How Linear Automotive Actuators Can Upgrade Your Car

How Linear Automotive Actuators Can Upgrade Your Car

Guest Writer
Guest Writer
PA Engineer

One of the mainstream trends in modern society is the drive for automation. Recent decades have witnessed tremendous advancements along the way of streamlining our environment. We ushered robotic technologies into areas such as agriculture, forestry, and healthcare, with these new technologies also now appearing in our homes and gardens. This progressive advancement of automation has also played a significant role in the automotive industry, both in the manufacturing and upgrading of modern-day cars.

Automotive Actuators: Mobilis in Mobili

Actuators in cars have allowed us to introduce automation into automobiles, from the very core mechanics to exterior features. A large number of auto actuators are installed at the manufacturing stage and operate unbeknownst to the driver, with their presence an imperative function of the vehicle. Many car owners and enthusiasts also crave more automation and advancement alongside what they already have. Until recently, aftermarket customization of vehicles automation-wise held a limited number of options to choose from. Today, the product range has widened with technological advancements and innovative offerings. From this progression of technological demand, alongside tech-savvy and affordable car upgrades, the automotive linear actuator found its purpose in many car components.

1.      Engine

It is the heart of every vehicle that makes motion possible so actuators in car engines are essential for the operation of the whole system. Typically, an automotive actuator installed within an engine performs a controlling function. Thus, such actuators are responsible for an engine’s idle control, for power take-off operations (especially in high-performance vehicles), as well as controlling air flaps for torque and power optimization. Engine linear actuators are instrumental in fuel control, helping to meter fuel for optimal combustion. They are also responsible for checking fresh air supply and exhaust gas recirculation, both of which are related to pollutant discharges of the car. Engine cooling can also greatly benefit from a vehicle actuator. Ultimately, the entire engine is an actuator that turns the energy of fuel combustion into the movement of the vehicle.

Car Interior


2.      Interior

Inside the passenger compartment, an auto actuator plays many roles. It can be utilized in places such as seat and headrest adjustment, and steering wheel regulation. By fine-tuning the height and the angle of seats and steering column, additional convenience for the passengers is provided and caters to the physique of the driver. Air and heat control systems rely on actuators to function, ensuring the vehicle occupants can travel comfortably. Car owners can also go a step further to ensure the comfort of their passengers by equipping their vehicle seats with a massage function. In this case, actuators can be used to activate air cushions underneath the seat surface, giving both the driver and passengers a massage during travel.

Сar linear actuator


3.      Bodywork

The car exterior presents virtually unlimited opportunities for utilizing linear actuators for upgrading. With the help of actuators, the headlights can become adaptative, allowing you to adjust their height or activate their cleaning mechanism. If your car has pop-up headlights, often leveraged by vacuum actuators, thanks to automotive innovation their modernization can be achieved by replacing them with 12v linear actuators. Other, more conventional areas of linear actuators in the exterior of cars are seen in moving the windscreen and headlight wipers, fine-tuning the rearview mirrors, and even installing pop-up electric rear windows on older models. 

Modern cars are seeing further automation in their exterior. Fuel filler flaps, boot lids, sunroofs, and various storage compartments (including the trunk) are all becoming normalized automated features of vehicles. Safety systems are also made up of and facilitated by actuators, enabling the locking and unlocking of car doors and operating electric parking brakes.

Actuators for car lift for wheelchair


4.      Vehicle auxiliaries and accessories

Linear actuators are extensively used not only in classic passenger cars but in vehicles such as trucks and RVs also:

  • Automating truck beds, tonneau covers, and tailgates.
  • Hitching and unhitching trailers.
  • Installing wheelchair lifts and doors in an RV.
  • Unfurling the awning that can be attached to the side of an RV and raised to provide protection from the direct sun rays or rain. The height of the awning can also be adjusted via leveraging actuators.
  • Streamlining the motion of sliding elements of the RV interior, such as floor and storage doors or hatches.
  • Operating a flip-down TV. Actuators can help with moving the TV from their hidden position as well as rotating it to adjust its viewing angle.
  • Satellite dish tuning. Traveling in an RV, you can face the problem of an interrupted satellite signal that can be caused by poor reception and inadequate tuning. Actuators can be used to manipulate the dish position and orientation, enabling smooth and effortless tuning of it.
mini linear actuator PA-14 by Progressive Automations


What are 12V Electric Linear Actuators?

A more conventional synonym for the verb to actuate is to move, hence the function of actuators: to provide motion. In the case of linear actuators, it refers to the movement along one straight axis. Depending on the source of energy, linear actuators are then classified into hydraulic, pneumatic, and electric.

Due to the smooth operation, lack of cleanliness issues, high precision of motion, and control of positioning, we deem electric actuators as perfect propellants of linear motion for the automotive industry. Usually, they are powered by a 12V DC battery, with the element they are attached positioned within a specific distance or at a certain angle.


Automating actions and mechanisms to streamline and ease our environment is extremely popular. Linear actuators offer boundless opportunities to accomplish this, with particular reference to vehicles in this case. They have become essential for upgrading many areas of your car, automating all its essential functions, and providing owners with many possibilities of improvement and innovation.

Whatever plans for upgrading your vehicle you might be considering, picking the right actuator to implement them is crucial. By choosing our products, you will transform your car into a state-of-the-art vehicle driving.