3 Key Maintenance Tips for Your Newly Lifted Volkswagen SUV
A lift kit is a vehicle modification tool consisting of multiple steering and suspension components that are designed to increase the height of a car. Lifting your family SUV helps provide superior off-roading performance when embarking on overlanding adventures and experiences. This modification not only increases the ground clearance but also enhances wheel articulation, making it much easier to traverse taller obstacles.
However, these performance benefits are not without responsibility—any car that engages in off-roading activity demands regular inspections and tune-ups. Discover three key maintenance tips for your newly lifted Volkswagen SUV that guarantee safe and successful overlanding experiences.
Lift Kits vs. Factory-Installed Lifts
Before we dive into the key maintenance tips for your newly lifted Volkswagen SUV, it’s crucial to understand the differences between aftermarket lift kits and factory-installed lifts. This understanding is vital as it significantly impacts the maintenance requirements of each type of lift.
Opting for an aftermarket lift kit to elevate your SUV has several advantages. Firstly, it is more affordable than factory-installed lifts, which often drive up the cost of certain car models, making it ideal for budget-conscious off-road enthusiasts. Secondly, lift kits allow you to choose the level of lift that suits your driving needs and preferences. If you’re the type of gearhead who likes total control over vehicle modifications, there’s no question that aftermarket lifts are right for you.
The biggest difference between aftermarket and factory-installed lifts is maintenance regularity. Factory-installed lifts are designed and integrated into the vehicle by the manufacturer, ensuring optimal performance and compatibility with the vehicle’s systems. As a result, they rarely require maintenance beyond the usual vehicle servicing.
On the other hand, aftermarket lift kits often demand regular check-ups and maintenance. Since these kits modify the vehicle’s original design, they can put additional strain on certain components, necessitating frequent inspections and adjustments to ensure the vehicle continues to perform optimally. Despite this, many off-roading enthusiasts find the benefits of customization and cost savings provided by lift kits to be worth the additional maintenance efforts.
Now that you know the maintenance requirements of aftermarket lift kits, it’s time to learn more about the ideal maintenance tips for this modification.
The first key maintenance tip revolves around the question of whether to re-grease your lift kit regularly. To answer this, you must understand the difference between sealed, or non-serviceable, and serviceable automotive parts. All suspension and steering components on your car fall into the categories of sealed or serviceable.
Sealed parts are designed with special fittings that contain lubricating grease. Therefore, these components almost never require additional grease, even after many trips off-road. Instead, it’s more important that you check these fittings for cracks and leaks after your overlanding excursions. Ultimately, most aftermarket lift kits are sealed and don’t require re-greasing, saving you from this responsibility altogether.
Conversely, serviceable parts feature grease or Zerk fittings that do require extra lubrication from time to time. Serviceable lift kits are rarer, more expensive, and often quite complex. However, these products also boast tremendous performance and durability, especially for off-road driving. In short, sealed products are simple and affordable, while serviceable components last longer and perform better but require more frequent re-greasing sessions.
Choosing between a sealed and a serviceable lift kit depends on your off-roading frequency and intensity. If you occasionally venture off-road and stick to relatively easy trails, a sealed lift kit might be sufficient. However, if you regularly go overlanding and engage in intense off-roading activities, a serviceable lift kit would be a more suitable option. Its superior performance and durability will stand up to the rigors of rough terrains, providing a smoother, safer ride.
Wheel Alignment & Rotation
The second key maintenance tip pertains to wheel alignment and rotation services. When a lift kit is installed on your SUV, it alters the vehicle’s suspension geometry, making wheel alignment a crucial step post-installation. Wheel alignment involves adjusting the angles of the wheels so that they are parallel to each other and perpendicular to the ground. This process ensures optimal vehicle handling, minimizes tire wear, and maximizes fuel efficiency. Alignment is especially important for newly lifted SUVs because any misalignment can lead to uneven tire wear and reduced performance.
In addition to alignment, wheel rotation is another essential service for maintaining your lifted SUV. Wheel rotation involves swapping the front and rear tires to promote even tread wear across all four tires. This process extends the lifespan of your tires, ensuring that they wear evenly and maintain good traction. For lifted SUVs, which often encounter rough terrains and challenging off-road conditions, regular tire rotation can help maintain optimal performance and safety. Thus, both wheel alignment and rotation are critical maintenance steps for ensuring the longevity and performance of your lift kit and vehicle.
Recalibrating Proper Torque
The final maintenance tip involves the importance of recalibrating the proper torque in your lift kit. When you install a lift kit on your vehicle, it is crucial to ensure that certain bolts throughout the lift kit maintain the proper torque, as outlined by the lift kit manufacturer. Torque refers to the force applied to tighten bolts and screws to ensure that parts remain securely attached.
Under-torquing and over-torquing your steering and suspension parts can bring about a host of issues. If the bolts are under-torqued, they may not provide the necessary clamping force to hold the components together securely. This can lead to parts becoming loose, severely affecting the vehicle’s performance and safety. Conversely, over-torquing the bolts can cause them to stretch or break, potentially leading to sudden failures while driving.
It is essential to follow the guidelines provided by the lift kit manufacturer when tightening the bolts. These guidelines are designed to ensure optimal performance and safety of your lifted vehicle. By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your vehicle operates safely, performs at its best, and has a long lifespan. It is advisable to check the torque settings regularly, especially after off-road driving, to ensure that all components remain secure.
Follow this guide to ensure your newly installed VW lift kit remains functional and durable throughout all your family overlanding adventures. For additional information and help finding the perfect SUV lift, such as a Golf Alltrack lift kit, please contact our friendly team here at B2BFAB. We are eager to enhance the performance of your VW SUV with one of our quality Atlas or Golf Alltrack lift kits!