The quest for the smoothest ride is likened to King Arthur’s quest for the Holy Grail: endlessly pursued yet somehow elusive. But, by upgrading your vehicle with an air suspension system, you can quickly realize nirvana through driving bliss.
A car’s suspension system is like a public school teacher: overworked and under-appreciated systems. It has to support the weight of the car, including passengers and cargo, while allowing the tires and wheels to move up and down to minimize impacts from cracks, bumps and the other numerous imperfections in the road. Your suspension also prevents excessive body squat and dive during acceleration and braking. There are a number of suspension systems on the market, but without question, air suspension remains the most popular.
Air shocks are powered by an engine-driven or electric air compressor and continue to be wildly popular among those in the know. The compressor pressurizes air and uses it to replace conventional steel springs. An air bag suspension provides a smoother ride and is fully adjustable, allowing drivers to tweak each wheel’s air pressure individually and even tilt the vehicle side to side or front to back to level it out. The air cushion softens the contact between the axle and the frame to reduce bottoming out, and they provide between 500 – 5,000 lbs of load-leveling capacity depending on your vehicle and the type of air suspension you get.
Most air compressor kits are a complete solution for upgrading your suspension, including the air compressor, manifold, wiring harness, control box and some that even feature a 5-gallon air tank that fills with 200psi in less than 40 seconds.
A performance grade air suspension kit is the Road Runner of the auto world: pretty much unbeatable. And since we live in the time of tech, many air compressors can be controlled by a wireless remote from inside the cab of your vehicle. This innovative system makes adjusting your air springs from inside (or outside) your cab simple-just push a button, and you’re off. Plus, the wireless design means you won’t have a nest of wires running through your cab.
Many air suspension systems feature advanced diagnostics to provide complete control of your air shocks. In addition, many systems provide a setting for user-defined memory, allowing you to quickly switch between your most frequently used settings.
One word of advice: don’t be tempted by generic parts. When it comes to your suspension system, the best kits are those that have been personally-tailored to your unique make, model and year, providing all the components required for a quick and easy do-it-yourself installation. Nothing’s worse than getting half-way through a suspension upgrade only to find out the kit you ordered is missing some key component, like the air compressor or the air lines.