Engineers find that airbags are the most efficient solution when it comes to the suspension system on a typical truck. They are also remarkably hard-wearing, and you can expect them to last for a long time, but they are vulnerable and can sometimes be damaged by road debris. If this happens to a truck you own or maintain, you may wonder whether you can fix this bag or will need to replace it. So what do you need to know?
How the System Works
Your vehicle will have an air bladder fitted to each corner, which will be linked to a sensor system that can help adjust the height or control the dampening mechanism. A central compressor provides energy to the system and ensures that air is sucked in from the surrounding atmosphere and supplied as needed to each corner. Then, the "brain" will monitor performance and make tiny corrections by adding or venting the air as required.
How to Deal With Damage
Occasionally, stones or other debris may be thrown up as the vehicle moves along the road and may puncture the side of the bladder. This debris can also cause issues with some of the lines that pump the air from the compressor, with the same net effect. As a result, the bladder in that particular corner will fail to function as it should. Its sensor will tell the compressor to keep pumping air, but the bladder cannot inflate. Soon, that corner of the vehicle will begin to sag, and you will certainly notice performance issues on the road.
Your first sign of an issue may be an overworked compressor. After all, this motor will be trying to pump as much air as possible into that corner with no response.
What to Do Next
It's important to take action as soon as you discover a fault like this. Clearly, the vehicle will be difficult to drive and could even represent a hazard, so you should get in touch with a mechanic as soon as possible. They will have all the necessary tools and experience and don't underestimate the scale of the work involved.
It may be possible to repair the damaged bladder, but it will need to be replaced in many instances. If the bladder is okay, but the pipes are damaged, this is an easier task. However, you should always entrust this delicate work to a skilled technician.
Contact truck repair services to learn more.