January 28, 2021

Air suspensions: Common problem and solutions

Suspension systems in cars act to make the rides smoother and less of a hassle even on rougher roads. They come in shapes and sizes. One such is air suspension. This makes use of the air to absorb the shocks and thus makes the rides smoother overall.

Like any other piece of accessory, the air suspension also does suffer some common problems that demand to be solved. In this article, we are going to look into these issues, describe them and offer some solutions to them. You can never claim to be a shrewd car owner without this knowledge at your fingertips.


Here now are the common air suspension problems and their possible solutions:

Problem I: Compressor failure

The compressor is the pump that squeezes in the air into the tank. It is this squeezing mechanism that inflates the system to let it absorb the shocks and the bumps perfectly. Its failure may mainly be occasioned by a blown fuse or a fault relay.


In the event of a blown fuse, all you have to do is acquire a brand new one and fix it in the place of the existing one. If the problem is the faulty relay, we recommend that you bring in a qualified technician to do the job as it is not really simple for a do-it-yourselfer.

Problem II: Pressure switch problems

Ever noticed that the compressor of the air suspension works just fine but for some strange reason, the airbag struts won’t just inflate? If that is the case, the root cause might be the pressure switch. A faulty switch is incapable of activating and coordinating the activities of the suspension mechanism.


As with the case with the relays above, switches are also somewhat too complicated to handle singlehandedly. To remedy this issue, we ask you to invoke the intervention of a qualified and experienced technician. Should the problem still persist you may need to replace it completely.

Problem III: Air leaks

It is not uncommon for the system to sustain air leaks from time to time. This is often characterized by the air struts refusing to inflate or deflate uniformly as expected. Also, the pressure rating of the tubes may be well below the desirable threshold for them to operate optimally.


Of course, you have to first and foremost identify the leak. Squirt some soapy water along the sections of the tubing and any other fitting in the entire system. Take note of any bubbles. Their existence signifies the presence of some leaks. Patch the leak using some tape as you await a more permanent fix.

Problem IV: Excess moisture in the system

While the air is used to provide the shock-absorption, it inevitably accumulates some moisture. If this moisture accumulates excessively, it may not only imperil the parts of the suspension itself but also compromise its proper functioning altogether. Malfunctioning of the air dryer assembly is its chief cause.


To counter this, you need to inspect the system for any physical damages such as rust. If you come across no rust check the performance and the stance of the vehicle overall. If the vehicle lowers itself excessively, sags, or is way below the desirable threshold that could signify damages. Find a way of draining the excess moisture.

Problem V: Faulty air compressor

Other than the compressor failing to discharge its duties well, sometimes it could be that it is just faulty. The faultiness may arise due to a couple of reasons. These include damages to its parts, overworked parts, and the agents of wear and tear. They render the item largely useless and inappropriate for use.


Perhaps the best way to ascertain whether the air compressor is faulty or not is to determine the height of the vehicle. If it sags below the required threshold, that could mean that the compressor is indeed faulty and in need of a complete replacement or overhaul. The same goes for the squeaky noises.

Problem VI: Air spring leaks

Lastly, the major issue that the suspension may suffer could be the air leaks. This could mainly arise if the system has a perforation that lets out air. In this way, the proper functioning of the system as a whole is impeded and largely watered down.


The solution to this problem is simple: identify the source of the leak using the procedure stipulated above. Then, go ahead and seal the affected portion of the suspension by use of masking tape or any other item that can completely block the seepage of the air to the outside.


It goes without saying that the list above is by no means exhaustive. That is because they are infinitely many possible causes of air suspension problems. In light of this, we challenge you to explore other interventions in case you do not find success with the ones we have delineated above.

Given the centrality of the air suspension systems in the cars, we urge you never to wait till the issue arises before acting. Instead, we ask you to inspect your cars regularly to anticipate any likely problems well in advance. That will give you ample time to act before things get out of hand.

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