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Lowering springs are one of the most popular car modifications, and for good reason. The benefits of a lowered vehicle include better handling and a sleeker appearance. However, these benefits do come with downsides. Your car may ride rougher or be more uncomfortable on longer trips, despite how well it hugs the corners of your local twisty road.

Keep reading to learn more about how to install a set of lowering springs, including a few things you may want to consider before installation.

Springs Without Shocks and Struts

It's bad form at best to install lowering springs over blown or worn out shocks and struts. It may even be dangerous, depending on how and when you drive your car.

Before you install a set of lowering springs, have a good look at your shocks and struts. Are they leaking? Do they absorb bumps without bouncing? If your shocks are leaking, or your suspension feels like it has more spring to it than it does damping, it's a good idea to pick up a new set of shocks and struts before installing lowering springs on your vehicle.

Tools To Install Lowering Springs

Before installing lowering springs, make sure you have the right tools on hand:
  • Basic hand tools, including screwdrivers, pry bars, metric and fractional wrenches, metric and fractional sockets, ratchets, and extensions
  • Impact wrench, either electric or pneumatic
  • Floor jack and jack stands
  • Spring compressors
Specialty tools, like spring compressors, are available for rent at your local Pep Boys.

Step-by-Step: Installing Lowering Springs

Installing lowering springs is much the same as installing new shocks and struts. Follow these steps to get the job done:
  1. 1. Jack the vehicle up and support it with jack stands.
  2. 2. Remove the first shock/strut. You may need to loosen or remove the bottom ball joint to give enough room to swing the shock/strut free.
  3. 3. With the strut off, use your spring compressors to compress the stock spring.
  4. 4. Use your impact wrench to remove the top nut and cap from the shock/strut.
  1. 5. Remove the spring with the compressors attached.
  2. 6. Remove the compressors from the spring.
  3. 7. Slide the new spring over the shock/strut.
  4. 8. Refasten the top nut and cap.
  5. 9. Reinstall the shock/strut.
  6. 10. Repeat the steps for the rest of the corners of the vehicle.
If you have more specific questions about removing and replacing your vehicle's springs, consult a workshop manual for your vehicle. Always remember to compress the springs first, before you remove the top nut and cap from the shock/strut. Failure to properly compress the springs can cause severe injury.

Driving a Lowered Vehicle

When you first start driving your lowered vehicle, be careful and take things slowly. Listen for strange noises, as they are an indication of worn parts or improper installation. See how your car handles on rough roads before you attempt to drive over them in a more spirited manner.

If you took the time to pair your new lowering springs with new shocks and struts, you may find your vehicle rides even better than it did when it was stock. Even then, be careful when going over speed bumps. Do not attempt to drive over curbs or any objects taller than a speed bump, and use care when attempting to enter steep driveways.

Using an angled approach reduces the odds of scraping the bottom of your vehicle on drive ways, parking lot entrances, and speed bumps.

Although driving a lowered vehicle every day may require a few precautions, it is a fun way to spend a Sunday morning on a twisty road.
Are you ready to install lowering springs?
Stop by your local Pep Boys for the tools, parts, and know how you need to get the job done right.