Air suspension as an innovative suspension system has been popular for years. People usually believe that air ride suspension with airbags inside softens and smoothens the ride. As a matter of fact, it is one of the most prevailing modifications in the aftermarket. However, not everyone is familiar with it. Neither is everyone for it. This article analyzes some of the frequently asked questions about the air ride system.
What is air suspension?
You can easily find the standard definition of it from Wikipedia. Here, Vigorairride describe air suspension as a replacement for the traditional suspension systems. Instead of using metal springs, airbags do the job springs did.
This vehicle suspension system uses compressed air. There’s an onboard air compressor and it inflates air into the air tank. Then through airlines, airbags of each corner in the system get pressurized air when it’s needed. Basically, air suspension is just another type of suspension system in vehicles.
Does air suspension have springs?
Airbag suspensions have air springs. Unlike the conventional suspension systems that use coil springs, air ride systems replace them with air springs. Technically speaking, air springs are tough rubber-made airbags. With an onboard air compressor in the car, pressurized air flows into the airbags.
So yes, they use air as the medium instead of metal. The air completes the mission that springs once did.
How do air suspensions work?
Airbag suspension systems are made up of air springs rather than traditional steel or leaf springs. They are also known as plastic bags or air springs. They are made of tough rubber with a system of lines that connect to an onboard compressor. This compressor can also be connected to electronic controls, valves, and solenoids. The onboard compressor is an electric pump that feeds air through multiple lines to the bags. The valves control the flow of air and allow it to go into various parts of the system.
An electronic system adjusts for changing driving conditions. The solenoids then inflate and vent suspension’s airbags by closing or opening each one to alter the amount of air entering it. The electronic control module controls all on and off switches, adjusts ride height, and monitors pressure. Air springs have some flexibility and elasticity. They can be compressed to provide adjustable load support and suspension. The air is added when the vehicle is loaded and deflated when it is empty.
Does air suspension improve ride quality? (Is it good for off-road?)
Yes. Airbag suspension is controlled with different air pressures so you feel nothing even when you’re gliding across rough terrain. Air suspension reduces damage and provides a more comfortable ride for you and your passengers. So obviously, even under off-road conditions, you can enjoy a smooth ride.
What are the advantages of airbag suspension?
- Driver comfort is increased by reducing noise, harshness, and vibrations on the roads that can cause fatigue and discomfort.
- Due to less harshness and vibration from heavy-duty driving, there is less wear on the suspension system
- Air ride suspension makes trailers last longer because it doesn’t cause as much vibration.
- Airbags help reduce the tendency of trucks with short wheelbases to bounce on rough roads and terrain when they are empty.
- Air ride system increases ride height depending on vehicle speed and load weight.
- Airbags are more suited to the road surface and allows for higher corner speeds.
What are the drawbacks of air ride suspension?
- Airbags suspension can be twice as expensive to install as leaf suspension systems.
- Maintenance costs are often higher than conventional suspensions as well.
- For occasional pumping of air at the right pressure, fuel overheads.
- The heavier weight of an air suspension than a leaf suspension can have a negative impact on the fuel efficiency
- Airbag suspension systems are susceptible to air leaks, which can lead to malfunctions.
Are air suspensions reliable? (Is air suspension safe?)
Yes, both in hot summer and winter.
Generally speaking, most compressors (the power supplier of the system) come with an air filter or dryer on them. This helps prevent moisture from the air tank or airlines. Thus, it won’t freeze in winter. However, proper maintenance is needed.
In summer, normally nothing could go wrong with your daily driving with air ride suspension. Yet, just avoid driving under off-road conditions too often. Natural wear and tear is something inevitable.
In winter, make sure no water or condensation is in the air tank. Get a water trap for the tank. Don’t forget to add some antifreeze into the system when it’s freezing cold outside. You’ll enjoy the winter ride if you don’t plan on driving over an ice chunk.
Is air suspension good for daily driving?
If the air suspension is installed correctly and made of quality components, it is perfect for daily driving vehicles. It will not be affected by weather fluctuations and it works well in both heat and cold in the United States.
Can air suspensions be used for racing? (Can you drift with air bagged suspension?)
We know of a few people who race and drift their air-equipped cars! It is possible to properly prepare your car for racing with airbags suspension. However, you should be extremely cautious about installation. Improper conduction may lead to serious traffic accidents. You should make sure that no lines are hanging from your roof, which could be ripped by dirt or cones.
Conclusion and suggestions
Well, this article mainly talks about some of the most popular questions about the air ride system. Airbag suspension is an upgrade in vehicle suspension systems. The purpose of it is to ensure a constant smooth ride.
The airbag suspension system offers drivers many benefits. Yet, it also contains some drawbacks. No vehicle parts are designed to last forever. Airbag suspension components suffer natural wear and tear too. So when it comes to replacement, you should choose a good one. Google Vigor Air Ride to see if there’s a suitable solution for you.