Air suspension specialist, Arnott has this week shared a a guide for technicians detailing the components of air suspension and how they work.
Air suspension is a different suspension system compared to traditional coiled steel springs.
Heavy-duty rubber air springs provide luxury vehicles with auto-leveling, added safety, and a smoother, more consistent ride.
The main components of an air suspension system are ride height sensors, an electronic control unit (ECU), air suspension compressor and air struts.
A ride height sensor monitors the ride height and sends a signal to vehicle computer to activate compressor.
It measures the varying distances between the road and the vehicle’s chassis to provide input to a vehicle’s ECU which then sends a signal to the air suspension compressor to fill or release air for the vehicle’s air struts.
Air suspension compressors
Air suspension compressors are electric air pumps that feed compressed air into a reservoir or directly into flexible air bellows found on air springs, struts, and air assisted shocks.
Arnott’s compressors are a 100 per cent direct replacement, is a plug and play installation and is equipped with thermal overload protection to prevent overheating.
Air suspension solenoid valve blocks
Air suspension solenoid valve blocks are responsible for distributing air from the compressor to the air struts and/or air springs.
An air spring is a rubber bladder filled with air, which function is equivalent to a coil spring.
Air springs use the compressive abilities of air and rubber to absorb vibrations and raise or lower the vehicle.
Arnott air springs are designed with a piston, top and bottom mounts, and rugged rubber sleeves which provide structural integrity, air-tight construction, toughness against light abrasion from road debris, and resistance to salt and chemical corrosion.
Air springs provide near-instant tuning and the ability to adapt handling to different situations and various loads.
High quality components are of key importance to ensure the safety of the driver/passengers, after all there generally is 7-15 bar pressure in the air springs.
That’s why Arnott does not just copy an OE product by using cheap, low quality materials but tries to improve the design and only uses the highest quality components.
Arnott is an engineering company that tests the OE product thoroughly in a state of the art testing facility, evaluating the weak spots and complications during installation and improving the design and the applied materials.
This is being done in a close cooperation with multiple OE Tier 1 manufacturers.
Air struts combine a shock with an air spring to provide structural support for the car’s suspension.
Shock absorbers are necessary to slow down or dampen a spring’s motions, but they do not carry weight.
A failing OE air spring will cause the shock to do extra work and wear out. Active, electric, and adaptive shocks are more complex but essentially do the same function as a passive variable rate dampers – which is controlling the rate that a shock’s oil passes through internal valves.
Arnott offers two options: new or remanufactured air struts.
Arnott’s new air struts are designed by engineers applying decades of experience to design all-new struts built with new passive variable rate dampers – tuned to provide an OE like ride.
They also include all new, tighter, top and bottom mounts, rugged name brand air sleeves and other tier one components.
Arnott’s remanufactured air struts reuse the original shock, top and bottom mounts, and any additional integral components helpful in maintaining full factory damping functionality.
Besides replacing the air sleeve, many of Arnott’s remanufactured struts are also recharged with new high performance shock oil and worn internal components are replaced.
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