The concept of air suspension first emerged in the United States during World War 2 for heavy fighter aircraft. The primary aim of air suspension is to save weight with a compact construction.
Instead of leaf springs, an air suspension system contains an air spring, also known as rubber or an airline system. The air spring is connected to an air compressor, solenoids, valves, etc. It is worth mentioning here that air suspension uses electronic controls.
Valves play a crucial role in air suspension as they allow the air to enter the different parts of the system. Many automobile experts define an air suspension system as a replacement to the leaf suspension or coil spring system with airbags composed of rubber.
The compressor inflates the air springs to a specific pressure to behave like springs. Note that air suspension differs from a hydropneumatic suspension as it leverages pressurized air instead of liquid.
The Purpose of Air Suspension System
The primary purpose of an air suspension system is to help the driver achieve a smooth and constant driving experience. In trucks and heavy-duty trailers, it is common to see air suspension in place of leaf suspension systems.
Air suspension is also pretty popular in low-riding trucks. The air springs usually provide adjustable suspension and load support by adding air when riding fully loaded. With air suspension, you can decrease the overall height of your vehicle to sit very low to improve visibility. With these things in mind, here are some pros and cons of an air suspension system.
- With an air suspension system, you will be able to drive your vehicle comfortably.
- Reduction of noise, vibration, harshness, etc., on the road
- With an air suspension system, there will be minor wear and tear on the suspension system
- Heavy-duty vehicles will last longer with air suspension
- An air suspension system improves the ride height along with the vehicle’s speed
- In most cases, an air suspension system allows you to drive safely
Cons of an Air Suspension System
- The initial costs of buying an air suspension system is pretty expensive
- Your vehicle’s overall fuel efficiency can suffer from the heavier weight of air suspension
- In usual cases, air suspension systems are prone to air leaks
- Failure of the air suspension tubing which connects the air struts or bags to the air system
- Despite the efficiency of an air suspension system, there are various disadvantages. If you want to install an air suspension system, ensure that you are aware of its advantages and disadvantages.