Do School Buses Have Air Suspension?

Air suspension seats? It’s not worth debating the fact that every vehicle needs to be equipped with it. It comes with its own several advantages, and if you’re curious to know if school buses contain air suspension, we’ll quench your curiosity by giving an answer to the question, Do School Buses Have Air Suspension?

Do School Buses Have Air Suspension?

The answer to this question is YES. The main purpose of air suspension is to provide a constant, smooth ride quality, but in some cases is used for sports suspension.

What Is An Air Suspension?

According to Wikipedia:

“Air suspension is a type of vehicle suspension powered by an electric or engine-driven air pump or compressor. This compressor pumps the air into a flexible bellows, usually made from textile-reinforced rubber.

Unlike hydropneumatic suspension, which offers many similar features, air suspension does not use pressurized liquid, but pressurized air. The air pressure inflates the bellows, and raises the chassis from the axle.”

Advantages & Disadvantages Of Air Suspension

What an air spring system does is, it provides a cushion between the vehicle wheel and body in order to cause a reduction in the vibration encountered during travel. Moving on, we’ll disclose a little about an air spring system, before we delve into the advantages & disadvantages of air suspension.


Air Spring System

You know the traditional spring suspension, right? This air spring system stands as its replacement, replacing coil springs — steel coil springs precisely — right above the wheels of the vehicle with airbags, manufactured with polyurethane and rubber. There’s an air compressor or electric pump onboard, and these airbags can achieve inflation with either of them — to a particular pressure in order to act in a way that’s similar to the traditional springs. Something called “air valves” controls the direction of air. More, the air valves allow the air to flow into several areas of the system to inflate.

Air Suspension Advantages:

1. Comfort

Comfort is undoubtedly one of the major benefits of air suspension cars — improved comfort. Having improved comfort behind the wheel gives an enjoyable driving experience. If you’re going through, or you usually go through poor quality roads, the adjustable air suspension makes a “more comfortable ride” possible for you. In addition, when offroading, it can go a long way to improve control. Using airbags right above your wheel, instead of springs, also has its way of improving the journey’s quality for passengers.

2. Reduced Noise & Vibration

Another thing we can tag as an advantage of air suspension is less tear and wear on the vehicle components and suspension system, as a result of reduced vibration and harshness, mostly experienced with heavy-duty driving. Still speaking of air suspension, it compensates for uneven surfaces, potholes, and speed bumps in the road, allowing your vehicle to easily glide over the surface of the road.

3. Versatility On The Road

An air spring system gives the driver the ability to adjust the vehicle to meet their satisfaction, personal preferences, for ride comfort and handling. When the driver has a softer feel for demanding roads or a harder driver for motorway driving as options to pick from, the driver comfortably maintains control regardless of the terrain.


With air suspension, you can achieve greater levels of control and higher cornering speeds when turning corners, as it makes the vehicle best suit the several conditions the road holds. There’s a type of adjustable suspension that has the potential of lowering the vehicle down to the group level; what does this mean? This means that at higher speeds, the drag can reduce.

4. Versatility On Road

The air suspension’s versatility when on the road takes its place as one of the various advantages of air suspension. According to the load, the vehicle’s height can be adjusted — the “raise” or “kneel” functions making the act of loading an easy endeavor from the outset.

Giving consistency across all four wheels is the purpose of air suspension. Whenever you’re turning corners, there’s only a little risk of body roll. There’s less risk of breakages and less load damage and shifting, which can be caused as a result of reduced vibration through the air suspension. In addition, better control because of increased firmness provides, for larger vehicles, improved towing capabilities.

5. Fuel Economy

Since vehicles that come with air suspension can be adjusted to suit road types, they immensely benefit from better fuel economy. Let’s look at this for example, a lower-ride height for motorway driving means reduced wind resistance and better aerodynamics. A suspension that suits better to a certain road surface with efficient control can lead to time-saving on routes with numerous turns and achieve higher corner speeds.

Air Suspension Disadvantages:

1. Cost

The cost involved in having an air suspension in your possession is a disadvantage. Do you want to know why? Well, it’s simply because the price of an air suspension is quite higher than a traditional spring suspension system. It’s only those luxury cars that tend to come with a built-in air spring system as their standard. However, the installation’s cost could be offset by the resale price which generally is much higher than cars with a steel spring suspension.

2. Maintenance

Another disadvantage of air suspension is the cost attached to the maintenance. Considering just the short-term, the air suspension cars assure reliability — but on the road where it may be necessary for constant repair, they tend to see distant time and travel. You shouldn’t make “not repairing your suspension” an option, because it’s never an option.

In case you don’t know, if you have the suspension of your car broken, it’d affect your car in such a way that it’d make it (your car) tilt to one side, as you drive. As for people asking, “can you replace the air spring system with a cheaper, traditional steel spring?” Well, the answer to that question is a YES — but there’s an exception: you’d lose the various advantages [benefits] of air suspension cars.

3. Mechanical Issues

Air suspension systems also encounter mechanical issues: they’re not susceptible to them. Your suspension is likely to suffer malfunction — malfunction from rust or moisture damage right from the inside, or an air fitting failure of the air tubing, connecting to the air system.

Is Air Suspension Worth The Money?

While one of the disadvantages of air suspension is a higher maintenance and installation cost, the benefits of air suspension cars have their way of speaking for themselves. An air spring system is known as a reliable feature that provides quality and comfort when driving, the ability to tackle any terrain, the ability to carry a variety of load weights, and the potential for better fuel economy.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why Is School Bus Suspension So Bad?

Cause the air suspension is the reason why the bus bounced or a bumpy. The student seats are closer to the suspension because the seats are not air pressure. Only the bus driver seats are air pressure because we are on the bus longer than the kids.

Can You Drive With Broken Air Suspension?

No, it’s just not recommended to do such. A collapsed or damaged spring can lead to sagging and noise and affect alignment angles. While you can still drive, the ride will be rough and the car will be difficult to control in an emergency.

Is Air Suspension Worth The Money?

An air suspension may really cost you (as regards money and time) but the better ride, better fuel economy, and better handling will likely more than make up for it. It’s quite essential to note that air shocks are not the best choice for towing and payload leveling in serious situations.

Why Do Buses Shake So Much?

It’s caused by turbulent air. The air pressure in front of the car is higher as it travels through it and the sides and back of the car have lower air pressure. The lower air pressure will ‘suck’ objects towards the low-pressure area, forcing the bus to move in that direction.

Does Air Suspension Make Noise?

There’s an ample number of noticeable symptoms of a potential problem with the compressor — one of which is abnormal noises during operation. If you, at any time, hear any sort of abnormal sound, such as excessive loud clicking, whining, or grinding, then that may be a sign of a problem with the compressor’s motor or fan.

How Hard Is It To Install Air Suspension?

Setting up a performance-oriented vehicle with an air suspension system is surprisingly straightforward. To install the shocks themselves, you follow the same procedure as you would for a standard shock/strut replacement. This is because air ride shocks are designed to bolt right in place of the factory equipment.

Do School Buses Have Air Suspension – Conclusion

As a recap of the response we gave to the question — Do School Buses Have Air Suspension? — we stated that:

The answer to this question is YES. The main purpose of air suspension is to provide a constant, smooth ride quality, but in some cases is used for sports suspension.

Thanks for reading.

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