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Classic Car Air Suspension Maintenance 101

Air suspension systems can dramatically improve the driving dynamics and aesthetics of classic cars. However, they also require regular maintenance to ensure optimal performance and longevity. This blog explores the maintenance aspects of air suspension systems in classic cars, including their upkeep demands, service intervals, and expected lifespan.

Maintaining a classic car air suspension in Orange County might seem daunting due to the complexity and sensitivity of the components involved. However, with regular maintenance, responsive servicing, and a bit of preventive care, your air suspension will provide a comfortable, reliable ride for years to come

Is air suspension high maintenance

Is air suspension high maintenance?

Air suspension systems are often perceived as high maintenance and this perception is partly true due to the complexity and components involved. Air suspension systems comprise various parts such as air bags, compressors, air lines, and electronic sensors, which all require regular checks and maintenance.

Regular inspections are crucial

To prevent unexpected failures, regular inspections are vital. These inspections can identify leaks, worn parts, or electronic issues before they become severe. The environment plays a significant role in the wear and tear of an air suspension system. For instance, cars in colder climates may experience more rapid aging of rubber components due to freezing temperatures.

Component specific maintenance

Each component of the air suspension system demands specific attention. For example, air compressors should be checked for proper operation and air bags inspected for leaks and brittleness. Ensuring clean and dry air in the system with a well-maintained air dryer and proper air filters can significantly reduce potential issues.

How often should you service air suspension?

While the frequency of servicing an air suspension system in a classic car varies based on the model, usage, and driving conditions, a few general guidelines can help ensure consistent performance.

Regular service intervals

It is advisable to have the air suspension system checked at least once a year. During these checks, a professional can examine the integrity of air bags, ensure that fittings are tight and without leaks, and verify that the compressor and its electronics function correctly.

After exposure to harsh conditions

If the vehicle has been driven in harsh conditions, such as on salted roads during winter, additional inspections are recommended. These conditions can accelerate wear and potentially cause premature failure of the components.

Responsive maintenance

Aside from regular intervals, servicing should also be done if there are signs of suspension issues, such as the vehicle sagging, noticeable decreases in ride quality, or the air compressor running excessively.

What is the life expectancy of air suspension?

The life expectancy of air suspension components varies widely, but proper maintenance can extend the lifespan significantly.

Air bags

Typically, air bags have a life expectancy of 5 to 10 years, although this can be longer with meticulous care and less frequent use. The material of the air bags can degrade over time due to environmental exposure and the stress of constant inflation and deflation.

Compressor & other components

The air compressor, which is the heart of the system, generally lasts about 10 years. Regular servicing and ensuring it operates within its capacity can extend its life. Solenoids, valves, and electronic controls are also critical to the system's longevity and should be included in regular maintenance checks.

Preventative replacements

Sometimes, replacing parts before they fail can save costs and prevent damage to other components. For example, replacing air bags before they show significant wear can prevent a failure that could lead to further damage to the suspension system or the vehicle.

How often should you service air suspension

Who should I turn to when I need a classic car air suspension in Orange County, CA & the area?

Whether you’re looking for a full guide on air suspension in vintage cars, want to learn about the benefits it brings, or how you can harm your ride if you’re not careful, Chimera Motors is your one-stop auto shop for classic cars. With skilled technicians, an eye for detail, and a willingness to deliver custom-tailored solutions, we have what it takes to help you raise the bar and enjoy a smooth, reliable, and comfortable driving experience. Enjoy the sun and the sand at Crystal Cove State Park while we pick up the wrench and give your precious ride a complete makeover. Come up to our shop today!


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