In the never-ending quest for style and performance, one of the primary debates over whether coil overs are better than lowering springs has been on for years at enthusiast forums across the web. The search term “lowering springs vs.” will yield 32,800,000 results in Google.
The problem with this question is that people are not consistent when describing what they are looking for. For example, if you go to the first page of Google results, you will find many people asking whether they should get lowering springs or coil overs for their cars. However, there is a good chance these same people may not be willing to pay the prices that coil overs typically sell.
In general, Coil overs come in two varieties: Internal and External Reservoirs. The debate over which one is better is worth having, but we will only focus on external reservoirs for this article.
These are the most common choice for those looking to lower their cars without spending a fortune. Generally, these provide a cost-effective way to make your car drive and handle better by lowering its center of gravity and reducing body roll. Many options on the market will allow you to adjust how much you want to drop your car and the firmness of the ride.
However, like coil overs, lowering springs are generally one-size-fits-all and incompatible with aftermarket components. As a result, many enthusiasts combine lowering springs with adjustable dampening shocks for optimal handling performance.
What Do Lowering Springs Do/Provide?
The central role of the modern vehicle’s suspension is to permit uncompromising control under any circumstance while providing a comfortable ride. A lot of information has been discussed on choosing the best springs for your car, but not much about the downsides that come with them.
So here are some pros and cons you should consider before making the decision:
Lowering Spring Pros
- Cheap and affordable pricing.
- An easy installation process that can be done at home by yourself.
- Acceptable improved cornering and ride compromise.
Lowering Spring Cons
- They could cause tires to rub your fenders.
- It could be too low for your daily driver.
- Low ride height may bring unwanted attention from the PoPo.
While lowering springs are designed to replace your factory springs and play nice with the rest of your existing components, coil overs are an entirely different animal. So, what, what is a coil-over, then?
Coil overs are a spring and strut combo that allows you to adjust your ride height. They can either be adjusted manually or electronically, depending on the model you get. Coil overs are offered with different spring rates, so you can choose one that best suits your requirements. However, you’ll sacrifice ride quality for handling. Lowering kits are also available, allowing you to reduce ride height without purchasing any extra parts. You can then mix and match lowering kits with adjustable coil-overs. Unfortunately, these adjustability features come at a premium price.
What are Coil overs Pros and Cons?
Let’s see if it’s all sunshine and butterflies with coil-overs. Are they still for you?
Coil Overs Pros:
- Adjustable height
- More performance-oriented
- Better for beginners who want to tinker with their suspension, more stable on uneven terrain
Coil Overs Cons:
- A complicated system with many moving parts,
- Space between tires and fenders might be a problem for some people, and your car could be too low for daily driving.
Picking Between Coil Overs vs Springs
Let’s break down the debate and help make this Coil over vs. springs decision easy for you. If you are a die-hard road-racer who trailers your car to the track every weekend and burns through an entire set of brakes and tires each time, then coil-overs are the right choice for you.
If this does not sound like you, a set of lowering springs will suit you fine.
Be aware that if you drive your car on the street every day, the harsh ride that coil-overs deliver will likely become tiresome very quickly. In addition, Coil-overs typically lower your car more than a set of springs alone, leaving you vulnerable to steep driveways, speed bumps & rough, uneven road surfaces.
Lowering springs and coil overs are two different means to essentially the same end. Each has its benefits and drawbacks, but both are more than capable of hot lapping at the track and getting you home afterward. Which route you choose all depends on what you’re willing to sacrifice for performance and how much you want to spend.
Shop Popular Lowering Springs & Coil over Products
Soft and smooth for the roads or stiff and responsive for the track, H&R SS Coil overs let you refine your ride quality for cruising, racing, and everything in between. The monotube shock body is fully threaded, allowing you to dial in the drop between 1” and 2.7” (depending on your vehicle). Along with height control, H&R SS Coil Overs also let you modify the shock’s dampening for a more rigid or relaxed feel.
Suspension and traction will see significant improvements – especially when put to the test at higher speeds – and travel is increased by the partnership of springs, and progressive bump stops. In addition, suspension packers are included to fine-tune handling and comfort by changing the clearance of those bump stops, something no respectable racecar can do without, and helper springs in the rear preserve suspension operation under droop conditions.
Put some serious spring in your performance suspension with FOX 2.0 Performance Series Coil-Over IFP Shocks. These shocks feature fully adjustable 3.0 Eibach racing springs and maximize suspension travel and performance both on and off the road. Plus, with 2” diameter aluminum bodies, 5/8” hard chrome-plated heat-treated alloy steel shafts, and IFP (internal floating pistons), FOX 2.0 coil-over shocks bounce your rig’s performance to the next level.
Eibach Pro-Street features the incredible option of adjustable lowering for each wheel. You have control of dropping anywhere between .8” and 3” for fine-tuning your ride to any track conditions. Pro Street coil-over spring/damper packages also feature Eibach’s legendary suspension know-how, getting progressively firmer at high speeds for excellent ride quality.
Eibach’s innovative and proprietary, progressive spring design lowers your ride up to 1 1/2.” Pro-Kits also reduces acceleration squat, trims body roll in corners, eliminates excessive nose-dive when braking, and lowers the wheel well over the tire for the aggressive style you’re after.
With Tanabe DF210 Lowering Springs mounted at each corner, the answer to ‘how low can you go’ is low. Dropping your street machine by up to a ground-pounding 2.5”, DF210 Lowering Springs gives you the biggest drop in the Tanabe lineup—while raising handling performance through the roof.
Corner faster, stop quicker and improve the look of your vehicle with Skunk2s legendary Lowering Springs.Skunk2 Lowering Springs are designed to enhance handling performance dramatically, and the driver feels through significantly increased cornering grip and reduced body roll.
Inspired by the Autobahn and custom engineered for your auto, H&R Sport Springs tune your suspension for tighter, more responsive handling. These stage 2 spring upgrades drop you down between 1.5” – 1.8”, lowering your center of gravity for reduced body roll, decreased wind resistance, and a lot less slop in your steering. Plus, their progressive spring rate responds to the road, staying soft when you’re cruising and stiffening up as you throw the hammer down.