There is a huge debate in the car community about which type of suspension system is better; Coilovers or Air Suspension? Today, we will be explaining the pros and cons of each suspension type. Whether you are looking into deciding what setup to purchase or just want to hear the other side of the argument, this should leave you walking away with a better understanding of the 2 suspension systems.
Coilovers - Pros
Coilovers are initially designed for the purpose of customizing your suspension for performance gains. This customization is why many people swear by coilovers and they are great for tuning to get the most out of your car on the track. Things like dampening compressions, rebound and spring rate can all be adjusted on intermediate/advanced coilovers.
Another thing going for coilovers is pricing. You can get a coilover kit from anywhere in the range of $500 to a few thousand dollars. The difference this makes is usually the level of customization available to you. There are a lot of people who just need simplicity and others who need all the options, coilovers provide the flexibility to get what you want on the budget you can afford.
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Coilovers - Cons
While coilovers are awesome for hardcore tracking and a more A to B way to get into custom suspension, but, they are limited in their flexibility compared to air suspension. What do we mean by this? Well, if you look at air suspension, they are able to adjust their ride height on the fly which is oftentimes a lifesaver if you are into slammed vehicles but also want practicality.
Air suspension - Pros
As noted in the “Coilover cons” section right above this one, air suspension is incredibly flexible. You aren’t stuck to just one ride height until you are able to get to a garage. You’ve seen those videos of slammed cars scraping against anything remotely resembling a ramp or speed bump; you aren’t going to have this problem with air suspension. Besides this, you can do all sorts of cool things with air suspension such as adjusting your suspension via a bluetooth app without you even being in the car.
Also, air suspension is excellent for carrying capability. If you need to put something really heavy in the back, air suspension will keep the ride level instead of the back sagging down.
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Air Suspension - Cons
Like with anything using lots of advanced moving parts, reliability, maintenance, and cost to repair are going to be things to look out for. All the cool things you can do on air are possible due to electronics and an overall very complex suspension system. What we are saying is that there’s going to be more maintenance involved with air suspension and something is more likely to break due to the amount of moving parts present.
If this is sounding like the same argument between Manual vs Automatic transmission it’s because it kind of is. Anything with more complexity has the potential for more problems.
Another thing with air suspension is cost. To get a complete setup with everything you need...well, that’s going to cost you a pretty penny. You could get yourself a set of wheels and a coilover kit for the price of a complete air suspension setup; air suspension is awesome but all the technology and convenience it provides runs the cost up.
Wrapping things up
So we listed some of the pros and cons of each suspension setup, like with anything, there really is no one right answer for everybody.
- Coilovers are excellent for performance-based driving and for their affordability, but you are stuck with whatever ride height you chose to leave the garage with.
- Air suspension gives you the cool factor and convenience of adjusting your right height on the fly but it’s expensive and there’s more potential for things to go wrong due to the complex parts associated with it.
We hope this will help you decide on what suspension is best for you. Whatever you choose, it's going to be awesome!