What Are The Benefits Of Suspension Upgrade?

The majority of suspensions on modern vehicles are made to ensure good performance under various conditions.

Car manufacturers have to build their vehicles for a range of conditions and requirements, while making sure that the expectations of customers, concerning how they handle and drive, are satisfied safely and effectively. And obviously, price is important, whether the car maker is charging only $25,000 for a Patriot Jeep, or $500,000 for a Bentayga Bentley.

However, your budget and requirements might not correspond with the car maker’s vision for their specific model, so in that situation you might think about a suspension upgrade with aftermarket components.

Suspension parts from the car maker (original equipment manufacturer, OEM) and aftermarket are so diverse, there is not one answer. Rather, it is wise to consider modifications to suspension on an individual basis.

Here are a few of the popular aftermarket kits and parts:

suspension upgrade

Tyres:

Suspension relies heavily on the tyres, and changing them can have an amazing impact on the ride and handling. Certain tyres provide ‘dry grip’, which is better than the OEM options, others provide fantastic improvement in cold conditions, and some even provide a more comfortable and less noisy ride, or better fuel economy. Most of the time, the downside is that good quality tyres are more susceptible to wear and tear.

Wheels:

Unlike tyres, the choice of wheels is normally based on aesthetic reasons. Theoretically, a bigger wheel and tyre with a correspondingly lower profile can enhance handling, however in reality, the impact is small or negligible. There are aftermarket wheels available that provide weight enhancements, however lots of these are heavier than stock, rather than lighter.

Camber kits:

Motorists who have fitted aftermarket wheels with greater offset, which means the tyres extend further out from the vehicle, frequently discover that the camber (i.e. the outward or inward wheel tilt) is negatively affected. Using a ‘camber kit’ might facilitate proper alignment.

Aftermarket shock absorbers:

These can deliver better handling at high speeds or (especially for SUVs and trucks) when driving on bumpy or rocky terrain. Some aftermarket shock absorbers can be adjusted, so the owners can tweak them to their preferences.

Generally speaking, these adjustments need something to be changed (like twisting a dial) beneath the vehicle, however some are adjustable remotely from the cockpit.

Also, good quality aftermarket shock absorbers might be more durable than stock. This is not important for cars, however it is a notable issue for trucks that travel off road.

Joints and bushings:

Substituting soft rubber bushings for stiffer ones, often made from nylon, lessens the ‘friction’ between suspension parts, which can result in better road sensation and handling. The downside is more harshness and vibration on the journey.

Sway bars:

Fitting a stiffer and thicker sway bar, frequently with bushings that are more rigid, can enhance a vehicle’s handling by counteracting its’ tendency to move towards the outside during turns. In addition, matching the rear and front sway bars can alter the car’s tendency to ‘understeer’ or ‘oversteer’. The downside is less comfort and occasional roadholding, when the conditions are bumpy.

South West Automotive are your vehicle specialists for the South West. Our team can handle suspension-related problem of your car, making sure the suspension gets back to its original shape and spec. If you are exploring the best options for your vehicle and want to know about our range of services or pricing, talk to us today.