If You Want to Become an Auto Mechanic, Here's the Difference Between Leveling and Lifting a Car's Suspension
Drivers who want more ground clearance, height, or bigger tires for their vehicle will need to either lift or level their suspension. This is particularly the case if they own a diesel truck, or any other type of heavy-duty vehicle that would necessitate suspension modifications. Whether a driver decides on a lifting kit or a leveling kit, the goal is to gain ground clearance and improve the look, feel, and purpose of their vehicle. By separating the body from the vehicle’s axles, drivers can get the job done. But which is the better option?
Whichever kit drivers choose, it’s important as an auto mechanic to understand the differences between both, and their respective pros and cons. Read on to find out what separates lifting from leveling when it comes to vehicle suspensions!
The Impact of Lifting a Suspension Explained for Those Seeking Auto Careers
Also known as suspension systems, lift kits are used to raise the ride height of a vehicle. Lifting the suspension raises the vehicle’s every component, helping to give the driver greater ground clearance. These kits include a number of different parts, such as control arms, springs, and shocks. Parts such as these are needed to ensure the proper height is achieved. Drivers can also fit larger-sized tires on their wheels. Those looking to become an auto mechanic will be interested to hear that it’s not “one size fits all” when it comes to these kits. In fact, they can be bought in sizes anywhere from two inches to as many as 10 inches or more.
The pitfall of installing a lift kit is exposing the parts of the vehicle’s suspension to the elements. This can cause trouble with fuel economy, which may be affected by as much as 20% by the added weight of the car’s tires. Ultimately, car owners who spend a lot of time driving on off-road terrain—or who frequently drive in rural areas or take camping trips—will likely prefer to lift their vehicles rather than level them. Regardless, this option will give drivers the most clearance.
How Leveling a Suspension Differs From the Lifting Process
Using hardware to elevate the vehicle’s front to match the height of the back, leveling kits typically raise the front suspension by a couple of inches. This is in contrast to the “raked” height of vehicles in factory condition. A significant advantage for leveling a suspension is that the elevated front can prevent the car’s bumper from making contact with the tires while turning. Leveling kits can also allow for bigger tires in all four corners of the vehicle. Additionally, leveling kits are simpler to install than lifting kits, as they do not have as many parts. They are also more cost-effective for the car owner.
Although leveling kits have their advantages, they also have downsides that those with auto careers may already be aware of. For example, the simplicity of these types of kits can often come at the expense of style and aesthetic appeal, sometimes making the stance of the car’s front look awkward. That being said, if a car owner has a utility vehicle or a rig that they’re looking to gain ground clearance on, leveling kits are the best option.
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