DIY vs. Professional Installation for Your VW Lift Kit
Lift kits are an essential component when it comes to transforming your ordinary Volkswagen SUV into a superior off-roading machine. They play a crucial role in enhancing ground clearance, improving suspension, and enabling the vehicle to easily traverse challenging terrains.
However, once you have decided to upgrade your ride with a lift kit, another big question arises: should you install it yourself or seek professional assistance? This debate often hinges on several factors, including technical skill, time investment, and cost. Read on to discover whether DIY or professional installation is the better option for your VW lift kit.
Everything You Need To Know About Lift Kits
A lift kit, a term that you might often hear in the world of off-roading and overlanding, is essentially an aftermarket vehicle modification. This modification is primarily designed to raise the height of your vehicle not only to enhance aesthetics but also to improve functionality and performance.
A standard lift kit usually comprises several parts, including shocks or struts, coil springs, leaf springs, control arms, and hardware like bolts and brackets. These components collectively work toward lifting your vehicle, giving it a more aggressive stance and increased ground clearance.
A lift kit impacts several dynamics when installed in a vehicle. It alters the vehicle’s center of gravity, suspension geometry, and handling characteristics. The higher center of gravity can affect the vehicle's stability on the road, while changes in suspension geometry can influence how the vehicle responds to steering input. Handling characteristics may also be affected, with some drivers reporting a more "floaty" feel on the highway.
The primary accomplishment of installing a lift kit is enhancing the vehicle's off-road capabilities. By increasing the ground clearance, the lift kit aids in traversing rugged terrains without causing damage to the undercarriage. Furthermore, it allows for the installation of larger tires, which can provide better traction and performance in off-road conditions.
Different types of lift kits are available on the market, including suspension and body lift kits. Suspension lift kits are more comprehensive and involve replacing the front and rear suspension components and shocks. They offer the best ground clearance for off-roading. On the other hand, body lift kits only raise the vehicle's body from the frame and are generally used for aesthetic purposes or to install larger wheels.
The Pros and Cons of DIY Installation
Choosing to install a lift kit by yourself can offer several advantages. The most apparent benefit is the cost savings. By avoiding the labor charges of professional mechanics, individuals can save a considerable amount of money. Additionally, undertaking the installation process can provide a deep sense of satisfaction and accomplishment. Taking a DIY approach also offers an excellent opportunity to learn more about the vehicle's mechanics and operation, further enhancing your skills and knowledge.
However, opting for a DIY installation also has its share of challenges. The process can be time-consuming, particularly for those who do not have prior experience with such tasks. It requires a good understanding of the vehicle's mechanics and the lift kit components. Additionally, you must have access to the necessary tools and equipment needed for the installation.
Furthermore, there are potential risks associated with DIY lift kit installation. If not done correctly, it could lead to improper alignment, negatively impacting the vehicle's handling and performance. In severe cases, it could even compromise the safety of the vehicle. Therefore, it is crucial to fully understand the installation process and follow the instructions meticulously.
Generate Tips for DIY Lift Kit Installation
When it comes to DIY lift kit installation, following a clear set of instructions can make the process smoother. Start by gathering all necessary tools and components. Depending on the type of lift kit, this may include wrenches, sockets, a jack, and, of course, the lift kit itself.
Next, secure the vehicle by parking it on a flat surface and using jack stands to elevate it. Once secured, begin the process by removing the old suspension components. Keep track of all the parts you remove, as you may reuse some of them.
Once you remove the old components, install the new lift kit following the manufacturer's instructions. This typically involves attaching the new shocks, springs, and other hardware. After installation, double-check all connections and tighten any loose bolts.
After you install the lift kit, you should have a professional check the vehicle's alignment and make adjustments, if necessary, to ensure optimal performance. Remember that these are general instructions, and specifics can vary based on the vehicle model and the type of lift kit. Refer to the user manual or consult the distributor for detailed guidance.
The Pros and Cons of Professional Installation
Choosing to have a professional install the lift kit comes with several benefits. First and foremost, professionals possess the necessary skills, experience, and tools to carry out the installation correctly. This expertise minimizes the risk of errors that could potentially compromise the vehicle's performance or safety. Additionally, many professionals provide a warranty for their work, offering peace of mind that they will rectify any issues arising from the installation at no additional cost.
Moreover, opting for professional installation eliminates the need for you to invest your time and effort into the process. This can be particularly beneficial if you have a busy schedule or do not feel comfortable undertaking such a technical task. A professional can usually complete the installation within a few hours, allowing you to enjoy the benefits of the lift kit without any delay.
However, there are potential drawbacks to consider with professional installation. The most significant disadvantage is the cost. Professional services can be expensive, with labor charges constituting a substantial part of the total expense. Depending on the lift kit's complexity and the professional's rates, these costs can sometimes exceed the price of the lift kit itself. Another drawback is the potential wait time. Depending on the professional's schedule, you may have to wait for an appointment, delaying the installation process.
There are many pros and cons for both DIY and professional VW lift kit installations. Thankfully, our B2BFAB team proudly carries lift kits for many popular VW models that are easy to install. If you’re feeling up to the task and are ready to undertake the process yourself, order an Atlas or Taos lift kit from our team and install it onto your family SUV today!