Garwin Beukes - The term “Air suspension” or “Air bags suspension” is something that is becoming seemingly more popular in Namibia.
What exactly is it though? Well, one thing's for certain - it isn't new. For years they've been using the system in trucks and about a decade ago they started using it on performance and luxury vehicles. Land Rover being a prime example.
So down to the nitty gritty, your normal suspension as covered in previous topics is normally a steel coil spring that goes over your shock. With air suspension, the coil is replaced with an air spring. Basically an enclosed rubber membrane that is comfortable with movement. Either with a flick of a switch or via buttons (you choose) the air spring deflates or inflates. This means you can instantly adjust the height of your vehicle.
Why would you want this installed?
Well, for most of us it would be to get your vehicle as low as possible and still maintain good drivability. The air suspension system allows you to enhance your ride quality as well (remarkable, I know!). You however can lift it high enough as well to clear obstacles on the dreadful Namibian road.
For motor-sport enthusiasts trough camber adjustment you can have a track-ready set up with a more rigid suspension to nail curves.
With the huge market pop in South Africa a few negatives have come with this product:
The cheap way!
Certain aftermarket air suspension kits on sale right now, are however not very well engineered and may cause a risk to the driver especially if it isn't fitted by an industry standard professional.
In Namibia one of the very few people that orders and installs the Air Suspension product is Ricky's Custom Car Shop. You can catch them on their Facebook page.