A Guide to Suspension Systems: The Parts Involved in Suspension Kits


January 18, 2023
Automotive, Maintenance
Editorial


Your car suspension is one of the most important systems on your vehicle, and it is responsible for providing a comfortable ride as well as keeping your car stable on the road. There are many different suspension automotive parts, and each plays a vital role in the overall performance of your car.

The Different Types of Car Suspension

There are different types of car suspension, such as:

  • Coilovers
  • Air suspension
  • Leaf spring suspension
  • Coil spring suspension

Coilovers are a type of car suspension that uses coil springs instead of airbags. Air suspension is a type of car suspension that uses airbags instead of coil springs. Leaf spring suspension is a type of car suspension that uses leaf springs instead of coil springs. Coil spring suspension is a type of car suspension that uses coil springs instead of airbags.

Coilovers are commonly found on race cars, but they can also be found on some sports cars and high-end luxury vehicles. Coilovers have many advantages over traditional air suspensions including:

  • They’re cheaper than airbags.
  • They weigh less than airbags.
  • They provide better control for the driver because there is no risk of losing pressure in the spring or having the spring bottom out.
  • They offer a more comfortable ride than airbags.

Air suspension is found on some luxury vehicles and some off-road vehicles. Air suspension has many advantages over traditional coil springs including:

  • It can be adjusted to provide a softer or firmer ride.
  • It smooths out bumps in the road.
  • It helps keep the vehicle level even when carrying a heavy load.
  • It reduces body roll when cornering.

Leaf spring suspension is found on some trucks and some sports cars. Leaf spring suspension has many advantages over traditional coil springs including:

  • It’s cheaper than coil springs.
  • It’s simpler and lighter than coil springs.
  • It provides a more comfortable ride than coil springs.
  • It reduces body roll when cornering.

Coil spring suspension is found on most cars. Coil spring suspension has many advantages over traditional airbags and leaf springs including:

  • It’s cheaper than airbags and leaf springs.
  • It’s simpler and lighter than airbags and leaf springs.
  • It can be adjusted to provide a softer or firmer ride.
  • It provides good control for the driver because there is no risk of losing pressure in the spring or having the spring bottom out.

Parts of a Suspension System

The most common automotive parts found in suspension systems are springs and shocks. Springs are used to control the height of the vehicle when it is loaded or unloaded. Shocks, on the other hand, are responsible for controlling the stiffness of the suspension when going over bumps or dips in the road.

Springs: The most common type found on vehicles today is a coil spring. A coil spring consists of many coils wrapped around an anchor called a spring seat. When the vehicle goes up and down, the springs flexes, then rebounds back into place, resisting further movement.

Shocks: A shock is a hydraulic device that controls the motion of a vehicle’s suspension by dampening forces caused by bumps in the road, or by landing from a high-speed descent. The shocks on your vehicle are most likely filled with nitrogen gas to keep them charged for immediate use when needed. When the vehicle goes over a bump, the suspension compresses and releases as it comes back down to the ground.

This action is controlled by a shock absorber, which contains a spring that returns the suspension to its original position after being compressed by landing from a high-speed descent or by hitting a bump in the road. The shock also has a damper, which is a valve inside of it that restricts oil flow based on how much force is being exerted on the suspension. This prevents excessive movement and maintains a steady ride for the driver and passengers.

Struts: A strut is a device used in modern vehicle suspensions that dampens vertical motion. It consists of an oil-filled cylinder, two coil springs and a set of guide pins that keep the strut in place on the vehicle. Struts provide support for vehicle weight, as well as vertical compliance (sag) when loaded with passengers or cargo.

One end of the strut is connected to the steering knuckle via a tie rod. The other end connects to the wheel hub and contains a piston which controls dampening by compressing the spring either partially or completely. When compressed, the spring resists further movement of the strut and the vehicle.

Bilstein Struts: Bilstein struts are a type of shock absorber that is installed on vehicles for improved performance, handling and stability. They provide better control during hard cornering maneuvers as well as keeping the vehicle stable at high speeds. Bilstein struts also reduce bounce when driving over bumps in the road by providing consistent dampening. The main advantage of installing Bilstein struts is increased comfort without sacrificing any performance or handling of your vehicle.

Upgrading Your Suspension

Suspension upgrades generally come as kits that include new springs and shocks. The upgrades are meant to improve upon the factory suspension’s performance and comfort levels. They’re typically used on trucks, sport utility vehicles, and cars.

Suspension upgrades can be made by installing coil springs that provide a stiffer ride by reducing body roll when cornering, or by adding air springs that help keep cargo stable during heavy loads without increasing drag on the vehicle’s speed. Shocks are also available with varying stiffness ratings to help maintain control over rough terrain while providing a comfortable ride.

New springs and shocks are just part of the suspension upgrade package, however. The rest of the kit includes all of the necessary parts, tools and instructions to make installation easy for anyone with basic mechanical skills. Most kits can be installed in about four hours by someone who’s experienced with vehicle repairs.

Suspension upgrades usually come with some sort of warranty. These warranties vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, but they typically last one year or longer and cover any problems that result from a manufacturing defect.

Many suspension upgrades are designed to work with factory parts on newer model cars, trucks and sport utility vehicles. This means they will fit easily without requiring extensive modifications or additional installation costs for new parts.