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Smart Suspensions

Smart Suspensions
  Related Terms
• Active Suspensions
• Air Shocks
• Air Suspension
• Air Springs

Definition: Any suspension that uses computer-controlled shock absorbers and/or air springs to vary ride characteristics and/or ride height. The advantage of such a suspension is that it can change the way the suspension reacts to changing road conditions. On a rough road, it can provide a smoother ride. On smooth roads, it can firm up to provide better handling. A computer-controlled solenoid atop each shock absorber or MacPherson strut changes the internal valving of the shock to provide a stiffer or softer suspension as needed. On suspensions that use air springs, ride height sensors allow the computer to maintain the same ride height in spite of changing loads. Air can be added or bled from the air springs by computer-controlled solenoid valves. On some vehicles, the computer lowers the vehicle for better aerodynamics at high speed. On some four-wheel drive vehicles, the suspension can be raised for increased off-road ground clearance.

Related Resources:

Steering and Suspension
These two systems have the important job of controlling where your car goes and how it rides. Here, in general terms, are how they work.

Steering and Suspension Symptoms
Squeals, shimmys, vibrations. What does it all mean? Here's some things to look for when your car is not behaving as it should.

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