Beginners guide to air suspension system: Examining the pros and cons
Initially, air spring from Vigorairride is one of US WWII innovations, particularly designed for heavy aircraft. As of this period, its primary focus was helping these aircraft save weight by adopting a more compact construction.Also back then, air suspension systems were utilized in several aircraft as well as heavy trucks as a viable option to achieving a self-leveling suspension. Ultimately, this resulted in automobiles featuring axle height independent of their cargo weight.
With that said, the air suspension system has a lot of benefits and drawbacks attributable to it, especially for drivers who depend on larger automobiles to lift a heavy load. This article seeks to examine those drawbacks and as well, lay a concise foundational knowledge of what an air suspension system encompasses.
Understanding the basics of an air suspension system
Essentially, airbag suspension systems or air springs indicate a form of vehicular suspension whose power emanates from an electric pump or compressor, which serves as an air pump into a flexible bellow. Usually, these bellows are textile-reinforced rubbers. Furthermore, you could also see an air suspension system as a more practical replacement to the traditional leaf suspension or coil Spring models. A typical airbag suspension kit comprises rubber and polyurethane. The electric pump or compressor inflates the bag up to a particular pressure, till it could act as a spring. It’s important to note that air springs or air suspension systems significantly differ from hydropneumatic suspension – it utilizes pressurized air as opposed to liquids.
What does an air suspension system do?
Usually, air suspension systems are established to attain a constant and smooth driving experience and quality. However, in some circumstances, sport suspensions also utilize this innovation. Likewise, the air suspension system serves as a direct replacement to the traditional steel spring suspension present in heavier automobile applications, including passengers train, tractor-trailers, and more. Besides, airbag suspension has grown to be an integral component of several low-riding trucks.
Strengths and advantages of Air Suspension system
Minimal Vibration and Noise
One significant advantage of air suspension is that it is almost devoid of tears and wears in its suspension system as well as the vehicular components. This is largely a result of its reduced vibrations and harshness, especially when driving heavy-duty vehicles. Air springs serve as a compensatory mechanism for rough and uneven road surfaces, potholes, speed bumps, ultimately allowing easy gliding of your vehicle over the road.
Another primary benefit of having an airbag suspension kit in your car is the enhanced comfort it gives you behind the wheel, making it a perfect fit for dark driving. Adjustable air suspension systems offer you a more comfy ride on even a poorly constructed road, while also helping you improve your control when driving off-road. Utilizing airbags above wheels, as opposed to the traditional springs also enhances journey quality not only for drivers but even the passengers.
Needless to say, air springs offer you ample control and versatility overloads. You can always adjust your vehicle’s height depending on the load on it. What an air suspension does is ensuring consistent distribution of this load across every wheel, thus, lowering the risks of body roll when attempting to turn a corner. Besides, there up is an even lesser risk of load shifting or breakage/damages resulting from the minimized vibrations via the suspension. For larger vehicles, the reliable control resulting from increased firmness offers an even better towing ability.
As a driver, the presence of an air Spring system in your car allows you to adjust the vehicle to align with your preferences when it comes to handling and overall comfort. You can always pick between a harder drive when engaging in motorway driving, or even opt-in for the softer feel when treading demanding paths – you can always maintain the control, regardless of the type of terrain. Furthermore, you can also achieve a greater level of high cornering speeds as well as full control when approaching corners, as your vehicle is not modified to the terrain condition. For an adjustable air Spring, you can simply lower your vehicle to the ground, implying that the drags will come down at faster speeds. Furthermore, when off-roading, you can still decide to raise your car for everyday use.
Because vehicles equipped with this technology may be adjusted to any type of road, you can reap the benefits of improved fuel economy. For example, lowering the ride height for highway travel provides greater aerodynamics as well as reduced wind resistance, and thus serves as a practical strategy to save even more fuel. Similarly, an air suspension system allows you to easily obtain better control and approach turns more rapidly, allowing you to save time on routes.
Air suspension system drawbacks
Price is a deal-breaker for many, and air springs are somewhat more expensive than the traditional spring suspension options. You can only find them factory-built in only luxury vehicles. In essence, there’s nothing like a cheap air suspension system. Suppose you could strive and get one for your vehicle, you’d never want to go back to the traditional alternative
Some mechanical concerns
Air springs are also subject to mechanical issues. You’d see inquiries like “how to remove air from BMW x5 spring airbag” every now and then. They’re signs that your airbag suspension is prone to issues like rust, internal moisture damage, and so on. The most common is air Spring leaks, which could eventually result in a burnout of the compressor.
Final Thought: Should you buy an air Spring?
Although there are some drawbacks to air suspension, such as technical challenges and costs, the benefits are evident and speak for themselves. Air suspensions are a reliable feature that your vehicle must have if you want enhanced comfort, cruising quality, the ability to tread any road and drive on any terrain, the ability to lift various weights regardless of weight, and the fuel-saving benefits it has to offer.