Air suspensions have been around for some time now. They were mainly used on trucks and buses. Nowadays, the technology has been applied to smaller vehicles; it is no longer limited to large, slow and heavy ones. Manufacturers have produced air suspensions for cars, sport utility vehicles and others of smaller size. The off-road vehicle market has picked-up on the trend well – the 4 wheel drive air suspension is becoming increasingly popular. This suspension modification can be applied to new or used cars. Also known as air bags, these are very useful components.
When you have an older car, chances are the suspension has sagged somewhat. The ground clearance is lower than what it was originally, so the car sits lower than stock. Of course, normal wear and tear is the culprit. Imagine the springs and shocks having had to carry the weight of the car, its passengers and everything else that is loaded. As the current owner, you can go the usual maintenance route by replacing all the shocks and springs. If you like height adjustability and added load carrying capability, air springs would be a good choice.
Factory suspension components are reliable, nobody can deny that, but if you want to improve a second hand car’s suspension, air bags would be it. Air suspensions have advantages over stock parts. Actually, they are an upgrade because this system works differently. An air suspension is installed between the leaf springs or axle housing to give support through air pressure contained in the bellows or bags.
The bags are inflated or deflated through a compressor or motor that in turn is controlled from the inside of the car. This gives you flexibility because you can lower or raise the car depending on the situation. When you park, you can drop it for that stance look; when you are riding, inflate the bags a bit and the car is standing at its standard height. When you see a speed bump ahead or you are simply going up the garage or driveway, you can inflate the bags and you will not worry about scraping the car’s bumpers or underside.
So many air bag kits are available nowadays; there are load leveling springs, too. They give great benefits for vehicles with heavy loads and those that are used for towing. Since they maintain the front to rear level, you can carry additional loads without braking and handling issues.