Automotive

Air suspension and its components: how long can they last?

Air suspension parts are just like any other automotive part: they can’t last forever. They will break down over time due to normal wear and tear, or some unexpected damages. How long can air suspension last? This article will give you a closer look at this question.

Before reading on with this article, here’s how it is arranged:

  • What is air suspension?
  • Explain the components of the suspension system:

What is an air spring?

What’s an air compressor?

What are air struts/shocks?

  • Spot the symptoms the suspension system will show when it’s failing.

What is an air suspension system?

Vigorairride air suspension is a suspension system that can be self-contained and auto-loaded and unloaded. An air spring suspension system does not use the compressed liquid as hydro-pneumatic suspensions do. It does not use metal springs as conventional suspension systems either. It uses pressurized air instead of metal springs. As its name might suggest: air is the spring, not metal.

Air suspension systems are generally powered by either an engine-driven air compressor or electric pump. The compressor pushes the air into flexible, textile-reinforced rubber airbags. The air compressor inflates the bellows and lifts the chassis off the axle. It removes the metal springs (coil spring or leaf spring) and makes room for air springs to be fitted. Air pressure can do the same job as metal springs, so it is a good choice.

What is an air suspension made up of? (significant components)

Air suspension systems are made up of various parts. Some of them include an air compressor, air springs, air struts/shocks, ECU(electronic control units), and airlines. Different car models may have different constructing parts.

Here we only discuss the important parts of the system. Typically, the essential components include air springs, air compressor, and air struts/shocks.

Air spring

Air springs are airbags that are inflated with compressed air. It functions in the same way as coil springs do. Thus, air springs are usually in the place of the leaf or coil springs.

Due to the compressive abilities of airbags and air, air springs can absorb vibrations, raising or lowering the ride height.

Air springs offer near-instant tuning and adaptability to various situations and loads.

Air compressor

An air suspension compressor is an electric pump that pushes compressed air into an air tank, providing flexible airbags with pressurized air.

aftermarket air compressor kit

An air compressor’s only job is to provide air for the air spring system. Only with a certain level of compressed air maintained in the airbags will the system work properly.

Air struts (shocks)

Struts can be described as a combination of shocks and coil springs. Air struts are struts with airbags. Air struts are common in the vehicles’ air suspension systems.

Two parts make up an air strut: an airbag or air springs that are not coil springs and a shock. A strut can refer to a shock absorber. Also, people think an air strut is an air shock. Air struts provide structural support for your car.

How long can air suspension parts serve?

Air suspension systems are unpredictable. Yet, one thing is certain. Every component of the system will finally fail. You’ll notice a decrease in performance and abilities once it’s happening. Some parts, such as air springs, may last up to 100,000 miles. This is not always true. Your driving habits will determine how long these parts can survive.

If your driving style requires you to exert more effort on your suspension then the parts can wear down quickly. For example, regular hauling and toweling shorten the life of your suspension. They will last longer if you use your vehicle only to commute on well-maintained roads. The weather in your area could also play a role. Extreme cold, such as what you might find in Canada, can cause damage to airbags and other plastic components such as airlines.

It’s difficult to predict how long your suspension components will last. However, you can identify potential problems and fix them. It’s important to notice problems early and fix them before they become serious.

Indications that show there might be problems in your system

The life span of air suspension components can also be affected by internal damage. These parts should be repaired immediately you spot any of these common warning signs.

  • Warning lights for active suspension: Every car has an individual warning light for the air suspension dashboard. To find the symbol in your instrument cluster, consult your owner’s guide. A warming light suggests internal damage.
  • Noisy compressor: If the compressor in your system is experiencing problems, it will make an abnormal sound. This weird noise is likely to be from around the wheels.
  • Air compressor always on: If the compressor is always on, it could mean that either the compressor is malfunctioning or the system is leaking.
  • Vehicle stance is lower: This indicates that the vehicle has an air leak. Worse still, maybe some of its air springs have failed entirely.

Conclusion and solutions

There’s no direct answer with an exactly accurate number to the question of how long air suspension lasts. Some experts think drivers should replace air suspension bags between 50 thousand to 70 thousand miles. Others estimate that replacement will be needed every 10 years. Yet, the actual time your air suspension can serve is uncertain. Many things together influence and determine that time.

For example, if you always drive on well-maintained streets in mild weather conditions, it will last long. However, if you’re using it in relatively rough conditions, that’s different. Say, you often drive in off-road conditions in the Northern United States in winter. And your vehicle carries heavy loads often. Chances are that your air suspension system is more likely to break down faster.

There are many options for you when you need a replacement for your air suspension system. Yet, it’s not that easy to find a trusted one. You can check Vigor Air Ride out. This company offers high-quality air ride solutions for global customers. Enjoy your air ride with a perfect suspension system!

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