Coilovers Vs Air Suspension – The Long Debate

Lowering you car is one of the first modifications everyone goes for, as it makes it handle better, gives it a better look and has better adjustability options. Since the birth of Jesus, the debate has been coilovers vs air suspension. There are great benefits to both! Whichever you choose has to suit your needs at the time.

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If you want to get a better idea of which you are better choosing for your ride, keep reading, we will try to give you a good idea of which one is best for you and your pocket. Unless you like spending lots and lots of money, but that’s a different story.

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Determine Your Cars Purpose

Defining which is better for your needs is easy, you just gotta find out what you want from your car first, because that will give you a better idea to which route to go down.

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Track cars – track cars take a lot of beating, they take long dormant sleeps through winter, come out when the weather is nicer and hit the Nurburgring for giggs. They are often hammered hard and things break regular, meaning expensive repairs.

Due to these factors, track cars wouldn’t benefit from an expensive air suspension setup and might be better off with a firmer more robust setup like a decent coilover. Although you don’t have to spend a lot, you could go for some Maxpeedingrods or even BC Racing, either will give you a firmer Ride and offer better performance.

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Daily drivers – people who drive their car every day to and from work aren’t really in the business of modifying a daily car, but if you are and you want comfort when going to the office while being dropped to the ground, we would consider air suspension.

This is mainly because it’s more comfortable, you have adjustable ride height at the touch of a button, great for showing off in works car park. Not to mention they won’t be getting hammered on a track. Just beware if you are a motorway guy as some air suspension fitters won’t recommend motorways, depends who you go with.

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Stance / Show cars – these types of cars aren’t make for speed, more showing off, looking the dogs bollocks and just being awesome. Although most people go air suspension for this one to get more lows, you don’t have to fork out the money, as long as you get the car low.

This means that you can go either way with a stance or show car, they really are determined by your budget and how long you want to go. I’ve known people role on air and I’ve known people creeping around on JOM coilovers, it’s just down to your pocket.

Benefits Of Coilovers

Adjustable suspension is something most people ask for when upgrading their suspension and one of the first things that comes to mind is coilovers. These are normally a straight swap from the OEM suspension replacing the shocks and springs.

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We’ve already looked into what cars would benefit from coilovers but in reality, you can fit these to any car you want to lower or firm up the ride on. Some of the benefits include:

  • Adjustable ride height
  • Firmer more planted ride
  • Better handling
  • More affordable than air suspension
  • Improves the stance of your car

Some of the cons include

  • Can be pricey
  • Can be too firm on long bumpy roads
  • Adjusting requires jacking

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Despite the few cons, it’s really about if your willing to lose some ride quality for a better handling, lower looking car. Not only that but it can be a cheaper option than air suspension, depending on how much you want to spend. For a mid range coilover, you can expect to pay half of the cost of air suspension.

Benefits Of Air Suspension

Some people believe air suspension is the be all end all, I’m kind of with them on this, I’m in my thirties, I need a more comfortable ride that won’t break my back every time I go down to the Tesco.

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Air suspension is adjustable ride height at the touch of a button. It’s where you replace the springs and shocks with bellows that are operated by compressed air from a compressor, usually stored in the boot. Air suspension has been going around for years but it’s only recently become big in the modified car community.

Some of the benefits of air suspension include

  • Better ride quality (like riding a cloud)
  • Adjustable ride height at the touch of a button
  • Performance air lift available
  • Lowers the car alot
  • Better fuel economy

Some of the cons include

  • Pricey (finance normally available)

There are a lot of benefits to air suspension, enough to keep you happy for a while. But it’s all personal preference. If you want a better quality ride and being able to “air out” in the Asda car park, air suspension is for you.

Taking Cost Into Consideration

One of the main things that holds people back is the cost of whatever the modifications are. Some people might have a budget, some might save, some might finance. Whatever you do, it’s your money, you do what you want with it!!

Generally though if you’re looking for an affordable, low, car upgrade, go with coilovers as they can be relatively cost effective, although we recommend you spending a little more and getting a decent setup.

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But if your bank balance will allow it or your happy with a finance option, air suspension is probably the best way to go. You won’t get a numb bum, you may get better fuel economy and it just looks cool when you let the air out when you park up.

Both options have a cost, it’s just how much you want to spend, either one will cost as much as you want it to, but Coilovers are the more affordable option for lowering your car. If you want to know a good cheap coilover, check out our reviews of JOM coilovers or Maxpeedingrods Coilovers.

Which Will You Choose

Whichever you decide to go for, both have great advantages, depending on how you use your car or what you plan to do with it. Both will lower your car and both will improve handing.

Just do it your way and have fun doing it, whether you do it on the drive with a friend or family member or if you’re going to agarage to get the work done, enjoy your new suspension setup whatever the journey and keep modifying the way you want to.

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All the best

Kevin

Kevin@boostandcamber.com

Founder of Boost And Camber

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