What is Car Suspension?
The suspension is an integral part of cars and is designed to be adjusted to suit the way you drive. It consists of springs and shocks and works in collaboration with other parts like the axel, wheels, and tyres. The suspension system in cars can be modified in numerous ways to give drivers different types of suspensions and driving benefits.
This blog will outline the differences between sport suspension vs normal suspension as well as the benefits and drawbacks of both.
Normal suspension, also called standard suspension or stock suspension, is what your BMW is built with from the manufacturer with no modifications done to it. With this standard suspension, you will essentially be able to drive to most road conditions, like regular roads and everyday commuting.
It won’t matter if you are driving in an urban environment or on a highway because this type of suspension will ensure your BMW provides a comfortable driving experience with smooth movements. Normal suspension can do this by creating the largest connection possible between the wheels of your car and the road surface to absorb all vibrations and shocks that could create discomfort while driving.
Sport suspension or performance suspension, on the other hand, is where the springs and shock absorbers are tuned to ensure better handling around corners when driving and has a distinguishably lower ground clearance. This gives you a better feel of the road for a more exciting driving experience.
Generally, most sport suspensions are installed to achieve a sportier driving performance or to lower the height of your BMW. If your driving style is suited to high-speed racing and sharp corner turning, the sport suspension upgrade is the best option for you.
Main Differences Between Sports and Normal Suspension Types
The type of suspension you have installed in your BMW will impact your driving quality and its performance on the road. Therefore, choosing a suspension type that is right for your driving style is essential. Here are some of the major differences between sports and normal suspension types.
There is a considerable difference between the ride quality in normal suspension versus a sport-tuned suspension. Normal suspension is tuned with higher spring compression, making it better at absorbing shocks. Whereas the spring compression in a sports suspension system is much less, meaning you feel the vibrations on the road with more intensity.
Ride, Handling and Control
Your vehicle’s height is important for maintaining its centre of gravity and managing body roll. Sport suspension lowers the height of your BMW, which in turn stabilises the vehicle and increases its handling ability.
In a normal suspension system, the distance between the body of your car and the road is larger. This doesn’t mean that cars with a normal suspension will roll over more easily, it just means the suspension setup is turned for a softer ride that allows more body roll and bump absorption.
Generally speaking, you will have better handling and control with a sport-tuned suspension. This is why sport systems are a suitable upgrade for sports cars or people with a dynamic driving style.
Benefits and drawbacks of different suspensions
When deciding if you want to get a sport suspension upgrade or stick with your standard suspension for your BMW, consider these things.
- Grip on the road is increased
- Stability during steep corning is guaranteed
- You can feel the weight of the car as you corner with harder suspension
- You have the capability to adjust car height, the distance between the wheels, and the hardness of the shock absorbers
- Higher purchase, installation, and maintenance cost
- Must be installed by a professional
- Less bump absorption
- Lowering the car height too much makes it harder to go over speed bumps, railroad tracks, and any other obstructions on the road
- Smoother driving experience
- Springs and dampers have more flexibility to absorb bumps on road
- Practical for various road conditions
- More comfortable driving experience on rougher roads and in urban environments
- Comes already installed in all vehicles from the manufacturer
- Inability to modify suspension components
- Less steering stability
- Reduced car control
- Decreased handling around corners
Should I Get a Sport Suspension Upgrade in My BMW?
You spend a lot of time in your car, so wouldn’t you want to be happy with how it drives?
Getting a sport suspension upgrade is a great way to modify your BMW’s overall performance to suit your driving preferences and your lifestyle. However, you’ll need to consider several factors of this kind of suspension to determine if it is the best choice for you. Don’t forget, one of the best ways to choose the right suspension system for your car is to discuss it with a professional.
Here are some factors to consider if you are considering a sport suspension upgrade for your BMW:
- Choose a sport suspension that is suited for your vehicle and your needs
- Ensure the suspension you decide on complies with your vehicle’s body type
- Consider the additional components you might need after or during installing your suspension
- Select a suspension brand from a high-quality manufacturer
- Make sure you choose a professional installer
- Decide if this upgrade will work with your budget and preferences
Is It Possible to Install Sports Suspension on All Models and Brands of Cars?
If you want to install a sport suspension on your car, you should speak to a professional about whether your particular model is suitable for the specific sport suspension you want. Some cars already come built with factory settings for a sport suspension upgrade.
If your car doesn’t have these settings, then speak to a professional about whether they can change the suspension parts to sport and what kind of suspension kit your car will need.
Also, another thing to keep in mind is that sport suspension systems might not be suitable for family cars. When the whole family uses the same car for their daily commute and everyday activities it can be difficult to modify it to suit the preferences of everyone who uses it.
Can I Install Sport Suspension Myself?
It’s not recommended to attempt to install a suspension kit of any kind at home due to the complexity of the task and the knowledge required to perform the task. Suspension installation requires a thorough understanding of a vehicle’s wheelbase, axel, and other subsystems around it.
Plus, there are several steps involved in the process like wheel alignment that require the right equipment and therefore can’t be carried out at home. You can, however, purchase a sport suspension kit and get a professional to install it, as installation by an experienced automotive technician is the safest option.
Warranty on the installation is another reason to get your suspension kit installed by a specialist as you won’t be covered for problems if you install it yourself.
Signs You Need Your BMW Suspension Repaired or Replaced
Here are few signs that you might need to get parts of your suspension or your whole suspension repaired or replaced:
- Your BMW pulls to one side when driving straight on a flat surface : You may require steering or suspension components to rectify a fault in the suspension geometry.
- Your tyre treads are uneven or bald : Your suspension and/or steering may be misaligned or bend.
- Bumps in the road feel harsher or your vehicle keeps bouncing after a bump in the road – This could be a sign of worn out shock absorbers.
- Your BMW bounces up and down more than once when braking – You may require new shock absorbers or other suspension components.
Sport suspension is a preferred option over normal stock standard suspension by many BMW enthusiasts, as it provides better handling, higher stability during cornering and, more thrill.
You will need to do your research to determine if it is the right suspension type for you. Consider your budget, your regular driving conditions and lifestyle, and the performance features you are looking for to make your decision. GMW Perth provides performance suspension services for all German vehicles. If you’re interested let’s have a chat!