Do Airbags Affect Ride Quality?

If you’ve ever wondered how airbags affect ride quality, then keep reading — because we’ve got the answer for you.

Let’s get into what we have for you, do airbags affect ride quality?

Do Airbags Affect Ride Quality?

The addition of a helper air spring, airbag, or air suspension spring to the system can make a ‘day and night’ difference in your towing experience, alleviating the aforementioned towing ails by adding additional support on demand. The result is better overall control of the vehicle and a safer, smoother ride.

Do Airbags Improve Ride Quality?

Airbag suspensions are used to achieve smooth ride quality by replacing the conventional steel-spring suspension in heavier vehicle applications like trucks, tractor-trailers, passenger buses, and even passenger trains.

Air suspension systems offer smoother ride quality than conventional mechanical spring suspension systems because the air bag system is designed to absorb shock from the road (passenger comfort).

Shock absorbers dampen bouncing movements of the vehicle body caused by road irregularities such as bumps, potholes, chuckholes, etc.

Truck air bag suspensions are also a popular choice for assisting in off-road situations where leaf springs can easily be damaged. This type of suspension allows heavy loads to be carried while keeping the vehicle level and maintaining better traction and handling characteristics.

This is especially important when hauling a trailer behind a vehicle and ensures that a large load does not cause the trailer to sway at high speeds or when braking and cornering.

This type of suspension can also be used to lift the body of the truck while driving off-road by increasing air pressure in the air bags. Air releases out of the air bags to lower the vehicle when an air line is opened.

Are Airbags Worth It?

We’ve all seen the ads on TV where a crash test dummy is hurled into an air bag and then seems to saunter out of the car feeling fine. But are airbags really that effective at saving lives?

Crash safety, as measured by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), is based on a five-star rating system. The higher a car scores on the five-star scale, the safer it is considered to be in a collision. A five-star rating means something along the lines of “If you hit something at 50 miles per hour and lived to tell about it, it was probably this car.”

Air bags are not mandated by law. However, they are so effective at saving lives that many states require them in new cars. For example, Texas law requires all new passenger vehicles sold in the state to have both driver’s side and passenger side air bags as standard equipment. Other states have similar laws.

Air bags don’t just save lives — they also prevent injuries. According to NHTSA research, you are 70 percent less likely to suffer serious head injuries if your vehicle has air bags than if it doesn’t. They just work better when you use your seat belt too.

Do Airbags Soften Ride?

You can’t “tune” an airbag suspension with a shock pump, as the bags are just there to handle overloads. The bag will engage first before any other suspension component does, so it becomes irrelevant how much air is in the bag.

Airbags will allow you some degree of customization. Less air would be a softer ride, more air would be a stiffer ride (at least until the bag engages fully). But no matter how much air is in the bags they would engage first, before the stock suspension could fully compress.

Do Air Bags Ride Better Than Springs?

One of the debates that has raged since air suspension came along is which rides better, air or coil springs. The answer is neither. The correct answer is which one rides better for you.

The truth is, air bags and coil springs ride about the same most of the time. I’ve ridden in a lot of trucks with both setups and can’t tell much difference either way when I’m tooling along at 55 mph on a smooth highway.

Where they differ is in how they react to severe changes in load and road surface. Coil springs are great as long as they’re not overloaded, but once they’re compressed past their design limit, they can bottom out or jack up and down like an old-timey sports car — which isn’t fun.

If a coil spring truck hits a dip in the road while carrying a heavy load, it’s going to bottom out unless the owner has manually cranked up the torsion bars to compensate ahead of time.

Air bags are designed to be constantly adjusting to road conditions and loads. So if one corner of a truck with air bags hits a bump or dip in the road, the air bag in that corner will adjust to absorb it without affecting the other corners — unlike coil springs, where all four corners are affected.

How Much Air Should I Keep In My Airbags?

The amount of air pressure you should carry in your air bags is dependent on the load you are hauling. 5 lbs. of air pressure is always recommended, as this will not affect your ride but will ensure that your air bags last.

The most effective and efficient way to maintain a minimum of 5 lbs. is by installing an Air Compressor Kit. The air compressor kit monitors and maintains the minimum air bag pressure needed to prevent any damage. There are many styles to choose from; all are very easy to install and come with a variety of features to fit your needs.

We would also recommend an onboard system if you plan on adding a lot of weight to your truck, as an onboard system will allow you to adjust the air pressure in your air bags according to the load you are hauling.

Do Helper Springs Affect Quality?

Helper springs are also known as “home-made” springs, because you can fabricate your own from a leaf spring. Though they look intimidating, they’re actually a simple process that takes less than an hour to complete.

A helper spring is a basic piece of equipment that increases the control of your vehicle, making it easier to drive and increasing safety and driver confidence. While helper springs are not designed to be used as a vehicle lift, they do not affect the unloaded ride height.

If you have rear-wheel drive vehicles that lack traction under acceleration, you’ll benefit from installing helper springs. The result will be better handling and more control of the vehicle: you’ll be able to apply more pressure on the accelerator at low speeds, allowing you to accelerate smoothly when traveling at highway speeds.

There are several types of helper springs: coil springs and hydraulic cylinders. They all work by applying force at one end of the spring (the body) in order for the other end (the leaf) to move in concert with it. Many manufacturers offer helper springs specifically designed for their vehicles.

Do Airbags Affect Ride Quality – Conclusion

As a recap of the response we gave to the question, Do Airbags Affect Ride Quality?

The addition of a helper air spring, airbag, or air suspension spring to the system can make a ‘day and night’ difference in your towing experience, alleviating the aforementioned towing ails by adding additional support on demand. The result is better overall control of the vehicle and a safer, smoother ride.

Thanks for reading.

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