Lowering Springs and Struts

brakes
honda
suspension
struts

#1

I know very little about cars. Thus I am here to learn. I have a 1994 Honda Del Sol that I bought used and it was PIMPED out.

Lowered with fat wide tires. Recently I found when I hit a small bump that the car bottoms out on the front drivers side. So I took it to MIDAS (Their pockets are lined with GOLD not mine) They told me that the springs were bad. I drove over to talk to the guy I bought it from and he told me I probably needed to replace the lowering springs on the front. I had to go to a specialty parts dealer and buy new lowering springs which I did.

Took it back to Midas and they installed them. Total cost $300 parts and labor. Not too bad I thought. BUT…this did not fix it at all. It still does the same thing it did before. Now the brakes on the front wheel on the drivers side squeek like the pads are worn. Even when I am not using the brakes. More so when I make a left turn. My question…does a car that has lowering springs still have front struts? Why would the brakes sqeal like that? They did not do that before I took it to MIDAS! What to do…I also noticed that a bolt is missing on the front drivers side under the hood where the struts or springs are attached.


#2

You’ve probably been had, through incompetence rather than being flat out crooked.
The chances of the springs being “bad” is near zero. The problem is more than likely weak struts, which should always be replaced in pairs.

It is foolish of Midas to replace springs without at least checking the struts.

As to the squeak that may not even be the brakes. A sway bar bushing or, surprise, a spring squeaking on a spring pad can do it.
To determine the problem for sure, jack the car up a little bit and spin the wheel by hand. If the squeak is still present then it’s more than likely the brake pads making the noise, followed by a wheel bearing if someone at Midas got a bit ham fisted during the process.

Considering the problems and missing bolt, which could be a real safety factor, you need to find someone else to look at this car.
Wished I could be of more help, but without seeing the victim…


#3

When you’re saying that the car “bottoms out”, do you mean to say that the undercarriage is scraping? If that’s the case, it’s likely that you just are feeling the effects of a drastically lowered car. It’s doing it on the driver’s side because you are on the driver’s side and the weight is enough (not a commentary on your weight, just saying…) that you are scraping. I have lowered my Tbird only an 1.75 inches and it scrapes on everything.

The Del Sol is already low to the ground from the factory and the wheelbase is relatively long in proportion with the car (the wheels are at the extreme corners of the car.) I think ok4450 is probably right in saying that new struts will help, but springs and struts begin to sag from their factory height right away, and I think you are still probably going to bottom out on things with great frequency.


#4

I would suggest it is far more likely that whoever did the modifications did not do proper engineering or did not expect you to drive on normal roads.

Let’s face it you are asking the car to do something it was not designed to do. You should expect some problems.


#5

The lowering springs have reduced the available suspension travel, and it’s not uncommon for such a vehicle to “bottom out” or hit the suspension stops, when encountering anything other than smooth pavement. It’s a trade-off you have to live with for the “look.”

New struts might help, but they won’t change the length of the springs, which is the problem. You bought a car with a modified suspension. Get used to it.


#6

If the lowering itself were the problem the car would be bottoming on both sides. The OP is only having problems on the left front.

OP, try pushing down on the top of each front fender repeatedly. Note if one side has a different feel than the other.