As the popular saying goes, one man’s food is another man’s poison.
Some car owners just like their cars to sit close to the ground while others do not. Nevertheless, this choice should be subject to some conditions.
For instance, it is illogical to live in areas with poorly maintained roads and opt for a lower suspension.
That’s why even some sports cars have high ground clearance.
Relatively, there are cons and pros to lowering your suspension. In this article, we discuss some disadvantages of lowered cars.
Table of Contents
1. Less Comfort While Driving
This is mainly for people that drive on bad roads. A raised suspension cushions bumps and potholes, and reducing its height may rob you of that privilege as you will feel the impact more while driving.
In addition, expect road noise apparently because you are closer to the ground.
2. Bottoming Out
Lowering your car can cause increased wear around the corners. When you have to drive through potholes or bumps, the front of the vehicle may start to hit the ground.
This can cause leakage with the exhaust system or oil pan because their connections are placed underneath the vehicle.
The 458 Ferrari is one sleek car but has a ground clearance of 133mm, which is susceptible to scraping the ground.
Also, forget the privilege of towing with a lowered suspension. If you have those needs, you would have to use a flatbed, otherwise you may cause great damage to the back body of the car.
3. Tires Run Through Faster
A lowered suspension makes the tires constantly run against the sheet metal of the vehicle.
This hard friction can make your tires wear faster. It causes unevenness on the thread of the tires and reduces its grip on the surface.
You might have to change your tires twice more often than someone with a raised suspension. One lowered car notorious for wearing tires faster is the Audi A7 Sportback.
4. Steering Geometry Can Go Wrong
Your suspension plays a key role in the vehicle’s handling. For more emphasis, the word suspension comes from the Latin verb “suspendere” which means to hang up.
It connects to your wheels, steering, tires, struts, dampers, linkages and bushing. The smallest change in the suspension can put the entire car in disarray. When you lower a car, you typically tamper with the suspension, changing its operation from the manufacturer’s design specifications.
Unresponsive or overly responsive steering feedback is one common effect of a wrongly placed suspension.
5. Shock Absorbers Go Bad
Shock absorbers are an integral component of your vehicle’s suspension. It is the hydraulic pump that controls and maintains the moving parts of the car’s spring and suspension.
It ensures that there’s enough traction for your tires to grip the road and it directly affects its braking response when the pedals are pressed.
This shows how important it is to have your shock absorber functioning and lowering your car reduces its chances of performing optimally.
Especially since the shocks are more exposed to dirt and mud, which are the leading causes of its damage. The sand particles or elements get into the inner compartment of the shocks and can cause the inner fluid to leak.
6. General Wear and Tear of the Vehicle
Asides from the increased wear of the exterior parts of the car, lowering a car can also affect the interior of the vehicle. As the vehicle constantly slams through bumps and potholes, it increases creaking noises in the cabin.
Your car will feel very old, despite being a recent model. It can also affect its resale value in the long run.
Please also read our article about problems with buying a classic car.
7. Your Car Won’t Jack
A jack is a hydraulic device used to raise a car slightly or entirely from the ground to perform some repair underneath it. A conventional jack is designed to fit in with a car that has a standard level of ground clearance.
Lowering your car may just cancel the chance of getting a standard jack under your car. It makes it difficult to get access to the car.
For instance, it would be difficult to jack the GT3-Spec 911R because it has a ground clearance of 88mm.
8. It Is Expensive
Lowering your car can be expensive. When you sum up the cost to use high-quality parts and employ a professional mechanic to carry out this labor, you realize you are spending a lot of money.
The price can be anywhere between $300 to $4000, according to carparts.com.
9. Reduces Vehicle Payload
Another thing you should consider is the payload of your car. This simply means there is a certain amount of weight you can put in your car and when you exceed this weight, your car can fall apart.
For a conventional sedan, manufacturers recommend a payload value anywhere between 800 and 900 pounds.
But lowering your suspension can reduce the weight your car can carry and when you exceed this payload, the car scraps against the ground. Thus, if you decide to finally lower your suspension, avoid loading up excessively.
Should I Lower My Vehicle?
We wouldn’t outrightly condemn lowering your vehicle. Regardless of its drawbacks, there are still some benefits in lowered cars. Some of them include:
Lowering your car reduces the air that moves against it.
If a car is aerodynamic, it improves the quality of your drive and cuts down fuel consumption. It also gives you a higher speed and acceleration than cars with poor aerodynamics.
Lowering your suspension gives you an edge over other vehicles when it comes down to traction. The center of gravity is apparently lower, which improves stance and stability. Your car is less likely to fishtail.
Fishtailing is a handling problem where the rear wheels lose their grip and begin to skid or oversteer.
We guarantee you can be more confident with a lowered suspension. However, lowering your car will not save you from skidding on frozen grounds.
Less Likely to Flip Over
Since the center of gravity is lower, the car is also less likely to flip over. Although it is rare that a regular sedan will flip over when taking a sharp turn; it is more common for SUVs.
They have poorer aerodynamics, a higher center of gravity and poor braking. Once they hit an object or take a sharp turn, their chances of flipping over are higher than shorter cars.
Lowering your car gives you the privilege of taking corners and sharp bends faster and safer. The reduced suspension already gives your tires better traction, a lower center of gravity and better aerodynamics.
This makes maneuvering quicker than other vehicles. You probably won’t notice this difference with city or casual driving, but it will apparently show on tracks or highway driving.
Unique Driving Experience
There’s this aura and bliss that comes when a car sits close to the ground.
For instance, if you drive the 2016 Mercedes Benz SL-Class or the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette, you’ll understand that the driving experience is a far cry from driving the 2021 Nissan Versa.
The former has a ground clearance of 3.9 inches, while the latter has a ground clearance of 6.8 inches. When your car sits low, you begin to see driving as a different and unique adventure.
Better Gas Mileage
We have earlier discussed that the higher the aerodynamics, the more fuel-efficient the vehicle is. Fuel is less consumed because the car has good handling.
It Just Looks Cool
Lowering your vehicle adds to its aesthetics and finish (rightly so). It gives the car a cool and sleek appearance compared to other vehicles. Little wonder why it is really hard to make an SUV really attractive.
The majority even consider them ugly, because it’s really difficult to give cars with a high ground clearance a good look. In fact, there’s a list on Google of the 15 ugliest SUVs.
But with lowered cars, you might see more people taking pictures of your car as you drive down the road. The look pulls the crowd and attracts people no matter the brand.
To answer the question of whether you should or should not lower your vehicle ultimately depends on you. Extensively researching its strengths and drawbacks should give a clue to what you want.
Note that it is hard to reverse the process once you’ve lowered your car.
Make sure to also read our article on problems with buying a brand new car.
General Pros and Cons of Lowering Your Vehicle
Here are the general pros and cons of lowering your vehicle:
- Better aerodynamics
- Improved traction
- Better gas mileage
- unique driving experience
- Less likely to flip over
- It just looks cool
- Expect Less Comfort While Driving
- Bottoming Out
- Tires Run Through Faster
- Steering Geometry Can Go Wrong
- Shock Absorbers Go Bad
- General Wear and Tear of the Vehicle
- Your Car Won’t Jack
- It Is Expensive
- Reduces Vehicle Payload
What is the Resale Value of a Lowered Car?
Unfortunately, lowering your vehicle does more harm to its resale value and its warranty. Anything that involves remodeling the car can influence its value.
Some individuals reported the prices would depreciate so bad especially if the mods are not fixed well as nobody would like to buy a car that has been tampered with.