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Air Bagged Suspension

  • Author :
  • TATA AIG Team
  • Published on :
  • 05/12/2023

The suspension system of a car plays a key role in deciding the ride quality and experience for its driver. While different types of suspension systems are available in the automobile industry, air-bagged suspension is the most popular among all.

In fact, it is seen as a trailblazing innovation in the automotive world that aims at providing a smooth and laid-back driving experience.

The air suspension system essentially replaces the traditional coils and steel suspension used in large automobiles such as trucks, tractors, and buses.

If you are planning to purchase an air suspension system or are looking for cars with air suspension in India, this blog is for you.

We will help you understand everything about the air suspension systems, including their working, types, and pros & cons.

Read on!

What is an Air Suspension System?

The air suspension system is a type of modern suspension system that uses an electric compressor that pumps air into flexible rubber bellows instead of conventional steel springs and coils.

It is also defined as an efficient replacement for the traditional leaf suspension system. The electric pump or compressor inflates the bags to a certain pressure to make them behave like springs to maintain the optimum ride height.

Further, an air suspension system differs from a pneumatic suspension system as it uses pressurised air instead of liquid.

Purpose of Air Bagged Suspension System

As mentioned earlier, the main objective behind using air suspension systems in cars is to achieve a smooth driving experience and convenient handling of the vehicle. Further, the use of air suspension systems also reduces the chances of oversteering and understeering.

Moreover, in larger vehicles, an air suspension system aims to increase the ride height to make the vehicle run efficiently on different terrains. Finally, vehicles like trucks and tractor-trailers use them to maintain a safe distance from the road after loading heavy cargo weights.

Components of Air Suspension System

An air suspension system consists of multiple components that work in collaboration to adjust the driving height by the mechanism of compressed air pumping. These components are as follows:

Airbags: The first and primary component of an air suspension system is the airbags. These are commonly made of reinforced rubber and polyurethane that offers flexibility and toughness at the same time. These components are used in place of coil springs.

Compressor/Electric Pump: The next important component of an air suspension system is a built-in compressor or an electric pump. It is used to pump air into the airbags and is placed either on the frame of the vehicle or inside its trunk.

Also, most compressors come with a dryer that removes all the moisture from the air before pumping it into the airbags via narrow airlines.

Valves: An air suspension system has multiple valves that control the flow of air through several parts of the suspension system.

Lines: Air pipelines, or simply lines, help in carrying air from the compressor/electric pump to the airbags. While they are made from a composition of rubber and polyurethane, they can be designed in steel as well.

Solenoids: Solenoids are used to adjust the quantity of air in the airbags.

How Does an Air-Bagged Suspension Work?

The air-bagged suspension system in cars works on a simple and automatic principle. It consists of airbags, height sensors, and, most importantly, a compressor or air tank or electric pump.

Here, the airbags are connected to a compressor or air tank through narrow air lines which supply air to them. Further, the height sensors are connected to the car’s computer and monitor the height of the ride.

Whenever the height gets reduced due to increased weight, the sensors get activated, and the compressor comes into action by supplying air to the airbags in order to increase the height. In the same manner, the ride height can be reduced by releasing the air from the airbags.

An important thing to note is that the air-releasing mechanism is not automatic. The driver has to command the suspension system to do so.

Types of Air Suspension Systems

Almost all types of air suspension systems in cars work on the same principle. The only difference lies in their shapes and sizes, which sometimes dictate their action. The following are the most commonly used air suspension systems:

Rolling Lobe: It contains cylindrical rubber bellows that have a small diameter. It is mostly used in sedan cars for increasing the height of the tide and offering a comfortable driving experience.

Convoluted: This type of suspension is used in heavy vehicles. In it, the diameter of rubber bellows is large to allow an increased load capacity.

Coil Spring Bellows: In this type of air suspension system, the rubber bellows are placed inside the conventional coil springs. This type of suspension is used to achieve better ride quality and stability.

Pros of Air Suspension System

The following are the main benefits of installing air suspension systems or driving air ride suspension cars:

Comfortable Driving Experience: Cars with air suspension are known for providing excellent comfort and driving experience. While the driver can enjoy a better handling experience, passengers enjoy a bump-free ride.

Suits All Terrains: The air-bagged suspension system in a vehicle makes it suitable for all kinds of terrains, such as highways and hilly terrain, and for off-roading.

Offers Fuel Efficiency: While the air suspension system does not relate directly to fuel efficiency, it offers amazing aerodynamics that reduce resistance, which helps your vehicle run longer distances with lesser fuel consumption.

Load Versatility: An air suspension system offers excellent load balancing. It ensures that the load is distributed evenly across the car wheels. This, in turn, offers stability and reduces the chances of roll-over accidents.

Less Bumps and Vibrations: The air-bagged suspension system adjusts the load and height automatically to reduce unnecessary harshness and vibrations in the vehicle. As a result, the vehicle runs smoothly even on the bumpy roads with several potholes.

Cons of Air Suspension System

Just like any other object, the air suspension system has its fair share of disadvantages. Some of these are listed below:

Higher Maintenance: No doubt, air suspension systems make longer rides full of fun by providing a higher degree of comfort. However, you can’t always rely on them as they require a lot of maintenance work after working for a long duration.

The deal is you cannot simply ignore or delay the maintenance checks as you will not be able to drive efficiently without doing so.

Mechanical Issues: Let us face it. The air suspension systems experience a lot of mechanical problems. The major issues are caused by moisture, which leads to rust that, in turn, damages the inside of the suspension system.

Expensive: An air suspension system is far more expensive than the conventional coil spring system. This is the reason why it mostly comes with luxury cars. In fact, this is one of the reasons why air suspension cars in India are very costly.

Air Suspension Cars in India

The air suspension system is reserved for luxury cars due to its higher cost. Following are some of the best air suspension cars in India:

Car Models *Price (Ex-Showroom Delhi)
Mercedes C-Class ₹60 - ₹70 Lakh
Range Rover Velar ₹1.5 - ₹2 Crore
Audi Q7 ₹84.70 - ₹92.30 Lakh
Audi A8 ₹1.2 - ₹1.5 Crore

*Prices are subject to market fluctuations. Hence, it is recommended to get in touch with a dealer for an accurate cost estimate.

Final Words

Air suspension systems are modern-day suspension systems that are designed to take the comfort and driving experience of four-wheelers to the next level.

However, before using them, it is essential to understand their purpose, pros and cons. We have mentioned everything you need to know about these advanced suspension systems. We hope it helps you in making the right decision.

Secure Your Expensive Air Suspension System with Tata AIG Car Insurance

As discussed above, air suspension systems are expensive and require frequent maintenance that can burn a hole in your pockets. This is where a car insurance policy from Tata AIG can help you.

With suitable car insurance, you can get your air suspension car repaired in a cashless manner at our network garages. Not just that, you can make a quick car insurance claim and get compensated for your losses in case of an unforeseen road tragedy.

So, whether you are planning to purchase a brand new car with air suspension in India or looking forward to installing an air-bagged suspension in your existing vehicle, secure it with a suitable car insurance policy.

FAQS

Are air suspension systems worth the hype?

There is absolutely no doubt that air suspension systems make driving much more comfortable and efficient. However, the car air suspension price in India is hefty and it requires a lot of maintenance.

So, if you have the budget, then you can surely go for this amazing add-on. But if you cannot afford this add-on, do not get disheartened as your car will work just fine even with a regular suspension system.

How much does an air suspension system installation cost in India?

The car air suspension installation in India can range from ₹1 lakh to ₹1.5 lakh based on several factors such as the brand and cost of suspension components, garage charges, type of vehicle, and so on.

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