How do low cars go over speed bumps?
While that advice might not seem all that helpful. It’s the key to driving any low car and getting over those dreaded speed bumps unscathed.
We love driving lowered cars – including tuners, muscle cars, sports cars and exotics – so we feel more than qualified to answer this question.
Why would anyone want to drive a lowered car in the first place? Think Formula 1 cars.
The lowered stance gives these cars a lower center of gravity which increases grip and improves maneuverability.
But a lowered stance does admittedly complicate things when it comes to normal driving conditions off the racetrack.
Here are 9 tips to help you drive a low car and get over those speed bumps.
1. How to Go Over Speed Bumps in a Low Car
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Take it slow.
Speed bumps are designed to get drivers to slow down especially in areas like supermarkets and shopping centers where pedestrians foot traffic is high.
As you approach the speed bump, slow down. In a low car you’re going to want to approach the speed bump even more slowly than you would in a car with a normal suspension height.
You should feel each axle as it goes up and over the speed bump.
Depending on how high the speed bump is and how much your suspension bounces upon decent, you may want to take it even slower.
2. Driving a Lowered or Slammed Car
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Speed bumps are unfortunately a necessary type of traffic management found in parking lots, schools, playgrounds and shopping centers.
They’re designed to protect pedestrians. But the procedure of slowing down to a crawl to traverse every speed bump can become annoying.
Which might leave you wondering, is driving a lowered or slammed car even worth it?
Driving a lowered or slammed car is worth it. The aesthetic benefits alone make it worth it.
But there are measures you need to take as a driver to prevent causing damage to your car or public roads.
That’s just the reality of driving a lowered or slammed car.
3. Watch Out for Curbs
I once got the opportunity to drive a lovely blue Audi R8 V10 Plus.
And like anything borrowed, you want to make sure you return it in the same condition you received it.
In a car that low, I was paranoid about driving and parking too close to curbs.
In a car that low, you risk more than just rashing your rims by driving and parking too close to curbs. You could also easily damage the body or the paint job.
But you don’t want to be so far away from curbs as you drive that you’re practically in someone else’s lane.
Nor do you want to park at such a distance from a curb that your car is hanging out in the street.
Wing mirrors can be expensive to replace.
4. Beware of Getting In & Out of Driveways
Getting in and out of driveway in a low car has its own challenges.
Doing so without causing damage to a low car can be an especially harrowing experience.
Driveways aren’t the smoothest surface to drive over in the first place.
Have you ever seen those gashes in public driveways?
Some of them are pretty deep. Yeah, that’s from a car that was too low to get in and out of that driveway safely.
That sound of your bumper scraping against pavement is like nails on a chalk board for any car enthusiast.
The best advice that we can give is plan where you’re going to avoid these situations. But this isn’t always ideal.
As in it’s difficult to plan everywhere you’re going to go, which is why our second piece of advice is to try to get in and out of driveways at an angle to minimize damage.
Now we say minimize and not avoid because depending on how steep that driveway, and how low your car.
You’re going to scrape. I’ve seen it. And I’ve been there.
Some driveways are so steep that an angled approach will cause your back tire to lose contact with the ground.
5. Avoid Bumpy Roads and Potholes
Especially in a state like Michigan where potholes and broken roads are easier to find than a beach town – you want to be careful.
Now here’s something off road vehicles never have to worry about. In fact, this is just the type of thing they’re purposefully built to tackle.
But for those of use whose cars were perhaps even built from factory with a lowered suspension to enhance performance.
We need to watch out for jagged rocks and abrupt changes in elevation.
When able, at all costs, avoid uneven pathways and bumpy roads.
Because life is unpredictable. And even if you take all the precautions in the world.
You never know what will jump out at you like a squirrel; a runaway pet; or for goodness sake a small child.
6. Take Precaution Over Inclines and Slopes
Enjoy the experience.
But never let your guard down in a lowered car. As you approach and descend inclines and slopes, think about the length of your car’s front and rear overhangs.
This is the length of the front and rear bumper from their respective wheels.
Automotive manufacturers design cars with this consideration in mind.
But when a car is low or lowered. Going over slopes and inclines you wouldn’t think twice about scaling in a car with normal suspension can result in scraping.
Or even sheering off your front or rear bumper (we’ve seen it happen).
7. Watch Out for Those Sneaky Speed Humps
Noticed we said hump, not bump.
A speed hump is used in an area where speeds vary from 10 to 15 MPH.
You can usually find them in residential and commercial areas where slower traffic is connected to faster moving traffic.
Speed humps differ from speed bumps in that they’re not as aggressive. And don’t cause you to significantly slow down to get over them safely.
Although you can drive over speed humps faster than you can speed bumps. You still want to take precaution in a lowered car.
Going too fast can cause your car to bottom out resulting in damage to the undercarriage.
I had an instance once where going over a speed hump too fast in a lowered car ruptured the catalytic converter of the car I was driving requiring replacement of much of the exhaust system.
8. How Do Low Cars Like Lamborghinis Go Over Speed Bumps?
Again, very carefully.
But seriously, opposite of their off-road counterparts.
Cars lie Lamborghinis and Ferraris are purpose built to be low to the ground for improved performance.
As such many modern exotics like a Lamborghini Aventador come with a front-axle lift.
It’s a very useful system that with just a touch of a button in mere microseconds lifts the front end of the car making it much easier to climb in and out of driveways and over speed bumps.
9. What If My Car Still Scrapes Over Bumps?
If you find that no matter what you try and how cautious you are your bumper still scrapes overs bumps.
Try a product like SLIPLO Ultra Universal Front Bumper Scrape Guard. It’s a low-tech way to provide anti-scratch protection to lowered cars with splitters and bumper lips.
To protect the underside of your car, you can even get an underbody car shield or engine splash shield.
Exotic and sport luxury cars often come with this feature standard due to their performance nature.
It’s a useful accessory designed to protect the underside of your car from the risk of road debris like rocks, leaves and twigs that can get inside the engine compartment costing you several hundred dollars in repairs.
Carparts.com can show you how to get and replace one.