Your car's ride height (ground clearance) is the amount of space between a flat ground and the underside of the chassis. There are vehicle defects that interfere with ground clearance, but the problem may not be easy to notice because the variation from the normal height may only be an inch or two. In most cases, you will only notice a ride height problem when it has gotten so bad that the car is sagging or tilting. Still, it's not wise to keep driving your car in such a condition. Here are three reasons for maintaining proper ride height:
To Keep the Wheels Aligned with the Body of the Car
Control arms are parts of the car that control the motion of the wheels to keep them in line with the body of the car. It is the control arms that ensure that the bottom of the tires are always in touch with the ground even when you hit bumps on the road.
For the control arms to operate within their normal range, the car's clearance must be maintained. This is because your car's manufacturer designed the control arms to operate at that specific height. When this height changes, the direction of the wheels may also change (especially when driving over rough roads) and the vehicle may lead to one side.
For Tire Longevity
If your car's wheels aren't properly aligned with the body of the car, then the bottom of the tires will not be touching the ground as properly. For example, a leaning car means that one part of each tire may be pressing firmly on the ground while the other side is slightly lifted off the road. Such problems lead to premature and uneven tire wear.
For Safe Driving
Every part of your car is designed to operate with maximum efficiency if the car maintains its shape and rigidity. This includes the headlights. Anything that affects the clearance also affects the direction of the headlights. For example, if the car's nose is lower than it should be, then the headlights will be illuminating the ground just in front of the car and your visibility will be reduced. If the nose is raised, then the headlights will be higher than they should be; this means oncoming drivers will be blinded by your lights.
To Maintain Proper Steering and Control
Lastly, a problem with your ground clearance may also affect your steering and control. Proper steering can only be maintained the car's rear and front ground clearances are maintained as envisioned by the manufactured. Lowering the car's nose changes the steering axis, and the effect of the changes extends to the stability of the car, its braking ability, and cornering.
Taking your car for regular service is one of the best ways of ensuring that its proper ride height is maintained. Also, you can measure the clearance and compare it to the manufacturer's specifications. Consult your mechanic such as Mid-Atlantic Muffler & Brake for adjustment if you unearth a problem.