4 Things to Know About Buying an Airbag Suspension

October 31, 2012

The popularity of airbag suspension kits among automotive enthusiasts created awareness on the benefits of installing such a system on your car or truck. While it may be identified among custom low rider trucks as seen on car shows, airbag suspension presents numerous benefits to the car and truck owner that somehow equals the stiff price tag for parts and labor. Purists swear in the improvement of overall road handling and ride comfort offered by these revolutionary suspension kits. Depending on the type of system installed, a custom airbag suspension could inflate and deflate automatically, or at the owner's behest to accommodate heavy loads or adjust to specific terrain. But before deciding to make the important purchase, here are four things you need to know about buying an airbag suspension for your vehicle:

1. Cost

It is no secret that such a technological triumph would cost an arm and a leg but due to the increase in makes and models available, a proper airbag suspension system could be yours for below $300 exclusive of labor. Take into consideration the fact that all your stock suspension components would be replaced by this system, including heavy springs and shock absorbers. There are a lot of airbag suspension kits available in the online market that will cater to any basic whim or automotive desire, and proper research should be made to make the most of this rather expensive purchase. 

2. Needs

Since the modification will affect overall vehicle appearance and performance, properly determine your needs for purchasing an airbag suspension system before making the decision of ordering or buying. There are a lot of air suspension kits in the market and most are designed for a specific role. There are kits for serious off roaders and are more expensive than those for street or normal use. Intermediate air suspension systems are OEM designed to improve ride comfort while having the ability to adjust ride height. There are air suspension kits for competition purposes and are popular among the racing and custom car industry. Properly determine the kind of air suspension system for your specific vehicle.

3. Installation

Due to the complexity of various wiring and hose installations, fitment of an air suspension system should be left to a professional and knowledgeable mechanic. There are DIY kits available for the mechanically inclined consumer, but as the installation of an air suspension requires the use of various tools, the newbie is best left with the option of hiring a mechanic. Remember that vehicle integrity and safety is at stake and proper installation will assure that such objectives are readily met. Take into account that most kits require professional installation for the warranty to be honored, and a sub par installation will void such a warranty.

4. Maintenance

Air suspension kits manufactured by reputable companies are durable and exhibit major performance upgrades for any motor vehicle application, but as such parts are exposed to harsh road conditions, wear and tear could never be ignored and is a fact worth considering. Yes, air suspension is lighter and many times more durable than stock vehicle suspension components, but proper maintenance should be undertaken according to manufacturers specifications.

Air suspension should not be confused with hydro suspension systems (hydraulics) as form and function differs greatly between both applications. But cost considerations aside, an air suspension is a wise investment for those who desire the best in terms of performance. 

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