How Much Should I Lower My Car?

Lower My Car

A lot of people want to lower their car, but they don’t know how much is too low. Here’s a little guide to help you figure out the perfect ride height for your car.

This is going to be a pretty short and simple article, so let’s get started.

What is Ride Height?

Ride height is simply how high your car sits from the ground. It can change both front-to-back as well as side-to-side on some cars. Lowering affects not only looks but also performance of your vehicle. The lower it is, the less weight transfer will take place under acceleration or braking/turning forces (the force that pushes you towards the outside of a turn). And vice versa – if you increase ride height, more weight transfer will occur when turning or braking since there will be more weight over the outside wheels.

Now that you know what ride height is, let’s talk about how much should your car be lowered. Most people out there who want to lower their car think that as low as possible means better. It doesn’t work that way – sure, if you slam your car to the ground it’ll look good and appear to handle well but only on smooth surfaces and not at all when taking turns or bumps. If you slam your car and take turns quickly it’ll dive so much under braking and turning forces that it might scrape or even damage its undercarriage (yes, really).

So how low can I go?

It’s hard for me to tell exactly because everyone has different opinions on ride heights for different carsand other common suspension questions but for most cars that aren’t super high performance vehicles, there’s a simple formula to determine the best ride height you should lower your vehicle.

For most cars, lowering them 1-2″ from stock ride height is perfect when trying to achieve a smooth, good looking lowered stance. Of course, this can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer and from car to car. Also, if you’re looking for a more aggressive/lower look, this is not the right way to go about it because your car will still ride much higher than it will appear.

How Is Ride Height Measured?

A Good rule of thumb is to aim for about 1/2″ from ground on a lowered car.

Keep in mind that lowering your car at all will affect how well it performs, especially if you go too low or lower it more than recommended. And remember, the lower you go the rougher your ride will be and perhaps even unsafe.

Another thing I want to touch on is strut braces – if you install a strut brace onto your vehicle while going lower, it might do nothing or make your suspension perform worse since struts are designed to work with a certain amount of tension (the stock height). If not done carefully, installing a strut-brace may lead to reduced suspension travel and damaging other components. However, this has been tested before and there are some struts that work fine even with reduced suspension travel (so no worries).

Of course, the best way to lower your car is to go to a shop and have it done. However, this not only costs money but also takes time. If you want to save cash or do it yourself, go ahead and slam your ride – but remember about safety! Just find the right balance for your needs! And don’t forget what influences ride height the most: springs! Make sure you get good ones to avoid dangerous situations when taking corners fast or braking hard.

Will lowering my ride make it uncomfortable or unsafe at any time? 

In my opinion, yes. If you slam your car to the ground with coilovers, I don’t think it’ll be too comfortable for daily driving since most people can’t afford a nice set of coilovers, so they go with cheap ones and suffer from little travel. Even if you do get a nice set of coilovers, road conditions around here aren’t that great and we’re not used to riding low (most of us). So there’s that…

If not done right or safely (e.g: by reducing suspension travel), slamming your ride might make it unsafe and uncomfortable at the same time! Don’t forget about struts either – if designed properly, they should minimize stress on other components when taking turns quickly or braking hard.

What does lowering a car do to its performance and ride quality?

The main reason why people lower their ride is to get that sleek, sporty look. And if performance is not your priority then slamming your car definitely isn’t the best thing you can do for it.

On top of reducing performance in some cases, lowering a car can reduce its clearance when taking turns fast or even possibly damage the undercarriage. This depends on many factors but mostly I’d say if not done properly (e.g: by reducing suspension travel) then you are risking damaging parts on your vehicle when taken through potholes at very low-speeds or high speeds.

What causes bad or uncomfortable rides after my car has been lowered?

If you’re riding with springs designed only for stock height, they will not be able to support your lowered car which will definitely affect its ride quality. Most likely the best solution is to get new springs for your lowered vehicle to avoid riding problems.

Do not forget about struts either – they are also designed for a certain height so if you slam your ride, they might not do their job properly or even worse, fail altogether when on uneven surfaces like potholes and bumps (this has been known to happen on pretty low cars on this island).

Does lowering my car require more maintenance?

Yes. Just like any other modification that changes the suspension travel of your ride it will probably increase wear and tear on parts such as ball joints, drive shafts and CV joints (ly-sized vehicles with stock height might not be affected).

What are the benefits of lowering my car?

There are some, but mainly aesthetics. Lowering a car can make it look more sporty, sleek and even aggressive – depending on the ride height you choose. It’s been that way throughout history as people have always been trying to make their cars lower and lower… If this is your goal then go ahead and slam your ride but if you’re looking for performance or comfort I should tell you there are better options.

Which side do you fall under: should we slam them or not?

In my opinion, no! I’ve never slammed a vehicle but I’ve seen first-hand how badly things can turn out when done improperly (e.g: by reducing suspension travel). So I’d say if you really want to lower your ride, make it look good on top of being safe. I know people who have lowered their cars and they are very happy with them – even though they went through a hell of a time finding the right springs for their needs!

How much does it cost to lower a car (if you don’t know what you’re doing)?

If you don’t know what you’re doing, I would say around USD$1,500 depending on whether or not you get custom made coilovers. However if done right it shouldn’t cost that much at all – there are very nice and affordable spring/strut combos out there for a lot of car models!

Final thoughts.  

Slamming a car is not the end of the world and it will probably look good (if done right). However I’d advise you to lower your ride carefully by reducing suspension travel or talk to some specialists about custom coilovers – which would provide you with great performance and more importantly – safety.

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