4x4 Suspension Airbags: Why You Need Them & Where To Buy Them
Author: PX Wholesales Date Posted: 26 October 2022
Installing a good-quality air bag lift kit is a great way to improve your overall driving experience, particularly if you enjoy off-roading. As auto enthusiasts ourselves, we know that you are always looking at ways to upgrade your 4x4, and so if you’ve been pondering adding airbags for suspension, we are going to tell you everything you need to know.
Once you’ve read this blog, you’ll be an airbag suspension kit expert and have all the knowledge to make an informed decision as to whether they are suitable for you.
The Basics: What Are Suspension Airbags?
First things first, suspension airbags are components that are added to the suspension systems of 4WDs and heavy vehicles to help the car balance its weight through compact construction.
The incorporation of suspension airbags acts as a cushion between the vehicle’s body and wheels to improve weight distribution and lessen levels of vibration. The airbags are made of polyurethane and rubber. These are very hard wearing, ensuring good reliability from your airbag suspension for your 4x4. They are then powered by an onboard electric pump. This is key to how airbag suspension works as air valves guide the air from the pump along different paths to inflate the suspension system as needed. The pressure the airbags create helps improve the vehicle’s suspension performance.
Why Are More 4x4 Drivers Choosing Suspension Airbags?
There are several benefits to using suspension airbags for off-roading and towing. In fact, many 4WD owners feel that suspension airbags are worth it for these reasons and more.
Improved Safety Through Better Handling
Safety first, as they say. One of the foremost benefits of installing an airbag suspension kit or system lies in its ability to improve vehicle safety. Airbag suspension eliminates sway and makes steering and braking easier for the driver, which enhances safety across the board. Similarly, airbag suspension handles very well, even on uneven surfaces.
Increased Flexibility in Ride Height
Another feature of airbag suspension that appeals to many 4WD owners is that it makes it easier to adjust the height of your vehicle as needed. For example, when you are off-roading, you may want your car to be higher for better clearance and protection. By inflating or deflating the airbags, you can do just that. But, although air suspension gives you greater freedom in terms of height adjustment, you’ll still need to ensure your tyres are appropriate when accommodating height changes.
Improved Stabilisation When Towing
4x4s are often used to tow heavy items, such as a caravan or loaded trailer. In some instances, these heavy loads can cause the vehicle to sag or squat, whereby the front of the vehicle lifts up and the back sits lower. ‘Bottoming out,’ as it is known, is problematic if you need to traverse rugged terrain or navigate busier roads. It also reduces engine efficiency because of the increased drag. The use of suspension airbags for towing can help manage the issue of squatting because the system allows you to inflate the rear of the vehicle separately, so that it can bear the increased weight more efficiently. This, in turn, helps stabilise the 4x4 and make for a smoother, safer drive.
Decreases Wear & Tear on the Rest of the Vehicle
On a similar note, if you plan on using your vehicle for lots of towing, you’ll find this can cause wear and tear to other parts of the car, especially if it’s squatting. This has severe implications for your 4WD, especially with regard to its driveshafts and u-joints. Drivers who continue using 4x4 vehicles without managing the sagging will find that the car’s components will wear out sooner than they’d expected. Moreover, many of these parts are expensive to replace, and, without them, you jeopardise the safety of the vehicle. Thankfully, investing in a quality air bag lift kit to help tackle the issue of squatting allows you to have peace of mind in terms of knowing your drive shafts and u-joints and aren’t wearing out as quickly.
Improves the Quality of Your Ride
A final key benefit of making any improvements to a 4x4 vehicle’s suspension, including the installation of suspension airbags, is that they ensure that everyone enjoys a more comfortable ride, even when you are navigating tricky off-road terrain. This is also an additional safety feature because when your vehicle is being jostled around, it is much more likely that you may end up having an accident.
For example, if you are driving a 4WD without a sound suspension system, you’ll struggle to maintain a decent grip on the steering wheel or gear stick. Furthermore, when you are being bounced about, it is easier for your foot to slip and have you miss the intended pedal. Travelling over uneven terrain makes it hard to maintain control over the vehicle, which is why upgrading the suspension is so important. Likewise, this type of ‘rollercoaster ride’ 4WD experience might sound like fun for your passengers at first, but, over time, it too can become hazardous, even on a more basic level. Anyone suffering from motion sickness or sore joints will find their problems exacerbated if they are riding in a vehicle with poor suspension. Moreover, it is also possible for minor injuries such as bruises or chipped teeth to occur in such circumstances.
Choosing the Right Suspension Airbag Set Up for You
Now that you know all about the benefits of installing a suspension airbag system on your 4WD, it’s time to consider whether it’s worth the investment for you personally. Once you start shopping around, you’ll see that airbag suspension costs vary, but generally, airbag suspension kits don’t come cheap, so it’s worth factoring in several things before parting with your hard-earned cash.
Will You Make Use of the Features Provided By Suspension Airbags?
While the benefits of upgrading your 4x4 vehicle’s suspension through the use of an airbag lift kit are undeniable, they aren’t necessary for everyone. For instance, if you generally use your 4WD for driving around town as opposed to towing or off-roading, then installing an air suspension system really won’t make a massive difference to your safety or driving experience. So, while installing suspension airbags won’t do your vehicle any harm, you won’t likely make full use of the features either.
On the other hand, if you primarily use your 4x4 for off-roading, navigating uneven terrain for towing heavy loads, then suspension airbags will do your vehicle a lot of good. It may also save you on maintenance costs in the future, so think of it as a long-term investment.
Have You Considered Installation Costs & Future Maintenance?
When making the decision if suspension airbags are right for you, you should also factor in the cost of installation. The system is relatively complex and requires specialist knowledge when it comes to installation, so be sure you speak to a professional mechanic to avoid any nasty surprises. Moreover, you should also factor in the financial costs and the effort required in terms of maintenance once the new suspension airbag system has been installed. Depending on how well you drive and the type of terrain you traverse, the airbag suspension system may not last as long as a traditional coil and spring set-up, which has fewer parts and is made from durable steel, so it may sustain damage more easily.
On a similar note, when you have a basic suspension system, you may not find that a little knock will drastically impact your driving experience. You certainly won’t need to rush the vehicle to the mechanic straight away or risk finding yourself stranded in the outback. However, airbag suspension systems are harder to fix because they rely on valves and pumps to operate. A leak or faulty compressor could leave you driving without an effective suspension system at all, which is problematic if you are driving off-road and need to return to civilisation. Naturally though, there are ways to limit the possibility of such problems occuring by ensuring the system is installed correctly by a licensed mechanic and by always driving as safely as possible.
Shop 4x4 Suspension Airbags Online Today
Having done the research, it’s evident that 4x4 airbag suspension systems provide several benefits for off-road vehicles and have the potential to improve ride quality as well as 4WD longevity. With that being said, suspension airbags require a significant financial investment, so installing them isn’t a decision you’d want to take lightly.
If, however, they sound like just the thing your 4x4 needs, and you find yourself searching for deals on 4x4 suspension airbags online, look no further than PX Wholesales. We have an extensive range of suspension kits, both air and spring, to help you get more out of your 4x4 on your next off-road adventure. As Australia’s top destination for quality 4x4 airbag lift kits and suspension equipment, you can rest assured you’ll find the best brands, including AirbagMan, when you shop online with us. What’s more, as a 100% Australian-owned and operated company, we are perfectly positioned to understand the needs of 4x4 drivers in Australia. So, what are you waiting for? Find the best airbag suspension in Australia at PX Wholesales today!