The leveling kits are simple tools. They come in a very inexpensive price range and are quite handy to install. However, there is a lot to learn when you get down to the nitty-gritty. Needless to say, the leveling kit is used to level up your ride’s quality. But like all other modifications, this process has some drawbacks too. With that being said, does a leveling kit affect ride quality in any way?
Well, to answer it in simpler terms, suspension components like ball joints may wear out sooner than expected. However, we’ve been facing this question too often lately.
On top of that, we noticed some misconceptions floating around among the general consumers. So, to clear out the rumors, we decided to put some light on the matter for our reader’s benefit. Read this article through and we hope you’ll find all your questions answered regarding the matter.
The leveling kits may be a small modification to your truck, but they can cause several other minor issues to your truck.
So, as you may guess, we tried to answer some of the most often asked questions about how a leveling kit affects the ride quality. By evaluating these answers, you can decide whether or not to install a leveling kit.
Does a Leveling Kit Affect Ride Quality?
To be honest, installing a leveling kit correctly will not alter your ride quality in most cases. However, if you buy a cheap low quality kit form online it can backfire.
If you are not used to installing a kit at home, we would suggest you to go to a pro for help. DIYIng might sound good, but it’s not always a foolproof plan.
As far as the ride quality is concerned, you should always go to a regular professional mechanic. Untrained mechanics sometimes compromise your ride quality.
Many inconsequential blunders can be committed on the way. If they’re not taken care of firsthand, they can come back to haunt you later. That’s why, if you have any doubts about your ability, you should always seek the advice of a specialist.
DOES LEVELING YOUR TRUCK RUIN YOUR RIDE QUALITY???
However, there’re so many factors at play here. Before leveling we have to take into account things like mileage, overall performance, fuel economy, steering. So, let’s dive deep into the details of these afore-mentioned variables-
In short, MPG means “Miles Per Gallon”. It’s the primary measurement method of the fuel efficiency of a car. The better a car is in saving fuel, the greater its MPG will be. So, do leveling kits affect anything in this regard?
Well, the front-end suspension is intentionally lowered by most car manufacturers. Because the reduced wind resistance and improved fuel economy are both possible with this design.
However, the leveling kit will equalize the suspension and give the front end the same height as the rear end. That’s where the trouble begins. This equalized suspension will increase the wind resistance and will cause an aerodynamic drag.
Now then, how does the aerodynamic drag decrease the fuel efficiency? Well, the power required to counteract aerodynamic drag is related to the square of velocity. For example, if you reduce aerodynamic drag by 10%, your highway fuel economy will rise by 5%. And that will make your city’s fuel economy rise by 2%. But if you increase the aerodynamic drag then it’ll lower your fuel economy.
In simpler terms, more aerodynamic drag means your car needs more power pushing through the wind resistance. And more power means more fuel consumption. So, in case you were wondering, does a leveling kit affect fuel economy? Here’s your answer.
Not every truck will lose the same amount of MPG. Let’s be frank here, not every truck is built the same way. However, in almost every vehicle you’ll see a reduction in fuel economy of 1-2 mpg.
Do Leveling Kits Void Warranty?
The thing is it won’t. No matter how you modify your truck, it won’t void your whole truck’s warranty.
However, lifting your truck over 2″ (or at all for some models, such as Toyota) will void the warranty on items affected or damaged by the leveling kit. So, everything unrelated to or unaffected by the lift kit will be covered. At least till the warranty expires.
Without going around the topic let me give it to you straight. Yes, it does cause some minor problems. But it only happens if any malfunction occurs during the installation process.
The most common problem you will face is with the suspension system. Some Leveling kits after installing will put additional strain on your truck’s suspension components. As a result, the suspension may wear out faster than normal.
Another thing you need to take into consideration is ball joints. Now the question arises, how exactly do leveling kits affect ball joints?
Well you might already know that ball joints are a vital part of your suspension components. If somehow any disruption happens in the suspension, it also extends to the ball joints. So, in short ball joints it does get affected by the leveling kits.
While the leveling kits will give you extra room for larger tires, they will heat up brakes and steering components. And so just like the suspension, the ball joints will wear out more quickly.
No, it doesn’t affect shocks in harm’s way. A positive in all the negatives, right? However, It affects the shocks in terms of size.
It’s true that Off-road performance can be improved by swapping out the shocks in your 4×4. However, using leveling kits will limit your option in tire size. So, with limited tire size, you will struggle to install the most compatible shocks for your 4×4.
Do Leveling Kits Affect Alignment?
For optimum road manners and handling, some 4-wheel-drive vehicles with solid axles need to have their caster angles adjusted.
A lot of leveling kits come with the necessary components to perform this. However, the tires will wear out more quickly if the vehicle isn’t properly aligned, resulting in sluggish performance.
So, after installing a leveling kit, your 4×4 will require a proper alignment for optimum road manners and handling. Otherwise, it’ll throw the toe out about a full degree per side, destroying your tires and making the truck handle highly unpredictable.
Yes, a leveling kit will make some minor changes to the camber. So, before taking the truck out for a test drive, adjust your camber after installing a leveling kit.
Whether you use camber bolts, plates, or the control arm adjustment for this is totally up to you.
You see there is no correct way to be sure that the tires are correctly seated on the road and are providing the maximum amount of grip possible with a neutral camber. So you can make any adjustments that you want.
The purpose of a leveling kit is to make your 4×4’s stance more level and to raise the ground clearance. Slightly raised vehicles often allow for larger tires. So the good thing here is that, when paired with high-quality aftermarket shocks, can improve both on- and off-road handling.
Handling and steering works side by side. So, does a leveling kit affect steering in any way? Well, sadly we have to say that the leveling kit effects the steering in a negative way.
It rarely happens though. We never experienced the problem first hand but we heard some people complain about it.
Does a leveling kit affect payload?
Payload is the total cargo capacity you can add to your truck. It also includes the truck’s natural weight and passengers weight.
Naturally if you have 4 passengers in the front, you can not take as much cargo that you could have if you were only riding alone. Now that we have cleared this fact, will a payload be affected with leveling?
Well, Towing and payload capacity are unaffected by a leveling kit because they simply lift the truck’s body. There is no connection whatsoever.
So, that’s it. We have answered everything regarding your question, does a leveling kit affect ride quality? Some effects are positive and some negative. It is completely up to you whether you want to install a leveling kit or not.
A good amount of level will give you the best experience possible. But there are some risk factors too.
In this article, we tried our best to give you the most authentic answers in this topic. We suggest reading the answers thoroughly before installing a leveling kit.
It is natural that you would want to get the best ride possible. So, making some modifications is natural. However, contemplate the pros and cons before doing that.