Active air suspensions are comprised of many moving parts that need to be working properly in unison for the system to function correctly. Onboard sensors send information about the ride height of the vehicle to a small computer, which in turn uses that information to tell a pneumatic compressor how much pressurized air to generate. This air is pushed through air hoses and into air springs which use the pressure to regulate the ride height of the vehicle. This creates a smooth, pleasant, ride–as long as they’re working.
The main problem with an air suspension is that, like anything made of moving parts, they will eventually wear out. Given how complex they are, that means a guaranteed huge expense at some point in a vehicle’s life.
However, more and more vehicle owners are growing weary of these repairs and replacements and are choosing to convert their cars from air suspensions to a more classical, mechanical solution–a traditional coil over strut, known in the auto world as a “coilover” suspension. These replacements are mostly carried out using a conversion kit, the first commercially-available of which was made by the North Carolina-based company Strutmasters LLC. Since that company’s inception in 1999, the industry has grown from a single company with a small assortment of products to an entire industry, with replacement kits now available for hundreds of vehicle models.
So why has the popularity of these kits grown so much in such a short amount of time? As more and more people continue to convert to coilover suspension, here are just some of the reasons why:
1) All air suspensions fail eventually.
Given that they are made up of a number of moving parts, car owners need to accept the reality that their air suspension system will fail eventually. While that doesn’t mean they should just ditch their air suspensions right now, it’s worth considering whether it’s really worth replacing or repairing components once they start to fail. This is because once one part fails, the rest are not too far behind. This means that more expense and hassle is always going to be right around the corner once the air suspension failure starts.
2) Coil suspensions are a fraction of the price.
With everything interconnected from computers to electronic sensors to several mechanical components, air suspension require expensive parts and specialty tools to service them. This means a great deal of expense any time anything needs to be serviced or replaced. When owners consider that all air suspension-related expenses are likely to be ongoing for the remainder of the car’s lifetime, replacing an old suspension with one that is brand new makes a great deal of sense in the long run. This is especially true when you consider that a conversion kit will generally cost about the same for the entire car as a replacement for just one air spring.
3) Coil suspensions can be installed and serviced at home.
Companies like Strutmasters design their conversion kits to be installed at home by the average DIYer. This means that most of the assembly is done before it reaches the customer, and that it is designed to be installed using tools most people already have at home. In fact, most of these kits can be installed in as little as one hour per wheel by anyone with a little mechanical proficiency.
4) Coil springs are simple and reliable.
Compared to the complex network of electronics and plastic and rubber components, the simple, robust construction of coilover suspensions often makes people feel more confident in their ride. Once a car gets to the point where the suspension is starting to fail, that air suspension becomes a ticking time bomb that could ruin the next road trip or family vacation at any minute. By comparison, a brand new coilover suspension gives owners virtually nothing to worry about for quite some time. And even if something does wear out prematurely or break on the coilover suspension, repairing or replacing it is cheap and easy compared to an air suspension.
If your air suspension is starting to age, it might be worth considering ending the headache once and for all by switching your car over to a coil spring over strut suspension. Hundreds of thousands of car owners have already made chosen to convert, most to full satisfaction. Companies like Strutmasters now offer kits for almost every make of car in hundreds of models. Check to see if Strutmasters has a kit for your car by visiting the website or calling the hotline at (866) 684-6473.