3 simple yet super effective ways to BOOST your car’s ground clearance

The Indian roads are not the perfect ones. In every corner of the country, motorists complain about the condition of the roads and big potholes that come in the way. To avoid potholes, the best way is to drive a vehicle with higher ground clearance. But can you raise the ground clearance of your vehicle and make it bad road-compatible? Well, the answer is yes. There are several ways that are easy and can be used to increase the overall ground clearance of your vehicle. These can be done easily and does not require a lot of money too.

Assisters for coil springs

Most modern-day cars ride on coil spring suspension, especially the budget ones. To increase the height of the coil spring suspension, you can use assisters. These are coiled polyurethane parts that are placed between the coil of the spring suspension. The assisters work by making the suspension hard and limiting the movement of the suspension. This ensures that the suspension does not bottom out when hit the speed breakers or the dreaded potholes. Bottoming out of the suspension can make the vehicle scrape the road surface and it is one of the worst feelings ever.

Further, the assisters can raise the ground clearance of the vehicle by 10mm to 15mm depending on the size of the assister. Though 10-15mm ground clearance may not seem like a lot but it can make a crucial difference.

Assisters can be placed in three different ways in a coil spring type suspension. It may affect the end-result of the suspension. If the assister is placed at the top of the coil, it directly acts on any kind of a load of the vehicle. When placed in the middle, the assister acts when the suspension is under mild load. At the bottom, the assister works only when under full load.

Can your vehicle get it?

The assistors can be installed in any car that has the coil suspension set-up. The vehicles with leaf spring-type suspension will have to follow other ways to increase the overall ground clearance. The assistors can be installed at any workshop and the work does not take much of a time.

How much can they cost?

Since they are quite simple in design, they do not cost a lot. A set of four can be bought for around Rs 5,000 and they can last for about 50,000 km depending on the road condition. When it is time to overhaul the suspension, make sure that you get a new set of assistors for the coil suspension.

Anything that you should know about?

Manufacturers may void the warranty of the suspension if they get to know that you’re using the suspension assistors. The best way to avoid it is to remove the assistors when taking the vehicle for servicing. The removal of the assistors is an easy job and can be done within minutes.

Taller tyres and rims

Taller tyres and rims make the vehicle look better and improve the stance of the car too. There are two ways to go about it. Get bigger tyres or install bigger rims and bigger tyres. However, it should be noted that increasing the tyre size or the rim size can negatively affect the suspension, can cause the tyre scratch against the wheel arches and limit the turning radius of the vehicle too.

Increasing the tyre size from 185/60 R14 to 185/70 R14 will give you 10mm of extra ground clearance. If you increase the rim size from 14-inches to 15-inches, it will also add a lot of ground clearance to your vehicle. However, always follow the upsizing rules and make sure that you are not installing extremely bigger size tyres on the vehicle.

Can your vehicle get it?

Yes, any vehicle from Tata Nano to Mercedes-Benz S-Class can get bigger tyre size. But always make sure that you’re not upsizing it by a lot and always use good quality alloy wheels and rims.

How much can they cost?

They can cost a lot because of the change of the four tyres and/or rims. The best time to do this upgrade is when you are about to change the tyres so that it does not feel like spending a lot of money. Also, you can ask the dealership to upgrade the tyres when buying the vehicle. This way, the dealership will buy the old tyres and the cost of upgrading will go down.

Anything that you should know about?

Upgrading the tyres and rims that are of higher size than stock can void the warranty of the suspension. However, you can always check with your service centre to know if you can do it safely. Handling of the vehicle can be affected by the upsizing of the tyres. Fuel efficiency and the speedometer reading will also get affected due to the different size of the tyres than stock.

Stiffer suspension

Upgrading the suspension itself and installing stiffer suspension will make your vehicle more stable on the rough roads. After you hit a pothole or a speed breaker, the stiffer suspension will ensure that your vehicle does not jump around. There are a lot of aftermarket suspension kits from reputed manufacturers like Bilstein, Koni and Tein that can be used in most of the mass segment vehicles. These aftermarket suspensions also allow the users to set-up the stiffness that allows the owner to control several characteristics of the vehicle. One can use such a suspension to get a scrape-free ride. These are a lot of other options that are economical but do not allow adjustability.

Can your vehicle get it?

Aftermarket suspension is available for most of the mass segment cars. They can be both imported and made in India. Suspension stiffness can be done to any vehicle through a service centre.

How much can they cost?

These are the most expensive kinds of the upgrade a vehicle can get. Suspension upgrade can cost around Rs 50,000 and more depending on the type, quality and brand of the suspension. Many modification garages like Red Rooster Racing, Pete’s and others offer suspension upgrade.

Anything that you should know about?

Aftermarket suspension is made for the vehicle models and is not generic type. This makes them much better than the stock suspension. However, it is important to get the right kind of aftermarket suspension for your vehicle. Always get expert advice on which kind of suspension should you install in your vehicle.