Car Air Suspension System

Best Car Air Suspension System Garage Thanh Phong Auto Hcm 2024
Latest update date: February 13, 12

1. Traditional suspension system 

Before learning more about the air suspension system, we will briefly learn about the traditional suspension system. The suspension system's task is quite simple, it will link the wheels and braking system to the vehicle frame. Absorbs and extinguishes vibrations and impacts on the road surface.  

Receives force from the wheels to transmit to the vehicle frame, causing the vehicle to move forward and keeping the vehicle stationary during braking. 

THowever, this system still does not meet the requirements for shock absorption and smoothness for the vehicle. Therefore, designers have applied material technology and mechanical and electronic engineering to create a more improved suspension system, which is air suspension system. 

Air suspension system Electronic Air Suspension - EAS is a smart suspension system, allowing the driver to adjust the elasticity of the shock absorbers to suit each vehicle's operating mode. This is the most advanced air suspension system today, mainly used on high-end vehicles. 

Figure 1: Air Suspension System on Toyota
Figure 1: Air Suspension System on Toyota 

2. Structure of the air suspension system

Locationí of air compressor is different, depending on each different vehicle type. Usually it will be found under the spare tire, in the trunk or on the front frame of the vehicle. 

Figure 2: Arrangement of Air Compressor in Front Frame
Figure 2: Arrangement of Air Compressor in Front Frame 
  • The air compressor includes an electric motor to run the compressor. This motor is powered through a relay, the relay is controlled by the ECU (Electric Control Module) box. 
Figure 3: Air Compressor Control
Figure 3: Air Compressor Control 
  • After being compressed, the air will be sent to the storage tank. This tank is usually located behind the front wheel or underneath the spare tire in the trunk. 
  • The second most important part is the pneumatic divider valve. Usually attached to the compressor, used to direct the flow of compressed air in the system.  

The distributor uses pneumatic pipes (usually plastic) to connect system components such as compressors, storage tanks and pneumatic shock absorbers.  

Figure 4: Plastic Air Pipes
Figure 4: Plastic Air Pipes 
  • Air shock absorbers: The air suspension system's air shock absorbers are the same as the traditional ones, but the iron springs will be replaced by “air springs”. 
Figure 5: Pneumatic Damper
Figure 5: Pneumatic Damper 

 “Pneumatic spring” is essentially a rubber bulb, this bulb is made of many different layers to form a durable structure. 

There are 2 types: Bellow and piston 

  • The bellow type looks like a tire, it can have 1 layer or 2,3 or XNUMX layers stacked on top of each other.  
Figure 6: Bellow is also divided into 3 types
Figure 6: Bellow is also divided into 3 types 

The distributor will direct compressed air from the storage tank to the compressed air springs. Compressed air may be released to lower the chassis. Or pump more air in to raise the car's chassis. This adjustment can be made via buttons or on a screen located in the vehicle. Or automatically adjusted by the ECU box depending on road surface conditions.  

Figure 7: Chassis Lift Switch on Lexus Gx470 2004
Figure 7: Chassis Lift Switch on Lexus Gx470 2004 

Piston type:  

This type is similar to a bellow, but instead of using a rubber tube with folds, it will be in the form of a piston. 

Figure 8: Piston Type Pneumatic Spring
Figure 8: Piston Type Pneumatic Spring 

This suspension system also includes height sensors mounted on each shock absorber. It will send signals about the change in height at each wheel to the ECU. Based on that, the compressor will pump an appropriate amount of air into the cylinder. 

Figure 9: Ground Height Sensor
Figure 9: Ground Height Sensor 

3. Working principle

Figure 10: Principle Diagram
Figure 10: Principle Diagram 

Electronic air suspension systems operate based on the elasticity of air when compressed. Pneumatic shock absorbers have the ability to absorb small vibrations, easily adjusting the height of the vehicle's ground clearance. 

When traveling on uneven roads, different loads on each wheel will change the vehicle's height. At this time, the sensors will transmit signals to the ECU. This electronic controller will automatically fill or exhaust air in the cylinders to adjust and control the stable height of the wheel.  

Accordingly, the vehicle's height will increase when compressed air is pumped into the cylinder and vice versa, when compressed air is pumped into the cylinder compression is released, the vehicle's height will decrease. 

The smoothness and stability of the car depends on the elasticity of the amount of compressed air pumped into the cylinder. When compressed air has good elasticity, the damping effect will be optimal, helping the vehicle move smoothly and stably. 

This suspension system is often used on high-end cars. With this system, the vehicle will have better off-road capabilities with greater ground clearance. And save more fuel when lowering the chassis when traveling on the highway. 

4. Advantages and disadvantages of traditional suspension and air suspension 


Traditional suspension system 

Air suspension system 


The system provides good performance but only takes up a small amount of space 

Smoother driving and more advanced functions 

Car is sturdy 

Adjustability: Just press the button to adjust the suspension system as desired. 

More sensitive to vibrations and impacts transmitted by the road surface 

Load-bearing capacity: Some systems also have components to increase the vehicle's load-bearing capacity.  

Wide operating range: Can withstand many different load levels 

Reduced maintenance costs: The system will reduce the impact force on other parts, helping to extend their lifespan. 

Maintenance costs: Vehicles have fewer parts, are easier to maintain, and reduce costs. 



The problem of leakage also needs attention, which is costly. 

This system has components that require maintenance from time to time. Some parts are also located under the car, making it more susceptible to damage 

Maintenance costs: Although wear and tear is not large, it is still necessary to plan for system maintenance at least once a year. 

Error in the system: Even a small leak can cause the system to not function normally. 

The smoothness is not as good as air suspension 

Additionally, if the steam line leaks, it can lead to damage to other components. Worse than having to replace the entire system. 


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