Your car's suspension systems are a crucial component in ensuring safe handling and passenger comfort. Modern classic car air suspension consists of an electric pump or compressor that pumps air into flexible rubber bellows that have been textile-reinforced.
The purpose of air suspension is to provide superior driving quality compared to traditional steel spring coil-based suspension systems. What's more, air suspension systems can be used to adjust ride height to best fit the terrain or aesthetical preferences.
Unfortunately, like all car parts, even carefully maintained air suspension systems will eventually malfunction or break down completely as a result of daily use. Read on to learn about the 4 most common air suspension issues and how to deal with them.
What causes air suspension to break?
Air suspensions can greatly enhance your classic car's overall ride quality, but when they begin to malfunction, they quickly become the main reason for sagging and decreased performance. Knowing how to identify these problems early is vital.
Air suspensions commonly fail for the following 4 reasons:
1. Damaged or broken air struts and airbags
The air struts and airbags in your air suspension system are used to adjust your ride height and keep it cushioned. They can become damaged or broken due to age (ie., regular wear and tear) or they can become rusty and corroded as a result of moisture in the air system reacting with the metal of the struts.
2. Compressor problems
The air compressor is the central component of any air suspension kit. Its job is to inflate the system and keep it inflated, but it can eventually wear down from age or overwork. If you notice your muscle car is sitting lower than it should, you should have your air compressor examined.
3. Faulty air dryer
The air compressor pulls air from the atmosphere and compresses it into the suspension system. This can result in moisture being taken in as well. For this reason, air suspension kits contain a special dryer that removes the water.
If this dryer breaks down, the moisture will react with the seals and other parts and cause them to deteriorate. To prevent this, you'll need to visually inspect your air suspension kit and look for visible damage such as rust or corrosion.
4. Air line problems
Air lines are what connects airbags and air struts to the rest of your air suspension kit. If these lines are improperly connected or damaged, the air from the compressor won't be able to fill the airbags. Improper installation and physical damage are the most common reasons for air line failure.
How long will air suspension last?
There's no universal lifetime expectancy for air suspension kits. While some components, such as air struts, can last for as many as 80-100,000 miles, their lifespan depends entirely on your personal driving habits.
For instance, if you're doing regular hauling and towing, you'll be putting a lot more pressure on your air suspension, which will in turn cause it to wear down faster. On the other hand, if all you do is enjoy an occasional joyride through the Modjeska Canyon, your air suspension will last a lot longer.
Where in Orange County can I install a top-quality classic car air suspension?
Improper installation and maintenance is one of the biggest reasons for not only air suspension kit failure, but for many other car parts as well. The good news is, you can avoid all those problems by having your vintage car looked after by the best classic car shop in Orange County.
At Chimera Motors, we boast in-depth knowledge, long-term experience, and state-of-the-art equipment necessary to provide you with the complete range of classic car restoration and repair services. Contact us today.