Lift kits can be a fun way to modify your truck or SUV to give it a new look or increase clearance. Unlike some things that you can install on your car, lift kits may not be as easy as putting them in and then forgetting about them. It may be hard to know how to take care of lift kits if they aren’t something that you are familiar with.
Do lift kits require maintenance? Lift kits do require regular maintenance. Monthly inspections to ensure that there are no broken or damaged parts are recommended. Also, cleaning lift kits after any type of off-road activity can help protect lift kits from rust and wear. Lubricating posts and locking latch shafts can also help keep the lift kit in good condition.
Lift kits, like other parts of a car, require regular maintenance. Maintenance done on lift kits is usually not very major and should only take a little time each month to complete. This maintenance can be very important in helping ensure that your lift kit will last the life of your car and avoid any damage or breaks that could cause significant damage to the vehicle. Doing this preventative maintenance is much easier than having to do big repairs later on.
What Parts Of A Lift Kit Require Regular Maintenance?
The three most common parts of a lift that requires maintenance are the nuts and bolts, the posts, and the locking latch shafts. The maintenance for all of these components isn’t going to be difficult but it must get done. When I say maintenance for the nuts and bolts, I am talking about making sure that they are torqued to the manufacturer’s specifications. This is extremely important for the first few months after having a lift kit installed.
Most manufacturers recommend that you have the lift kit torqued every 500 miles. Torquing the bolts on your lift kit will ensure that nothing comes loose and causes damage. To torque the bolts, all you need is a torque wrench. This means that if you have a torque wrench you can go ahead and do this yourself with ease. If you don’t have a torque wrench then just taking it to a mechanic is simple enough; many may do it for free.
The maintenance that is required for the posts and the locking latch shafts are simply lubrication. Posts and locking latch shafts don’t need to be lubricated every month but they should be inspected regularly to make sure that they are well lubricated. Check your manufacturer’s standards for what type of lubricant to use. Lubricating posts and locking shafts will help stop your lift kit from causing excessive wear on other parts of the vehicle.
Lastly, give the lift kit components an occasional good wash. This is especially important to do after off-roading and driving in snowy areas (since many places salt their roads). Lift kits are another thing where the quality of the product can make a big difference. Paying a little extra to have a good quality lift kit is going to help avoid more frequent repairs and maintenance and it is also going to last longer.
What Related Components Will A Lift Kit Wear Out Faster Than Normal?
Lift kits can cause certain components of your vehicle to wear down faster. Premature wear of parts of the vehicle is going to depend on the type of lift kit and the quality of the parts and installation. The height of the lift kit can also have an impact on the magnitude of extra wear that your parts are going to experience. Due to the raised center of gravity, more pressure is going to be put on the parts of the vehicle that are still near the ground such as the wheels and axles.
Lift kits can put extra pressure on the U joints, ones in the rear specifically, and the front end suspension. If you end up getting bigger tires with your lift then this will additionally put extra pressure on the axles and ball joints. Not to mention bigger tires usually wear down faster than stock tires because they are usually designed for off-road terrain (that is assuming you are using those tires for off-roading).
After installing a lift, you are essentially moving the vehicle’s frame and body up and away from the differentials. Some stress may be put on the driveshaft angle which could possibly cause some vibration and ultimately some premature wear. It is possible to add custom length CV axles, but it is also possible (and perhaps easier) to install pinion wedges between the axle and the spring pack. This could help prolong the life of the lift in your vehicle.
Getting a good quality lift kit from a trusted brand and having it installed by an experienced mechanic can help minimize the amount of wear and damage that may be caused to your vehicle. Significant damage can be done to a truck or vehicle if a lift kit isn’t installed correctly.
With extra pressure being put on the suspension system and joints, you are going to want to visually inspect the vehicle, at the minimum, monthly. Performing visual inspection can help you stop a problem before they become major. Looking for any components that have major scratches, dents, or are loose are all signs to you of components that may need maintenance. Creating a habit of doing this can help keep you safe and save you a lot of money in the long run because you are going to avoid major repairs or service charges.
A lot of people wonder if you need to install longer shocks with a lift kit. Luckily that isn’t always necessary. You can learn more by reading our article “Do I need Longer Shocks With A 2 Inch Lift?”
Will Dealerships Honor Maintenance Covered By Your Warranty If You Install A Lift Kit?
Almost any warranty on a vehicle will become void once a lift kit is installed. Lift kits do pose a risk of damaging the car through added wear. Once a lift kit is added, the handling of a vehicle often becomes more difficult, and therefore a greater risk of accidents and large damage becomes present. Another reason the warranties are possibly voided is if a lift kit is installed incorrectly, something could come loose or slip and cause extensive damage to many parts of the vehicle.
With all of that being said, make sure you read the fine print in your car’s warranty before you install a lift kit. Warranties can be very valuable and can save you a lot of money if something ends up happening to your vehicle. If you want to get a lift kit on a vehicle but still have a whole other year left on your vehicle’s warranty it may be better to wait until the warranty is finished or you are at least closer to the end of the warranty to install one.
How Often Should You Perform Maintenance On Your Suspension Components After It’s Lifted?
Regular maintenance should be done to your suspension if you have installed a lift kit on your vehicle. How often you should perform this maintenance, however, is going to rely on how high of a lift you have and what type of suspension system you have. Generally, the higher a lift your vehicle has the more often you should perform maintenance. In a standard vehicle, you usually want to have your suspension system serviced every two years or 30,000 miles. Comparatively, with a lift kit, you are going to want to service your suspension system every 6 months to a year.
You may want to have your suspension system serviced more often than that when you first install your lift because it may take a couple of weeks for the lift kit to “settle in”. During the first couple of weeks of use, things might slip and loosen so it is always a good idea to take your car back into the shop after the first couple of weeks to make sure it is all torqued and positioned correctly. Visually inspect the suspension systems and see if there are any problems. Things you want to look out for are dents or punctures in your shocks or any part of the system that seems loose.