What to Consider When Buying Suspension
Suspension is undoubtedly one of the most important after-market purchases that will help to improve your car’s performance. So, you really have to get it right! It could get a little daunting if you were to start to consider all the individual components involved: the shock, springs, rods and how to go about purchasing them. Luckily, it is possible to buy all suspension parts as full kits so you don’t have to go through the hassle and confusion of mixing and matching parts.
For anyone out there looking to buy some after-market suspension for their car but is unclear about the options offered, the differences, or whether it’ll be a right fit, this blog is definitely worth the read! We will be going over the parts to consider when buying or replacing parts of your suspension and our top tips to keep in mind as you research.
One of the holy grails for performance as they help to absorb all the impact from road bumps, control your vehicle's overall stability and body roll.
Dampers (Shock or Struts)
These essentially stand as the backbone for your springs. They absorb some energy released by the spring and help to stabilize the work that the spring does.
These are the springs and dampers combined. They are assembled with a threaded shock body for height adjustment and come in a series of applications from daily driving to pro-level hardcore racing.
To control weight transfer and prevent body roll, the sway bars connect the two sides of your suspension essentially acting as a stabilizer bar for when you are turning or cornering.
These are another important component in your suspension as they link your wheels to your car. One end will connect with your car’s wheel assembly and the other of the framework. Each of the arms has a function directly correlated to caster, camber or toe.
These connect the steering rack to each wheel so as to enable smooth and responsive steering.
Now that we have gone over the general parts that make up your suspension, let’s go into some of our major tips to guide you in your search.
TIP #1: Find the Suspension that Suits Your Needs
There are really 3 main types of aftermarket suspensions to consider as your options. These are: lowering springs, coilovers, and air suspension.
If you are still looking to keep or maintain most of your car’s OEM suspension, lowering springs would be your best bet. An added bonus? They’re affordable! Lowering springs would work great to lower your car and give you a decent ride quality. For some newer cars that come with active suspensions, the lowering spring treatment is really all that’s needed.
A wide array of aftermarket/engineered coilover system is the most common suspension choice amongst drivers looking to improve performance, overall looks and most of all, bragging rights. Coilover offer more features (most notably, adjustability) in comparison to lowering springs. Aside from ride height adjustment, you can also adjust damping and camber.
Lastly, the air suspension system offers the unique feature of being able to actively adjust your car’s ride height. The setup includes replacement struts and an air management system to control pressure and compression. Of course, this is the most expensive option of the three.
Once you have considered what is most suitable for your car, you can start delving into the brands, their price points, and the options they offer.
TIP #2: Understand Your Options
When looking at brands and seeing the options they offer, price range can be a factor to consider. Be mindful of underpaying or overpaying. You definitely don’t want to pay for a suspension that is not up-to-par with your use, or one that is too advanced for your needs. To help avoid this, consider looking for the brand options that best suits you: Entry-level enthusiast? Track racing?
TIP #3: Research, Research, Research
This has to be our most important tip. Research! Read reviews, watch installation videos, and write-ups. Really anything you can find on the suspension you are thinking of buying. It is a big investment so get as close to a first-hand look as possible. You would want to get to know exactly what to expect when you receive your kit or parts. You would also know the additional costs for setup, installation, or upgrades to consider. Having as much information as possible will certainly help you make the right investment.
TIP #4: Consult with the product experts... (and that is to say with those that will consult with you)
So, here is a secret weapon for you. Depending on the vendor that will supply your important suspension investment directly to your door or perhaps to your mechanic, it is imperative that you male your purchase with someone who will "give you the time of the day!"
The biggest problem in this industry is that very few vendors are committed or equipped to provide customized support pre and post purchase.
As an example, our own parts division has delivered more than 15,000 coilover kits since 2015 and this success was reached by our non-wavering commitment to ensuring that each and every customer is given as much attention as possible. What we are saying here is this: Call around, send emails, use live chats, and get to know the person that is selling a suspension kit to you. The trick is this, if they answer their phones, if they call you back, if they reply to your emails, and if they spend time with you to assist, get to know you, show genuine concern for your needs, and most of all product knowledge, then that is who you should purchase from.
So there you go! Those are just a few important tips. Feel free to leave a comment or suggestion. Test us out if you are in the market for a new suspension.
We will answer our phones during business hours, we'll email you back, we'll respond to our chats and we ensure that you and your needs are given as much attention as possible.
Please note: all images displayed in this blog are generic. Your parts may look different depending on your car's year, make and model.