Changing the air shock lines in your car's air suspension system can be quite a hassle, but unless you want to drive around town with nothing to cushion you from the hard, bumpy road, replacement is a necessary task. Replacing an old air shock line using an air shock line kit is quite easy, as you will only basically choose from three options: rubber, polyurethane, and stainless steel lines. In this guide, we will go into detail of each of these air shock lines and weigh the pros and cons for you.
Air shock lines made of natural or synthetic rubber have long been the choice for many car enthusiasts because of their ability to mitigate vibration effectively and their high resistance to wear. More rubber air lines today also have an interlocking nylon weave sandwiched in between the rubber material, increasing their strength. However, due to the innate softness of the material, rubber air lines are highly vulnerable to punctures and tears.
Polyurethane air shock lines are stiffer and more resistant to damage than rubber. They are also highly resistant to UV rays and make a good insulator. And unlike rubber, which degrades when exposed to ozone, polyurethane lines degrade far slower and will last years longer than their rubber counterparts. The downsides of this material? It is known to emit harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and it is not biodegradable.
The most expensive of the three, stainless steel air shock lines are composed on an inner tube made of plastic or Teflon and a braided stainless steel outer shell. The inner material is designed to expand, creating additional direct pressure, while the exterior braid is designed to protect the inner tube from cuts and punctures. However, the disadvantage of this type of air shock line is that stainless steel tends to abrade or erode softer materials around it.