Air bag suspensions are an invention from the early 1900s. Ever since their invention, different air bag prototypes have been made for cars and trucks by both American and European inventors.
The air bag suspension is basically made from a system to regulate air compression and the rubber bags that are typically made of stronger, reinforced rubber. The automotive market currently has two different types of air bag suspensions:
The bellows-style air suspension is made to use air bellows made from heavy-duty rubber. These are designed with two to three convulsions and should be able to carry more weight than the sleeve-style air bags, which we will talk about below.
Sleeve-style air suspensions have a sleeve mounted inside that inflates inside rubber air springs. The vehicle is lifted by air inside the sleeve lifts, to your needed ride height.
How much does air suspension cost?
A complete air suspension kit usually costs about $2,000 to $7,500, depending on the specific kit you’re getting. Although the range is pretty high, based on our research, the most popular kits will only reach an average price of $3,000 to $4,000.
The overall cost of an air suspension system will depend on factors like:
- What kind of vehicle you own
- The brands of kit you choose
- How custom your setup is
- How advanced your system is
- If you have extra add-ons or not
Many websites offer options you can go for when you want to customize your kit depending on your specific budget. Some even have selectors where you can add your vehicle and you will get the products that work with your car make and model.
How much do air suspension parts cost?
The table below breaks down the costs of each part so that you have a better idea of how much they cost individually:
|Compressors (Single Setup)||$230 – $805|
|Tanks||$97.75 – $345|
|Manifolds||$138 – $977.50|
|Struts (Front and Rear)||$1,380 – $3,680|
|Odd and Ends (Fittings, Air Lines, etc.)||$172.50 – $460|
|Air Compressors (Dual Setup)||$230 – $805|
Airbag Suspension Cost Explained
When considering the cost of the air bag suspension, there are usually 3 issues you should consider, each having its own price. Let’s take, for example, the aftermarket airbag suspensions. Here’s what you should consider:
Cost of installation
Expect to spend around $500 for the installation of a simple helper spring kit. Going for a complete retrofit for both the front and the rear of the car will cost around $1,500 in the installation alone.
Cost of the product itself
The cost of the product will depend on the system you’re going for but expect an average cost between $500 and $1,500 for the usual airbag suspension system, be it a complete system retrofitted for front and rear or a simple helper spring system to help with your current suspension.
Cost of maintenance
Most air bags will eventually leak, meaning that you will have to replace them to continue using the system. Expect a price between $1,500 and $,1750 to replace the air bag.
What Are the Pros of an Air Bag Suspension?
Using an airbag suspension has at least two important pros:
Do you have an issue with the height of the ride? Do you want to have no issues with potholes and speed bumps but still want to ride low to the pavement for some events? Then the air bag suspension system is exactly what you need. You’ll only have to flip a switch to adjust the ride height, making it very easy for you to meet all of your traveling needs.
Car and truck manufacturers are moving away more and more from conventional springs like coil and leaf systems and choosing air bag suspensions instead. Replacing old-school springs will enable you to have a smoother air ride. Some people even go as far as to say that you’ll be floating with on a cushion of air.
What Are the Cons of the Air Bag Suspension?
Here are the negative aspects of purchasing and installing an air bag suspension:
One of the most important cons of getting an air bag suspension is the complexity of its installation. You will not only need to drill holes in the tank but also in the manifold and compressor. If you can’t do these yourself, you’ll find that the installation of the compressors, airlines, and electrical parts will be priced quite high.
You’ll also have to consider the issue of space and additional noise whenever the compressor kicks in, in the case of light-duty trucks and cars.
For most people, the price is nothing to ignore. Even without the labor costs, you’ll spend several thousand dollars to have the system up and running. You can save on the labor costs if you have a good understanding of the required work and choose to do the installation yourself, but you’ll still need to spend money on quite a few parts.
Don’t start working on the job if you’re not a pro, as the task is probably too much to handle for most people.
Air bag systems aren’t what you want if you’re interested in something that comes with low maintenance. It comes with a lot of problems that can arise and has a lot of components that you will have to check.