Coilovers Break-In: How Long & How Much Do They Settle?

By March 21, 2022Coilovers

The time it takes coilovers to settle is totally dependent on how you drive and how frequently you drive; it might take a few days or a couple of weeks for it to settle. After a few days of driving, your ride height will most likely drop considerably more (5mm to 10mm).

When folks question if coilovers need to settle, they’re wondering if the ride will become any lower once the coilovers are installed.

I personally had the same questions when I got my first coilovers. And to my dismay, I couldn’t find any online articles around it. So now that I have the experience, it’s time to share it with my fellow car heads.

PS: This is a short article around coilovers settling and break-in. Read my other articles here if you want more info around coilovers:

  1. Expensive Vs Cheap Coilovers: Are Cheap Coilovers Any Good?
  2. Are Coilovers Good For Daily Driving?
  3. Is It Okay To Buy Used Coilovers? (10 Things To Know)

Do coilovers need time to settle?

Coilovers take some time after installation to reach their soft or hardness position. However, this is only when they are fresh new coilovers. It takes around 2-3 weeks or roughly 20-100 miles for it to settle.

It is doubtful that new coilovers have been subjected to substantial weight or pressure. Coilovers will require some force to position themselves into the mounting locations and operate with existing components such as rubber isolators. Simply driving the car around for a few days should reveal the correct ride height.

As you drive with them, the coilovers will break in and become less stiff, lowering your ride height somewhat.

You will also notice a difference when you get it aligned if you go from stock height to raised, depending on how far off your alignment gets.

The truth is that the bushings produce the height shift during the first several days, not the springs that settle. The bushing’s ‘neutral’ point shifts when you drop your car and must be adjusted to the new ride height.

How long does it take for new coilovers to settle?

Depending on the coilover and the setting utilized, new coilovers may take roughly 2-3 weeks to settle; however, some may settle faster due to a softer setup.

It may take up to two weeks of driving for the springs to properly settle. They should be driven for around 20-100 miles before doing a corner balance to ensure that they have settled in.

However, it is recommended that you remove the wheels and inspect all the bolts, spring seat locks, and top hat for any loose bolts that may need to be tightened. Check whether the manufacturer has a torque specification to follow, and make sure the coilover spring seat isn’t loose.

You should get the alignment and corner balancing done later because it is required with a coilover installation.

How much do new coilovers settle?

New coilovers will settle and drop roughly 5mm to 10mm. However, the drop is not certain. Some folks don’t notice any decline, while others with the same brand see a significant drop. It is dependent on your setup.

When you first install the coilovers, they are not fully integrated with your current suspension components. Take your ride for a spin and apply some pressure to the springs. Only then will they adapt and fit into the mounting places. If only one has fallen, examine the spring platforms to verify they are properly set and tight.

The new coilovers attempting to push themselves into the mounting points and fit into existing components is what causes the additional drop (settling).

Do coilovers need to break in?

A small break-in for coilovers are required. Leaving it stiff or tight may feel fantastic, but you’ll get the best performance as soft as possible. If the tires are too stiff, they will not follow the road’s contours, and you will lose momentum.

However, no break in should occur that would influence alignment settings. If you modify the height adjustment on your coilovers, you will technically require an alignment thereafter.

Driving without an alignment to break in your coilover, on the other hand, might cause harm. It is advised that you install them, have the car aligned, and then return two weeks later to have it checked again.

Do coilovers settle after adjustment?

Coilovers will need some time to settle after every adjustment. This includes common adjustments like ride height.

If you change your wheels and tires, you’ll have to re-adjust your coilovers. If you smash hard the first time with proper fitment, your wheel could collide with your fender.

Adjusting the ride height at each corner alters the appearance of the automobile and modifies the weight distribution. Corner balancing can assist you in achieving a perfect weight balance across all four tires, allowing the vehicle to perform to your satisfaction.

Conclusion

Coilovers are adjustable, allowing you to lower or raise the height of your vehicle to your liking. However, whatever height you have set your coilovers to will eventually settle lower over a period of time and pressure application. 

After you’ve adjusted the height and lowered the automobile. That is not the final height. After driving, it will be a bit lower. This is especially noticeable in fresh coilovers since no pressure has been applied to them previously, as opposed to used coilovers, which must have been pressured previously.

Ifandi S.

Ifandi S.

Passionate about everything mechanical. Ifandi has been involved with motorcycles and cars since the old days - in his family's auto parts shop. Want to keep in touch? Scream "STRAIGHT PIPEEEEE" at the top of your lungs and Ifandi will show up.

Car Performance Boss

Best resources online to improve your car performance!

Reach out:

  • hello@carperformanceboss.com
  • shop@carperformanceboss.com (Shopping related)