Should I replace air suspension with coil springs on a luxury sedan?

People have been going back and forth on that for decades. The air suspension that Chevrolet introduced with the 1957 Impala package proved unreliable, and more than fifty years later many thousands of truck and car owners have opted to replace a fiddly air suspension system with more reliable coil springs.

With a truck, the benefit of air springs is obvious in the adjustability for towing. If you frequently tow or haul heavy loads, the air suspension is a clear benefit, though it will be more expensive to replace. If you don't need that, a coil spring conversion will meet your needs and your truck or SUV will ride like a truck and respond to your driving.

Owners of luxury vehicles, however, are often in love with the soft-ridefeeling, not having to notice every bump in the road. The luxury sedan driver may not be as interested in the gain in handling that comes with a coil spring suspension system. Of course you used to see plenty of trailers hitched to a Grand Marquis, and many people preferred a harder suspension for that use.

Short answer: it depends. If you don't mind putting the money into it, even on an older car, you can replicate your original air suspension. It will cost more. If on the other hand you want a few more good years out of a reliable car but are not as concerned with the softness of the ride, you might opt for the savings of a coil spring conversion, which provides a perfectly safe an acceptable alternative.

The 1957 Impala was one of the first sedans with air suspension.
The 1957 Impala was one of the first sedans with air suspension.


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