your access needs before lowering your vehicle near the ground.
Conflicts with Other Parts
A more significant problem that results from lowering your suspension occurs when some parts of the suspension system collide with other vehicle systems. A low suspension can easily get caught up on sway bars, anti-lock brake apparatus, or the tires’ sidewalls.
In addition, if the suspension is not set correctly after lowering, it can chew on tires resulting in severe damage.
Uneven Wearing Out of Tires
Sometimes lowering your car leads to uneven tire wear or, in some cases, results in extreme wear patterns. Every driver should consider this risk before deciding to alter the suspension.
Less Comfort on Rough Roads
You will find a low-stance ride uncomfortable, especially if you and your passengers only ride on a softer suspension that kills the impact of potholes and bumps on the road.
The lowered suspension might also be a nuisance if the road is rutty, bumpy, and full of potholes. You will also experience more road noises since you are close to the ground.
It Is Costly
The excellent quality aftermarket components and maintaining the proper alignment can be bank-breaking. The lower you drop suspension, the more accompanying parts you will require. If you consider some lowering methods like Coilover, you should be talking about at least $ 1000.
It Affects Your Car Warranty
Modifying your vehicle, including lowering suspension, renders your warranty void before its due time. It can also have an impact on insurance. To be on the safer side, consult your dealer or car insurer before deciding on lowering suspension or any auto modification whatsoever.
What Is the Legal Height for Lowering Car?
According to the law, you should only lower your car up to 1.5 inches. The standard height gives an aggressive and performance appearance and offers comfort for a low-stance driver. If you drop below that, the right will not be as stiff as it should.
You will be putting your auto at a high risk of bottoming up, scraping against road bumps and driveways, and the consequential damage to the underside parts.
How to Determine the Right Height
You need to know the height of your vehicle before trying to lower it. That will help you determine how low you need to go, the right tools to purchase, and the correct method to employ.
You can only make a sound decision by measuring the front and rear height, the distance between the ground and front bumper, and between the ground and rear bumper. It is advisable to measure the distance in a typical driving condition.
Now that you know the cost of lowering a car and the possible ways to do that, you can decide which one to choose, according to your desire and type of ride. It would also help to consider the legal dictations before taking the step. If you consider the cost of lowering a car an investment, you will find it worthwhile.
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