Originally Posted by JNN3
I have a 1988 Honda Civic LX sedan. This car is in excellent condition and drives as if it was brand new. However, I have a problem: The ramps in my underground parking garage are ridiculously steep. Every time I drive up or down these ramps, the bottom of my car scrapes against the pavement. No matter how slow I drive, I cannot avoid the scraping. I do not have this problem outside of the parking garage (for example, the bottom of the car does not scrape when I drive over bumps).
The scraping needs to stop because it is causing damage to the exhaust. What is the best way to stop the car from scraping against the pavement? I would imagine that I would only need to elevate the car by an inch or two to stop the scraping from occurring. Could I raise it by replacing the existing tires with slightly larger tires? What about reinforcing or replacing the shocks? Is there a downside to replacing the tires with larger tires?
Since the car fairly old, I do not think it makes sense to spend a lot of money fixing this problem. However, if I cannot fix the car, I will have to sell
Thanks in advance for your suggestions!
Replacing the shocks (actually struts) will do nothing to raise the ride height. Increasing the tire size probably wouldn't get you the clearance you're looking for, plus if you did put on large enough diameter tires to make a difference you would adversely affect the effective gear ratio and suspension geometery. In other words it'll make the car handle and brake funny, maybe even dangerously and probably cause accelerated wear to the drivetrain components including the engine and transmission.
If it's any consolation to you, your model of Civic is an extremely low car and you're not the only person with this sort of problem. Add to that your description of the obstacle as "ridiculously steep" and it's bad news. In addition your car has 16 years of use so the coil springs may be sagging, but replacing them would probably be cost prohibitive to you.
So, suggestions. Well as you mentioned, you could get rid of your car which seems like a radical step to me. One possibility is to use coil spring spacers. They're cheap, readily available at any parts store and relatively easy to install. At any rate you could try them and if they don't work you'll only have about $10 invested plus a bit of time installing them. I can't give you a recommendation as to where to buy them in Canada, but I'll show you a picture and hope you can take it from there.