Shopping for the Right Suspension Valve for Your Vehicle
Air suspension systems require valves in order to protect their auxiliary air components. The types of vehicles that usually make use of these automotive parts include cars, recreational vehicles, buses, trailers, and tractors. Lots of road vehicles come with air suspension. It's a commonplace technology that's been around for a long time. There are even vehicles that could adjust the performance of their suspension to fit different vehicular applications at the push of a button. On that note, you might need a new valve if your existing suspension starts to malfunction.
Some Things to Remember
Here are a few reminders when shopping for a new suspension valve:
- It should be compatible with your vehicle. When buying vehicle-specific components for your automobile, you should definitely check your user's manual or the driver's side door jamb of your car to get the specific year, make, and model of your car. This way, the auto shop owner won't second-guess himself in giving you the right valve for your compromised air suspension system.
- Check out the warranty and the type of suspension. A good suspension valve should have a generous warranty policy, like a lifetime warranty or at least a 30-day money back guarantee in case the aftermarket part doesn't satisfy your suspension needs in the least. There are also direct action 12-volt valves in existence to watch out for. The type of valve you can get also depends on whether it's for a single valve or dual valve rear suspension.
- Ensure the durability of the valve by checking its materials list. Great valves for air suspension are all made of stainless steel, nickel plating, and aluminum parts. If your suspension supports dual valve action, then that ensures you a valve that could operate up and down and could work to pressure of up to 350 PSI. Essentially, you need to cross-reference the product's specs with the specs recommended for your suspension system.
- Make sure your valve is certified and of high quality. You can judge the quality of the brand of valve you're shopping for by making sure it's ISO-certified. Good air suspension valves have ISO/TS certification as part of their approvals list. As for the quality of the valves, the best ones should have positive reviews from verified buyers, like comments on how they're able to increase your car's suspension pressure in the rear when towing huge loads as extra support.
- Decide whether to go for an aftermarket part or an OEM one. For some, aftermarket valves aren't worth it and simply gritting your teeth and bearing the expenses of an OEM product (plus labor expenses for replacement and installation) from your dealership is worth the peace of mind. For others, especially the DIY crowd who knows how to work under the hood of their cars, going aftermarket can save them loads of money while still getting OEM-level performance. Just remember if your new valve isn't doing its job, you will feel the difference in the smoothness of your ride.