What is a Controller?
The Air suspension controller is the part of the system that has most effect upon the price.
These can vary from simple non-solenoid controllers which are very simple, relatively cheap, and quite slow. These are the controllers of choice for motor-homes, and vans, and can work very well on cars. They are used on more subtle systems and usually take between 10 and 20 seconds to lift a vehicle from fully down to fully up.
Then we get into solenoids type controllers. Solenoids can be controlled by any electrical controller and these vary from simple electric window type switches, to switch-boxes, multifunction remotes, and ECU’s which have their own page here.
It is not always obvious which system a car has as the basic solenoid controllers and non-solenoid controllers tend to look very similar. They have a switch which is either electric or pneumatic next to a standard 52mm gauge. The gauge normally has two needles – one for the left and one for the right bag.
You simply press up to inflate and down to deflate. By watching the gauge needle you can get a very good approximation of the height of each corner. It is simple to learn what pressure is needed to drive without catching, what is most comfortable, and how much to increase the rear by if you have passengers in the rear.
The next stage brings into the equation switch boxes which are often fitted on long cables, and remote control.
The most sophisticated controllers which have taken over in recent years are the ECU type controllers, and a link to the page for these is here.