Lowering your TDI: Dos and Donts

Want to lower your vehicle? There are a few things you should know first.

Do:

-Match your lowering springs with proper suspension. Some suspensions don’t have either the rebound or travel to handle shorter springs--you want to avoid bottoming out. Stock suspension is generally O.K. when replacing your springs.

-Use springs with a spring rate appropriate for your vehicle. If you don’t, your lowering springs could create a stiff and bouncy ride.

-Be sure the spring rate is matched with damping. For instance, springs like Eibach actually have a lower spring rate than stock springs, and could put undue pressure on your strut/shock. For a spring like that, you might prefer sport struts.

-Buy some sort of skid plate if you're going to lower your car significantly, for the obvious reason that lowering your car increases the likelihood that road debris will hit the undercarriage.

Do not:

-Cut springs. Many springs now are progressive, which means that they have different spring rates depending on the load placed upon the car. Which means if you decide to cut some off the top of the spring in order to lower it, the spring rate will be off. Once you get the spring installed and go driving around, the car might be too bouncy, because only the half of the spring with the increased spring rate will be left.

-Go too low without bags. Don’t be that guy.

-Use cheap aftermarket springs or suspension simply because they’re cheaper. These might break, and your shocks and struts are guaranteed to last only a short while. Lowering your car already puts more strain on shocks and struts.

-Forget to have your car aligned after changing springs or struts/shocks. Even just changing the springs can put your car out of alignment.

Lowering Options:

There are three way to lower your car: by using lowering springs, coilovers, or air bags.

Lowering Springs:

The cheapest option for lowering your car is to simply buy lowering springs. These are shorter than normal springs. Good options include springs from Eibach, H&R, Bilstein, and Neuspeed. If you put GLI or GTI springs on a Jetta Sportwagen, they will lower them about a half an inch. Koni STR.Ts are a good entry-level damper for matching with your lowering springs.

We offer kits made by KONI that match up H&R springs with both their STR.T line and Yellow model shocks and struts.

    Koni STR.T/ H&R Springs Set (A4)(Golf)(Jetta)

Koni STR.T/H&R Spring Set (Golf MKVI)

Koni STR.T/H&R Spring Set (New Beetle)

Koni Yellow/H&R Spring Set (A4)(Golf)(Jetta)

Koni Yellow/H&R Spring Set (Golf MKVI)

Also available are Eibach springs matched up with FSD (Frequency Selective Damping) Struts. This is an excellent option because of the unique dampening abilities of the FSD. You can read more about Koni dampers and FSDs here.

Koni FSD/Eibach Spring Set (A4)

Koni FSD/Eibach Spring Set (A5)

Coilovers:

This is a preferred option among many people who lower their cars. They're more expensive, but springs and struts are perfectly matched and they’re adjustable for height while on the car, so you can be at almost normal height or about 2 inches lower. Also available is the option to corner balance your car. Spring rates are much stiffer, and the shocks/struts are valved much more firmly than stock. Other kits are available from the companies mentioned above, but we primarily sell kits from Koni:

    Koni Coilover Sets

Air Bags:

Another option, but by far the most expensive. Air bags are literally what they sound like, bags of compressed air that can be filled or emptied to move the car all the way to the ground or way up in the sky. We don’t sell any bags, simply because TDI drivers traditionally haven’t really been into them. A good choice if you want to slam your car all the way to the floor, though!