The suspension system is a crucial aspect of any vehicle, as it determines the ride comfort, handling, and stability on the road. Different types of suspensions have been developed over the years to cater to various driving needs and conditions. We’re going to give you a breakdown of the four common types of car suspensions: coil springs, leaf springs, air suspensions, and hydraulic suspensions.

Coil Springs Suspension

The coil spring suspension is one of the most widely used systems in modern vehicles. It consists of a helical spring that absorb shocks and vibrations during driving. When a car drives over a bump or uneven terrain, the coil spring compresses to absorb the impact, ensuring a smoother ride for passengers.



- Cost-effective and easy to manufacture.

- Provides a comfortable ride with good handling characteristics.

- Suitable for a wide range of vehicle types, from sedans to SUVs.



- Limited load-bearing. They’re not suitable for very heavy vehicles.

- Not as robust as leaf springs.

Leaf Springs Suspension

Leaf spring suspensions have a long history and were very common in older vehicles, bakkies and trucks. They consist of several layers of steel strips stacked together and attached to the axle and chassis. These steel strips flex as the vehicle encounters bumps, providing suspension travel and load-bearing capabilities.


- Robust and capable of handling heavy loads, making them ideal for commercial vehicles and trucks

- Simpler design compared to coil springs, resulting in lower maintenance costs.



- Can deliver a rough and bumpy ride, especially on uneven roads.

- Heavy and can add considerable weight to the vehicle.



Air Suspensions

Air suspensions, as the name suggests, use air-filled rubber or synthetic bags to support the vehicle's weight and cushion bumps. These bags are inflated or deflated using an air compressor within the vehicle, which allows for adjustable ride height and stiffness. Luxury vehicles and high-end SUVs often have factory-fitted air suspension, providing a smooth ride and adaptive suspension settings.


- Excellent ride comfort and handling, as the system is adaptable for varying road conditions.

- Adjustable ride height, making it suitable for off-road driving or lowering the vehicle for improved aerodynamics.


- Higher initial financial outlay, and potential future maintenance expenses

- Susceptible to air leaks, which can affect suspension performance.

Hydraulic Suspensions

Hydraulic suspensions are a more complex and less common type of suspension. They use hydraulic fluid to provide suspension travel and adjust the vehicle's ride height. They‘re known for their ability to achieve extreme lowering or raising of the vehicle, commonly seen in lowriders and some high-performance sports cars, and are very responsive compared to other systems like air suspension.


-Versatile and capable of achieving rapid and dramatic changes in ride height.

- Great level of customisation for unique aesthetics and performance.



- Costly to install and maintain.

- A complex system, prone to leaks and potential failures.

Ultimately, car suspensions are vital for ensuring a smooth and safe driving experience. Each suspension type offers a unique set of advantages and disadvantages, as a result, manufacturers fit the appropriate suspension based on the intended use of their vehicles. From traditional coil and leaf springs to advanced air and hydraulic suspensions, the automotive industry continues to evolve to provide better driving experiences for consumers. Whether you need comfort or off-road capability, understanding the different types of suspensions empowers you to make an informed choice when buying your next vehicle or modifying your current one.