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Yes, you will need an alignment after replacing springs – especially lowering springs. This is because to replace car springs, you need to first remove the shocks from the suspension system. And while doing so, you will work with many other suspension components like caster / camber plate that can cause misalignment.
I said especially for lowering springs because as you change the height of your car, you will also change center of gravity, camber and pressure points on your tires.
I have already covered the details of alignment in my other article. Should You Get An Alignment After Coilovers? Things like
- What happens during alignment?
- What Are Camber, Caster And Toe?
- Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Skip The Alignment
- Many others
All the points discussed over there apply to springs as well. If you want to know much more details, head over to that article. In this one, I will go straight to the point – covering only the most common questions.
Why alignment is needed after replacing springs?
It all comes down to the installation process. To replace your car springs, you must first take off the entire shocks body. And to do so, you need to unscrew it from the caster / camber plate.
Caster plate / camber plate controls the positions and angle of your tires.
- Camber controls the inward and outward angle of you tires
- Caster controls the forward and backward direction of your tires
The moment you tweak these plates, your tires will most likely go out of alignment. You could try as much as possible to position them to how they were and still have misaligned tires.
This is why during an alignment, car workshops measure the angles with laser accurate tools. Can’t really compete with that can you? If you are worried about what happens when you drive with misaligned tires, then check out the other article I mentioned. Should You Get An Alignment After Coilovers?
But hey, I am only lowering 1 inch!
I hear these arguments a lot. It doesn’t really matter how much height you are lowering or increasing. You car tires become misaligned once you take off the shocks from the suspension.
So it doesn’t matter even if you are using the same exact springs and height. The moment you take off the shocks from the suspension, you will most likely have misalignment.
When Should I Perform The Alignment?
Don’t go for an alignment immediately. The springs need to first “settle” in. The time depends on your driving – it usually takes about 10 -20 miles of driving. So it could be a day or a week. But definitely not more than a week.
By “settling in”, I mean the shocks need to work itself into the mounting points and play well with existing components like rubber isolators. The common misconception is that springs need to time to settle because it sags.
If you buy high quality springs from reputable brands like Eibach or H&R, then the spring will not sag. I cover more about this topic in this article. Do Lowering Springs Need To Settle?
How Much Does Alignment Cost?
On average, I would say $80 for two-wheels alignment and $150 for four-wheels alignment. It’s a little expensive but they are absolutely necessary for your car. Don’t skip them.
If you are installing the springs and realigning from the same workshop, then I suggest you negotiate on the alignment price.
I hope I have made this article clear and easy to understand 🙂 Remember, every time you tweak your suspension, you need to get an alignment. Especially after installing lowering springs or coilovers.
If you like my content, then go ahead and read my other articles about cars. I keep things as simple as possible so anybody can learn. Cheers.