Coilovers are automobile suspension devices consisting of a shock absorber with a coil spring surrounding it. They are more of an adjustable performance suspension component. Before the installation process starts, the springs and the shock absorber are assembled as a single unit.
In case there is a leak, these two components are replaced as a unit hence providing optimal damping without any torsional loads. Although the device has some flaws, it is worth investing in for many reasons.
At the center of the Coilover, the body is a shock that is used to control any unwanted spring oscillations and reduce vibrations caused by the vehicle wheels and chassis. When you are driving and hit a bump, the springs will compress and decompress, absorbing the vibrations and move energy to the shocks.
The shocks then dampen the vibrations and make the bump unnoticeable. Shocks are also responsible for controlling spring movement.
The Coilover springs are divided into two types, namely, progressive and linear. The progressive spring has a varying spring rate, and this depends on the amount of load placed on the spring. Linear springs mean that every string has a fixed spring rate depending on the specific kit they are designed for.
The Coilover kits contain specific spring rates, which are specifically designed to fit the Coilover kits shocks. These spring rates are designed to absorb the road condition impact. Together with the shock absorbers, these springs ensure that the tires keep in contact with the road.
Advantages of coilovers
As opposed to some of the stock suspension systems from the factory, most drivers point out that coilovers improve handling. If set up, it helps the system do more work in cornering and other drive parts.
Coilovers offer good height adjusting capabilities and help the vehicle take sharp turns. They are ideal for individuals who are looking for few performance advantages. The trick is installing the coilovers at a higher ride height.
Adjustable coilovers help one raise or lower the vehicle. This is a good idea for drivers who are looking for a low ride for their vehicles. For the off-road coilovers, a high setting is preferable. The ability to set the suspension in a way that you want is a huge advantage for these systems.
Luxury and prestige are an added point to the benefits one enjoy after installing coilovers. The best types of coilovers are considered useful custom aftermarket parts in the car community and are found in some of the best cars around.
Disadvantages of coilovers
Some drivers complain that using coilovers leads to a stiff and uncomfortable ride. In most cases, this is caused by the use of low-quality coilovers. It is important to ensure that the Coilover you are getting is from a reputable manufacturer to reduce the problems associated with it.
Space hogging setups
Coilovers tend to take so much space than they should. Sometimes, they even come in contact with other parts of the car, such as tires, sway bar, and tangle-up wires. When they are in contact with tires, they eat off the sidewall of the vehicle, which is a serious problem and result in major and costly repairs.
Possibility of failures
As mentioned earlier, if you go for cheap and low-quality coilovers, the chances are that they can be a road liability. Ensure that you have all the relevant information about the Coilover you want to buy before deciding on purchasing it.
The differences between coilovers and normal shocks
Regular or normal shocks have springs that are attached to the front of the car near the shocks, or alternatively, the shocks go through the middle space of the spring connecting down to the rest of the suspension system.
For coilovers, the suspension system has a spring that encircles the shock and works as a single component instead of two mechanisms like in normal suspension.
Do coilovers improve the ride quality?
Coilovers are originally designed to help improve car handling and not comfort, and unfortunately, car handling does not go hand in hand with ride quality. If you want perfect cornering, you will experience stiffness and discomfort. Whenever you get some comfort and quality in the ride, cornering ruins everything as coilovers will cause the entire car body to roll heavily on one side.
How many miles do coilovers last?
Coilovers that are correctly installed and well maintained can last about 150,000 miles or more.
However, sometimes coilovers can run into problems that could result in failures early. For instance, you can experience an oil leak in the Coilover, which is used to help the shocks absorb excess energy. This results from a worn-out seal that needs replacing.
Sometimes you can also hear loud thumps whenever you are going over bumps. This is because there might be a spring that is too weak, and this needs to be fixed quickly.
More issues needing quick fixing for your Coilover to serve you for a longer time and last many miles include; clunking, popping noise, and squeaking. For some issues that do not need repair but a replacement, this will cost you a lot.
This is why it is important to get a Coilover that has a lifetime warranty of at least five years warranty.
Can coilovers be comfortable?
Coilovers are capable of increasing the vehicle’s level of comfortability. However, this means that you need to put more effort and ensure that installation is done in the right way.
How much do coilovers cost?
Coilovers generally cost from $500 and above, sold as an individual part or sold in sets. It is recommendable that you go for the expensive option because they are worth it. These coilovers offer adjustable capabilities and last for a long time, more than hundreds of thousands of miles. The cheaper option breaks easily because of their poor materials.
Can coilovers replace shocks or struts?
Coilovers are similar to struts in terms of functions since they all do dampening through the shock absorbers. However, they differ because they house the coil springs as a single unit, thus working much better together than separate pieces.
Coilovers are commonly used in performance-level vehicles because height and dampening require a more finely tuned setup. Coilover, therefore, can replace the struts or shocks because it combines their capabilities with the damping of shocks and also by allowing the entire structure to be installed as a single unit.
Coilovers work similarly to the coil spring and the shock absorbers. They combine the functions of both coil spring and shock absorbers to give you more control and a comfortable ride. Drivers usually benefit from better handling and adjustability making this device worth purchasing.