We Solve the Top 5 Problems with Air Ride Suspension!

We design, engineer and produce the best suspension components in the industry… and we are always innovating, always improving so we can keep making that claim. The key to being the best isn’t always as obvious as it might seem. Some might think that being the lightest, strongest, fastest, most durable, or even the best looking are the targets for being the best. Of course those are important features of our products, but what is the absolute, most critical, component of our entire approach to being the best? Problem solving!

We solve your problems.

We know that ultimately we are in the business of service – we exist to serve our customers and solve their problems. Every design parameter, engineering spec, manufacturing tolerance, and in fact all our business decisions are focused on that one goal – to solve your problems. 

Ask around, talk to people about their experience with air suspension… it won’t take too many conversations until you hear a horror story of bad ride quality, busted air bags, leaking air lines, blown fuses, dead batteries and general frustration that would make the most confident of mechanics think twice about using air suspension.

Fortunately, we have been in the business of solving those problems for over 20 years. We have thousands of enthusiastic air suspension customers who can give you a very different story. We know that a properly designed air suspension system, with quality components and thoughtful installation can be one of the best ways to get your ride just the way you want it.

(Note: most horror stories start with “I knew a person who installed air bags once…” don’t take second hand accounts of days gone by and unknown installation practices… we can connect you with real customers who can tell you just how happy they have been with their Ridetech air suspension systems)

We know (from literally thousands of success stories) that air ride suspension can provide:

  • Superior Ride Quality
  • Great Handling
  • Unmatched Adjustability (for load capacity – or just for the fun of it)
  • Years of trouble free service

Number 5:
Leaks

To keep an air ride suspension leak free you need to focus on two things… 

High Quality Components:

Many folks try to save a few bucks by using air solenoid valves designed for industrial use (think in a shop where a constant, endless supply of air fueled by giant compressors) where a small amount leakage is expected and not a big deal… many of the available valves on the market are actually designed with leak percentage built in… Ridetech valves are designed for use in suspension systems on vehicles. The acceptable leak rate is ZERO.

Same goes for air line fittings and connectors. Using DOT approved premium quality lines and connectors nearly eliminates the possibility of leaks from the components themselves. 

Proper Installation Techniques:

If you use the best components (like the ones we sell on our website) and still experience leaks, then really the only other source is from improper installation. From years of experience we find that rubbing or clearance issues are the biggest cause for leaks in an air system. Routing airlines where they don’t rub, get pulled or otherwise interfered with is critical to having a long, leak free, life from your air suspension. Beyond that, the simple technique of using an air line cutter that leaves a perfectly smooth and tight seal and properly use of thread sealant on fittings will dramatically decrease the potential for leaks. 

Detailed install instructions are included with our RidePRO E5 system – and you can download them online as well. 


Number 4
Issues with wiring

In the most simple of applications, you can skip an onboard air suspension control system and manually inflate / deflate the air bags using Schrader valves (like your tires). This can be a good option for load leveling, but leaves out so much of the advantages of air suspension. 

To truly get the “coolness” from an air ride suspension system, you need to provide an air supply in the form of an onboard compressor, air tank, and controls to inflate and deflate the air springs when the need (or desire) arrises – a system like the RidePRO E5. 

This means wiring a compressor control system into the vehicle. As with any additional wiring, every splice, each plug, is a possible addition of a problem. That is why we supply the highest quality wiring harness available, using premium wire, and high quality weather sealed connectors. 

Using the Ridetech AirPOD control system can save hours from the install because most of the wiring is completed and tested before we ship it to you!

Even with the best of components, it is critical to supply the system with proper voltage. The single most common air suspension control system issue we deal with is poor voltage to the ECU or compressors. Typically this is caused by either poor grounds or a low battery. 

It is super common for folks installing a new air suspension to get anxious to see the car or truck inflate and deflate. On a running driving car, where the charging system is good and the battery is fully operational, this usually turns out fine. On the other hand, when the car is a “project” and partially completed, the temptation is to toss any old battery laying around the shop and run the air suspension system. 

Always make sure your air suspension control system is receiving full voltage – well over 12 volts with a properly charged battery and fully operating charging system – with the car running.


Number 3
Rough Ride

Suspension systems exist to absorb and smooth out bumps, ruts, ridges, dips and all other forms of road imperfections. A properly designed and installed air spring is fully capable of providing at least as good, and in most cases vastly superior ride quality when compared to steel coil-springs or leaf springs. 

However, to accomplish its task, the suspension must move… and the amount of suspension movement, or “travel” needed is typically more than many people think. Proper suspension design is critical to allow for enough travel to smooth out the ride. 

However, providing enough travel is not generally the main cause of poor ride quality from air ride equipped vehicle. The usual culprit is improper inflation of the air springs. Both over inflated or under inflated air bags will result in significant ride quality issues. 

Of course, we all want to get our vehicle as low as possible, but if you want good ride quality you need to properly inflate the air spring to its designed ride height – and yes, each and every air spring has a built in height it works best at and a load capacity it was design for. That is why Ridetech uses a wide range of air springs to match each application with the correct load capability and stroke length. 

Using our RidePRO E5 system allows you to set your ride height once and know that every time you drive, your suspension travel is optimized and your air springs are inflated to the appropriate level. 


Number 2
Poor Handling

There are a bunch or reasons a car or truck may handle poorly. The most important thing to understand is the use of an air spring to support the weight of the vehicle has absolutely no inherent issues with handling. To the vehicle, a spring is a spring… 

But we have seen a bunch of vehicles put on air incorrectly that were down right scary if the road wasn’t perfectly straight… so what went wrong? To start with, the same issues that effect ride quality can also dramatically effect handling. Lack of travel, improper inflation and use of the incorrect air spring in the application. 

There are also a some folks that try to overly simplify the install and use a single air line and T-connector for more than one air spring. It is possible to inflate and deflate your car or truck two springs at a time, but if two air springs share an air line, when the vehicle enters a corner, the air springs will actually transfer air pressure from one spring to the other – this is bad… VERY bad. It causes erratic and down right dangerous handling characteristics. This was a mistake made more often back in the early days of air ride suspension (by mostly inexperienced builders). Unfortunately those “wonky” handling cars and trucks still haunt the reputation of modern air suspension.

All our Ridetech control systems are designed to control each spring separately. It is really the only way to do it right. 

Also key to handling, and ride quality is use of a proper shock. In many cases an air suspension vehicle is operating at a lower height and requires a shock designed to work at this lower height. Ridetech uses premium Fox Shocks to provide the ultimate in dampening for air suspension cars and trucks. 

We are confident in our ability to provide complete suspension systems that excel in providing both superb ride quality as well as pavement ripping handling. 


Number 1
Frustration with inconsistency

We love air suspension systems and we know how much fun it can be to have complete control over the hight of your car or truck at your fingertips. At first, you want to push the buttons all the time… continually experimenting with it… in fact, playing with it. We get it… it is fun. 

However, for many folks, there comes a time where you just want to drive your car and not have to fidget with getting your air springs to the perfect air pressure… you just want to drive. Many air suspension control systems are simply valves and switches that you have to be the brains for… which means you are going to be required to manually adjust for changes in load, even changes in temperatures – constantly adjusting to get your suspension just right. 

With our RidePRO E5 system you can choose to not have to think about your air suspension at all. The advanced computer control system automatically calibrates to your specific vehicle and learns how to best achieve the exact ride height every time you start the engine. 

The system is so smart, you won’t have to think about it at all… until you want to show off again. 

So the top 5 problems with air suspension aren’t problems at all for us.  in fact we don’t have ANY problems with air suspension. We have solutions! 


6 thoughts on “We Solve the Top 5 Problems with Air Ride Suspension!

  1. Thom says:

    Is there any thought to a front up/front down Rear up/rear down buttons? Instead of holding two buttons at a time. A lot of times if your pulling in somewhere you just want to bump the front up or rear. Holding two buttons is cumbersome.

    • admin
      admin says:

      The ridepro system includes 3 programmable presets, these can be set up to do the same thing. I use 1 for dropped height, 2 for ride height, and 3 for front up to clear the driveway.

    • Josh@Ridetech
      Josh@Ridetech says:

      The compressor power wire should go direct to the battery. Check the wire to make sure nothing as cut it, shorting out, fuse is blown, etc… The ECU should also have a power wire going direct to the battery, do the same for it. You should also check your ground wires to make sure they’re still tight (and have a good, solid ground). It sounds like you have something that has either come disconnected or cut.

  2. Joe says:

    I just inherited a ’51 Chevy Rat Rod. It has a system from you guys. The remote is a LevelPRO with 3 settings. Are these a preset height? I have no information on how to use it correctly. I didn’t know if there was a manual that I could get.

  3. Josh@Ridetech says:

    Hey Joe,

    We can send you the instructions, no worries. Just call into our main line and one of the guys can email it to you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *