Advantages and Disadvantages of Using an Air Suspension System

Advantages and Disadvantages of Using an Air Suspension System

The initial goal of air suspension was to reduce weight while maintaining a compact design. Air suspension systems were also employed to provide self-levelling suspension in other aeroplanes and several big trucks at the time. As a result, a vehicle's axle height would be independent of the weight of the vehicle's load.

Finally, for drivers who rely on larger trucks and vehicles to transport hefty cargo, the air suspension system has numerous advantages and disadvantages.

A faulty air suspension in a vehicle can also lead to a MOT failure therefore, we recommend you check your MOT due date and have your air suspension repaired beforehand.

What Is an Air Suspension System and How Does It Work?

An air suspension system is a form of vehicle suspension that uses an electric pump or compressor to push air through flexible bellows constructed of a textile-reinforced rubber. Air suspension, according to Pro Car Mechanics, is a polyurethane and rubber airbag system that replaces the leaf suspension or coil spring system. To make the bags function like springs, a compressor inflates them to a predetermined pressure. The use of pressured air rather than pressurised liquid distinguishes air suspension from hydropneumatics suspension.

What is an Air Suspension System's Purpose?

Air suspension is often employed to produce a smooth and consistent driving experience however, sports suspensions may also include an air suspension system. In larger drive systems, such as trucks, tractor-trailers, passenger buses, and even passenger trains, air-suspension replaces traditional steel spring suspension.

The following are advantages of an air suspension system:

1.     The reduction in noise, harshness, and vibration on the road, which can cause driver discomfort and tiredness, has resulted in increased driver comfort.

2.     Due to the reduced harshness and vibration of heavy-duty driving, the suspension system will last longer.

3.     Because the system components do not absorb as much vibration, air suspension last longer.

4.     When the vehicle is empty, air suspension decreases the tendency of short wheelbase vehicles to bounce over rougher roads and terrain. When the vehicle is loaded, air suspension increases the ride height based on the load weight and speed.

5.     Because air suspension is better matched to the road surface, higher corner speeds are possible.

By giving a greater grip and levelling the entire suspension, air suspension improves the transport capacities of vehicles. The feel of an air suspension system may also be modified, allowing drivers to select between a softer ride for interstate cruising and a firmer ride for better handling on more challenging routes.

Air suspension provides more uniformity and keeps all wheels even when lifting large loads. The air suspension system helps to keep vehicles level from side to side, which is especially important when the load is difficult to level. When turning bends and curves, this results in less body roll.

The following are disadvantages of an air suspension system:

1.     The initial expenses of buying and maintaining an air suspension system – air suspension may sometimes cost three times as much in repairs over ten years as a leaf suspension system.

2.     Fuel costs for operating compressors and periodically pushing air to the proper pressure

3.     The larger weight of air suspension compared to leaf suspension might reduce fuel economy.

4.     The susceptibility of an air suspension system to air leakage might lead to faults.

Some of the disadvantages of air suspension systems originate from the mechanical challenges that they might encounter.

The following are some of the most typical problems with air suspension systems that may require repair:

1.     Internal rust or moisture damage might cause the air struts or bags to malfunction.

2.     The air suspension tubing that connects the air struts or bags to the air system has failed.

3.     Failure of an air fitting due to improper installation or infrequent usage

4.     Due to air leaks in the springs or air struts from the compressor continually engaging to maintain the required air pressure, the compressor burns out.

Even with these regular mechanical issues, the advantages often exceed the disadvantages.

The Final Word

Spring-ride suspension is not better than air-ride suspension. Air-ride suspensions are not only more expensive to buy and maintain, which might result in increased costs for the vehicle owner, but they also do not guarantee greater ride quality.

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