So you've decided you want to lower your car with a new set of lowering springs.
At MGC Suspensions we say its a great idea if you're after a slight bump in handling performance and a better looking, lowered stance.
One of the first questions you will most likely have is "how much does it cost to install lowering springs"
After you decide on a lowering spring brand and actually make the purchase, the next step is to obviously install them on your car.
One option you have is to install the springs yourself:
If you feel that you have the mechanical ability, proper work space, and tools, then the cost to install lowering springs can be reduced to just your time and energy.
1. Cost Depends of Type of Car
The cost to install a set of lowering springs depends greatly on the type of car you have.
The installation process may be much easier on an older vehicle compared to something that is only a few years old.
Removing and replacing the strut assemblies from one car may take half the time as another.
Do some research about possible shops in your area and give them a call with your vehicle information to get a rough estimate for lowering spring installation costs.
How long does it take to install lowering springs?
On average you can expect a good shop to have the work done (on even the trickiest vehicle) in 3-5 hours.
Anything over that may be excessive.
Another variable to the process is the need to have an alignment done after the springs are in. Alignment costs can vary per vehicle.
2. The Process
The process of installing lowering springs, in theory, is very simple. The old springs come out and your new lowering springs go in.
However, it's just not that simple.
Other components like sway bar drop links, axles, brake lines, clips, etc will need to be moved out of the way temporarily for proper installation.
Most vehicles will have a strut/spring combination unit as part of the front suspension setup.
Some vehicles will have the same setup in the rear, but many modern Volkswagen, Audi, and BMW models for instance, will have separate springs and shocks out back, so replacing the springs will be much easier.
When a factory strut/spring assembly needs to be disassembled, a special tool called a spring compressor is needed. This allows the assembly to come apart so the new springs can be installed.
Spring compressors can be rented at most auto parts stores, so no need to buy them to be used only once.
Spring compressors can be very dangerous to work with. If you are not comfortable with this type of work, please have a professional shop do the work for you.
Taking a rapidly uncoiling spring to the face will not be good for your social life, and will only make your dentist rich.
We interrupt this blog post with a special announcement:
Before parting with your hard earned cash, it would be smart to access the condition and mileage of the shocks or struts on your vehicle, as well as the strut top mounts.
If your current shocks are high mileage (more than 60,000 miles) we don't recommend installing lowering springs on them.
If your strut top mounts are higher mileage, or showing signs of excessive wear this is a great time to replace them.
Installing new shocks and/or top mounts at the same time as your new springs is a smart way to save on labor costs down the road.
The combination of brand new shocks and lowering springs is a satisfying upgrade you will surely enjoy.
Bilstein and Koni both make great dampers engineered to work perfectly with shorter length lowering springs.
Also, do some searching about lowering springs on your particular vehicle and see if others are running any wheel spacers for a proper look after lowering.
Wheel tuck is more obvious after lowering and can look bad to some people. This is a matter of preference of course, but having spacers installed at the same time can be a good move so your car lis visually appealing from the start.
Back to the blog post
Once the factory shock and spring assemblies are taken apart, they are simply put back together using your new lowering springs and installed back into the car using all factory torque specs.
A 4-wheel alignment will need to be done to ensure the car is back within proper camber, caster, and toe ranges.
At this point if you're asking yourself "where can I get lowering springs installed" search the Internet for performance shops in your area that are familiar with your vehicle. Contact us and we can help you find a shop.
Rather than write out a long list of boring installation instructions, below is a great video from our friends at Deutsche Auto Parts that shows the process of installing lowering springs on a Mk7 Volkswagen GTI.
This will assist you in getting more familiar with the installation process and will help you decide if this is something you feel comfortable doing yourself.
3. The Results
The results of installing lowering springs is 2 fold:
1. Improved handling and cornering from a slightly stiffer spring rate and overall lower center of gravity.
2. A much better looking stance as excess wheel gap is decreased giving your vehicle a wider, lower, more aggressive look.
4. The Benefits
The benefits of lowering springs mirror the results. You will experience improved handling by way of a lower center of gravity and slightly stiffer spring rates.
You will also enjoy a beautiful, lowered look as excess wheel gap is removed giving a clean, more aggressive stance.
5. The Price Tag
So how much is it to install lowering springs?
We have 2 ways to determine this:
1. Contact the shop you want to do the work for you and ask their hourly shop labor rate.
Using the GTI in the video above, a good shop can have this job done in about 3 hours.
Multiply 3 hours times an average shop rate of 100.00/hr for a total of 300.00.
An average 4 wheel alignment is roughly 100-150 dollars bringing the grand total to 400-450.00.
Shop rates vary from 80-120 dollars an hour depending on where you live and the vehicle you have.
2. An easy way to get a rough estimate of installation costs is to simply take the price you paid for your lowering springs and add 60%.
A set of high quality lowering springs by H&R, Eibach, ST, or Vogtland with an average cost of 300.00 plus 60% = 480.00 installation cost.
This is roughly what you will pay to have your springs installed and to have an alignment done.
You just gave your vehicle improved handling and a great new look for 780.00!
This estimate doesn't work for cheap, no name, 99.00 spring kits you may find on eBay or amazon.
How much to install lowering springs? It's a question we get in our live chat box all day long.
Lowering springs are the most affordable way to lower a car so keeping installation costs down is also key to the project.
Your focus should be on deciding if this is a job you want to take on yourself or if its best left to the professionals.
If you decide to leave it to the pros, then knowing a bit about the process will help you appreciate the cost involved.
It does take at least a few hours of work from someone knowledgeable and experienced to get the job done right, so you shouldn't complain when the labor cost outshines the cost of the lowering springs themselves.
It is worth it. Trust us.
Read all of our blog content for more suspension and exhaust information.
If you need help with a suspension upgrade project use our Suspension Builder for product recommendations based on your goals and budget.
At MGC we do specialize in European car suspension and exhaust upgrades, but please contact us for any application. From Japanese imports to American muscle, we can help.
Sign up for our weekly newsletter for subscriber only discount codes, featured products and brands, and links to our latest blog posts.