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How Does Electronic Suspension Work?

by Scott Beaddles on September 21, 2016 Categories: Maintenance & Repairs
Electronic suspensions are the most advanced suspension systems available. In the simplest terms, electronic suspensions adjust the feel of the suspension and your vehicle’s ride height to cater to changing road conditions with ease. But how exactly do they work? Read on to find out.

Basics of Electronic Suspensions

Electronic suspension is essentially a computer-controlled system that can adjust the ride characteristics and performance of your vehicle. Unlike air suspensions, an electronic suspension modifies the shocks and/or struts electronically to ensure a smooth ride. Some electronic suspensions are also designed to automatically adapt to changing road conditions for improved handling in all sorts of terrain.

How Do Electronic Suspensions Work?

There are two types of electronic suspensions: adaptive and active. Each one works in a different way to improve performance.

Adaptive Electronic Suspensions

An adaptive electronic suspension is responsible for controlling the shock absorbers and their dampening performance. Simply put, they adjust the shocks as needed to deliver a smooth driving experience. Adaptive suspensions can adjust the shocks using a solenoid and valve that’s placed on the strut. The solenoid connects to a computer in the system and monitors the road conditions. When stiffness and overall suspension performance need to be adjusted, the solenoid communicates this information to the system. Then it will activate the valves to open and close as needed to regulate the amount of hydraulic fluid going into the shocks. An adaptive suspension may also use a magneto damper, or a damper filled with fluid that contains metal particles. An electromagnet controls these little pieces of metal to adjust the pressure and stiffness in each damper.

Active Electronic Suspensions

An active electronic suspension changes the ride height for your vehicle to improve performance and towing capabilities. This type of electronic suspension uses hydraulics or electromagnets to operate. Active suspensions that adjust hydraulically use sensors to monitor the vehicle’s movement and ride height. When performance or ride height needs to be regulated, the system activates a hydraulic pump that pressurizes the liquid in the shocks. This will configure the stiffness of the suspension as well as the height of the vehicle to your specific preferences. Electromagnetically controlled active suspensions work similarly to hydraulically controlled systems. The only difference is that these systems use electromagnet motors instead of pumps to adjust a car’s ride height. This type of active electronic suspension is known to respond faster and use less power than hydraulics.

Which Type of Electronic Suspension is Right for You?

Both types of electronic suspensions can improve performance but in different ways. If you’re looking for something to enhance your driving experience during your commutes, consider an adaptive electronic suspension. Its ability to monitor the road and automatically adjust the stiffness of the shocks will allow you to experience a smooth ride in most road conditions. Those looking to adjust vehicle height for towing or performance purposes should consider installing an active electronic suspension kit. These allow you to raise or lower your vehicle will help you tow more and ensure a smooth ride. But regardless of which type of electronic suspension you choose, you’re sure to get a great performance. To learn more about electronic suspensions for your vehicle, contact Strutmasters online now.

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