Category: 

What is an Active Suspension?

Article Details
  • Written By: Troy Holmes
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 30 August 2016
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2016
    Conjecture Corporation
  • Print this Article
Free Widgets for your Site/Blog
Roughly one-fifth of the world's stock of gold - worth over $200 billion USD - is stored under the streets of London.  more...

September 30 ,  1949 :  The Berlin Air Lift ended.  more...

In automobiles, an active suspension is a computer-controlled suspension system that manages the firmness of the ride for the vehicle. This is accomplished through computer-activated shocks, which change the automobile's riding characteristics. An active suspension system uses special magnetic fluid material inside the shocks and struts of the vehicle. When the computer senses a change in the road conditions, an electronic charge is sent to the shocks. This causes the suspension to become tighter because the fluid becomes denser.

The first active suspension system was created in the late 1980s. This system was based on a semi-active suspension, which only affected the stiffness of the shocks on the automobile. It wasn’t until the early 1990s that the first fully active suspension management system was introduced. This enabled the full automated control over several elements of the suspension in the automobile.

A car suspension system is what makes the car ride comfortably. It is made from a complex integration of struts, shocks, springs, and sway bars, which helps keep the car from bouncing during turning and breaking. An active suspension system changes the ride characteristics based on road conditions. This makes the vehicle safer in the rain, in the snow, and during off-road driving because the suspension can adjust automatically.

Ad

An active suspension relies on traction sensors connected to the wheels and brake system of the automobile. These sensors monitor the overall stability of the automobile while it is moving. When the sensors detect tire spin or rocking situations, the system automatically tightens the suspension components, making the car handle better.

Some cars use a preset active suspension system. This is an electronic-switch-controlled suspension, which typically includes either firm or a road-touring settings. When the car is set to the road touring setting, it makes the suspension softer, which is best for long-distance travel over smooth road surfaces. The firm setting is designed for cornering and fast road race driving that requires a responsive suspension.

A Porsche® is an example of a sports car that has an active suspension management system. This system is designed to provide comfort and stability while ensuring superior handling for the vehicle. The system can adjust the suspension based on both road conditions and driving style, which makes the car handle well.

Ad

You might also Like

Recommended

Discuss this Article

Post your comments

exception 'Exception' with message 'error writing captcha: Duplicate entry '2147483647' for key 'PRIMARY'' in /ssd/www/wisegeek/public_html/_core/classes/public/Captcha.php:44
Stack trace:
#0 /ssd/www/wisegeek/public_html/_core/controls/public/ControlDiscussionPostBox.php(324): Captcha->createCaptcha()
#1 /ssd/www/wisegeek/public_html/framework/classes/Control.php(104): ControlDiscussionPostBox->preRender(false)
#2 /ssd/www/wisegeek/public_html/framework/classes/Control.php(149): Control->render()
#3 /ssd/www/wisegeek/public_html/tpl/default-nocustom-lu/pages/public/article/article.htm(526): Control->__toString()
#4 /ssd/www/wisegeek/public_html/framework/classes/Control.php(300): require('/ssd/www/wisege...')
#5 /ssd/www/wisegeek/public_html/framework/classes/Control.php(309): Control->requireTpl('pages/public/ar...', Object(PageArticleCom), true)
#6 /ssd/www/wisegeek/public_html/framework/classes/Control.php(131): Control->renderTpl('pages/public/ar...', Object(PageArticleCom))
#7 /ssd/www/wisegeek/public_html/framework/classes/FormDataControl.php(87): Control->renderTemplate()
#8 /ssd/www/wisegeek/public_html/framework/classes/Control.php(109): FormDataControl->renderTemplate()
#9 /ssd/www/wisegeek/public_html/framework/classes/ScriptPage.php(50): Control->render(false)
#10 /ssd/www/wisegeek/public_html/framework/classes/Control.php(149): ScriptPage->render()
#11 /ssd/www/wisegeek/public_html/framework/classes/Page.php(97): Control->__toString()
#12 /ssd/www/wisegeek/public_html/_core/classes/public/PublicFrontController.php(443): Page->processRequest()
#13 /ssd/www/wisegeek/public_html/_core/classes/public/PublicFrontController.php(7): PublicFrontController->renderPage()
#14 /ssd/www/wisegeek/public_html/index.php(11): PublicFrontController::run()
#15 {main}