What is Air Suspension?
Suspension is the system in a vehicle which connects the vehicle with the wheels. It constitutes of the parts including the frame, shock absorber, steering system, tires and wheels. The normal suspension system uses metal coils or leaf springs for the suspension mechanism. In case of an air suspension system, it uses air springs instead.
Air suspension is often powered by a compressor. The compressor pumps the air into bellows which are usually made of reinforced rubber. It is the air pressure that inflates the bellows and helps raise the chassis from the axle. Air suspension system provides the most comfortable drive ever.
Types of air suspension system
The factory installed suspension system has its own limitations. When the maximum capacity is reached the rear end may bottom out diminishing the performance. That is the reason people go for aftermarket suspension systems. And Air suspension systems are the best choice when it comes to modifying the suspension. Here are the 3 commonly used air suspension systems
Rubber Bellows Air Springs
Bellows are the most commonly used Air springs. This offers several benefits over the other types. The main thing is that the material is constructed out of reinforced rubber which helps to accommodate heavy loads. This is not only because of the material, but also due to the chamber space with a larger diameter with an ability to accommodate more air.
Sleeve Style Air Springs
Though sleeve style air springs are also cylindrical like bellows, they have a smaller diameter compared to those bellow types. These are made of reinforced rubber or a heavy duty synthetic rubber. The sleeve-style air springs are designed for lighter loads and often it is used for adjusting the height of the vehicle.
Coil Spring Air bags
Bellows or sleeve-style suspension systems are fitted separately. But these coil spring air bags are fitted inside the factory installed coil spring. In this case, the goal of the coil spring is only to provide some additional support to the springs. This helps in providing better stability and also helps to evenly distribute the weight of the load.
Benefits of Air Suspension system
An air suspension system offers several benefits for the driver and passengers with respect to the ride quality.
- In bad roads or over bumps, air suspensions have a smooth slip, comparing to the steel suspension which gives will be harsher
- Air suspension is adjustable. The driver can select the elevation based on the road condition and the ride quality required
- Improved towing performance. The spring suspensions will weigh down the vehicle with large loads. But with air suspensions, driver can increase the firmness when towing heavy loads
The only drawback of air suspension system is the extra cost you have to offer to install and any further maintenance over time. But the benefits and the ride quality it offers may be worth the price. However, it is you who should decide if you would need to go for after air management system for your suspension.