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Grounded: The deal with lowering your car

Nothing spells c-o-o-l simpler than having your car lowered. Is it a sports car thing? I mean, a lot of two-door coupés such as the higher end of the Japanese market and most European sports favorites ride low. I suppose the pimped out 90s Civics and Corollas are the lowest of the bunch. You probably canʼt even fit a book under them. Despite being closer to the ground, lowered cars sometimes stand out on the road. A lowered car gives a funner, “go kart” feel since your center of gravity is lowered. What then are the pros and cons of going down low?

Lowering your car is a simple modification that can be done in several ways. The simplest way is to change your suspension springs or your shock absorbers. This can also be done through special suspension kits designed for a low ride.

Lowering your car means lowering the center of gravity of your car. Your car will wiggle less in turns (less body roll) and you wonʼt feel like your car will topple over in sharp cornering. Handling will feel quicker indeed, as there is less height between your wheels and your car body. The comfort of feeling close to the ground is commonly felt among many motorists—a feeling of safety and of greater control.

Lowering your car comes with its drawbacks as well. First of all, a lowered car will be more sensitive to rough roads and speed bumps. This is because the springs are shorter and have less travel when hitting bumps on the road. This will of course translate to greater vibration damage to your carʼs exterior and interior over the long run. This is why you should be more wary of road obstacles when you are in a low riding car. Of course, going very slowly over such obstacles is a must in this case, but there lies the hassle. Another very obvious drawback is the decreased distance between the road and the bottom of your car. There will be times when your underchassis will hit the hard ground especially if you drive too fast over a bump. In rare cases, your care will be unable to drive up a steep ramp without your front bumper scratching against the ground. There are a lot of cringeworthy YouTube videos dedicated to this. A car thatʼs a few centimeters raised from the ground will command attention on the road, but remember that its a mixed reaction. One half will consist of people who will find your car cool, while the rest will be worried or will be smirking at the damage you probably will get. Fourth, lowering your car will also mean re-calibration of your entire suspension. Even then, expect that the greater vibrations caused means increased wear on your suspension and your tires.

While the list of cons is a long one, do know that the pros are absolutely worth it. I can personally attest to it. While lowering your car already seems like an expensive modification, do remember that making a hobby out of your automobile is an investment.