Lowering your car is far more than a cosmetic choice, as a lowered car can offer more road feel, better handling, and improved traction. If these benefits sound good to you, you’re probably wondering: how much does it cost to lower a car?
It can cost between $100 and $10,000 to lower your car. Prices vary based on whether you choose DIY or professional installation and what methods you use. Additional costs may incur to replace other parts of your vehicle.
We’ll first determine whether you should shell out for professional installation. Then, we’ll examine the different ways you can lower your car. Finally, we’ll dive into potential costs that may occur as a result of your newly lowered vehicle, so stay tuned.
Before you get started on your project, you might want to decide whether you want to do it yourself or hire a professional to do it. While you might save money if you do it yourself, if something goes wrong, your cost might go higher than if you took it to a professional in the first place.
Let’s now compare the two methods and help you decide what to do.
Credit First National Association, the consumer credit division of Bridgestone, states that a DIY approach may save you time and money.
The most apparent expense from a professional install is labor cost. Mechanics don’t work for free. Auto repair shops charge between $50 and $200 per hour. While these fees don’t directly go to the mechanic, they do add up in your budget.
The CFNA also notes that DIY maintenance occurs on your own time. When you do it yourself, you won’t be waiting in an auto shop for hours at a time. Instead, you’ll have complete control of when and where your car is out of commission.
Finally, you’ll have complete control over your budget with DIY installation, as you can choose your parts and methods rather than work to the whims of your mechanic.
All that said, you should likely see a professional mechanic unless you’re confident you can safely lower your car.
The CFNA notes that, without experience, you’ll likely waste more time lowering your car than saving it. Additionally, a botched repair will ultimately cost you far more than if you brought your vehicle to the mechanic in the first place.
It’s also complicated to work with suspension systems. High pressure due to springs and special tools required complicate the process.
If you have any questions about the process or have never worked on your car before, you should lower your car with a mechanic.
Now that you’ve decided who’ll lower your car, you’ll need to determine how. What methods can you use to lower your car?
You can lower your car either by installing modified equipment or a new suspension system. Modified equipment will be cheaper, but adaptable suspension systems are flexible over time.
We’ll take a look at both methods, plus a few options for each.
The cheapest way to lower your car is by replacing your springs. Depending on your car’s make, several different springs can lower your vehicle.
If your car has leaf springs, replacing them with a lower model is cheap, effective, and accessible.
Leaf springs were prevalent in cars through the 1970s. We now know, however, that leaf springs harm a vehicle’s handling. Because of this, leaf springs are mainly found in heavier-duty cars today.
Still, if you have an older or bigger ride, leaf spring replacement is quite affordable. Check out the Belltech 5954 Leaf Spring from Amazon, or contact your mechanic for more info. You should be able to find some for around $100-$300.
The leaf spring found on Amazon comes with high-quality OEM-style bushings, which makes your project solid.
Lowering springs are typical suspension springs that’ll lower your car and are ideal for the casual driver looking to lower their ride. They’re also relatively cheap, with models going for as low as $150.
That said, make sure that lowering springs are correct for you before purchasing. With lowering springs, you get what you pay for. Low-quality springs might not handle high speeds and may bounce your car as you drive.
For these reasons, we highly recommend going to a mechanic to install lowering springs, as they’ll know the size, model, and make that will best suit your vehicle.
However, if you want to install it yourself, we recommend the H&R 50888 Sport Spring from Amazon. It’s a German-made product that offers superb ride quality. You can also find a great selection from Advance Auto Parts.
Coilovers replace your springs by combining a shock absorber and a coil spring into one part.
Cleveland explains that they offer a far smoother ride quality compared with lowering springs. Additionally, many coilovers are adjustable to suit your preferred ride, so you won’t need to buy a new product to raise your car back to its original level.
An expensive price range holds coilovers back.
If purchased for your own installation, they can cost between $300 and $1,000. As with all of these options, mechanic fees will only increase the price. That said, they’re built to last and are less likely to damage your car.
If you’re in the business for an entirely new system, consider one of these two options. While they’ll be more expensive, each of these systems lets you raise and lower your car at your leisure.
Hydraulic suspension systems use pressurized hydraulic fluid to raise or lower your car, which utilizes four independent dampers to adapt to your ride as you drive. Additionally, hydraulic suspension systems are fully customizable.
Because each damper is independent of the other, you can raise each of your stocks to whatever height you choose.
The biggest drawback of hydraulic suspension systems is their price, as hydraulic systems could set you back $400 at their cheapest. Add in potential mechanic fees, and you’ve got a high price to pay.
Airbag suspension kits offer a cheaper alternative to hydraulic suspension, and as the name implies, these kits use air to adjust your car’s level rather than hydraulics. The most significant difference between the two is the price.
You can find airbag suspension kits for as low as $300, while the repair work on these is also cheaper.
We recommend the Air Lift LoadLifter 5000 Air Suspension Kit from Amazon to start your search for air suspension. It’s very easy to install and it can handle loads up to 5000lbs (2267kg).
Additional Costs for Your Lowered Car
You may need to replace a few other car parts for your lowered car. While some of these problems aren’t immediately apparent, any one of these could spur trouble down the line.
Lowering your car changes your car’s alignment. Because of this, your vehicle may need professional realignment or new parts after you lower it.
Here is a list of signs that your car requires alignment:
- Your vehicle is pulling to the left or right.
- Your tire tread is wearing out early or unevenly.
- Your tires are squealing.
- Your steering wheel tilts off-center or vibrates.
Not only will improper alignment affect your driving, but it could also cost you your tires. The car alignments cost $65-$100 on average, while new tires cost $50-$200.
If you’re worried your car requires alignment, consult your local mechanic.
An amateur lowering could also rub other car parts against each other. It is recommended to check for both fender and inner rubbing after you lower your car.
Your tires should fully clear your fenders and shouldn’t touch anything as you turn your wheel. If they rub, you may consider rolling your fenders, adjusting your combustion chamber, or re-raising your car.
Driveslate also advises listening for internal rubbing. If you hear this, you may have to cut up your car if you want to keep it lowered.
We’d recommend particular attention to your fenders, as they could cost you anywhere from $70-$1300. For more on fenders and some purchasing options, check out these replacement fenders from Carparts.com.
Your lowered car might also require a low-profile tire jack.
As soon as you lower your car, we recommend checking your current tire jack with your new elevation. This way, you won’t get stuck should you need to replace a tire on the road.
Low-profile tire jacks can cost anywhere from $60 to upwards of $200. We recommend The Pro-Lift F-767 Low Profile Floor Jack from Amazon. The heavy-duty steel construction guarantees long-term durability while the low profile makes it easy to use.
The price of lowering your car can vary wildly based on your car’s make, your experience with car repair, and your needs as a car owner. While you should undoubtedly keep within your budget, make sure you make the correct choice for your car over the cheap alternative. If not, you could pay dividends down the line.
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