Will lowering my car hurt the car in a negative way?

toyota
camry

#1

Hello everyone!

I frequently talk about lowered cars around my family. I dislike the huge wall gap between the Toyota Camry wheels and the fenders, and often talk about how appealing it would have been if the manufacturer closed up the wall space between the wheels and fenders.

The Wall Gap is extra noticeable on Toyota Camry’s and Corollas.

A family member offered to install lowering springs on my 2012 Toyota Camry SE to help fill out the hideous gap. We looked at springs from CARID and came across the Eibach springs that offer to lower the car 1.5" in the front and 1.2" in the back.

However, another family member warned that lowering the car puts pressure on the axle and may cause premature wear and tear on the shocks.

That saddens me to hear, to be honest, especially that I am offered these springs and the installation for free, and I would finally close up the gap “some” between the fender and wheels.

What’s your knowledge and experience with lowering your car mildly? Does lowering your car moderately hurt the car in a negative way?

Many thanks for sharing your experience, knowledge and advice…


#2

First, please remove the link from your post, to make sure it’s not a spam post.

As for lowering, if done with quality components, like Eibach, and if you get a 4-wheel alignment afterwards, the only downsides I see are a rougher ride, more potential to bottom over bumps, and more potential to scrape the bottom of the car (including the engine, if it’s vulnerable). Handling will be slightly improved.


#3

I think it’s a mistake.
First of all, you’ll bang your bottom on speed bumps.

In addition, you reduce the ability of the wheels and “unsprung” suspension parts to travel up and down. That could create inadequate clearance when turning and going over a bump.

You’ll also change the geometry of your suspension. Your wheels “camber” as they move upward through the suspension in order to maintain a constant “track”. That means they lean inward to keep the distance constant between the tires. If that distance constantly changes, the handling becomes unstable. Your lower control arms move in an arc, creating that controlled lean. Move them up past the center of the arc and you affect your handling. Your steering rack links also move in an arc, and you could be inducing “bump steer”, which means bumps will induce unwanted steering inputs.

You will also be adding to the stresses felt by the suspension components simply because there’ll be less spring to absorb bumps. That means more of the impacts will get transferred to the struts, strut mounts, and other components.

If you also get low-profile tires and/or deep wheels you’ll place even more additional stress on everything.

You’ll also dramatically limit your potential customer base when you go to sell it, or dramatically reduce your trade in value if you trade it. Only kids want a car with suspension that’s been messed with. And dealers will adjust your tradein amount accordingly.

I don’t recommend it. But lots of kids do it.


#4

I had a fresh-out that worked for me that lowered his Civic. One time when visiting his girlfriend…his lowered civic got stuck on one of the speed bumps in her apartment complex.


#5

Thanks for the advice on the link. I am not sure how the link appeared there. It looks like whenever I type a full web address and include .com it changes to a link.


#6

@Clueless33 Leave the car as it is and consider not talking to your family members about your car. Remember your brother said wax would destroy clear coat. Lowering will also lower your vehicle value when you decide to replace it.


#7

I agree, it would be a mistake. The car will lose a lot of value, it will handle bumps poorly, the suspension will possibly wear more.

All to remove a “wall gap” ?? I don’t know what this is…


#8

You have seen, I am sure, some of the LA customs sitting on the ground, they are so low. They also have been fitted with variable ground clearance ability. The point is, most of these creations are not daily drivers. Once you “spring” for new springs and labor, you are committed. Only by spending more money can you return to the decent compromise the Toyota engineers gave you. Admittedly, I am an old guy at an advanced age where a lot of things thought important decades ago are not worthy of my time today. However, I still ride two wheels almost daily weather permitting and maintain my own vehicles and occasionally climb ladders. Most lowering jobs are just an effort at keeping up with the other lemmings. Just my opinion. Worth what it cost ya.

Karl


#9

This is that same guy?
I strongly recommend that you don’t follow any of your brother’s advice. He may be a good guy, but he knows nothing about cars. Follow his advice and you’ll destroy yours.


#10

Less than 2" does not sound that much, but ground clearance should be a consideration.


#11

Google search came up with stock ground clearance of 6.1 inches. That would reduce it to 4.6 front and 4.9 back and most speed bumps would probably hit the bottom of vehicle at even crawling speed.


#12

You don’t just replace the springs, you replace the whole strut assembly. If you lower it, you need the springs and the shocks(struts) to be stiffer so that you don’t bottom out as bad. That is going to lead to a much stiffer ride and small bumps can really jolt you. If you upgrade to the right wheels and tires, then you will get improved cornering for your efforts.

It won’t affect the axles at all.

That car is already difficult to drive up ramps to do an oil change and the front dam already strikes curbs. It will be a lot worse if you lower it.


#13

No, it will hurt it in a positive way.


#14

What hurts in a positive way, Melott?

Karl


#15

He was engaging in a bit of sarcasm, because “hurting” a person, or an animal, or even an inanimate object is always a negative.
:thinking:


#16

Younger drivers especially tend to like the lowered car look. It’s done all the time. That’s why there are so many after market parts available to do just that. On VW air cooled Beetles the teenagers around here like to lower the car so much they need to cant (tilt) the rear tires at an angle, so they poke out more at the bottom than the top. As you might imagine, this is hard on the tires. But that’s the look they like, so they just live with the tire wear problem.

It isn’t something I’d do, I have projects much higher on the totem pole competing for time and resources. No time or money for worrying about car aesthetics. But if OP want to do it, most important thing is to make sure the mods don’t adversely affect the performance of the suspension system. That would be a safety issue. TSM’s post above describes the potential suspension system issues very well. Maybe rather than severely lowering the car, a moderately lowered approach is the better compromise.


#17

The right way to do its would be to replace the existing shocks with adjustable air shocks. This way you can lower it to the ground when you want to and still hop speed humps. This would be expensive, and would be a turn off to a lot of possible buyers when you sell the car. Some folks like you would like it, but that isn’t as large a segment of the public as you may think.


#18

My previous Mustang had Eibach Sportline springs, they resulted in about 2 inch drop in ride height. IMHO that was too much and if I had to do it over again, I don’t think I would go more than 1 inch. With a 2 inch drop I never got high centered on speed bumps or anything, but I would scrap my low-hanging mufflers every now and then and I was in constant state of high alert when navigating parking lots. A 1 inch drop is fairly mild for most cars, 2 inches would be quite moderate, anything more than 2.5 inches is pretty drastic. Most of the cars that can “lay frame” are going to be on airbags or air springs, they’ll have a complete on-board pneumatic setup (compressor, lines, controller,etc.)

A 1.5 inch drop on sedan is probably okay. The ride quality will be demonstrably harsher, and it may look a little strange with stock sized tires ( most lowered cars have bigger wheels with low aspect ratio tires to complete the look)


#19

I’d leave it alone. If you don’t like the car just trade it instead.


#20

A 1.5 inch drop shouldn’t hurt anything on the Camry if you do it right, which means do it the way @keith said and replace the whole assembly.

It will have a harsher ride, but if done right the handling will improve.

You will, however, have to take some of the medium-to-steep curb cuts at an angle or you’ll scrape your bumper.