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What differentiates Air suspension from normal suspension?

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September 2, 2022
What differentiates Air suspension from normal suspension?

Nowadays, modern life is unimaginable without an air suspension in your vehicle. For many drivers owning a car means comfortable rides. While choosing a car, we try to take into consideration many details. Of course, the first thing which we check is the look, but another most important thing is suspension, the part of a car that determines its performance. Hence due to the importance of the part, many discuss which type can be the best and most reliable.  

Below we will differentiate air suspension from others. We’ll explore how the pneumatic system works, its pros and cons, why the system might be the most comfortable one, what are other suspension systems and how they work. And at last but not least, we will explore an amazing tool that every Mercedes car-owner should have, for changing an automobile level. 

Exploring the air suspension and other suspension systems

Before going into details of the air suspension system, let me explain in simple words, what the suspension means. In simple words, the suspension is the system that connects an automobile to its wheels. It includes tires, tire air, springs, shock absorbers, and linkages. An automobile might have differently designed suspensions for rear and front parts. 

Three types of the suspension system

People started using the first suspension system for carriages, centuries ago. After centuries of development, we’ve received three types of suspension systems: Hydro-gas; Hydrolastic; and air matic suspension. Each of them has its own specification and differs from each other. Let’s shortly review each of them. 

  1. Hydrolastic Suspension – The main characteristic is that the liquid under high-pressure functions as a damping medium. Shifting rubber works as a spring. Two valves at right angles to one another determine the liquid’s movement. As soon as liquids’ pressure increases, The upper valve opens. And the lower valve opening the same way, allows the liquid to flow downwards. 
  2. Hydrogas Suspension – It has two main parts: a damper unit and an internal spring, located at each wheel. The feature was created for amending the previous hydrolastic system. 
  3. Airmatic Suspension – The air ride suspension works with the following sequence. Firstly, incoming air passes through the filter, where the system filters dust. After this, the air passes into the compressor. Here, the air pressure increases up to about 250 MPa from the atmospheric pressure and is sustained in the accumulator tank. The accumulator tank opens when the air pressure increases above 250 MPa. 
Air suspension and other options

The characteristic of the air suspension 

In order to understand why the pneumatic suspension system is considered the most reliable one, we should dive a bit deeper into a suspension system. As you already know, Spring is one of the components of a suspension system that plays a big role. Without springs, automobiles can’t maintain the height on the ground and adapt to various road conditions. 

Air spring vs Coil spring and Leaf spring

Springs, likewise, to suspension systems are three different types. Reviewing all the spring types, helps us to understand the main differences.

  • Leaf springs – Leaf springs were invented in the 18th century in France. It includes multiple layers of metal, called leaves, bent into an arc. The arc and friction from the leaves rubbing against each other allow the automobile to hold the weight of the vehicle. Leaf springs were the most popular for rear-wheel drive vehicles, but after appearing the front wheel automobiles, it lost popularity. 
  • Coil springs – After releasing the front wheel automobiles in the industry, coil springs replaced the leaf springs. Coil springs are wrapped around an axis. This design allows the spring to compress and expand, helping the wheel absorb motion. 
  • Air springs – The most sophisticated air suspension includes tough rubber and plastic bags that can be inflated and deflated for adjusting an automobile’s level. These bags use electronic controls, as well as air sensors and compressors, to adapt suspension upon the road surface. 

All in all, the airmatic suspension system’s main character, which distinguishes it from others is that it uses air and shock absorber as a working fluid. The system isolates the vehicle’s body from the vibration derived from the road inconsistency. Hence, while driving a car, you can enjoy comfortable rides no matter the road surface, or load. Modern cars are equipped with factory electronically controlled air or hydraulic suspension systems, which allows you to change suspension level depending on your needs. Besides, the outstanding specification of the system is its longevity. You won’t have to change the front air springs at least for 10-15 years, and the rears last much longer.

Changing the suspension level

While talking about the airlift suspension we should mention the must-have tool for any Mercedes car-owner. The tool is designed specifically for the Mercedes airmatic system and works via OBD II diagnostic port. By using the tool, you can set your vehicle at the desired level in seconds! 

For using the tool, you don’t have to cut wires. No experience or knowledge of a vehicle is necessary. You should simply plug in the module at diagnosis and that’s it! You are ready to choose desired height from three modes, Low, Custom, and Factory. 

  • Low – The Low option gives you the possibility to lower your car with -32mm in the front and rear parts.
  • Custom – By selecting this feature you can select preferable height upon your wish for the front and rear parts separately (Min -70mm; Max +40mm;)
  • Factory – By choosing the mode, car level goes back to factory settings;

Remember, you can set an automobile level at the factory height at any time. So, if you change your mind, you can always adjust the air suspension upon your wish. 

Adjusting suspension level

Reasons to use the Mercedes lowering module

Another thing that I admire in the Mercedes lowering tool is that you can lower and increase an automobile level in one tool. Let me describe shortly the benefits that you can get from the device.

  • Increasing vehicle level – If you love spending vacations or holidays outside the city, in mountainous areas, and don’t have an SUV, the tool helps you! You can increase the suspension level by using the tool in seconds. 
  • Changing the look – Everyone agrees that lowered suspension cars are more attractive and attention-grabber; 
  • Faster acceleration and quicker stops – There are stiffer springs in lowered suspension vehicle, which means less weight transfer, hence when you hit the gas or brake, you get a faster response;
  • Less rollover risk – It’s a well-known fact that lowered air matic suspension decreases the center of gravity and we get less rollover risk while cornering.
  • Useful for a person with a disability – Lowered car makes it much comfortable to enter and exit;
  • Improved responsiveness – In a lowered suspension car it’s much easier to feel how the vehicle acts on a different surface of roads. Being closer to the ground increases responsiveness;
  • Less lean in corners – A lower center of gravity decreases the weight of the shift, which determines reduced lean of a vehicle;
  • Space issue – If you have a roof rack on the car and garage with a low ceiling, you certainly need the tool;

Takeaway

To summarize, we’ve learned how the air ride suspension works, what distinguishes it from others. The list of advantages of the system is too long, but the outstanding specifications are following:

  • You can enjoy a comfortable ride no matter the road surface, bumps, and load;
  • Longevity. Usually, the front air springs last at least for 10-15 years, and the rears much longer;
  • You can adjust an automobile level by using the tool at the airmatic system; 

Besides, we’ve learned how to adjust an automobile level in seconds, the benefits we get by using the Mercedes lowering module. I’m sure you will test it on your “best buddy” and share feedback with us. Good luck!

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