How Expensive is it Lift My truck?

Aside from bigger wheels and tires, lift kits are one of the most popular modifications for off-road enthusiasts. Not only does a lifted vehicle get extra ground clearance that makes tackling challenging lines easier, a truck or SUV that sits higher simply looks better. Lifting a vehicle requires making some changes to suspension components. How much you plan on lifting your truck will determine the extent of the modifications that will be needed.

You are probably wondering, how much does it cost to lift my truck? Modifying trucks and SUVs for off-roading is something we know well at Scott’s U-Save. This article will outline what you can expect to pay to get your truck lifted!

Types of Lifts

There are three common types of modifications that fall under the umbrella of a “lift kit”. Each type of lift system has a place and serves a purpose, but price, performance, and the ride quality can vary greatly.

Leveling Kits

Leveling kits are not the same as a lift kit, but they will raise the front and or rear of your vehicle higher than stock. Some kits simply raise the front to match the rear while some leveling kits will raise both; but the front is raised more than the rear to make them match. Example being a 2.5” leveling kit on a Chevy Silverado. This kit will raise the front 2.5” and only raise the rear 0.5”.

Red levling kit installed on spring perch

In a previous post, we discussed what leveling kits do. To recap, a leveling kit eliminates rake. Rake causes the front of your truck to sit lower than the rear. This conscious engineering decision allows the vehicle to sit level. Eliminating rake with a leveling kit allows for more ground clearance in the front of the vehicle.

Leveling Kit Advantages

The main advantages of a leveling kit are lower prices, less invasive installation, and no change to ride quality. Leveling kit components are cheap when it comes to suspension components, and the labor time to install them won’t break the bank.

How Much Does It Cost to Level a Vehicle?

As we said, a leveling kit is cheaper than a full lift. Fewer parts equal less cost. The same goes for installation. If you only level the front of the vehicle it takes less time. An alignment will need to be performed immediately after installation with a level kit or lift kit.

Body Lift Kits

Another lift system installed on trucks and SUVs is a body lift. Instead of modifying the suspension, body lift kits use spacers between the body and the frame. The spacers are usually made of nylon or polyurethane, and the amount of lift can range from one to three inches. Body lift kits utilize longer bolts to safely connect the body to the frame, passing through the spacers. On older vehicles, body lifts become difficult due to rust and degradation of the frame.

Body Lift Advantages

Body lift kits are another low-cost option for lifting your truck, Jeep, or SUV. Lifting the body off the frame allows for the fitment of larger tires, which are an advantage for off-roading.

Disadvantages of Body Lifts

Lifting the body of your truck does not modify the suspension in any way, so you will not gain any additional ground clearance. Adding larger tires can provide some additional ground clearance, but you will not have the flexibility of a true suspension lift. Depending on the height of the lift, the frame of your vehicle may be more visible, which may not be the desired look. As said before, body lifts also can lead to issues if you have an older vehicle.

Body Lift Cost

Similar to leveling kits, body lifts are a very cost-effective option to get your rig higher off the ground. Depending on the quality and brand of the kit you choose to install, body lifts can cost anywhere from $100 to $400. Installation is tricky on a body kit so that will very greatly depending on the condition of the vehicle.

Suspension Lift

A suspension lift can be the most extreme and off-road-focused lift kit you can install. As well, it changes the suspension geometry to fit with the new ground clearance. This is critical to ride quality and less wear and tear on ball joints and bushings. True suspension lifts replace key suspension components with new, engineered components. Some extreme off-road focused kits include high clearance coil overs and shocks, upgraded control arms, trailing arms, and leaf springs. Suspension lift kits are typically more involved, more expensive, and will impact the way your vehicle rides. Overall, a suspension lift makes sure your vehicle is properly lifted and didn’t cut any corners. A suspension lift can range from 2.5 inches up to over 10 inches.

Black Chevy Silveradp with an aftermarket suspension system

 

Advantages of a Suspension Lift

There are several key advantages to a suspension lift, all having to do with better off-road performance, longer life of suspension components, and allowing for proper suspension geometry.

Increased Ground Clearance

A suspension lift increases ground clearance, allowing your vehicle to tackle more rugged terrain. Unlike body lift kits, a suspension lift will provide additional clearance without larger tires.

Better Articulation

Have you ever seen a Jeep crawling on a trail with a fully flexed suspension? This is called articulation. Suspension lifts allow for more vertical movement and better suspension articulation. In addition to looking awesome, improved articulation makes a vehicle even more capable off-road.

Clearance for Larger Tires

Like a body lift, a suspension lift allows larger tires to fit on your rig. Larger tires give you, even more, ground clearance on top of what you gained from the kit! Plus, you now have endless options for cool, upgraded tires and premium wheels.

Black GMC Sierra with aftermarket wheels

Suspension Lift Disadvantages

The only downfall to a suspension lift kit is that it is an involved process. This equates to labor time. So, price is what you will have to incur. This price is well worth it because you now have a quality ride done properly by professionals.

Expensive

We seem to say it a few times now, but suspension lifts are by far the priciest way to lift your truck. Not only are you buying all-new suspension components, but the labor time to install them can be significant.

Additional Modifications 

The most extreme lifts may need additional changes to accommodate the driveshaft, transmission, or differential. Modifications like these will drastically increase the cost of the lift kit components and those extra components need extra time. They go hand in hand. You will see this typically when you lift a vehicle more than 4 inches; however, some 4” lifts for a Jeep Wrangler can require mods to the exhaust system.

Changes in Ride Quality

Suspension lifts will impact the way your vehicle rides. With all-new suspension components, you will notice a significant change compared to the stock suspension system. For some people, this may be an issue, for others, not so much. The trade-off is an increase in off-road performance.

How Much Does a Suspension Lift Cost?

If you plan on doing a suspension lift, you should plan on spending a good chunk of change. The kits themselves start near $400 but can easily reach over $5000 for top brands. The cost for installation is equally variable. Like we said above, the most extreme lifts can require additional changes to your vehicle’s drivetrain. Typically you can expect to pay another $500+ in labor for installation for basic lifts. Remember, you do need an alignment after the kit is installed. Luckily, Scott’s U-Save can do everything at once for you.

Get Your Truck, SUV, or Jeep Lifted at Scott’s U-Save

We are passionate about off-roading here at Scott’s U-Save. The teams of experts at our stores can help you pick out the best modifications for your rig, whether you want to improve its appearance, its performance, or both! We work with top suspension and wheel brands like Rough Country, ReadyLIFT, ZONE Offroad, Icon, BDS, and SuperLift just to name a few. When it comes to wheels; we represent American Racing, American Force, Asanti, Black Rhino, Foose, Fuel FMC, Moto Metal, and Vision just to scratch the surface on what we can provide. Need some inspiration? Take a look at some of our customer’s vehicles on our accessories page!

We have stores in New Lenox and Steger Illinois, as well as Schererville, Indiana. If you are ready to lift your truck, Jeep, or SUV, give us a call or schedule an appointment today!

Is a Coolant Flush Really Necessary? How Much Does it Cost?

When you think of regular vehicle maintenance, the first services that pop into your head are probably things like oil changes, tire rotations, brake services, and maybe alignments. Other than oil changes, all of these other services impact components of your car you can easily feel while you drive. Misaligned wheels or tires with excessive wear can drastically impact drivability. Brake problems can cause a lot of trouble, ranging from inconvenient to downright dangerous.

 

The services that don’t directly impact how your day-to-day drive feels are much more likely to be neglected, or even forgotten altogether. If you don’t notice any change, why go out of your way and spend money? It’s easy to fall into that mindset. However, neglecting any service can lead to catastrophe down the road. The absolute best way to ensure reliability is to perform ALL maintenance services at the correct intervals.

 

Enter the coolant flush. Unless you’ve blown a coolant line or replaced a leaking radiator, you might not give your coolant much thought. Coolant flushes are one of the easy-to-put-off services. If you don’t flush your cooling system, you probably won’t have any issues for many years, and if you do, you won’t notice any real difference when driving your car. However, neglecting coolant flushes can lead to some pretty serious problems down the road, potentially leading to some expensive repairs.

 

What is Coolant?

Coolant, or antifreeze, is a liquid that cycles through your engine block, radiator, and heater core, driven by the water pump. The entire cooling system is responsible for keeping your engine within safe operating temperature by removing access heat. The hot coolant then passes through the radiator and cools down. This process repeats itself the entire time your car is running.

Additionally, hot coolant passes through the heater core, which provides hot air in the cabin of your vehicle on cold mornings and winter days.

 

Up close of a black radiator

Why Are Regular Coolant Flushes Important?

Coolant flushes are about more than just replacing a liquid. The cooling system has many components, and the antifreeze helps protect them. Keeping all components in the cooling system like the water pump, thermostat, heater core, and hoses in good condition will prevent overheating and reduce the chance of an expensive repair.

Neglecting coolant flushes can lead to some serious issues:

 

1.) Scale and rust particles will build up in the cooling system over time. If you go too long without flushing your coolant, these particles can clog passages, potentially damaging your heater core or overheating your engine.

 

2.) Coolant contains anti-corrosive and lubricating additives that help prevent rusting and keep the water pump functioning well. Over time these additives lose their effectiveness, increasing the wear and tear on cooling system components through lack of lubrication and corrosive buildup.

 

3.) Antifreeze can become acidic as it ages, causing plastics, rubber hoses, and metal components to rapidly corrode. This process is called chemical electrolysis and can be catastrophic if left unaddressed.

 

In addition to preventing issues, a coolant flush is an opportunity to inspect the entire cooling system for issues. If contaminants like oil are present in the drained coolant, it can be indicative of other problems.

 

What’s Involved in a Coolant Flush?

Generally, this service is not much more involved than draining the antifreeze, adding new liquid, and purging air bubbles from the cooling system, sometimes called “burping”. Letting the vehicle run with the coolant cap off and the heater on high will allow any air pockets in the system, including the heater core, to escape. Air pockets will prevent proper cooling and may lead to overheating.

On vehicles with a lot of buildup and debris in the antifreeze, a coolant flush additive is sometimes used to get all the contaminants out. If the buildup is severe enough, components may need to be replaced.

 

How Much Does a Coolant Flush Cost?

The cost of a coolant flush depends on your vehicle’s coolant capacity, and whether or not you are flushing the system with chemicals or soap before refilling it. Typically, you can expect to pay between $100 and $150 for this service on most vehicles.

 

Coolant Flushes at Scott’s U-Save

As you can see, neglecting a coolant flush service is bad news. Staying on top of it, as well as other services like oil changes, brake service, and filter replacements, is the best way to keep your vehicle running reliably.

At Scott’s U-Save, we have teams of ASE-Certified technicians with the skills and experience needed to perform all services, including coolant flushes, on your car. We also offer an extensive tire catalog and aftermarket suspension, wheel, and off-road services. With three locations in Steger and New Lenox, Illinois as well as Schererville, Indiana, one of our shops is a short drive away. Give us a call or schedule an appointment online today!

Is High Mileage Oil Really Better?

A surefire way to get years of reliable transportation out of your car or truck is to follow a regular maintenance schedule. Coolant flushes, brakes service, alignments, and oil changes will keep your vehicle running strong as the miles rack up. Over time, age-related issues will inevitably creep up. Many engine oil manufacturers offer oils branded as “high mileage” which claim to benefit aged engines and keep them running stronger for longer.

For the average person, it can be hard to sift through the strong advertising and marketing for these products and determine if they provide any real benefit. This article will answer whether high mileage oil is better than regular engine oil on engines that have racked up the miles.

What Makes Engine Oil “High Mileage”?

Other than the differences between conventional, synthetic, and synthetic blends, engine oil is engine oil, right? Not exactly. There is a difference between standard motor oils and those engineered for high mileage engines.

Seal Conditioners

High mileage oils contain seal conditioners, which cause gaskets and seals on mating surfaces to swell. Swollen seals help reduce internal and external leaking.

Detergents

Detergents are touted as an additive that manufacturers claim removes sludge and other buildups. These additives can also assist in improving lubrication between components inside the motor.

Benefits of High Mileage Oil

Using high mileage oil can have several legitimate benefits for your engine.

Cleaner Engine 

The additives in high mileage oil can reduce or remove buildup in your motor, allowing it to run better.

Less Oil Consumption

Older engines frequently consume oil. An engine running with low oil puts excess wear and tear on components. Low oil can also lead to engine failure. Reduced leaking from seals refreshed by conditioner additives can help lower oil consumption.

Better Lubrication 

High mileage oil will provide better lubrication to the rotating parts in your engine. Additives in the oil fill in grooves and divots invisible to the eye, reducing friction and heat. Ultimately, high mileage oil can help protect your engine from age-related wear and tear.

What’s Considered a High Mileage Car?

Oil manufacturers target high mileage oil to vehicles with over 75,000 miles. It’s true that many of the issues these oils attempt to mitigate occur around this mileage, but other factors impact the wear and tear on an engine. It’s important to take into consideration the maintenance history of your vehicle and your driving style.

City and Highway Driving

Generally, highway driving is less abusive on engines than city driving. Driving on the highway lets the engine get up to temperature and operate most efficiently and involves far less starting and stopping.

Service History

Another factor that contributes to engine wear is how well it’s been taken care of. A vehicle that has regular services like oil changes and coolant flushes done at regular intervals will hold up better to years of driving.

Vehicle Age

We are not talking about mileage here. Some cars spend a lot of their lives sitting and get very few miles put on them every year. Even without the wear and tear of regular operation, a sitting engine can begin to leak and have other age-related issues.

Should I Use High Mileage Oil?

Making the transition to high mileage oil can have some positive effects on your vehicle. Most high mileage oils are aimed at vehicles with over 75000 miles. Many of the issues high mileage oil helps to address do not become present in lower mileage cars.

The 75,000-mile mark is not set in stone. As we discussed above, other factors can impact an engine. If you start and stop a lot when you drive, switching to high mileage oil earlier could be beneficial. On the flip side, if your daily commute is mostly on the freeway and you’re a stickler for maintenance, you may not need to switch until far beyond 75,000 miles.

High Mileage Oil Won’t Fix Actual Mechanical Problems

High mileage oils are not fix-all’s. If you have serious mechanical issues with your car, switching to a different type of oil will not solve the problem. Think of it as a preventative measure, like taking a vitamin. Using high mileage oil will slow the progression of age-related issues, which can aid in preventing more serious problems. If your car has any serious issues, bringing it to a trusted repair shop is the only way to get it fixed properly.

Get Your Oil Changes at Scott’s U-Save!

Switching to a high mileage oil can help protect your older engine and keep it running well. No matter the age or mileage of your vehicle, regular oil changes are essential to keeping your engine healthy. If it’s time for your next oil change, schedule an appointment at Scott’s U-Save! We have three locations in Schererville IN, Steger, and New Lenox IL. Give us a call or schedule an appointment online today!

 

Leveling Kit Guide: What They Do and What They Cost

If you are new to modifying trucks, Jeeps, and SUVs, some terms and component names can be confusing. The leveling kit is a popular, entry-level modification, but its purpose and function can be hard to understand, especially when compared to a lift kit, another popular upgrade.

If you’ve been modifying trucks for a while, nothing in this article will be news to you. However, if you’re a newbie and want to know if a leveling kit is a good upgrade for your rig, you’re in the right place!

What is the purpose of a leveling kit?

If your truck is stock, take a look at it from the side. Most likely, the front will sit a bit lower than the rear. This is called rake. Engineers allow a certain amount of rake so your truck can accommodate heavy loads. By lifting the rear of the vehicle, it will sit level when pulling or carrying a heavy load. The extra lift also helps prevent bottoming out.

Leveling kits counteract rake and achieve a more level stance between the front and rear of the vehicle.

What’s Included in a Leveling Kit? How Do They work?

Leveling kits raise the front of the vehicle up (the amount of lift depends on the vehicle) so it sits even with the rear. This is done by adding a spacer to the strut and the vehicle chassis. The lift provided by the spacer brings the front up, level with the rear. Leveling kits do this without needing to change springs or other suspension components. The majority of leveling kits will include the spacers and required hardware.

Benefits of Leveling Your Truck or SUV

Installing a leveling kit has several benefits, ranging from functional to aesthetic.

Improved ground clearance

If you need some additional ground clearance but don’t want to go to a full lift kit, a leveling kit is a great option. By raising the front of your vehicle, you are giving your oil pan, transmission, and other components a bit more space, decreasing the odds of a pricey bottom-out.

Fit Larger Tires

Leveling your truck or SUV will give you extra space to fit a larger set of tires. Reducing the rake creates more space between the tire and wheel arch. Adding larger tires will and a leveling kit will make your vehicle sit much higher than it did stock.

More Aggressive Look

One of the most common reasons enthusiasts install leveling kits on their vehicles is to improve the look. A leveled truck looks much more aggressive than a vehicle with lots of rake. Bigger tires and new wheels can take the look even further.

Retain Factory Driving Dynamics

Unlike lift kits, which can completely change the way your vehicle drives and handles, a leveling kit will minimally impact driving dynamics. This makes it a great option for those who want to improve the look of their vehicle, but don’t want to sacrifice its comfort and useability. A leveling kit alone will not impact your towing capacity either, although other modifications like larger tires can have an effect.

Remember, it’s a good idea to get your vehicle aligned after modifying any suspension components.

How much do leveling kits cost?

The cost of leveling your vehicle can be divided into three categories:

1.) Cost of the kit

2.) Labor for installation

3.) Alignment cost

 As far as modifications go, leveling kits are pretty cost-effective. A decent kit can cost between $70-$150 depending on your vehicle. Some kits can cost more, while others can be less expensive.

The installation cost will vary depending on the shop, but you can expect to pay around $200-$400 in labor depending on your vehicle. If you like to turn your own wrenches, you can eliminate the cost of labor entirely by doing it yourself!

Getting an alignment after leveling your vehicle is needed for safety. You can expect to pay around $100 or less for a front-end alignment.

All said and done, the cost of leveling your truck or SUV can range greatly. The primary factor is whether you install the kit yourself or have a professional do it. For you DIYers, expect to pay $300 or less depending on the kit you buy and where you get the alignment done.

If you are going the professional install route, expect to pay $500-$800 total, with the same factors as above in addition to varying labor rates.

Leveling Kits at Scott’s U-Save

Scott’s U-Save is your destination for off-road upgrades in Chicago’s Southland. We have shops in New Lenox, Schererville, and Steger, staffed with experts ready to advise you. We can source parts, including leveling kits, from the top off-road brands in the country. DIYer? We’ll advise you on the parts you need for your project. Want us to do the work? Our teams of ASE Certified technicians have the skills and experience. Give us a call or contact us to talk about leveling kits today!