Vehicle Clearance: bridging the gaps in knowledge

Many motorists pay special attention to such parameter, as ground clearance, while choosing a car. It is easy to explain, as the roads in our country are not very ideal, and it is very easy to get stuck with the bottom on some pit. If you’ve already chosen a new car but don’t know what to do with your old one, go here:

Thus buyers trust the information written in the certificate. In fact, the clearance depends on a number of parameters and if possible it is better to measure it by yourself.

Let’s understand what the ground clearance is. If you believe the technical literature, the clearance is the distance between the road on which the car is installed and the lowest point in the center of the car (in most cases, this role is performed by the crankcase protection). It is worth noting that the support should be as flat as possible. Otherwise, it is difficult to count on accuracy of measurements.

But why are we chasing so much clearance? As already mentioned, tall cars can boast of excellent cross-country ability even on very “pothole” roads. High clearance guarantees better stability in off-road conditions.

In the technical passport the value of ground clearance is stated in millimeters. Taking into account a condition of our roads, it is more expensive to take the car with clearance below 140mm. But there are lovers of very high cars, for which ground clearance value is of key importance.

How to make measurement of clearance?

So, the car stands on an even surface, and everything is ready for measurement. It is worth noting that it is better to perform the work on the observation pit (in this case it is easier to get under the bottom of the car).

Before you start measuring, be sure to check the pressure in the wheels (the value must correspond to the manufacturer’s requirements). If you don’t do it, there is a high probability of data inaccuracy.

For maximum accuracy it is necessary to measure in 2-3 points. For example, under the axles and directly under the motor guard. In some cases, the bumper can be taken as a starting point for measurements. What results should you get?

If you have a “passenger car”, the normal ground clearance should be at the level of 140-200 mm. Are you the lucky owner of a Parkett? – Then the clearance will be in the range of 180-250 mm. It is better for jeeps (SUVs) – 200-350 mm. If the passenger car clearance parameter reaches 170 mm, then for our roads is just an excellent indicator.

How to increase clearance, and how dangerous it is?

For many car owners increasing ground clearance is a key task. The reasons may be different. For example, in a loaded car, the wheels touch the fenders, or mudguards on rough stretches of road (when swaying) hit the road (this greatly irritates the driver’s psyche). What to say, a loaded car with low clearance is a real disaster.

The adjustment process is as simple as possible for cars with air-hydraulic or pneumatic suspension. In this case, there is no need to make additional ground clearance adjustments. A number of models have special shock absorbers, with which you can independently increase or decrease the clearance.

In other cases, you can use the usual spacers made of plastic, plastic or metal (most often aluminum). In practice, plastic spacers have proven to be the best. They are practically undeformable even in difficult operating conditions. In some cases, hard rubber spacers may be used.

For maximum efficiency, the installation is carried out directly between the coils of springs – it gives the latter additional stiffness. If money allows, you can install so-called adjustable spacers.

It is impossible not to mention another popular method – installation of wheels with the largest possible radius allowed for a particular car model. But here there is always a danger that in the process of turning or a loaded car, the wheels will start to rub against the fenders. Many motorists forget about this for some reason.

Ground clearance is a constantly changing value, which depends on a number of parameters – the wear of tires, springs and car springs. Over time, the ground clearance decreases. In this regard, periodic clearance adjustment is a very useful and necessary activity.

Only, please, without fanaticism. Increasing the ground clearance above the permissible norm is fraught with the loss of controllability of the vehicle, and that is your safety.

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