ALL air compressors
produce moisture, no matter the size. Bigger air compressors
like whats in an auto repair shop or in most shade-tree mechanics garages, fuel air tools, blow sawdust and air up tires. Although the bigger compressors produce more moisture than a smaller one, the bigger compressor with a tank also has a way to easily drain the moisture from the system.
Most people don't realize that an automotive air suspension system is just like an air compressor
in their garage with one big difference between them. Because of all the low lying air lines and other parts(air springs
- air struts
) in the vehicle, there is no way to easily drain moisture
out of the system. A 2003-2006 Mercedes E320 Air Suspension Conversion Kit
? With Premium EIBACH Coil Springs & Brand Name Premium Struts, there is no difference in ride quality no matter how hot it gets!
You've heard automobile air suspension systems have a dryer that absorbs the moisture
? That is true, but keep in mind 2 things. #1) Having a dryer right off the air source is at best only 95% effective. The reason for this is because a rule of thumb when working with pneumatics, is to have the dryer or collector a good 6 feet from the source. This is to allow the hot moisture filled air, time to cool a bit where the dryer can grab it. Not allowing it to cool down a tad makes the whole drying system not as effective, because the moist hot air will blow right past the dryer. Short term(when the vehicle is new), you'll never have this problem, because the new dryer has collected most of the moisture
and not enough moisture has collected in the system to cause problems.
#2) The dealer won't tell you this, but because they want you to keep buying air suspension parts
and to come line their pockets later on when your out of warranty, but most dryers
used on these automobile systems only have a lifespan of 4-5 years. After this time has passed, the dryer pretty much turns into a collection point. In other words, instead of the moisture
gel beads inside the dryer
collecting the incoming moisture, the moisture is now just collecting in the dryer.....just sitting there. The moisture then plays a see-saw game of going back & forth from inside the lines & air springs
& back to the compressor. It makes its way back to the air suspension compressor
, because most systems are designed to dry themselves by blowing air thats already in the system, back through the dryer & air suspension compressor
. Whats bad about that? What happened to all that moisture
that was built up and sitting in the dryer? That's right, its now being forced....by high air pressure....through the compressor! These air suspension compressors
generally have an estimated 40% duty cycle, which is considered light duty in most cases. They are designed from the factory to run bone dry and will be permanently damaged from ANY moisture
What makes these facts even worse? If an air compressor produces moisture
normally anyway, what does it do when it has to run 2-10 times more because of a leak in the air springs
? Answer: Its going to make 2-10 times more moisture
than it would normally! In other words, even if you spend $400-$900(not including labor) for another air suspension compressor
, the moisture that has collected in the rest of the system all those years, that's still in there, will quickly attack & overwhelm the new dryer and then damage the replacement air suspension compressor
How long the replacement air suspension compressor
lasts greatly depends on 2 things:
1: How much it has to run = If the leak(s) in the system was repaired.
If the leak(s) were repaired, you may have a chance. If not, the 40% duty cycle air suspension compressor
that's made to run 2-10 times more than it was designed, will continue to run constantly until the small plastic parts(all of them have 'em) inside them start to melt. Running constantly is also hard on bearings and even armatures, due to the increased amperage draw from swollen(from moisture
) parts(rings) inside.
2: How much moisture
was in the system. Over the years, we've experienced new $500+ factory air suspension compressors
damaged to the point of not working at all, in less than 1 months use....due to excessive moisture
in the system alone!A 2003-2006 Mercedes E320 Air Suspension Conversion Kit
? With Premium EIBACH Coil Springs & Brand Name Premium Struts, there is no difference in ride quality no matter how much moisture
is in the air!Cold Weather:
One reason air suspension problems
seem to show their ugly heads when it gets cold on air suspension equipped vehicles, is because the rolling lobe type air springs
used on these vehicles get harder and less pliable the colder it gets. These air springs
are only 2mm thick and can't seal themselves as effectively when the rubber is hard(cold).
ANY business selling air suspension parts
would make way more money if you stayed with the air, as you will continually buy parts for it. Considering the average cost to do this job with OEM air struts
, would be $6,000-$8,000 for all 4 air struts
.....not including labor.
While the air suspension system doesn't produce much moisture
in colder weather, the collected moisture
in the system does hurt system performance. When the moisture that is in in the air suspension dryer
drops below freezing, the dryer can easily become a solid block of ice, not allowing ANY air to travel in any direction! This means no load leveling when weight is added, but also not venting the air after the weight is removed! Say you were lucky enough to have the air suspension compressor
squeeze enough air pressure past the solid block of ice in your 10+ year old dryer. You take your car and drop someone off. NOW, the system can't relieve all the extra air in the system and you drive around looking like a 4x4.A 2003-2006 Mercedes E320 Air Suspension Conversion Kit
? With Premium EIBACH Coil Springs & Brand Name Premium Struts, there is no difference in ride quality no matter how cold it gets!