Air ride suspension weather check: A warm-weather solution only?
Airbag suspensions have been around since the early 1900’s. Any practical use of an air suspension didn’t develop until WWII. Air ride systems were installed at the factory level only. German cars like Mercedes Benz developed air bag suspensions to replace the more conventional coil spring system.
Aftermarket airbag systems - like Air Lift - were designed as helper springs for the OEM suspension (i.e. from the factory). A lot of money was spent on aftermarket air suspension engineering to try to make improvements to solve common, persistent problems.
Today, we’re going to focus on how the weather can impact the performance of an air bag suspension.
What is an Air Lift suspension system?
Like most aftermarket air ride suspension kits, Air Lift includes the basic components that make the system work. There are basically six items:
- 2 airbags
- metal brackets
- necessary hardware, clamps & U-bolts
- nylon tubing
- installation instructions
Not included in this list are things like air compressors, air tanks, and height-control valves for onboard air supply.
Are airbags an all-weather solution?
A fair question to ask would be, “How do air suspension upgrades hold up through the winter? If you live in Canada or the northern US, you know how cold it can get during the winter months. What, if any, are the problems you could run into when things start to freeze?
Air bags behave differently as the temperatures increase or decrease and their life expectancy might be reduced significantly. Any problems with your air bag system are likely to come from water in the system which, by the way, is a natural by-product of compressing and pressurizing air.
The most common issues that drivers run into when riding on air in the winter are frozen airlines and a frozen compressor. This can occur if the water trap is not regularly checked and drained to prevent it from freezing inside your air tank.
Air suspension systems like Air Lift can operate in winter, but they’re not the most ideal suspension upgrade for plowing snow. If you are thinking of installing airbags on your truck, you will need to make regular maintenance checks to keep everything working.
Do Timbren hollow rubber springs work in winter?
Timbren SES hollow rubber springs are made of natural rubber. Compared to airbags, they’re absolutely bulletproof. In other words, Timbren SES hollow rubber springs won’t leak. They can’t! Not only that, they require zero maintenance. It’s a set-it-and-forget-it system.
But what about winter weather? Does the cold impact the use of hollow rubber springs?
A lot of Canadians use Timbren SES on their trucks and none of them find the cold temps hamper the use of Aeon® hollow rubber springs. In fact, extreme cold causes the rubber to stiffen somewhat, ensuring their better use when removing heavy loads of snow.
Aeon® rubber suspension upgrades don’t require compressed air and therefore won’t experience any of the problems related to airbags, hoses, and air compressors.
Note: Timbren SES kits are the preferred choice in winter for snow plowing and snow removal. Several kits have been developed for both front and back suspensions of every truck in the snow removal industry.
Are Timbren SES upgrades the most reliable?
So far, we’ve compared Air Lift airbag upgrades to Timbren SES suspension upgrades. So, which one of these truck suspension upgrades is the smart choice for you?
Whether in summer or winter, Timbren SES upgrades win big points for:
- best ride quality loaded or unloaded
- best added stability
- best warranty
Also, Timbren SES upgrades aren’t vulnerable to malfunctioning like an airbag system. In fact, a Timbren SES system is completely bulletproof. (Quite literally!)
Unlike an airbag system, Timbren SES allows you to set it and forget it. In other words, Timbren SES requires zero maintenance.
Additionally, an airbag system doesn’t provide enough stability if you’re hauling a top-heavy load like a truck camper or towing a heavy 5th Wheel.
Professionals in the snow removal industry of the great white north prefer Timbren SES upgrades for the front and rear suspensions on all their snow-plow and snow removal trucks. They choose them because they’re the most reliable.
Think about it: For the past 50+ years, Timbren SES products have remained the smartest choice because they guarantee maximum control and safety, loaded and unloaded.
“Whether we’re towing with our Nissan Titan or our Toyota Tundra, our Timbren SES kit has been a game changer. Reduced all sag in the rear plus helps the tow rigs gain maximum control. Over a year with SES and we would never go back.” @ClicOutdoor