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Air Suspension, Air Bags and Compressors


What is air suspension?

Air suspension is a style of vehicle suspension that incorporates an electric compressor that pumps air into flexible bellows (air bags) to a pressure that allows your vehicle to behave like it has springs. There are two basic types of air suspension. The first, which is most popular, is an air bag kit that does not include shocks, struts or integrated coil-overs. The second is an coil-over system with air bags integrated onto the top of the struts/shocks.


How does air suspension work?

Air suspension relies on air bags that essentially work like balloons that create a suspended barrier between your frame and suspension components. The adjustability makes this type of suspension popular.


Is air suspension good for daily driving?

Yes. In fact, many late model vehicles incorporate air suspension systems from the factory, as it can greatly improve the ride of the vehicle and driver comfort.


How long do air suspension bags last?

While each manufacturer has different specs and claims based on usage, Accesspeed customers have run their air bags up to 12 years. Most of the replacements we have seen have occurred from 85,000-130,000 miles. Keep in mind, some people only use their bags when hauling or towing, while others use theirs 24/7 in daily drivers.  


Should I put air bags on my vehicle to increase payload and towing capacity?

NO! Adding air bags will NOT increase your payload or towing capacity. No aftermarket air suspension system on the market allows higher payloads or towing capacities. Your vehicle is rated at the factory, and specifications for payload, tow capacity and GCWR are set at a specific manufacturer-rated capacity.


Do airbags make it ride smoother?

This answer depends on your settings. Using airbags will allow you some degree of customization. For example, lower air pressure will be a softer, smoother ride.  Increasing air pressure will give you better road feel and steering input, but with a stiffer ride.