Air Shocks vs. Airbags – Detail Comparison

The primary purpose of having an air shock is to enable a comfortable quality ride, and in other instances, it is used in sports suspension. It is mainly preferred in light trucks and modern electronics such as automobiles due to high low functioning.

Airbags help humans as they prevent severe crashes or even mere bruises when an accident occurs. This prevents your head or any delicate part of the body from getting injuries when a car crash occurs.

My article below will help me understand how air shocks and airbags work. So, be in a position to understand any point for your safety. Frequently asked questions are in place as most people tend to ask. Later, the summary of the article helps you grasp everything necessary.

Quick comparison table:

componentAirbag Air shocks 
Mode of operationHard to operateEasy to operate

What’s the difference between airbags and air shocks?

1. Airbag

air shocks vs air bags

Before matching down on which qualities an airbag has, you need to understand how it works. An airbag works when connected to an electric pump or compressor, which compresses the air to the rubber bugs. Mainly the rubber bags are manufactured from polyurethane and textile rubber. When the compressor is turned on, it forces the airbags to the required air pressure.

Replace the conventional steel spring with heavy loading vehicles to achieve higher performance. The features of an electronically controlled include as follows:

  • Ensure the wheels are connected with vulcanized heavy rubber.
  • A tank for storage of the compressed air.
  • A valve to enable the transfer of air to the four springs.
  • Ensure air pipes are connected to the air tank.
  • Instruction from the computer enables the flow of high or low air pressure.

Types of airbags

  1. Sleeve style

These types of airbags are designed for coordinating the ride and lifting process. The bag is connected to the spring on one end, covering all contents of the bag inside. Flexible, heavy rubber covers the internal part to withstand air compression.

When air is pushed inside the springs, it tends to enlarge to reach the desired dimensions. Mostly sleeve styles are suitable for use when there is enough space and when light loads are used. Hence, most suited in lightweight vehicles.

2. Bellows style

The bellows are created from heavy-gauge rubber connected to one chamber. Bellows style tends to be more-larger than the sleeve-style air springs in terms of size. Thus, it enables them to have ample space to handle more oversized loads.

Due to the advantage of the bellow’s shape and size, they tend to work two times more than the sleeve style. Bellows consist of single, dual, and triple chambers of configurations. You acknowledge that the bellows deal with heavy loads, ensuring enough space for better installation.

Reasons for using airbags

Reasons for using airbags


  • Comfort

Nowadays, the car and truck industry manufacturers prefer airbags as the best medicine for their problems. They have thrown away the long-lasting conventional springs for everyone’s comfort in their vehicles.

  • Flexibility

The airbag is making a good step ahead as it enables vehicles to move at low speed in packing space. It also helps heavy trucks carry heavy loads, which tend to be lower than heavy luggage. Airbags come in solution as it enables to keep the load in the truck at a level bringing stability between the truck and the luggage.


  • Installation

Installation of an airbag has always been a headache to many users. Luckily, the new airbags have reduced chopping it, but you have to create holes to enable compressor compatibility.

Furthermore, there are side effects when dealing with light vehicles as the production of weird sounds becomes a big problem due to the small space inside them any time the compressor applies its force.

It is advisable to seek the attention of a qualified mechanic because there is much complexity in the installation process. This helps to keep yourself safe and your vehicle.

  • Expense

Sometimes you have to lure hands to the pockets to enable the smooth running of the airbags. You might decide to try by yourself to save, but when you are not a professional in it, then the task over you is more significant under your control.

Many users do not use airbags due to their expensive cost, but if you need a quality airbag, you have no other way to purchase it.

  • Reliability

Airbags are very helpful to users who use them. But they have a lot of side effects to check before riding to any place. High-quality airbags are always the deal.

Besides that, it will automatically leak and even burst, which can distort the working of your brakes and minimize vehicle control leading to fatalities.

  • Maintenance

As the user, you should always be aggressive to check your airbag’s condition. If the type you install and forget about it, then expect more fatalities on your way as it is hazardous.

Poor road conditions sometimes cause leaks, and hence wear and tear can help for a longer duration.

2. Air shocks

If you need to upgrade your system for better functionality, you have to do a lot of research to help you purchase a quality air shock. It is the reason I have decided to provide you with the reasons why air shocks are of great importance and then their side effects.

As I know, air shocks are flexible and are less weight, and they perform tasks well in linkages. Mostly they are cheap and robust.


  • Lightweight
  • Easy to change set up
  • End-stroke progressive in nature
  • Performs well in virtually set up


  • More minor in size compliance with the bump
  • Great maintenance attention
  • Stroke beginning can be stiff

Do you need shocks with airbags?

Do you need shocks with airbags

The answer is always yes because shocks and airbags every time in use should be in pairs. When the shocks are correctly installed, they help control the vehicle’s movement. Hence, they prevent the vehicle from increasing speed, braking, and cornering.

Shocks play a very efficient role as the air is compressible, leading to the air springs being flexible, which tend to range in some instances. More so, this affects the height of the spring and the pressure inside it.

Sometimes the air springs may fail to damp shock. It negatively affects the vehicle’s bounce several times when it heats an object or a thing. It affects the vehicle’s tires and unloads, creating problems for the user or the vehicle. Shocks damp prevent the tires from bouncing as they hold them firmly to the ground to prevent any side effects or fatalities. When it occurs successfully helps the user to be in control of the vehicle preventing accidents.

Do airbags take the place of shocks?

Do airbags take the place of shocks

Airbags have a significant benefit as they take the place of shocks and are located at the car’s base. But there are side effects if you perform because most of the bags are created from rubber, which means they are affected by wear and tear or even bruised from external objects.

The replacement of the airbags depends on the manufacturer’s specification because they have different ranges. Remember that airbags are used every time from the day of installation; this includes when the vehicle is moving.

When they are used over a long time, the airbags may start to leak due to the rubber drying up; this leads to the bag sagging and pumping to run low.

There are some reasons which cause the airbag to wear includes:

  • Air pump cycling starts to misbehave severally
  • Constant running of the pump
  • Airbags need to be filled before you can move
  • Improper rid adjustments height

Are our air shocks worth it?

I will advise anyone to say it is worth it without depending if the air shocks are manual or automatic. Some of the importance of air shocks include:

  • Air shocks, when at a better state, helps the vehicle to perform higher corner speeds
  • Air shocks also help in the vehicle speed ride height depending on the load weight
  • They also help not to bounce too much when the vehicles are in bad state roads
  • Most trailers tend to long last as the air shocks reduce the vibration of the vehicle
  • Air shocks sill reduce tear and wear of the vehicle
  • It brings easiness in traveling as the noise and vibration of the vehicle is reduced, creating comfort to the driver

Frequently asked questions:

  • Do air shocks for daily use in driving?

In my own experience, I would say yes and advise everyone to support me because when proper installation and maintenance is achieved, your air shocks will work very well. I would recommend you contact a professional to be sure of the installation.


Airbags and air shocks are two critical basics in a vehicle which when you miss one or both, you pose a danger to yourself and other people. The reason being the two helps to maintain the stability of the vehicle and protect the driver and the users from accidents.

My article above has laid the main differences in how airbags and air shocks work and their effects if not installed correctly. I will always recommend seeking help from a qualified expert who understands correctly how this works.

About Me

This is Cody Wingfield; I’m an author and a Freaky Campers enthusiast. My three favorite activities are Cycling, Rving, and Cooking for me. OutingX is a planet of mine where I will share my exploring history, story, freaky experiment, and personally gathered experience with you.

Leave a Comment