Riding comfortably in any vehicle is always a matter of good suspension and proper vehicle balance. In most cases, the best air suspension kit can come to improve these parameters and to create a distinct feeling of comfort. It allows all car owners and passengers to have their own standard of comfort and with added adjustability, it allows this standard to be changed according to the state of the roads or on the vehicle’s load.
- Air Lift vs Firestone suspension kits – which is the best?
- Air Lift and its air suspension kits
- Firestone and its air suspension kits
- Top 10 Best Air Suspension Kits 2020
- 1. Air Lift 88204 LoadLifter 5000 Ultimate Air Spring Kit
- 2. DEDC Pair R350 Air Springs Air Suspension Bags
- 3. Firestone 2535 Ride Rite Air Helper Spring
- 4. Air Lift 60818 1000 Series Rear Air Spring Kit
- 5. Firestone W21-760-2430 Ride Rite Air Spring System
- 6. Air Lift Nylon Air Line Up 57396
- 7. Vixen Air 1/2″ NPT Single Air Port Suspension Bag
- 8. Air Lift 88275 5,000lbs LoadLifter
- 9. Parts Galaxy Air Suspension Bag
- 10. DEDC Mercedes GL/ML Air Suspensions Shocks
- Guide to Buying the Best Air Suspension Kits
- Final considerations
Air Lift vs Firestone suspension kits – which is the best?
Both Air Lift and Firestone are leading brands in the air suspension kit market. They have established customers and products but many people are unsure about which brand is the best. Both have their own strengths and weaknesses.
Air Lift and its air suspension kits
The brand already has an inspiring manufacturing tradition. Many drivers might associate the brand with quality air compressors, but they now offer air suspension kits as well. Since the brand can offer all that’s needed to install air suspension on the most vehicle, it can be one of the names to look out for when installing or upgrading an air suspension kit.
Firestone and its air suspension kits
Firestone has the great advantage of producing tires for an entire century. This means the company knows how to work with rubber. As a result, they offer some of the most durable air suspension kits of the moment. Some of their designs are now associated with heavy loads which are typical to commercial vehicles. The following air suspension kits are made by these two brands as well as by some other surprising names.
Top 10 Best Air Suspension Kits 2020
With a 5.000lbs weight capacity, the heavy duty air springs are most popular for their benefits on ride safety. But there are a number of other reasons to consider the kit. One of these reasons is given by the materials themselves. Made with premium rubber, the air suspension kit is among the truly durable designs of its class.
Unlike some other products, the air suspension kit comes with an internal jounce bumper. It has benefits in the area of stability and durability. Reducing bottoming out, this simple addition replaces those standard factory internal jounce bumpers.
Apart from a great design, the kit also enjoys, arguably, one of the best customer service teams of the moment. Air Lift does a great job at dealing with any customer inquiries and they offer prompt communication, something which can’t be said about most other brands.
For the price, an air suspension kit is a tempting option, especially with heavy load vehicles. Their main benefit is the fact they improve weight distribution on the vehicle. With better weight distribution, the handling of the vehicle is improved as well. Since it is made to handle heavy weights, the air suspension kit can be considered with extra vehicle loads.
As mentioned above, there’s a certain trust Air Lift enjoys at the moment among customers. This can be seen in the ways the company deals with all types of requests. But one area where this distinct advantage takes a new role is in the air suspension kits’ lifetime warranty. Brackets, fittings, the, and the entire kit are covered by this impressive policy.
Lastly, the air suspension kit can be considered for vehicles traveling on bumpy roads. Made with Goodyear rubber, the air suspension kit offers a pleasant experience in terms of comfort, absorbing a small percentage of the shocks results from bumpy rides.
The Goodyear air suspension kit is recommended for its high weight support and lifetime warranty coverage.
The design of the air suspension kit followed a specific direction of preventing air leaks. Since these types of kits are available from other brands on a Mercedes Benz R Class, DEDC did a good job with sealing and designing a rear air suspension system which actually works.
When it comes to the ultimate ride comfort, the air suspension kit can be fitted on both the left and the right passenger side. It offers a simple installation process. Most users report about 1 hour of dedicated time for full installation. The good part is that no major disassembly is required.
The R Class is a premium estate which is often used for passenger transportation. This is why the dedicated air suspension kit can come as an improvement for many of those seeking to add comfort to their car.
Body roll is one of the areas where the air suspension kit is starting to show considerable benefits. For most R Class cars, this might not be an issue at low speeds. However, there is a small difference which can be felt at higher speeds.
Eliminating rough ride discomfort is also a must for Mercedes fans. Since the cars can be used for taxi or Uber services, this air suspension kit can add that extra level of comfort which is typically associated with the German brand, but which might not be at its best with factory options.
With improved weight distribution, the air suspension kit also helps the Mercedes car inside city limits. Often acceleration and braking often can lead to discomfort in the car. Even when there’s a larger load in the trunk, the car still handles well and passengers feel more comfortable.
The system can further improve the already high standard of comfort associated with the Mercedes R Class, especially for cars used as people carriers.
Designed to fit the Ford F250, F350 and F450 from various years, the air suspension kit is one of the solutions which can be individually inflated. There is not too much work to be done installing the kit. However, a pair of helping hands can prove useful during the installation process.
By reducing inner-leaf friction, the air suspension kit can easily be used for long periods of time. The weight capacity of the air suspension kit varies from 3.500lbs to 5.000lbs. Users also need to understand that adding air spring suspension kits will not increase the weight load capacity of a vehicle. The role of the kit is to smoothen the suspension of the vehicle and to even increase the durability of its springs.
The result of the installation process is a vehicle which reacts better to various daily tasks. For example, it avoids the squatting back issue which is typically seen when a trailer is attached. Since the weight of the trailer is the same, the air suspension kit does a better job at actually supporting its weight. Another interesting reaction comes with the smoothness of the ride. If a car jumps multiple times when hitting an uneven surface, this is considerably reduced with the air suspension kit installed.
Interestingly, the kit is also distinct as it comes with individual inflation valves. They can be adjusted from left to right, in case the load weight is uneven as well. This means that if the weight is not perfectly centered, the inflation of the air suspension kit can balance this imbalance.
Suitable for heavy loads, this air suspension kit is among the designs which can be individually adjusted on each side of the vehicle.
As one of the easiest to install air suspension kits, the Air Lift 60818 is a tempting option for loads of up to 1.000lbs. With a versatile design, the air spring kit can be installed both on the front and on the rear of the vehicle. However, its location will impact the way the vehicle responds. For example, if there’s a trailer to connect, the air suspension kit can be installed on the rear side of the vehicle.
The usability of the Air Lift air suspension kit is remarkable. It can be installed without removing the springs of the vehicle as the airbags are quite versatile. No drilling is required and this means the total installation time is considerably reduced.
An installation process shorter than 2 hours is promised by the manufacturer. However, those who’ve done it before can install the kit within an hour. Taking the kit down is as easy as well.
Some of the benefits of the kit come with the way the vehicle reacts, especially with body roll and with extra weight. There are a few instances where the vehicle loses braking power or even the ability to stay on the road properly. Body roll can be considerably influenced by the suspension and this is where the air kit can come in handy.
Trailer sway has also been on the classic issues with air suspension kits. For this reason, properly aligning the trailer to the hitch is crucial. The Air Lift air suspension kit can play its part in this situation as it allows the back of the vehicle to be in line with the trailer.
Improving steering and braking efficiency, the inflatable system can be installed on many vehicles with up to 1.000lbs loads.
With an adjustable pressure, the air suspension kit can be installed and customized to different loads. Form a few PSI to high levels of air pressure for the heaviest loads, the air suspension kit is as versatile as it can be from this respected brand.
The primary role of the kit is to aid the leaf springs and reduce their sagging. Tire wear is even reduced as a result. Suitable for rear axle installation, the air suspension kit proves its top results in the way the vehicle handles trailers, bumps and body roll. It has a maximum weight capacity of 4.800lbs which places it among the most durable designs of its class.
Eliminating vehicle squat is one of the first results of using the air suspension kit. It represents a design which can easily be among the most durable form this perspective due to the large weight capacity. At the same time, there is an indication to show that drivers can expect a more custom approach, even when the air pressure is just slightly different from one side to another. The air pressure can be adjusted differently from side to side. Vehicles carrying extra loads can use this to diminish any risks associated with high load transports.
There’s a lifetime warranty in place for the air suspension kit as well. Even if it is used in commercial purpose, it is still covered for life. Furthermore, under specific terms, users can even try the air suspension kit out for a period of 60 days.
With plenty of durabilities based on premium rubber, the kit can be used in all weather conditions.
Two versions of this solid air suspension kit are available. One 5.000lbs kit and another 7.500lbs kit are available at the moment. Both of them come with the same design aspects which make them reliable and durable. For example, there are two abrasion plates situated on the top and on the bottom. As their name suggests, these plates are actually suitable for extra durability.
No drill installation is possible with this suspension kit. Interestingly, the heavy-duty profile can be seen with a few variations of the suspension kit. One of these upgrades is sine with the stainless steel braided air-line, which replaces the more traditional nylon alternative lines. Together with the zinc-plated air spring attachment hardware, it creates a unique profile for durability.
Both the 5.000lbs and the 7.5000lbs versions are considered to be above average for durability and quality. This means air leaks are not an issue where the airlines are properly installed. Among the first things to notice on the Ford, the vehicle is the elimination of sag and bottoming out. Furthermore, users have the freedom to install the kit on various vans, as long as they have a weight of up to 1 ton.
Suitable for hauling heavy loads, the air suspension kit reduces the pressure and weight on the back of the vehicle. It represents a simple design upgrade which can be left on the vehicle permanently and adjusted as needed. Together with an onboard compressor system, the best air suspension kit offers a design which is quickly installed with typical tools used for mechanics and vehicle maintenance.
With impressive load capacity, the air suspension kit is made for heavy-duty use, as seen from its stainless steel airlines and added roll-plates.
Since it offers 4 air suspension bags, the kit is suitable for a wholesome experience and improved vehicle balance. Maximum pressure of 600 PSI can be linked to the kit, which means it will deal with heavy loads easily.
Made with quality rubber, the kit is considered to be durable and it has a rugged profile which can also be seen in the design of its airlines. There is a system of ½” airlines in place on the air suspension kit. It offers a fast response and ensuring a 600 PSI air pressure comes in a shorter amount of time as a result.
The height range of the air kit has a minimum of 2.8” and a maximum of 12.5”. This means that loads of up to 3.055lbs can be handled from any angle.
The air suspension kit is among the efficient designs for added quality in terms of braking, vehicle stability, towing and generally having better weight distribution. While some users say such a kit can also reduce tire wear, what is sure is that the weight of the truck or the SUV is distributed evenly, allowing for better vehicle control in certain situations.
Vixen Air is one of the known names in the industry. The manufacturer already enjoys a level of popularity due to its various inflation systems. Its pneumatic manufacturing experience is what makes the air suspension kit a full solution and which can be a great first purchase for those seeking to try such systems on their own vehicle.
This value pack offers medium load capacity and it is used against body roll.
There’s a 5.000lbs load capacity for the air suspension kit to offer. With such a heavy-duty profile, the kit is installed on Silverados and other pickups. The adjustable kit is based on various pressures which are user-defined. Even at no pressure, the vehicle can still be driven normally.
Making such products for decades, the manufacturer managed to create an improved air suspension kit, similar to what the best designs in its class offer. As some already know, the kit includes the internal jounce bumper which eliminates bottoming out, squat and trailer sway. It is considered an improved design due to the added structure it has to offer.
Absorbing shocks, the internal jounce bumper represents a simple solution for bumpy roads. It aids the air suspension kit to reduce the shocks which are then transmitted to the vehicle, whenever a bump is encountered on the road. This results in a vehicle with a more comfortable ride. For this purpose, those who live in areas with bumpy roads can ensure their Silverados are actually comfortable.
The weight distribution of the kit also ensures there’s plenty of balance when taking tight turns or what pushing the brake pedal. While there are not too many secrets in this area, simply adjusting the pressure from 5PSI to 100PSI depending on the load and on the terrain can further improve comfort.
Handling high weights, the air suspension kit represents a priority for Silverados on bumpy roads due to its internal jounce bumper.
Often called air bags or air ride bags, the air suspension kit from Parts Galaxy is suitable for SUVs such as the Lincoln Navigator. On other vehicles, the air suspension kit can even prove a good replacement for standard air suspension. This is often seen on older vehicles which start to show signs of air leaks or physical cracks. For this purpose, the air suspension kit can be used as a third-party upgrade.
On the other hand, the durable design of the air suspension kit is what makes the set a good solution for long-term use. Covered by a lifetime warranty, the product is highly durable and it comes with good support for those seeking extra information from the manufacturer.
Installed on the rear of the vehicle, the air suspension kit is among the simplest solutions for towing. Since the vehicle can lower due to the extra load of the trailer, this can come with various issues. At the same time, the air suspension kit can be useful for all types of cargo carriers mounted on the hitch. From bike racks to cargo rags or sports racks, there are many hitch accessories which can up the pressure on the rear suspension. In this case, the added benefit of the air suspension kit is that it maintains the vehicle in a normal position, far from the ground.
Many SUVs are also used off-road and this can come with its own set of problems, such as with reduced comfort. But even older SUVs are compatible with the air suspension kit and the smoother ride instantly offers better shock absorption.
The kit can be a long-term warranty-covered alternative to standard air suspension in older generation SVUs.
Made to fit Mercedes GL up to 2012 and the Mercedes ML up to 2011, the air suspension kit is an affordable solution when the original parts start to show their age. Normally, a dealership would charge thousands for this replacement. But the DEDC air suspension kit offers similar comfort with a fraction of the price. With improved comfort both on the passenger’s side and on the driver’s side, it is easy to understand why so many Mercedes owners would prefer this simpler alternative.
With 2 air springs included in the pack, the entire air system can be replaced in just a few hours. There’s a one-year warranty on the pair of airbags and the good part is their inexpensive nature ensures they are not a considerable investment for added comfort.
When it comes to the final results, many drivers state that the air suspension kit has similar comfort with the original Mercedes kit. However, a slight drop in quality can be felt, especially on long drives on bumpy roads.
With an added brass fitting for durability, the air suspension kit can be a solution to consider for a few years. While it might not be covered for life as other similar kits, it still offers the solution needed as an alternative to high dealership costs.
This kit is mainly chosen due to its low price compared to what’s quoted by dealerships for air suspension kits replacement.
Which air suspension kit fits my vehicle?
The right air suspension kit is chosen according to the make, model and the manufacturing year of the vehicle. Most air suspension kits are specifically made for a limited number of vehicles and it’s up to the buyer to find a suitable design.
Can I install an air suspension kit myself?
An air suspension kit can be installed with no help. However, it is recommended to use the help of someone who’s already installed such a kit to keep the installation time to a minimum.
Does my current air suspension kit need to be replaced?
Leaking air suspension can be a sign that an upgrade is needed. Some standard air suspension kits can also be replaced on a vehicle after a number of years.
How much does an air suspension kit cost?
The cost of a third-party air suspension kit varies considerably. However, it is still a marginal price compared to the quotes given by dealerships on these replacement parts.
Guide to Buying the Best Air Suspension Kits
The benefits of using the best air suspension kit
Using an air suspension kit can be normal for those who already have such accessories on their vehicles. However, some drivers might install them for the first time. This group of drivers is among those seeking some type of palpable results for their investment. Here are a few benefits and advantages to consider.
Better fuel consumption
There’s a true debate about whether fuel consumption is impacted by air suspension kits. But the explanation behind the decrease in fuel consumption actually has a lot to do with the way the vehicle is driven. With better air suspension, body roll is reduced and drivers can tackle corners at higher speeds. This then results in better fuel consumption as there is less braking and acceleration is reduced as well. The more constant the driving speed is, the more fuel can be saved.
At the same time, it is important to note that some drivers might even need to adjust their driving style slightly for the air suspension kits. Furthermore, it is also important to note that fuel consumption improvement is marginal. Most drivers might not even notice it unless specifically calculating fuel consumption.
Suitability for bumpy roads
One of the biggest advantages of air suspension kits comes with the way the car deals with bumpy roads. Without even discussing passenger comfort, the effect the air suspension has on the car can be felt in the way it drives.
Most drivers can see an immediate difference. But many of those who leave the pavement for unpaved roads can tell the difference immediately. Driving on cobbled streets also sees an immediate improvement. Most importantly, the vehicle can tackle the same bumpy roads as it did before, but at a slightly higher speed. For this reason, the air suspension kit is often an upgrade made by those who live in areas with less than perfect roads.
Another case where this can be important comes with heavy loads. Many trucks and SUVs have to tackle uneven roads while carrying cargo. For safety purposes and to keep the cargo in place, air suspension kits can be a much-needed upgrade. It is also true that the kit can further be adjusted according to the weight and specific road requirements. This adjustability can be made by setting the desired PSI pressure of the air suspension kit.
Drivers also need to know that an air suspension kit does not immediately turn a vehicle into an off-road vehicle. The improvements are small and while the chassis can be higher, it is difficult to see how a normal vehicle would actually be able to go over rough uneven terrains as a result of the upgrade.
Reduced noise and vibration level
One of the top benefits of having the best air suspension kit comes with reduced noise levels and vibrations in the vehicle. There are no more worrying or annoying sounds to worry about. Another distinct advantage comes with the durability of the vehicle, which is dictated by the vibrations and parts’ tolerances.
With fewer vibrations, all vehicles can enjoy better durability. Some of them are truly remarkable in the way they manage to reduce the inherent vibrations of older vehicles. For this purpose, it is important to understand that there are plenty of great advantages both to mechanics and to the aesthetics of interior elements which can fit together well, unlike in situations where damages are done by vibrations.
Suited for heavy loads
Another top advantage is given by the heavy loads capacity of most vehicles. Since the entire weight capacity of a vehicle doesn’t change, only the balance of the weight changes. The air suspension kit can balance this weight on all tires properly. The days of the weight pushing down in a single area are gone when the kit is installed
At the same time, heavy loads can come in the form of added trailers or hitch carriers. They place extra weight on the rear wheels of a vehicle. As a result, the air suspension kit can counter-balance this by actually lifting the weight higher and allowing the springs to decompress and to even improve their durability.
An undeniable advantage is given by the improved comfort of the air suspension kit. Drivers can enjoy their own pace of driving with a smoother ride. Passengers can also enjoy a more relaxing experience, even when driving over bumps.
This is the best reason for company cars to be fitted with such a kit. Taxi cars can also install an air suspension kit for this reason. The best part is that air suspension kits for small cars might not even need any special tools for installation.
Higher resale value
As a small advantage for vehicle resale, an air suspension kit can increase its market value. The price increase is small, but it can be one of the list features to aid in the promotion of the vehicle on sale. As with all options, potential buyers are interested in what they get for the money.
Another distinct advantage is given by the increased safety of a vehicle. Safe driving is mainly possible by using caution and abiding by driving laws. However, an air suspension kit can do a better job at dealing with body roll and the impact weight has on the vehicle. Effective braking and better stability on corners are among the safety components to look forward towards.
Since there are plenty of great tips on how to install an air suspension kit, all that remains is to make the decision and choose the right solution. For most drivers, it is an opportunity to test and see the real results first hand. Just comparing ride height and comfort before and after installation is enough to see if the kit comes with improvements.
Proper installation is needed as well. There are not too many things to go wrong during this process. One of the problems which constantly arise for beginners is the loss of air pressure from the air-bags after installation. This is why all airlines need to be properly connected and secured.
The best air suspension kits should lose no air at all. This is why it can be important to test out the air pressure a few days after installation. If the PSI remains constant after a few days, the air suspension kit has been properly installed. Troubleshooting any air leaks means checking all airlines and also looking for any signs of physical damage on the airbags themselves. Full instructions are offered on all air suspension kits listed above.