What Are the Disadvantages of Lifting Your Truck?

by Jen Davis

Lifting a truck is a popular way to improve its off-road performance and handling. In some cases, vehicles are also lifted for cosmetic purposes, as some people prefer the monster truck-like appearance of a lifted pickup or SUV. However, there are some downsides to lifting a pickup truck that should be thoroughly considered before you choose a lift kit for your vehicle.

Safety

Lifting a vehicle raises its center of gravity. As a result, the taller your truck becomes, the less stable it is on the road. Lifted pickups and SUVs are more likely to roll, both on and off paved roadways. Lifted trucks also experience a decrease in handling, a loss of power and in most cases, a decrease in fuel mileage.

Warranties

If your vehicle is still under warranty, adding an aftermarket lift kit will almost certainly void that warranty. Lifts put additional strain on almost every part of the vehicle, including the engine, drivetrain, driveshafts, suspension and axles. Lifted vehicles are more likely to experience mechanical failures than vehicles that have not been tampered with.

Cost

Lifting a vehicle is expensive. Lift kits alone can cost anywhere between several hundred and several thousand dollars, depending on height, brand and components included. In addition to the lift kit itself, most drivers also add large off-road tires and have to upgrade several mechanical components with stronger aftermarket parts to offset the additional strain placed by the lift.

Legalities

The laws that govern lifted vehicles vary by state. However, the taller a truck is, the more likely that it may have to undergo additional modifications to stay street legal. Dropped bumpers, lights and tags are commonly required on vehicles that exceed certain heights and many states have limits on the height of pickup truck tires.

About the Author

Jen Davis has been writing since 2004. She has served as a newspaper reporter and her freelance articles have appeared in magazines such as "Horses Incorporated," "The Paisley Pony" and "Alabama Living." Davis earned her Bachelor of Arts in communication with a concentration in journalism from Berry College in Rome, Ga.