The Chevy Silverado is a solid truck; there is no doubt about that. Users have generally been pleased with the overall driving experience. But some users have requirements that require aftermarket upgrades. One of those upgrades is called a leveling kit.
You might think that buying a leveling kit might be a simple thing. But there are various issues that you can run into after installing one.
Some of the more common ones are:
- Improper Alignment Of The Kit
- Damaged Suspension System
- Unexpected High Fuel Consumption
- Warranty Issues With The Company
- Incorrect Installation
Some of these Silverado leveling kit problems may scare you, but this article will try to elaborate on those issues and explain how to address each of them.
So, let’s jump right into it.
The 5 Most Common (Chevy Silverado & GMC Sierra) Leveling Kit Problems
As promised, I will be getting into all of the problems I highlighted above. I will be discussing the issue and what you can do to fix the issue.
1. Improper Alignment Of The Kit
Let’s start with the most common issue that all Silverado owners face, not getting their brand-new leveling kit properly aligned.
Users complain that their vehicle has significantly worse performance after installing a lift kit. Well, most of these people did not get an alignment done after getting the Kit installed. Every manufacturer that makes a leveling kit recommends getting an alignment done as soon as the installation is complete.
Now, I know that some of you may be wondering what would happen if an alignment is not done and you carry on driving your Silverado. Unfortunately, you are bound to run into various issues soon after you start using the truck.
The first thing that you will notice is that the truck will vibrate a lot. I am not talking about a small increase. You will feel the vibrations, which make daily driving uncomfortable. The vibrations also affect the integrity of the vehicle’s interior, as it has not been designed to handle such movement.
Some of you may be wondering what causes the vibrations. Well, the casters in a vehicle are used to set the slope at which it will drive. They need adjustment after installing a leveling kit.
Unfortunately, many mechanics don’t know about this, and they don’t readjust the casters. This causes vibrations in the vehicle.
Yes, that is right. You have to worry about the most with the quick wearing off of the tires. Your tires will get destroyed over time, and if you have gotten a tire replacement before, you must know that a good quality tire costs a lot, much more than the fifty bucks you will be paying for an alignment.
So, you did a home lift kit install but are not confident that the alignment has remained steady. Well, the first thing I would advise is that you get a new alignment anyways.
But if you insist on checking yourself to make sure that an alignment is needed or not, you can drive the truck. If it is pulling one way or the other, then an alignment is required. Again, I strictly advise against that.
So, to summarize, if your vehicle has these issues, you need immediate alignment:
- There are very strong vibrations while driving.
- The truck pulls on one side while driving on a straight road.
- You notice quick wearing off of the tires.
If your truck checks all of these boxes, then you must get the alignment done immediately, so the truck doesn’t have to get more damaged than it already is.
2. Damaged Suspension System
No matter which leveling kit you get for your truck, it is a fact that you will be putting additional strain on the suspension system.
The strain will be less if you choose a leveling kit that does not lift your truck that much. Owners of the Chevy Silverado complained that their trucks’ suspension systems were damaged after installing a lift kit.
Why This Happens
Of course, you must be curious about why the suspension system gets damaged by such a harmless aftermarket upgrade. I was curious too, and when I searched the internet, every single article wrote different reasons for this.
The only valid explanation for this issue is that a leveling kit directly affects the geometry of the suspension system. The increased stress greatly increases the wear and tear on the system, which looks like damage to it.
When a suspension system is damaged, you will notice the imbalance and instability of the truck while driving. Some of you may be thinking that this is something you can cope with.
Unfortunately, a damaged suspension can be compared to a broken leg. Although you can move with both, you are at a high risk of an accident.
Suppose you are unfortunate enough that the suspension system completely breaks while driving. In that case, there is a high possibility that you and your truck will be a part of a potentially major accident. The fact that all of this could happen just because you want to save a few dollars is something to think about.
- Get into an accident while driving.
- Damage to the engine due to the strong additional vibrations.
- Create additional engine issues.
Yes, that is true. Many things can happen if the suspension system gets damaged. It would help if you got the install done by a professional.
How To Avoid The Issue
The first thing that is advised and recommended is to get the installation done by a professional. I know some of you won’t like this recommendation, but it is the best way to go if you want a no-risk leveling kit installation.
The mechanic will also get the vehicle aligned, which means you will probably not run into any issues while driving it.
Another thing that must be kept in mind is that you cannot accidentally run into potholes anymore after installing a leveling kit. Such an impact will affect the suspension system.
3. Unexpected High Fuel Consumption
After installing a leveling kit, one thing that bothers many users from the start is that their Silverado’s fuel economy becomes very poor. This is something that is noticeable and cannot be missed.
The reason for this is simple. I will have to explain a bit of physics to you to make this clear. As we all know, a vehicle has to fight air resistance to accelerate.
The larger the area exposed to the air, the more you need to step on the pedal. If there were no drag or air resistance, then a vehicle would accelerate smoothly.
But, when you install a leveling kit, the area exposed to the wind becomes greater. This means that the engine has to use more power to accelerate properly. This power consumption is at the fuel’s expense.
So, if the lift level is more than three inches, the engine consumes more fuel to output sufficient horsepower. That is the reason for the increased fuel consumption.
This can be confirmed because racing vehicles are designed to be as close to the ground as possible. This is so they can cut back on air resistance, and the engine does not have to work as hard to reach the desired speed.
Another thing I found is that fuel consumption can be affected if you don’t get an alignment done. If you want a three or even a 4-inch lift, you will have to compromise on the miles per gallon a bit. Without an alignment, the rolling resistance would greatly increase and would result in reduced fuel efficiency.
If you want to preserve the mpg of your truck, then I would advise that you compromise a bit and install a leveling kit that will not lift your truck too much. Say, perhaps a 1.5 or a 2-inch lift would be perfect for you unless you are one of those people who like to go off-roading frequently.
To recap, some other things that can affect the fuel economy are as follows:
- Installing larger sized tires.
- Not getting an alignment after leveling.
- Driving in windy situations.
You will notice the effect when you try to drive your truck with new and larger tires on a windy day. The fuel economy will take a hit if you plan on doing that.
4. Warranty Issues With The Company
One thing that prevents many people from getting their trucks leveled is the risk of losing the warranty. Yes, that is true. Some companies out there consider the warranty void if you choose to upgrade your vehicle in any way.
This scares off many people because they would rather keep the truck’s warranty in case it needs to be claimed in the future.
Solution Of The Problem
After extensive research, I have confirmed that Chevrolet does not have rules as strict as most vehicle companies. They are willing to let you claim a warranty, but there is one condition that you need to fulfill.
Their condition is that the upgrade should not have caused the issue, which has led you to claim the warranty.
For example, if the suspension system gets damaged while driving and you have installed a leveling kit, the manufacturer had grounds to reject your warranty claim.
Suppose damage is done to the vehicle due to failing leveling kits or excessive vibrations, which can occur due to not getting an alignment done after the job. In that case, you can expect the company not to honor your warranty claim.
I know that some of you may find this excessive, but it is 100% better than outright rejections of the warranty, which many manufacturers do, regardless of if the added upgrade caused problems or not. Another thing you should do is get a leveling kit from a renowned manufacturer.
You Should Check For:
- Confirmation that it will not void the warranty.
- Will not adversely affect other functions of the truck.
- Reviews that may or may not discuss this issue.
This way, you can be fully sure if the leveling kit you are aiming to get will cause any future issues with the vehicle manufacturer. If you still don’t want to risk anything, then the next paragraph will tell you how to completely make sure if the manufacturer is okay with the upgrade or not.
How To Confirm
The best thing that you can do to confirm if the manufacturer will honor the warranty after installing a leveling kit is to contact them directly.
There is no accurate source than the company itself. This way, you can be 100% sure if you are risking the warranty or not. The answer you will probably get is the same thing I discussed before; if the upgrade caused the issue, then the warranty claim will not be valid.
5. Incorrect Installation
The final issue of this article is something that many users go through. Some vehicle owners are confident enough to install and upgrade their rides themselves. And I support the 100%.
You save a ton of money by not involving a mechanic at all. Plus, YouTube is filled with thousands of tutorials that will help you through the process.
But some people are way in over their heads when they try to install a leveling kit on their own. It is not just about having the right tools, it is also about skill, and you need prior experience with vehicles.
But there is a small proportion of people who don’t have that experience. By looking to save money, they risk damaging their Silverado in the process.
What To Do
If you want to install the leveling kit yourself and are sure that you can do it properly, you need to read the instructions. You will have to refer to YouTube tutorials. Experts make even the tutorials. So, the process may not be as easy for you as it is for them.
I would still suggest that you get the install done by a mechanic. You are risking very little, plus you do have to go to him to get an alignment, as that cannot be done at home. So it would help if you got the kit installation done from the workshop.
Leveling Kit Installed Incorrectly
If you have not installed the Silverado leveling kit correctly, then an alignment can make things worse. You could wear out the suspension system very quickly, or it could fail at you at any moment.
If you suspect that the install was not done properly, you need to get to a dealership or a workshop as soon as possible. The professionals over there are the only ones who can fix the issue. And hope that the install did not damage anything in the process.
If the vehicle is showing these symptoms, there is a high probability that the install got wrong:
- Is riding poor.
- Is not absorbing impacts properly.
- Is pulling on one side.
I am repeating this; this type of overconfidence may damage your vehicle even further. To save a few dollars, you may end up spending hundreds or even thousands to get the vehicle in working condition.
Will A Leveling Kit Affect The Ride Quality?
Again, suppose the product is from a highly renowned manufacturer, and the install is done properly and professionally.
In that case, you will not have to worry about anything such as poor ride quality. The fuel efficiency will take a hit, but that is it. You should not have to worry about anything else if you get a leveling kit.
Will A Leveling Kit Mess Up The Alignment Of My Silverado?
Yes, it is very rare for a leveling kit not to mess up the alignment after installation. If you did the installation at home without any advanced tools, then you need an alignment. If you did not try to save some bucks and got the install of the kit done by a professional, then alignment is always part of the job.
Is Leveling My Silverado Worth It?
Yes, it is! The fact that you are getting a whole new angle to look from and better protection for the truck’s undercarriage means that you will not only drive better but will be able to save the truck if you accidentally run into potholes. Or if you are frequently off-road, you have a huge advantage there too.
Are Leveling Kits Bad For Towing?
Fortunately, they are not. If you are one of those people who use their Silverado for towing and want to get a leveling kit upgrade, then you have nothing to worry about. A kit will not affect the towing performance of the truck at all. So, you can get one right now and enjoy the new driving experience.
Many Silverado leveling kit problems can cause issues for users. But the ones that happen most frequently are the ones that I listed above.
Every one of these five issues has been explained in detail, and I have also shown how a person could make sure those issues won’t cause any more problems in the future.
I hope that the FAQs helped you in deciding if a leveling kit is worth it or not. If you have decided about getting one but are still looking for a decent lift kit for your vehicle, you should click here. The article contains the top ones that are available on the market for you to buy right now.
Hi there! I am Tahir Azam, and this is my blog. WVDOT Automotive is a website dedicated to creating high-quality content for car enthusiasts. I am also an avid car driver. I own and drive a Porsche for my daily tasks. It is the perfect vehicle for my family. I am a proud father of two boys. I spend my mornings and evenings catering to clients at my very own software hub. After getting home, I dedicate a few hours of my time to create an article every day. Well, this is a short introduction about me and I am also a publisher on Amazon. I hope you enjoy reading through my articles, and I also hope that I may have helped you choose an upgrade for your vehicle.