6 Common Air Suspension Problems And Solutions [Explained]

A malfunctioning air suspension system in your car makes your vehicle unstable while driving in extreme road conditions. 

Some of the common air suspension problems are air leakage, defective airlines, or malfunctioning ride height sensors. Additionally, the air compressor becomes bad, and you must replace it. Often, you may need to replace the ride height sensors.

Besides, a well-functioning air suspension can make your driving smoother. So, it is important to fix the air suspension issues as soon as you can. Let’s find out the details in the rest of the article.

Air Suspension Problems
Air Suspension Problems

How Do You Know the Air Suspension of Your Car Goes Bad?

There are multiple ways to determine if the air suspension system in your car is no longer performing as you expect. 

Moreover, you can experience significant performance issues with your car. Now, let’s know some of the common symptoms. 

  • Uneven ride height condition. 
  • Rough handling. 
  • Extreme noise from the bottom of your car (from suspension in most cases). 
  • Imbalance cornering. 
  • Sagging on one side of your car when there are many passengers or loads. 
  • Stuck on bumps or potholes. 
  • Airbag leakage.

6 Most Common Air Suspension Problems and Solutions

So, once you point out something wrong with the air suspension system in your car, the next step is to figure out the cause. 

Moreover, you should define exactly what air suspension component is malfunctioning. And then you do troubleshooting. 

1- Air Leakage

The air suspension system works by inflating and deflating the air in the airbags. And it does so with the help of the compressor. 

That’s the key difference between a conventional suspension system and an air suspension system. 

Sometimes, the airbags become damaged or leaky. And due to this, it is not supposed to contain any air (they can’t create resistance to bounce). 

This causes the air suspension to malfunction. And in most cases, the O-ring, which works as a sealant to keep the air in the airbag, might fall.

You need to check for leakage on the air suspension system’s air spring. If you find a tiny leak, you can use a sealant or patch kit to fix it. But if the leakage is extreme; you need to replace it. 

You can check out this video to learn how to repair the air spring leakage. 

2- Defective Air Line

The compressor of the air suspension system compresses air into the airbag. And to do this, it uses the airline or hose. 

First, the compressor draws air from the environment. Then, it delivers the air through the airline or hose. 

And so there won’t be enough air in the airbags if the airline becomes clogged or broken. This can cause the air suspension system to not work. The issue can occur due to overheating.

You must check for airline leakage. You should also remove the airlines and inspect whether they are clogged. But, if the airlines become severely damaged, you need to replace them.

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3- Broken or Loose Electrical Connections

The electrical connection connects the components of the air suspension system. The electrical connections may become broken or loose. 

Also, the electrical fuses can become defective. And due to this, the Electronic Control Module of your car can’t operate the air suspension. 

Inspect the cables carefully. If any of the connections become loose, you should fix them. In addition, you need to replace the broken electrical connection or worn fuse, if there are any.

4- Malfunctioning Ride Height Sensor

The ride height sensor of the air suspension system measures the distance between the car and the ground. 

And then, it sends this signal to the ECM of your car to operate the air suspension system. And that’s why you drive your car safely on both bumpy and smooth roads. 

But when the ride height sensor becomes defective or worn out, it can send an inaccurate signal to the ECM. And due to this, inappropriate leveling occurs while driving. 

First, you have to locate the ride height sensor on the strut assembly of your car. Then, if the sensor looks worn out, you should replace it. The ride height sensors in your car are located on the front and rear axles.

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5- Bad Air Compressor 

The air compressor plays a vital role in the air suspension system in your car. Its primary duty is to compress air into the airbags for smooth driving and vehicle leveling. 

However, when the air compressor goes bad, it is not supposed to compress air into the airbags, and the air suspension can’t work correctly.  

Numerous causes are behind the malfunctioning air compressor. In most cases, the air compressor is prone to damage as it ages. 

Moreover, the air compressor has several components like an air filter, relief valve, pump, check valve, relay, etc. 

So, you need to check each of the components individually. And if any components become bad, damaged, or worn out, you should replace them. 

Sometimes, you need to replace the entire air compressor. But you shouldn’t do that without a qualified mechanic’s recommendation. 

6- Bad Electronic Control Module

This might not be a prominent reason behind issues with the air suspension system. But, due to a bad or malfunctioning ECM, the air suspension might also malfunction. 

The ECM receives a signal from the height sensor and then determines the ideal air pressure for the air suspension. And when the ECM goes bad, the air suspension can’t function properly. 

If you can’t find any issues after checking all the air suspension components, you must check the ECM. 

But don’t forget to seek assistance from a qualified mechanic in this case. Then, you need to replace the ECM if it becomes faulty.

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How Much Does It Cost to Fix Air Suspension Problems?

Depending on the component causing the issue of faulty air suspension, the repair or replacement cost can vary. A ballpark labor cost figure will also vary based on the mechanical shop. 

Let’s figure out what amount of money you probably need to spend to fix the air suspension. 

ComponentsReplacement Costs 
Airbag $500-$2000
Compressor $1200-$3000 (based on parts)
Air hose$100-$300
Broken Electrical Connections$20-$50
Ride Height Sensor$250-$400
Air Filter $40-$50
Valve Block$500-$600

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Is It Safe to Drive a Car With a Bad Air Suspension?

Let’s face it! Do you want to have a comfortable driving experience? Do you want to damage your car? 

If the first answer is yes and the second is no, you shouldn’t drive your car with bad air suspension. Think about a scenario where you drive your car through a rough road.

If the air suspension is not functioning correctly, an uneven bounce occurs, making it hard to control the vehicle. And you know what can happen when you lose control of your car! 

So, considering all the risk factors, it won’t be wise to drive your car with bad air suspension. Instead, you should go and fix it without delay.

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Frequently Asked Questions

We have encountered some of the most frequently asked questions about air suspension problems and their solutions. Car owners have severe concerns regarding the issue. Let’s find out the answers. 

Why Is My Air Suspension So Bouncing?

This is a crucial indication that your car’s suspension has gone bad. In most cases, this can happen due to air leakage. Plus, chances are that the compression of the air suspension becomes defective. Or, there is something wrong with the relay, valve, or air hose. 

Is It Normal For Air Suspension To Lose Air?

Depending on the height of your car from the ground, the air suspension can lose air to ensure smooth driving. When extra weight is added to the vehicle, the air suspension loses air from the airbag to ensure equal height.  

How Do I Adjust My Air Suspension?

To do so manually, locate the hose clamp of the air suspension attached to the adjustment rod. Next, lose the hose clamp and move the rod up or down to adjust the air suspension. You can also perform it efficiently with the controller. 

Is Aftermarket Air Suspension Worth It?

Yes, you can go with an aftermarket air suspension for your car. But, make sure you go with a reputed manufacturer. Plus, ensure to install the air suspension with a competent mechanic’s help to avoid future issues. But you need to be ready to bear the high cost.   

Final Words

Now you’ve determined what can go wrong with the air suspension system of your car. So, next time you experience any issues, you can go on to resolve them. 

But, if you are not vastly experienced, it’s better to leave the job to a skilled mechanic. 

In addition, you should also be very careful regarding the maintenance of the air suspension.

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