Good quality lowering springs from the likes of Eibach or H&R will not sag and “settle”. However, it’s true that ride height will slightly drop even further after the initial install – could be 0 to 1.5 inch drop. This happens because the new springs need to work itself into the mounting points and existing components like the rubber isolators. Not because the springs sag.
Did you manage to catch all that? Actually there are many more reasons why your ride height could change after initially installing a lowering spring. Let’s cover all that in detail.
Beginning with what lowering spring is all about, why it shouldn’t settle and the various reasons why your ride height could slightly change again anyway.
What’s Lowering Spring And Why
Lowering springs is an aftermarket suspension component that could give you a lowered ride. This means your car will look more aggressive and has improved handling – allowing you to attack corners at higher speed.
Lowering spring is the go to if you simply want a lowered ride and a decent handling improvement. It’s relatively cheap (at about $250) and lasts long – usually the entire lifetime of the car.
Lowering spring could still give you a comfortable ride – just make sure you get one with the right spring rate and brand. This is a major advantage over its siblings the coilovers – which is fully customizable and can give much better handling but is very expensive and stiff.
I have an article here discussing coilovers in more detail. Check it out if you are interested. Are Coilovers Good For Daily Driving?
The only drawback of lowering spring is that it is not adjustable. Once you purchase and equip it, you will be stuck with the same ride height and ride quality. Well, not really ‘stuck’ if you get exactly what you wanted 🙂
This is why it’s important for you to know whether or not lowering springs have to “settle” after you install it. Otherwise, you might get one that drops more than you expected and becomes a nuisance.
The Springs Don’t “Settle” But Ride Height May Change
“Springs don’t settle but ride height may change”. Bro, what? If that’s what you are thinking in your head, then I understand! Let me explain.
When people ask if lowering springs need to settle, they are asking whether or not the ride will go even lower after the initial install of lowering springs. The answer to that is yes.
Your ride height will probably drop slightly more (up to 1.5 inch) once you drive it around for a couple of days. The misconception is that, settling happens because the lowering springs will sag, compress further – causing your ride height to drop even more.
This is not true at all. If you buy good quality springs, sagging will never happen. Reputable brands like Eibach thoroughly test their lowering springs and pre-compress them before shipping.
This means every spring has gone through a quality check and will definitely not sag. I think this is proven even more, considering that brands like Eibach and H&R are giving out a million mile or lifetime warranty on their springs.
What actually causes the further drop of up to 1.5 inch (settling) is the new springs trying to work themselves into the mounting points and fit into existing components like rubber isolators.
When you initially install and screw the lowering springs into place, they are not 100% fitted into your existing suspension components yet. You need to take your car for a drive and exert some pressures on the springs. Then only will they adjust themselves and fit into the mounting points.
Reasons Why Your Ride Height Might Change
Here’s a full list of reasons why your ride height might drop even further after the initial install of lowering springs – causing what’s commonly known as settling.
1. Settles Into Mounting Points
I just discussed this point. The lowering springs will need some pressure to adjust themselves into the mounting points and work with existing components like rubber isolators. Just drive the car around for a couple of days and you should get the true ride height.
2. Lower Quality Springs
As I said, high quality lowering springs will not sag and settle. But I can’t guarantee that for low quality springs that you purchase from eBay.
I always recommend anyone to only purchase and install good quality car parts from reputable brands. Components like lowering springs could be the hardest working component in your whole car.
Make sure you get good quality ones to prevent problems like sagging. They make you feel good for the first two weeks and it’s all downhill after that. Your car rides even lower to the point it’s not drivable, handling becomes worse and you need to spend even more money to fix it.
Get it once and get it right.
3. New Shocks Installed
If you also installed a new shock / strut alongside your lowering springs, then it could be the shock that needed to settle.
Unlike lowering springs, shocks do not come in pre-compressed. When shocks are new, they likely have not experienced any major weight / pressure. As you drive with them, the shocks will get broken in and become less stiffer and lower your ride height by a little.
4. Fuel In Tank
Did you have a full tank when you first installed the lowering springs and measured the ride height? The weight between a full tank and empty tank could make a significant difference in ride height.
Make sure to keep track of the fuel tank when measuring your ride height. Is it full? Or half? Or empty? Note it down and replicate it when you want to measure your ride height again.
5. Load In Trunk
The load in your car could also make a significant difference in ride height. Number of passengers, the amount of junk in your trunk and so on.
You don’t have to purposefully unload everything from your car. Just keep track of what it’s in your car when you are measuring the ride height. Otherwise you will get different measurements and think it’s the lowering springs that needed to settle.
How Much Height Drop To Expect And When
Expect your ride height to drop even further, for up to 1.5 inch. Pretty negligible, I would say but different people have different perspectives. So I leave that up to you to decide 🙂 Though the drop is not fixed. Some people don’t experience any drop while others with the same exact brand can drop even more. It depends on your installation.
As to when it could happen, it depends entirely on how you drive and how often. I would say it takes about 10 -20 miles of driving. So depending on how often you drive, it could be a day or a week. But definitely not more than a week.
Recommended Lowering Springs
If you are thinking of getting a lowering spring, then it’s important to get the right one. There are many things to consider when buying lowering springs: spring rate, drop rate, warranty and many more.
Which is why I have another article specifically just for that. I covered what is my go to lowering springs and all the things you should look at when purchasing a lowering spring. Check it out if you are curious! Best Lowering Springs: Which To Get And What To Look For