What Are Coilovers?
Coilover is the short terminology for “coil spring over strut” and it replaces your entire shock/strut and spring setup of your car. When installed correctly, coilovers allow you to adjust the ride height with the use of a dedicated wrench. Other adjustable components of some coilovers include the spring pre-load, shock dampening and rebound.
When you purchase coilovers for your car, the majority will come as a complete kit which include:
- Adaptors to fit both front struts
- Height adjustable front coilover units
- Rear lowering springs
- Rear ride height adjusters
- Rear uprated shock absorbers
- Adjuster tool for adjusting the height
- Installation instructions
However, before purchasing any coilovers, it’s important to note that the majority of kits are car specific. They are also available as kits dedicated for daily or track use.
What Are Lowering Springs?
Lowering springs are far more simpler than coilovers as they are a direct replacement with the original springs. However, although they are direct replacements, their characteristics from the originals are far different. The obvious difference is the lower ride height but other differences include different spring rates, which often results in a firmer ride.
Although you can achieve a stanced look from installing lowering springs, they are also great for improving your car’s handling and stability. The higher spring rates reduces body roll in order to keep your car under control whilst cornering.
Coilovers vs Springs
When it comes down to the coilovers vs springs debate, it really does depend upon the look you are trying to achieve and whether you want to improve your car’s handling performance.
If you are after the stanced look and want to get as low as you can, coilovers are the perfect solution. Regardless to the wheel setup you choose, you can perfect the ride height to suit your requirements. Although springs will get you car lower, there is no adjustability and if you swap your wheels often, this may become an issue when running different sizes.
In terms of improving the handling performance of your car, a set of coilovers that are dedicated to the track are going to be the best option. The level of adjustability ensures you are able to make your car ready for any type of track.
However, lowering springs aren’t all bad, not only are they often far cheaper, they are also much easier to install. They are also a great choice if you only want a subtle drop in your car’s ride height.
If you are able to stretch your budget to a set of coilovers, they are a worthwhile investment that won’t disappoint. They can be easily adjusted to suit the ride height you require and also come in many setups that include coilovers for daily use to full track use. Of course, if you are on a budget, a set of lowering springs are still a great alternative. However, ensure that you don’t choose springs that are too low because you may regret it for daily driving.
Another point that’s worth noting is that you should avoid the budget coilovers and springs. The cheapness will show in the quality of the components and springs and you will instantly regret it. We highly recommend purchasing springs from reputable brands only. If budget isn’t an issue whatsoever, you may even want to look at an air suspension setup.