Replacement Air Suspension Parts
The right air suspension parts can offer you the smoothest ride you can imagine—or perhaps even better. Knowing what each part does and how to spot problems with your current air suspension system can help you find the right fix for your needs.
Which Air Suspension Parts Are Most Important?
To be clear, your air suspension system is a complex system with dozens of parts to it. But some are more unique and critical to air suspensions than others. The following components are the most significant parts of your active air suspension:
- Air springs: Made of a flexible rubber, these cylinders take in and release pressurized air to provide resistance for your vehicle.
- Ride height sensors: These mechanical sensors constantly read the height of your vehicle relative to the road at each wheel.
- Suspension control module: This small computer takes signals from the ride height sensors and determines whether each air spring needs more or less air. It then directs the compressor to generate any air that the system needs.
- Air compressor: A small mechanical compressor similar to the ones used in auto shops, this machine generates the pressurized air needed to inflate the air springs.
- Air delivery lines: Your air suspension uses a series of rubber hoses to deliver air in and out of the air springs.
Warning Signs of Fault Air Suspension Parts
Your vehicle is likely equipped with a suspension warning light. This in-dash light turns on when your car detects an issue with some part of the air system. But you don’t need to wait for your instrumental panel to light up to detect a problem. There are a few signs of a bad suspension that may pop up before your car knows there’s an issue:
- Noisy compressor: If your suspension compressor is noticeably loud or runs for too long during a cycle, it’s probably working to compensate for an issue somewhere.
- Sagging: While it’s most commonly in the rear end of the vehicle, any point of your car sagging down likely indicates a bad suspension.
- Nose diving: If your car dips down in the front and lifts up in the rear when coming to a stop, this is known as “nose diving” and it indicates a problem with your suspension.
- Failing the bounce test: You can actively look for suspension problems by performing the bounce test, where you push down on the bumper at each corner of your car. If the bumper takes a long time to rise back up or bounces a lot before settling, you may have an issue at that wheel.
What to Look For in Air Suspension Parts
Not all air suspension parts are designed or manufactured equal. While some air suspension partmakers design high-quality products that meet or exceed OEM standards, others put out hastily-developed or poorly-manufactured products. Here’s what you should look for in your air suspension parts:
- Top-tier materials: Metals and rubbers come in different grades and some manufacturers cut corners by going with inferior materials. Find parts that use premium alloys and durable flexible materials.
- Precision engineering: Some manufacturers think “good enough” is good enough and use parts meant for one vehicle for others. A good suspension part manufacturer will engineer and test each part for each vehicle to ensure a perfect fit.
- Reliable manufacturing: How your suspension parts are made is just as important as what they are made of. Companies who make their parts domestically tend to have more oversight over their manufacturing than those who outsource overseas.
- Quality hardware: Your suspension parts are only as good as the hardware that holds them together and holds them to other parts of your car. Some manufacturers skimp out on the hardware to save money. Be sure you’re buying kits with mounting hardware and other connections that are also made to high standards.