What is the Air Spring Bag all about?
Air suspensions are nothing new, although they’re not as widely used in the US as they are in European countries. They use the power of air to provide support and stabilization for vehicles, rather than relying on gas shocks and struts. There are actually several different types of air suspension that use air spring bags.
The most common type uses a set of large, inflatable air spring bags under the vehicle in place of shocks and struts. The onboard air compressor is responsible for inflating and deflating these rubber bags.
Another type of air spring bag system that’s gaining traction in the market is a fusion of the shock/strut system with air bags. In this instance, an air spring bag is installed under the coilover spring, between it and the body of the strut.
In both instances, the bags are made from high performance rubber or another stretchy but strong material that can hold air. However, over time, the material tends to degrade. Pinhole leaks can form, which reduce the quality of your handling and performance.
Keep in mind:
- The actual type of air spring bag on your vehicle will depend on the type of suspension in question.
- Air spring bags can be visually inspected during maintenance, but it is also easy to see when a problem is severe enough to lower the ride height of the vehicle.
How it's done:
The air suspension air spring bag is verified that it needs to be replaced. The vehicle is lifted and supported on jack stands.
The defective air spring bag is disconnected from the valve and air line. It is then pulled off the locks and removed from the vehicle.
The new air spring bag is installed, secured and connected to the air line and valve.
The air spring bags are tested for operation by letting the system level out after starting the vehicle.
The vehicle is tested to ensure proper operation of the air suspension system.
Whether you have a traditional air spring suspension or an air spring bag/strut setup, the bag itself is crucial to performance. Any holes, no matter how small, will allow air to escape, reducing performance and forcing the compressor to work harder (on systems with an onboard compressor). We recommend regular suspension checks during routine maintenance services so any issues don't go undetected.
What common symptoms indicate you may need to replace the Air Spring Bag?
- Sagging suspension
- Lower than usual ride height
- Compressor seems to run more often
How important is this service?
If your air spring bags have been damaged or have degraded to the point they’ve begun to leak, it’s crucial to have the problem addressed immediately.