Why You Can Never Be Too Careful When Servicing an Air Suspension System

Posted on: 27 September 2022

If you're relatively new to heavy vehicle ownership, you will eventually come across the need to inspect or repair your air suspension system. You may have some basic knowledge about this setup but should take particular care whenever you work in that area. Why should you be so careful, and what preventative measures should you take before attempting any work yourself?

Understanding the System

An air suspension system relies on an inflatable bellow (or bag) that holds pressurised air and maintains the distance between the chassis of the vehicle and its axle. It's meant to counteract the work of a conventional damper, and the amount of air within each bag is maintained by a series of levelling valves, a pump and a dryer.

Avoiding Injury

While the airbag itself may appear to be in good working order following a cursory inspection, you should never rely on this assumption when you need to work in that area. Unfortunately, some people have been injured when the airbag suddenly deflates while working on other parts of the suspension system (such as a sensor mechanism).

Always Assume

You should always assume that this area is dangerous unless you have taken steps to depressurise the air suspension system altogether. In other words, you should not automatically expect the air suspension system to maintain the vehicle's ride height or position when anyone is working beneath.

Safety First

The best practice is to exhaust the air from the system before disconnecting the supply. You should also introduce heavy-duty jacks or other stands and place them underneath the chassis to prevent any unwanted lowering.

Even though you may consider your current task quite simple, do not be tempted to take shortcuts. Instead, always treat this type of suspension system as "active" unless you've taken the steps to disarm it.

Avoiding Any Shortcuts

This is why it's not a good idea to perform any work at the roadside but to take the vehicle to a qualified service centre instead. If it involves a recovery process, this is unavoidable and the right price to pay in the pursuit of safety.

Performing the Work in Safety

Once you take the vehicle to a qualified service centre, the mechanics always put safety first and never take shortcuts. They'll take care of the repair as effectively and as quickly as possible. Also, if you get into the habit of visiting these professionals regularly, you may avoid any issues with your air suspension in the first place. 

For more information about truck suspensions, contact a local company.