In the automotive aftermarket industry, a customized air spring suspension system is a popular upgrade. This type of suspension uses air struts instead of OEM shocks and struts. Such a modification enables constantly adjustable ride heights of the vehicle. Vigorairride air ride is an aftermarket supplier of high-quality air ride suspension components. Contact them if you have any questions about air suspension.
People install air spring suspensions in their cars for various reasons. But a common one is to get a better ride experience. Generally speaking, an air spring suspension system costs more than a conventional suspension system. But you get what you pay for, which is a ride experience of several benefits.
Basics of air spring suspension system
An air spring suspension consists of several components. Here’s a brief introduction.
1. Air compressor: As one of the most significant parts, the air compressor is like the heart of this system. The main job of a compressor is to inflate airbags with air. An air compressor works to maintain the air pressure at a certain level, offering the system power to function properly. Setups have2 compressors while most come with only 1.
What’s good about 2 compressors is that when one breaks down, you still have one left working. That is going to save you a lot of trouble when you’re driving in the middle of nowhere.
2. Air tank: This is the device where pressurized air goes into. The Air tank holds compressed air that is used to raise or lower the car later. Air tanks often come in various sizes and shapes.
3. Airlines: Airlines function like the veins in a human body. These rubber-made pipes with air going through connecting the air struts in the system enable them to function.
4. Management unit: By using your phone or a wireless controller, you can manage your air spring suspension system easily. All you need to do is a few clicks then they’ll get things done automatically.
5. Air struts: Sometimes air shocks are also regarded as air struts, though they’re not exactly the same. Air struts or air shocks use airbags or air springs instead of coil springs. The main function of air struts is to support the vehicle body, reducing vibrations as a shock absorber.
6. Water trap/Air dryer/filter: It works to remove moisture in the system. A collection of condensation in the tank or compressor will ruin the whole system over time if you ignore it.
7. Air springs: Flexible airbags made of rubber. Airbags adjust the vehicle height as air pressure inside changes based on your needs while driving.
8. Manifold: A manifold allows you to control the flow of the pressurized air to every four corners of the car using an electronic controller. It consists of an aluminum block with solenoids valves and fittings.
How does it work?
Here is how they connect each other and cooperate to form a suspension system. The air compressor is going to send compressed air into the tank. Then the tank will store about 150 to 200 psi of pressure. And that’s going to be sent through the manifold to each four corners using a controller. Then the pressurized air is going to go into the air struts. The rubber bags or air springs of the air struts will inflate or deflate to raise or lower the car.
Benefits of air suspension
Here are some of the benefits air springs provide:
1. Customized and adjustable ride height based on your needs gives you a feeling of satisfaction.
2. Compared with traditional suspension, airbags help absorb vibrations more mildly and effectively. You’ll feel more comfortable and smoother.
3. Normal wear and tear is less in the air spring suspension system, allowing it to last for longer.
4. Fast and steady control of corner speeds.
5. Fuel economy.
Air spring suspension system maintenance
Air suspension systems are pretty self-sufficient. They run on their own without a lot of help needed. However, there’s one thing you do want to check on from time to time. And that’s going to be the condensation building up in your tank.
A water trap prevents the condensation that builds up within the tank from flowing into the manifold, the airbags, or into the airlines. But there still will be a collection of condensation in the tank. So every two weeks or so, go ahead and drain this condensation so that you keep your air spring suspension system working properly.
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If you drive your car in cold weather, you’re going to need to get your suspension system some air brake anti-freeze. When you’re driving in winter, anti-freeze will prevent that moisture and condensation from freezing and damaging any part of your air ride system. So whenever you have a chance and are able to do so, go ahead and put your car up jack stands, here’re the things you should check over:
1. Go ahead and give your airlines a good tug to make sure they’re still safe and secure.
2. Go check each of the height sensors, make sure there isn’t any unnecessary play. Make sure that everything is tightened down and nothing is rubbing.
3. If applicable, ensure that the lock collars are still tightly secured and nothing has gotten loose.
A regular check on the components of your suspension system, especially on the visual parts, is a good way. That includes air leaks, loose connections, torn bellows, or other potential issues. Besides, you can make appointments for routine service as well.
A good rule of thumb when going over your air spring suspension system is if you think you need to check it, you check it. And that covered about everything you need to do in terms of maintenance on your air ride system.
People are still arguing about the advantages and disadvantages an air suspension system offers. But what matters is to find a suspension that suits you. Not all, but some household cars will be awesome with an airbags suspension. If you are interested, give it a try. Don’t know where to start? For more suspension system modification, vigor air ride is going to be helpful. It can provide you with high-quality components. Enjoy your ride with an air ride suspension system!