DON’T SEND AIR SUSPENSION WORK AWAY
Arnott says independent repair shops can profit from air suspension work
Many luxury cars, SUVs, and trucks come with standard or optional air suspension and air suspension specialist Arnott says a lot of aftermarket shops consider this work to be difficult and unprofitable.
Arnott predicts air suspension work will become even more common in the future as carmakers rely more heavily on technology that can offer their customers superior ride quality, increased safety and load-leveling capability.
According to consulting firm Markets and Markets, the air suspension market is projected to reach $8.4 billion by 2025 so Arnott says there is an opportunity for independent repair shops to profit from air suspension work.
It explains this is true given that the first time an air strut needs replacing is typically after the vehicle’s warranty has ended. Vehicles now last over 10 years and most vehicles with air springs may replace them two or three times in their lifetime.
Servicing air suspension systems can be easier than many shops realise, says Arnott, which states that if a technician can service brakes or traditional suspension systems, they have the skills needed to repair air suspensions. And with problem-solving engineering and some aftermarket options, like the rear air springs for Mercedes-Benz W211 E-class, Arnott says they can be easier to install than the OE parts.
Accurately diagnosing problems can be the first profit point for shops. Consumers often miss the early warning signs of air suspension problems. These include:
• Warning lights on the dash
• Sagging suspension
• Air suspension compressor constantly working/not working
• Vehicle bottoms out over bumps, rides roughly, pulls to one side
• Vehicle’s front-end pitches forward when stopping or continues to bounce after hitting a bump
• Uneven tire tread wear
• Oily or damaged shock portion of the strut
If air suspension failure is detected, replacing the leaking air spring or strut with a remanufactured unit restores the original OE damping and auto leveling functionality of a vehicle with active damping. Shops can also replace a leaking air strut with a new passive aftermarket part – providing auto leveling and excellent ride comfort but without any core handling.
Determining repair options for customers depends on the customer’s budget, the age and mileage of the vehicle, customer use of their semi-active dampers and whether or not the vehicle has true active damping; but Arnott says the bottom line is that replacing air springs is not a job only for dealer service departments. Indeed, it says independent shops can get in on this profitable work with a minimum investment in tools and training.
Arnott says it offers an extensive line of affordable, high-quality air suspension products for more than 150 automotive and motorcycle applications.
For more information, visit www.arnottindustries.com