When we talk about ground clearance we’re talking about the distance or space between the lowest point of your vehicle and the level surface below it. Vehicle manufacturers provide this information to you and you can find this clearance on the list of dimensions for your vehicle. Ground clearance is a good thing to know because it’s an important factor of the characteristics of your vehicle. The difference in clearance height, for any vehicle, shows a trade-off between how the vehicle handles versus practical uses.
High Vehicle Ride Height AKA Ground Clearance
Cars with a high clearance means the weight of the car is centered higher. Roll-overs are more common with these cars because there’s less accuracy and less handling. These vehicles are much more capable in off-road conditions and on surfaces that aren’t level with less damage from scrapes. The high clearance also reduces the the aerodynamic properties of the vehicle which means high speeds will produce less stability than slower speeds. This makes sports cars that have lower clearance handle better at faster speeds versus high clearance SUV’s. Vehicles meant for off-roading typically have higher clearance that results in more practicality and include mini vans, Jeeps, SUV’s and pick-up trucks. Higher clearance vehicles also allow for higher number of people and more cargo being transported with easier travel on rough roads and dirt roads.
Low Car Ground Clearance or Ride Height
Vehicles that have low ground clearance benefit with an increased ability to handle effectively and smoothly but only happens on flat surfaces and roads. There is great potential for speed in sports cars because sports cars usually have a lower clearance than the average sedan. Better performance is another benefit of a lower clearance vehicle that allows for more aerodynamic properties. This is because there’s less air that is able to pass under the vehicle. These vehicles are more fun to drive but the practicality of these vehicles is greatly reduced. Newer models of SUV’s and sedans have balances between high and low clearance to meet in the middle. The suspension in a vehicle can be adjusted to change the height and the ground clearance of the vehicle. Doing so will affect practicality, performance and speed.
Towing Lowered Cars
Extra steps need to be taken when towing a low ground clearance vehicle. The key is changing the angle the vehicle is coming onto the equipment. This can be done by using landscape like an elevated curb or inclined driveway to back the trailer up so the ends of the ramps are supported evenly to allow the vehicle to be loaded from the raised area. There are other things you can do if a curb or driveway aren’t available. Professionals have other options. Affordable Towing & Junk Cars has a specialized flatbed truck to accommodate low clearance vehicles or boards can be used to increase the clearance with the ramp. You will need to have someone watching when the vehicle is being loaded and it should be done slowly, watching the clearance as its loaded.
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