Air ride systems were developed during World War Two. These systems were originally developed by The United States. In their inception, they were only made for heavy vehicles. They were also used in some aircraft.
Air rides are also called air bag suspensions or airlift suspensions. They are usually regarded as replacements of leaf suspension or coil spring. Air rides use a compressor that puts air into an air bag. The air bag works like a spring to provide comfort.
These air bags are made of polyurethane or rubber. The air rides are used to achieve a smooth and constant driving experience. These types of suspensions are used in trucks, trailers, buses, SUVs, etc. They are also used in lowriders now.
How Much Does it Cost to Install Air Ride?
The actual cost of installation can be divided into three factors. First, is the price of the suspension kit. The second is the installation cost. Third, is the cost of additional upgrades (if you are considering any). We will have to keep them all in mind.
Air Ride Installation Cost Summary
The cost of installation can range from anywhere between $500-$1500. This will depend on the type of system you are installing. There is also a difference in labor costs all around the world. So, where you go to install your system is also a dominant factor.
The cost of the suspension kit itself is not that much. They are very affordable. A suspension kit will cost you anywhere between $300-$700.
|Total Installation Cost||$500-$1500|
You can make some additional upgrades to increase the performance of your suspension. So, here are the costs of some additional upgrades cost.
|Total Upgradation Cost||Price Range|
|Electrical in-cab control kit||$300-$725|
|Air tank- ½ to 5 gallons||$45-$275|
|Paddle Valve in-cab control kit||$135-$510|
We recommend making all the upgrades at the time of installation. This will provide you better driving experience. You won’t have to think about the suspension for a very long time. Air suspensions are now used all over the world.
If you drive a truck, bus, trailer, SUV, or a lowrider, this is already a great choice that you’ve made. Now, let’s look at some other factors of air ride installation.
How long does It take to install an air ride system?
An average auto shop will take around 10 hours to complete the job. Although, it will take much longer. The auto shop might have other works in progress. Your serial might be in later numbers. So, you have to be patient.
Although the installation takes 10 hours on average, you need to leave your car in the shop for a day or two, depending on the sop traffic. So, you can expect a two-day separation from your car. Well, this is worth the wait.
Once the work is complete, you will have a more soothing driving experience.
Related: How Much Does it Cost to Paint Rims?
How long do air bag suspensions last?
The lifespan of any auto part depends on the build quality of the part. Normally, the brand you’re buying from will give you a good idea about the build quality. If you are buying aftermarket parts, you might have to sweat a bit little more to find out.
It will also depend on the usage of the part. If a part is properly maintained, it is safe to say that it will last longer. Heavy use can shorten the lifespan but that is normal. Although, abuse will have a negative impact. It will shorten the lifespan significantly.
A typical air bag suspension can last for 10 years. After that it needs replacement.
Exclusive Tips on Buying your Air Ride Suspension
Buying any auto part is a big challenge. Unless someone is experienced, it is a very heavy job. There are so many choices and so much to consider. So, to make it easier for you, here are some things you need to consider before buying your suspension.
- It is safe to assume that an upgrade inn suspension will cost you a good amount of money. But in this case, an air ride suspension is not that costly. Due to popularity and demand, they are mass produced. And this causes the price to fall. An airbag suspension can be yours in just $300. So, consider the price range first. Also, match with quality.
- To install an air bag suspension, all parts of the stock suspension have to be removed. So, think about what you’re going to do with them. You can sell them and get some extra cash.
- Think about what you really want. You will find lots of suspensions in the market. Some are or off roading, some are OEM made for better driving experience. Understand what you need from the air ride suspension. This will help you make better decisions.
- The installation part is hard. This is a complex job. Although, some consumers people with proper mechanical knowledge can try. There are kits available for DIY. If you are a newbie, don’t try. Just go to an auto shop. Otherwise, it will affect the quality of your ride.
- Maintenance is a key factor. This will determine the lifespan you your suspension. So, maintain your suspension with adequate use.
Some Advantages and Disadvantages of an Air Ride Suspension
In our analysis below, we will show what are some of the advantages and disadvantages of air ride suspensions.
- Provides more comfort for the driver. The harshness of the road is not felt that much. And this improves the quality of the drive.
- The suspension kit doesn’t wear of that easily. It lasts longer due to smoother use.
- Heavy vehicles last longer with air bag suspension. It reduces the load on different components. This increases the lifespan of such vehicles.
- Trucks carry heavy loads. Air bag suspension keeps the truck steady. It doesn’t bounce as much. This keeps the load safe.
- Air bag suspension can increase the driving speed. Drivers have a steadier vehicle. That’s why they can also increase their cornering speed.
- The repair and maintenance cost are higher. Sometimes the repair cost can be as much as three times of that of the leaf suspension systems.
- It uses more fuel. The compressors need to be adjusted and this increases fuel usage.
- These suspensions are vulnerable to air leaks. This can affect the performance of the vehicle. It can also cause major malfunctions.
Here are some of the most common questions people ask regarding (Air Ride Installation): FAQ
How reliable is air ride suspension?
An air ride suspension is very reliable. The quality of an air ride will hugely depend on the quality of installation. The better the quality, the longer it will last. So, make sure to install the air rides from a good auto shop.
Can air rides be used in winter?
Air rides can be used in any kind of weather. People in very cold places use this suspension in their vehicles. But you need to do some maintenance before the winter.
What maintenance is recommended for air rides?
Actually, they don’t take much maintenance. Although regular draining of the water traps is highly recommended. You should also empty the air bags once in a month or two.
Is air suspension worth the money?
Absolutely. Air suspensions provide you great comfort in driving. They are also very safe and long-lasting. It will also protect the heavy load a truck carries. And with SUVs, it gives a smoothing riding experience.
Is it hard to install air suspensions?
Yes, it is. The air ride suspension’s quality of service will hugely depend on the quality of installation. This is a very hard job. It requires skilled and experienced professionals. Also, a set of heavy tools are needed. The whole thing makes the process pretty difficult.
Is air suspension good for daily driving?
There are different types of air suspensions available in the market. Some very expensive vehicles like SUVs use air suspensions. It gives a great quality riding experience. So, it can be safe to say that air bag suspensions will be very good for daily driving.
Can you drive with broken air ride suspensions?
Well no. This is not recommended at all. The air ride suspension is a very complicated system. If you’ve lost a part of it, this affects the whole system. So, it is not safe to drive with a broken air ride suspension.
I hope you find this guide useful for reducing the cost of installing air rides in your car. Comment below if you have any questions or experiences. To learn more about air rides, automobiles, and other topics related to them, please keep reading.