Even though the road network of India is increasing at a rapid pace and new roads are being made every day, the quality of the existing roads is not so good. Most of the roads are filled with potholes, illegal speed breakers, and rough patches. While most car owners are vigilant about these and try to do their best to avoid them, it is not always possible to do that. The Sureshot way of not damaging the vehicle because of such roads is to use a vehicle with higher ground clearance. If you feel that the stock ground clearance of your car is not enough, here are a few ways through which you can increase the overall ground clearance and these methods are not expensive too!
Most of the modern-day automobiles get the coil spring type suspension. To increase the ground clearance in cars with this kind of suspension, assistors can be used. Specially made polyurethane coils are made that can be placed between the gap of spring suspension. The assistors work by limiting the flexing of the spring coil. So whenever you hit a pothole at a high speed, the assistor will now allow the suspension to bottom out and hit the body of the car.
Assisters can also increase the overall ground clearance by 10mm to 15mm depending on the car and the size of the assistor. It is a lot of ground clearance and can be crucial. If an assistor is placed at the top of the suspension, it acts on any kind of a load of the vehicle. In the middle, the assistor works under a mild load and at the bottom, the assistor comes into play only under a full load.
Can you install it
Assistors are simple tech and can be installed in any car with coil spring suspension. It can be installed at any workshop and is not a long process.
A set of four can cost you Rs 5,000 and can last about 50,000 km depending on the roads. It can just put in a new set of assistors whenever the suspension gets overhauled.
The manufacturer may void the warranty of the suspension if they notice the assistors. Since they can be easily removed and placed, it is best to get them removed before the vehicle goes for servicing during the warranty period.
Taller tyres and rims
Taller tyres and rims are one of the most common ways of increasing the overall ground clearance of a car. You can either get bigger rims or can install 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 you install it?
Any vehicle including Mercedes-Benz S-Class can get aftermarket rims and tyres. The best way to enjoy the new tyre and rims is to ensure that you’re not upsizing it by a huge number. Also, the quality of the alloy wheels should be up to the mark.
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.
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.
New 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 you install 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 do 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.
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.
Want to see your photo feature about that exciting road trip published on Cartoq? Share your details here