Advantages and disadvantages of an air suspension system

The air of suspension system at was developed initially to support the aircraft to carry heavy loads easily. It was during World War II but later the use of air suspension increased significantly.

The basic purpose of it is to save weight and maintain the balance of the vehicle. Nowadays, several aircraft, heavy trucks along with buses, and cars are using the systems. This US-made technology is superb in terms of self-leveling the weight of the vehicle’s cargo.

By the passage of time, the drivers have observed several advantages of the air of suspension system alongside disadvantages. Keep reading to understand everything.

Advantages and disadvantages of an air suspension system

Understanding the air suspension system

A system contains several parts including bellows, air supply tank, pipes, check valves, and air spring. An electric pump is responsible to ensure pumps for the bellows. These bellows are made of a type of rubber that ultimately adjusts the level of the vehicle.

In some cases, you may perceive that it is used as the replacement of the coil or leaf suspension. In this case, the air of the bellows works like the spring to negotiate with the load of the vehicle.

But nowadays, there are companies that are using it alongside leaf and coil spring systems. Thus, the combined system provides extra support to the vehicle for better service.

Don’t consider the system as hydro-pneumatics suspension. They have a slight difference. Air suspension uses pressurized air to adjust the weight while hydro pneumatics suspension uses pressurized liquid.

The purpose of air suspension systems

The most significant purpose of having a system is getting excellent driving quality. The ride becomes consistent and smooth at the same time. It is not difficult to see the use of air suspensions in different sports suspensions.

In most vehicles, manufacturers used to use steel-made suspensions in the past. Yes, it used to work well. But it was not as smooth as air suspensions.

Nowadays, we see the use of the air suspensions system in trucks, passenger buses, tractor-trailers, trains, etc. Day by day, a variety of users are coming alive for air suspensions. Even the low-riding trucks are getting used to these systems for better ride experiences.

Electronically controlled air of suspension systems

Yes, this is also called the ECAS system that is slightly different from the manual system. Electronically controlled air suspensions came into the market in the early 1990s. Dunlop was the developer of the system and the system was first installed to a Range Rover Classic.

The ECAS system has some unique features to watch out for. The bellows are very strong with the use of heavy-duty rubber and an air compressor.

You will find a tank for reserving compressed air. It can be called the storage tank which takes the pressure up to 150 PSI. As mentioned earlier, there are valve blocks to ensure air for the springs.

There is the main computer to calculate the air pressure of the bellows. It helps to ensure proper distribution of air as necessary. Air pipes and a drier to do the rest to keep the overall process smooth.

In addition, with the ECAS system, you will also get height sensors. These sensors stay in every corner of the vehicle to recommend the height for a safe ride. You will also get electronic control units with an air suspension system.

Advantages of using air of suspension systems

Now, let’s know the advantages air suspension systems provide to riders. Remember that these benefits are equal for the electronically and manually used air suspensions.

  • A system makes the vehicle more driver-friendly. There will be less noise and vibration that become a matter of discomfort for the drivers most of the time.
  • It adjusts the ride height considering the overall load of the vehicle and speed. Thus, the riding becomes very comfortable and smooth.
  • The life of the trailers becomes much longer with the use of a suspension as the system controls the vibration well.
  • Every part of the vehicle or suspension systemstays safe and there will be less wear and tear.
  • It enables the vehicle to get higher corner speeds and maintain good surface-to-object relations.
  • The air constructed suspension system ensures that the short wheel trucks do not bounce too much on rough roads. Especially, when the vehicle is empty or has a little load to carry.
  • It enhances the capability of transporting more goods to long distances.
  • There are options for the drivers to adjust the air constructed suspension systemin terms of feel to go harder ride or softer feel.
  • Overall, air suspension systemskeep every wheel even. This also helps the vehicle to be at a good level while turning any corner.

Disadvantages of using air suspension systems

It is true that a lot of advantages are available of using an air of suspension system. But nothing is above questions in this world! Why should it be?

Let’s see what issues air of suspension might create for you:

  • The unignorable disadvantage of the air of suspensionis the high cost of it. This is something that everybody considers before the purchase and installation of a system. At times, it is seen that a system takes several times to be repaired heavily. This additional cost might surplus the base price of a system by two to three times within 10-12 years.
  • There might be issues with the fuel efficiency of the vehicle because of the weight of the air suspension system.
  • There might be air leaks in the suspension system that might bring unnecessary issues.
  • Sometimes compressors cause fuel overheads because of malefaction in the air circulation system.
  • At times, mechanical issues become the reason for the vulnerability of the vehicle. Moisture damage is a reason why there can be issues in the air struts. Proper installation is crucial to avoid any unnecessary issues with an air of suspension system.

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