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How to Deal with Air Suspension Failure

How to Deal with Air Suspension Failure
26 August, 2022

The various parts and systems that make cars run optimally require consistent care and attention in order to function well. Even though we may attend to our vehicle regularly, things can still go wrong. There are many reasons why car parts fail or begin to malfunction, and many of those reasons may be out of our control. However, if you can’t control all of the issues that your car may encounter, then it might be worthwhile to know a little bit about detecting symptoms of failure of the various parts in your car. Whether it be the exhaust, the oil system, or the transmission, different symptoms can tell you where to begin when dealing with part failure.

One of the systems that is especially important to pay attention to in a car is the suspension. Suspensions in various cars and models look different depending on the manufacturer, the year it was built, and the performance standards associated with the brand. For instance, the suspension on a four-wheel-drive off-road vehicle will look and act very differently from that of a luxury sedan. Air suspension is a relatively new development in the auto industry that relies on specialized air bags and an air compressor for optimal functioning. If you own or drive a car with an air suspension, it’s important to be aware of the various issues that are unique to an air suspension and how to deal with them. If your air suspension fails, it can have serious, lasting effects on your vehicle, not to mention short-term significantly reduced reliability and performance. Here is a bit more information about air suspension systems and how to detect and deal with the common issues they experience.

WHAT DOES AN AIR SUSPENSION DO?

Air suspension is an alternative to typical suspension in a wide variety of vehicles on the road today. Air suspensions serve the same general purpose as other types of suspension: they are designed to support the vehicle and shield it from the imperfections in the road. Furthermore, it aids the car in turning and staying stabilized on uneven terrain. The air bags in the suspension fill with air via an air compressor rather than relying on fluid-filled shocks and springs for support as you may see in a normal suspension.

COMMON ISSUES ASSOCIATED WITH AIR SUSPENSION

The issues that air suspension typically encounters are unique to the parts that are associated with such a design. Not all cars have air suspensions, and it’s important to know what type of suspension your car has so you can recognize the signs of failure. Here are some of the common issues associated with air suspensions in particular:

LEAKING AIR

Since air suspensions run off of air, it is relatively typical for air leaks to occur when there’s an issue. The various parts of the suspension offer different avenues for air to escape, which include the rubber seals that are susceptible to holes and punctures. Since there are several components of your air suspension that can be the culprit of leaking air, it’s essential to consult with a professional automotive technician who is familiar with the various parts involved in air suspension—especially with your specific brand of car.

COMPRESSOR MALFUNCTIONING

As we mentioned before, the air bags that support the car are filled with air by way of an air compressor. If the air compressor begins to fail or malfunction, then the bags won’t fill with air, allowing the car to slam down onto other critical parts on impact. The compressor relies on a motor to generate air to fill the bags with, and this is generally where issues come up. If the compressor is beginning to fail in your air suspension, you might encounter strange noises related to the compressor motor dying. You might also experience the vehicle sitting lower than it normally does on any given day. These signs are concerning, and should be addressed immediately.

WHY AN INITIALLY ACCURATE DIAGNOSIS IS CRITICAL TO AIR SUSPENSION REPAIR

Proper air suspension repair begins with an accurate diagnosis. Because air suspension problems can arise due to a number of issues with the suspension system, it’s important that your trusted automotive shop performs a diagnosis which isolates the problem accurately. Additionally, after the problem has been diagnosed properly, the repair protocol for that specific vehicle should be followed. Whether the problem arises from the compressor or a damaged seal somewhere, suspension parts must be inspected with attention to detail to avoid overlooking the actual problem and prevent unnecessary, expensive repair work.

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