Leveling kits practically avoid the spotlight when it comes to 4x4 and off-road parts, but this certainly shouldn't suggest that a leveling kit isn't an essential piece of hardware.
In fact, with gas prices as high as they are these days, many truck, Jeep, and SUV owners are looking for ways to conserve gas and lessen the impact to their wallet. This is where leveling kits come into play.
Though you might not guess, a leveling kit can actually have a decent impact on your gas mileage numbers, and knowing how it can have an effect on your suspension system can save you a bundle in both gas and maintenance costs.
How a Leveling Kit Affects Fuel Economy
When we talk about how a leveling kit impacts gas mileage, one should note that we're pleading common sense in terms of saving gas. In other words, optimizing gas mileage from the perspective of leveling kits won't produce a massive jump in MPG numbers.
Rather, leveling kit are one of the many pieces of equipment that affect gas mileage over a longer period of time, or contribute as one of many enhancements you can make to your vehicle for improved mileage in the short term.
In either case, herein, we'll discuss ways a leveling kit, or lack thereof, can affect your gas mileage.
Overview of Leveling Lift Kits
Vehicle customization is one of the most exciting parts of owning a 4x4 vehicle; however, modifying your ride can often be a complicated endeavor that can produce a wide range of unforeseen side effects.
One issue in particular that commonly plagues 4x4 enthusiasts is suspension sag. Depending on the type of vehicle you own and the lift kit you add, customization can sometimes cause a vehicle to ride with an uneven stance; that is, one end rides lower than the other.
Other factors can sometimes play a role in this as well. Even if you perform a perfectly level suspension install, additional items like heavy duty front bumpers and winches can sometimes weigh down the front end.
Aside from just plain being unsightly, an uneven stance can also affect performance over the long haul. It puts more strain on your suspension, and can also cause tires to wear faster or deflate easier.
Leveling kits are the perfect solution for eliminating sag, as they are fairly easy to install, and allow you to add those extra precious inches to even out your ride. A few inches may not seem like much, but you'd be surprised just how big of a difference a leveling kit can make.
Managing Tire Wear
It is general knowledge that front tires wear faster and deflate easier than rear tires, simply due to the added movement and strain that steering causes. Now throw in front end sag, and your front tires are wearing out even faster.
Nothing affects both on and off-road performance like uneven tires, and not to mention, gas mileage. In fact, under-inflated tires are one of the leading causes of loss in fuel economy for both everyday commuters and off-road enthusiasts.
Add a leveling kit, and suddenly your tires offer tread life and performance like they should. Leveling kits can extend tire life and reduce deflation, thereby allowing you to maximize fuel economy, and also get much improved tread life in the long run.
A Complete Overhaul
What good is having a truck or utility vehicle if you aren't putting it to work?
Using your 4x4 vehicle for towing, load-hauling, and other constructive applications is a common practice amongst truck, Jeep, and SUV owners. But putting your vehicle under great duress is another factor that impacts mileage and performance.
Enter block kits, or leveling kits that lift the rear of a vehicle. A block kit can help compensate for the added weight or load on the rear end of your vehicle, thereby lessening the strain, and allowing for more efficient all-around performance.
A vehicle with a raised rear offers less drag when towing or hauling, and more all-around stability for those really tough jobs, ultimately translating to long term gas mileage improvements.
A Matter of Inches
In the end, a few inches can make a huge difference in improving or hindering your fuel economy.
Leveling kits are just one of the many ways to ensure that you're getting the best MPG possible with your vehicle, and along with a leveling kit, the right combination of components can go a long way in improving your gas mileage.
About the Author
Billy Han is a Web Copywriter for Transamerican Auto Parts, a wholesaler of Jeep and Truck tires, wheels, leveling kits, lift kits, and leveling kit-related parts.