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Hydraulic Suspension vs. Air Suspension Kits

by Scott Beaddles on August 02, 2016 Categories: Maintenance & Repairs

The debate between hydraulic suspension vs. air suspensions kits has been a main talking point for automotive experts for years. Both offer a ton of advantages in vehicle performance, but which is better? To help you decide, check out our hydraulic suspension vs. air suspension kit comparison below.

Hydraulic Suspension Kits

Hydraulic suspension kits transform your vehicle’s current suspension into a hydraulic suspension system. A hydraulic suspension system uses four independent dampers with hydraulic fluid. During vehicle operation, each damper can be pressurized and de-pressurized simply with a few controls so you can move up or down as much as you’d like. One of the biggest advantages of a hydraulic suspension for your vehicle is that it can produce a firmer ride. Hydraulics are also very responsive and can react quicker than most other suspension systems. Best of all, these types of systems are completely customizable. Since each shock is independent, you can adjust specific ones to certain heights. However, there are some drawbacks to hydraulic suspension kits. For example, hydraulic suspension kits tend to be much costlier than many other suspension kits. In addition, hydraulic systems are more susceptible to fluid leaks, which could lead to vehicle damage and expensive repairs. Most importantly, they tend to produce a bumpier ride.

Air Suspension Kits

Brochure Side 2Air suspension kits convert a vehicle’s original suspension into an air suspension. These kits include the air springs, mounts, and fittings. An air suspension system works similarly to hydraulics. However, air suspension systems use air springs and air to operate. When air springs, or air bags, are installed on your vehicle, you can inflate and deflate them based on your specific needs. Inflating the springs will raise the vehicle and deflating them will lower it. Using an air suspension kit yields a number of great benefits. For instance, an air suspension system offers a smoother ride than hydraulics and delivers better handling. On top of that, the system can be adjusted to deliver a soft or firm ride when needed. Air suspensions are also known for their convenient tuning. Air suspensions can improve towing and hauling performance too. Some kits contain parts that can increase the load capacity of a vehicle so you’ll be able to carry more. Plus these parts work to compensate for the extra weight so your car stays level and drives smoothly. Most importantly, air suspension kits are more affordable than hydraulic suspension kits. But, like hydraulics, air suspension kits have a few disadvantages. The most prominent is that an air suspension will require maintenance and repairs with time. However, these services won’t be as costly or extensive as the services needed to fix a hydraulic system.

Which Is Better?

Air suspension and hydraulics help vehicles to deliver great performance, handling, and capabilities, but which is better? The answer depends entirely on your needs and the performance you want to experience. If you’re looking for something that’s more customizable, consider installing a hydraulic suspension kit. If you’re looking to enhance towing performance and make your drives smoother and more enjoyable, install an air suspension kit. And if you need more help making your decision, call Strutmasters at 866-597-2397 or reach out to us online to learn more about air suspension kits today.

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