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Technical advice - Maintenance of air springs

Placed on 03/06/2014

A question frequently asked in relation to maintenance for air suspension relates to the best way to maintain air springs.

Air springs are made of rubber just like vehicle tyres and so are subject to wear. Treating them properly (in other words, preventive maintenance) can have a positive effect on air spring service life.

First, a short explanation of the air spring:

Air springs are made up of several layers. Some bellows are illustrated above made up of five layers.
These are the rubber layers with the cord layers in between. The cord layers are there to provide reinforcement for the bellows.
The composition of the rubber varies and may depend on what part of the world the air spring is sold in.

In terms of maintenance, there are just a few simple rules to observe:

  • Ensure nothing can come into contact with the bellows (such as mudguards).
  • Do not spray paint or wax onto the bellows as the chemicals contained in these can damage the rubber.
  • When cleaning the vehicle, set the air suspension to the highest position and spray the bellows with water to clean them.
  • If the vehicle is not going to be used for some time (e.g. garaging over winter), check regularly that the bellows do not leak. It is best to keep bellows pressurised.

Victor Benno