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Lowering Springs vs. Coilovers: Which is Right For Me?

Lowering your car is one of those modifications that can improve not only the look of your car but the performance as well. When lowering your vehicle, you’re also lowering the center of gravity, which helps it stay planted through sharp corners and maneuvers. 

However, there are a few ways to drop the height of your vehicle, each with its pros and cons for different vehicles and different owners. Knowing which is right for you is crucial before having anything installed, or you may run into unexpected issues down the line.

Lowering Springs 

The easiest and generally least expensive way to lower your vehicle is lowering springs, which replace the stock coil springs and replace them with ones that sit slightly lower.

As the springs aren’t adjustable, lowering springs are sold with a fixed distance tied to them. For example, if you’re looking to lower your vehicle by 2 inches, just look for springs that list a 2-inch drop. These lengths vary anywhere from 0.5 inches to 2.5 inches. 

Various colors of coil springs for vehicle
Courtesy of Spielvogel – Gallery: here., CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Coilovers

Coilovers, on the other hand, usually demand a higher price. However, they make up for it by providing you with a great deal of customization in ride height, rebound, compression, and damping. 

Instead of just replacing the coil springs, coilovers replace your springs AND struts/shocks. Coilovers consist of a spring mounted over a shock, hence the name. This combination of important suspension components allows coilovers a degree of adjustability that’s just not possible on a spring alone. 

Yellow and purple KW coilover

Which is Better?

Whether coilovers or lowering springs are the right choice for you depends on a variety of factors. 

Lowering springs is the least-costly way to safely and effectively lower your vehicle. While it won’t improve the handling as a set of coilovers, just having the car sitting lower to the ground will help it handle itself better around corners at speed. 

That said, lowering springs come with a few drawbacks it’s important to understand before installing them on your vehicle, the largest of these being the complete lack of adjustability. Lowering springs have also been known to increase wear on your factory shocks and struts, as the vehicle will bottom out more frequently (this may also cause uncomfortable ride quality). The OEM suspension components are not designed for this, leading to rapid wear and reacting unpredictably to uneven roads or harsh turns. It’s for this reason that many recommend having your stock shocks/struts replaced with high-quality aftermarket replacements. 

Coilovers solve these issues for those looking for an all-in-one solution for altering both suspension dynamics and aesthetics. A set of high-quality coilovers will have adjustability settings for ride height, rebound, compression, and damping. Most times, these can be easily altered using dials on the side of the coilover itself. Less expensive sets of coilovers may forgo one or two of these settings, while more expensive sets might have both high-speed and low-speed rebound settings. 

They also solve the issue of suspension wear, as they include a shock absorber that can be set to the appropriate damping and rebound to prevent this. This flexibility and ride quality is why coilovers are the popular choice for cars that see the track or spirited driving. 

Unfortunately, coilovers demand a higher price for their benefits. You’ll still be able to choose between various price points however, as brands like KW, Bilstein, Tein, H&R, and more all produce products with differing features, quality, adjustability, ride, and ease of installation. 

That’s the other kicker: installation. The increased difficulty of coilovers over springs means longer work for those who get their hands dirty on their vehicles, and higher costs at the shop for those who don’t. 

Suspension Service & Installation in the Salt Lake Valley

The suspension experts at Alex’s Autohaus in Midvale have the equipment and training to provide you with top-notch services on your vehicle! Whether you’re picking out some new coilovers or need a factory component replaced, our friendly team will help get you sorted. Give us a call or schedule an appointment online today!

 

Nationwide Warranty 3 year, 36,000 mile

Alex’s Autohaus offers all customers the Bosch and Tech-Net Peace of Mind Nationwide Warranty. The 36 month/36,000 mile warranty is honored at over 10,000 service centers across the country. Our 36,000 mile warranty is the best in the business!

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