If you’re going to take your car to the mechanic, then a working knowledge of car anatomy is important.  Knowing something about the basics of a car can save money and will let a mechanic know that you are an informed customer not to be trifled with.

Air springs may be something mentioned by your mechanic.  Learning what they are and the different types available can spare you both frustration and high mechanic bills.

What Are Air Springs?

Air springs are part of the air suspension of a car.  Basically, the suspension helps the vehicle distribute weight over all four tires.  Air suspension is driven by either engine-driven or electric pumps.  The air compressor of the vehicle pumps air into the bellows of the air spring.  When the bellows become inflated, the chassis is raised from the axle.  Parts of an air spring include the bead plate, the bellows, the girdle, the bumper, and the piston.

What Are The Types Of Air Springs?

Of course, an air spring is not just an air spring.  There are several different kinds of air springs that are used for a variety of reasons.

One type is the convoluted or crimped air spring.  These kinds of air springs come in both single and double forms.  They provide vibration isolation, but they are for machines and not for the suspension of vehicles.

Another kind of air spring is the sleeve bellows that has an external clamp that attaches the bellows to the bead plate.  Again, this type is not really for vehicle suspensions.

The kind that is most often used in vehicles is the rolling lobe bellows.  In this type of air spring, there is a piston instead of a bead plate.  Make sure that your mechanic is installing the appropriate kind for your vehicle.  Cadillacs, Hummers, Jeeps, and Lincolns are vehicles that commonly utilize air springs.

A Few More Words About Air Springs

Air springs are pretty low maintenance and almost never require replacing.  If your mechanic tells you that yours needs to be fixed or replaced, make sure you question it.  Air springs are known to be relatively easy to install and remove, so the labor charge should not be too much.  Make sure you get a reliable replacement if the need does arise.  Firestone air springs are reliable and are a good value for the money.

A little knowledge about your vehicle and how it works can go a long way towards saving you time and money.