If you own a truck or SUV, you may want to adjust the looks with a leveling kit. Whether you are just beginning to plan out this change or have already done it, you may be presented with a common question: do you need an alignment? Understanding the impact of a leveling kit and how an alignment affects the kit is important before you complete your upgrade project.
What a Leveling Kit Is Doing
A leveling kit is primarily an aesthetic upgrade. Typically, larger vehicles come from the factory with a slight downward rake. In other words, the rear of the vehicle sits a little higher than the front. Some people don’t notice this rake at all. Others can’t stand it.
The leveling kit adds some extra height to the front suspension. This can be achieved in a few different ways depending on the type of suspension your vehicle has. No matter what type you use, however, you will be making changes to the suspension.
Common Issues After Leveling Kit Installation
It is common for the vehicle to feel “not quite right” after installing a leveling kit. The steering may seem slightly off or the wheels may seem to wear a little differently than normal.
These problems are caused by your alignment changing when you modify the suspension. You may think that uniformly raising the front suspension would not cause issues, but it is very common for the driving characteristics of the vehicle to change.
Aside from feeling off and potentially being more dangerous, your vehicle will also likely go through tires more quickly. To avoid needing to buy new wheel tire packages every month, get an alignment.
How an Alignment Helps
As you likely know, an alignment makes minor adjustments to your suspension to ensure that your wheels are well-aligned with each other. Additionally, it makes sure the wheels are aligned with the body of the vehicle.
In other words, getting an alignment helps to ensure that your vehicle drives straight and steers well. Failing to get an alignment could make your vehicle less safe to drive if it handles weirdly due to the modification.
Should You Do One?
Yes, you should get an alignment after installing a leveling kit. Any time you make a change to your suspension or wheels, you should get an alignment. The cost is relatively small, and it is well worth it. Certainly, the cost of an alignment is a lot less than buying new truck rims because your wheels were grinding on the ground in an unusual way.
Furthermore, as mentioned above, it is a safety issue. Don’t spend $1,500 or more on a leveling kit and then skip the $100 for an alignment. It doesn’t make financial sense and it isn’t safe.
Do you want to give your vehicle a more level look? Do you want to install larger wheels or tires in the front? Get a leveling kit to upgrade your front suspension. Just don’t forget to take your vehicle in for an alignment before wrapping up your modification project.