How Do You Maintain Coilovers? (6 Tips)

By October 25, 2020July 19th, 2021Coilovers

Coilovers are pricey but for the handling they provide, they are definitely worth it. In this article I want to discuss all the tips you can do to maintain your coilovers – making sure they last the whole lifetime of your car. 

 

For each tip, I will explain what you should do and why. Along with other things you might want to know like how often you should do it and how much it costs. By following all the tips in this article, I am sure your coilovers can last a long time.

If instead, you want to know about the common problems in coilovers and their fixes, then I have an article for that here. How Long Do Coilovers Last? (And Common Problems) 

1. Clean The Coilovers

As you drive around, every dirt, mud, water and salt will reach your coilovers and build up – causing rust, corrosion and seizing to your coilovers. 

The result? You will have brittle coilovers that you cannot adjust anymore. The lock rings are seized to each other – lubricant is required just to move them. Rust will eat away the metal parts – which will degrade the cornering ability you once had. Weird squeaking noises, clunking noises, the list goes on.

Thankfully for us, you can simply clean the coilovers regularly to prevent this. The idea is to get all the said dirt, mud and salt off the coilovers. You could use a pressurised water hose to blast them away. Or use metal brush and water on the threads. If you don’t have any of those, even a toothbrush works fine. 

You don’t have to take off your coilovers to clean them – especially if you have the pressurised water hose. Although I would recommend you take off the wheels when cleaning the coilovers. You will have a much easier job without wheels on the way.

Other info:

  • Required to remove coilovers – no 
  • Required to remove wheels – recommended 
  • When – 6 months once
  • Price – Free

2. Anti Seize

I told you cleaning coilovers regularly could keep the dirt out – preventing rust, seizing and corrosion. Anti seize is an even better solution. 

Anti seize as the name suggests, is a lubricant that you apply on coilover threads to prevent your coilovers from rusting and locking up. Don’t use them excessively though, they will not work any better and it’s just a waste. Just make sure every part of the thread is coated with anti seize. 

It’s best if you can apply anti seize before installing the coilovers in your car – it makes things easier and you can be more thorough. But if you already have the coilovers installed, then that’s fin

Corrosion Protectant
Anti Seize products you can use.

Anti seize is especially important if you are driving during winter. Snow contains water, dirt and salt – the perfect ingredient for rust. When you drive in winter, your coilovers will most likely come in contact with snow. Repeated contact over a period of time will accelerate rust and damage your coilovers. 

My recommendation is to only apply anti seize before winter comes. Other than that, regularly cleaning your coilovers with a pressurised water hose or brush is good enough. Here’s a YouTube video showing you how you could apply anti seize.

Here’s the best selling anti seize from Amazon, if you are interested (affiliate link).

Other Info:

  • Required to remove coilovers – recommended
  • Required to remove wheels – yes 
  • When – once before winter 
  • Price – $10

3. Retighten Screws And Bolts

Throughout the lifetime of your coilovers, you will reach a time when you hear noises from your coilovers (you are lucky if you don’t). The noises could be different but most common are squeaking and popping noises. 

These noises most likely come from suspension parts that are not screwed tight. The fix is to obviously retighten the screws and bolts in your suspension system. You could also try reinstalling your coilovers if you can’t find the source. 

Tightening also helps to keep the coilovers working at its best. Coilovers could be the hardest working component in your car – make sure they are installed right. 

I discuss in detail about coilover noises and how to fix them. Check it out if you are having this issue. How Long Do Coilovers Last? (And Common Problems) 

Other Info:

  • Required to remove coilovers – no 
  • Required to remove wheels – yes 
  • When – 1 year once
  • Price – Free

4. Coilover Covers

Coilover covers as the name suggests, is a waterproof cover that wraps around your coilovers – protecting it against water and dirt. I would say this is the best coilovers protectant and again, especially during winter. 

Coilover Covers
Coilover Covers

Coilover covers are easy to install. Most of them come with velcro straps to keep them in place. Otherwise, you will need a zip tie. They can come in multiple sizes. You can identify the best size for you by measuring the diameter of your coilovers. 

Though, I recommend getting a bigger size to make sure all the coilover parts are covered and protected. If the size is too big, you could simply use additional zip ties to keep them in place. See the image below for what I mean.

Coilover covers don’t come cheap. They are sold in pairs of two for about $40. So if you want 4 covers, you will need to buy 2 pairs at $80. But I can assure you, if you want to protect your coilovers, coilover covers are worth it.

Here’s a coilover covers from Amazon that I personally have used.

Other Info:

  • Required to remove coilovers – no 
  • Required to remove wheels – yes 
  • When – once before winter
  • Price – $80 (4 covers)

5. Avoid Potholes And Bumps

When we install coilovers, the first thing we do is probably adjust it to lower our cars. That’s you included, unless you drive a truck or like to go off-roading of course 🙂

When coilovers are adjusted to lower cars and made stiff to improve cornering, there’s not much room for the shocks and springs to compress and absorb the impact from potholes and bumps. 

This means every time you drive through potholes and bumps, the shocks and springs from your coilovers are working much harder. With this in mind, avoid driving straight through potholes and bumps carelessly.  

Otherwise, it’s only a matter of time before you damage your coilovers for good.

Other Info:

Which muffler is your car right now?
  • Required to remove coilovers – no 
  • Required to remove wheels – no
  • When – everyday
  • Price – extra attention and love

6. Replace Rubber Bushings

Metal to metal contact can be dangerous – they quickly produce heat and can wear out very quickly. This is why coilovers place rubber bushings in between metal components. Instead of metal to metal contact. Now we have metal to rubber contact. 

This means instead of the metal getting worn out, the rubber will be. But fortunately for us, these rubber bushings are cheap and can be replaced easily. To keep your coilovers in tip top condition, you can regularly replace these rubber bushings when they are worn out. 

Otherwise, metal to metal contact will eventually happen and start getting worn out as well. The easiest way to detect this is when you hear clunking noises when you drive. Clunking noises only happen when there’s metal to metal contact happening. 

The common rubber bushings in coilovers are bump stops and rubber isolators. 

Other Info:

  • Required to remove coilovers – yes
  • Required to remove wheels – yes
  • When – when worn out (3 years)
  • Price – about $30 (4 pieces)

Some Afterwords

If you follow all these maintenance tips on your coilovers, winter or not, I am sure your coilovers can last a long time. But also provided that your coilovers are decent and they are not some cheap knockoffs or eBay coilovers. 

I have heard many horror stories for those types of coilovers. Blown shocks, oil leak and clunking noises just after two weeks – the list doesn’t end. I recommend you get good quality coilovers from reputable brands.

This way, your effort of maintaining them will not be a waste and they will continually give you that handling and customizability for a long time. You absolutely get what you pay for. 

If you are looking into getting new coilovers, I have an article here where I discuss the things you need to look at when buying coilovers. Check it out. Best Coilovers: Which To Get And What To Look For? 

Image of KW Coilovers
KW Coilovers
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.

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