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Air Springs vs. Static Load Assistance

A vehicle suspension is the system of springs, shock absorbers and linkages that connects a vehicle to its wheels and allows relative motion between the two. The tuning of a suspension is often a delicate balance between vehicle handling and ride comfort. As a result, factory steel suspensions often compromise load hauling capability for unloaded ride quality (ie. the vehicle rides great when driving empty, but poor when fully loaded – or vice versa).  Since a steel factory suspension is static with no way to adjust it for the load you are hauling or the current road conditions, the driver must always live with the results of the manufacturers decisions.

Steel Overload Springs

Outside of the stock factory suspension, customers have several choices when it comes to adding load support to their vehicle. Adding steel overload springs to your suspension or adding a leaf to your leaf spring stack will give your vehicle increased load support, but the extra steel adds stiffness to your suspension which considerably decreases ride comfort when riding empty.

Air Springs

Air springs are the only load support product that provide BOTH leveling capacity AND improved ride comfort. Only air springs give you load support that is adjustable for YOUR specific load. Add air when riding loaded to ensure your vehicle is level for a safer, more comfortable ride. Deflate the air springs when riding unloaded for optimal ride quality.

Air suspension systems work with your existing leaf or coil springs to effectively replace stiff steel suspensions. Air suspension systems typically consist of air springs (also known as air bags) and an air line system, sometimes connected to an on-board air compressor system.

For leaf spring vehicles, the adjustable air springs mount on top of your leaf springs or rear axle. For coil spring vehicles, the air bags fit easily inside the coils.

Installation is relatively fast and simple with most kits and many do not require you to drill into your vehicle’s frame. Air pressurizes the springs and in turn raises the chassis from the axle. This levels the vehicle and distributes weight evenly to all four tires, resulting in:

  • Better braking
  • Less sway
  • Better steering control
  • Better headlight aim
  • A smoother ride
  • Less bottoming out

Learn more about the benefits of air springs here.

Learn more about how adjustable air springs work here.

Learn more about Air Lift’s adjustable air springs here.

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