Air springs are used in place of conventional coil springs in passenger cars and LCVs. It is a fitment choice by vehicle manufacturers and not intended as a tuning product. Traditionally only installed in luxury vehicles and perceived to be dealer-only parts, air suspension systems are now found in a growing number of vehicles within the UK car parc.
Vehicles like the Mercedes C-Class, Citroën C4 Grand Picasso and the latest Volvo models are already equipped with air suspension systems. Whilst more vehicles equipped with air suspension systems are showing up at workshops, many customers with air suspension issues are still directed to the dealer. However, this does not need to be the case.
Opportunity & Availability in the Aftermarket
Manufacturing high quality replacement air suspension components for nearly 30 years, Arnott has made their comprehensive range accessible to the independent aftermarket. The range presents a growing opportunity as vehicles equipped with air suspension systems already cover over 4% of the UK car parc.
Contrary to popular belief, air suspension components do not last the lifetime of a vehicle – they do experience wear and tear. The service lifespan of air suspension generally averages between 6 to 10 years due to the degradation of rubber components, making it important to replace in pairs. Compressors usually wear out because of leaky air springs.
How Air Suspension Works
The air suspension system is powered by a compressor that pumps air into the air springs. The air pressure inflates the spring, raising the chassis from the axle. This allows the air suspension to provide a safe, smooth and constant ride quality whilst taking road conditions and vehicle load into account. Most modern vehicles feature self-levelling alongside raising and lowering functions.
Easy Opportunity for the Aftermarket
In order to perform a reliable diagnosis for air suspension systems, technicians rarely need more than soap and water in order to detect a leak. Replacing air suspension components does not require special education or tools, and is as easy as replacing a conventional suspension component.
The reason why 99% of air suspension replacements are directed to the dealer is because parts were previously unavailable through the IAM channel. This outdated misconception still stands for many installers and motorists who are unaware that quality air suspension components are available in the aftermarket.
Reliable Range Available from FPS
All Arnott units are pre-assembled and compatible with OE plugs, connectors and air lines for easy, plug-and-play replacement for garages. To help ensure that best replacement procedures are observed, each unit comes with detailed instructions.
FPS carries 60 parts in range comprising air springs, struts and compressors. Highlights include:
- A-2642 for BMW X5 (2007-2013) and BMW X6 (2009-2017)
- A-2780 for BMW 5 Series (2010-2017)