When the air suspension fails the effects can be startling beyond what
happens with an ordinary coil spring suspension system. Because these
systems can adjust the suspension to three different ride heights another
computer control system is required. This complex suspension control system
is added to vehicles that are already over-burdened with software and
Air suspension failures may range from delays while the system tries to
figure out if the car is level to truly life-threatening defects. At Norman
Taylor & Associates we interview consumers every day who are trying
to cope with cars and trucks that just can’t be repaired who may
have recourse under the
California Lemon Law. An example on the scary side occurred to one of our clients recently.
While driving on the freeway in the fast lane both right side elements
of the air suspension sagged to the lowest ride height. Without warning
the consumer was trying to drive a car that was leaning to the right.
Just getting it over to the side of the freeway safely was more excitement
than any one needs.
You might be surprised at how many models have an air suspension system
installed. The following is a partial list. Not all manufacturers have
air suspension systems on some of their models. As you can see, it is
more often in use on higher end vehicles.
- Rolls Royce
- Mercedes Benz
- Land Rover
The types of failure that can be experienced are actually quite predictable.
Air bag or air strut failure takes place when one of the following conditions exist:
- Old age
- Wet rod
- Moisture within the air system
Air ride suspension parts can fail when the rubber gets too dry. Punctures
often occur when there is debris on the road.
Air line failure occurs when the tubing that connects the air bags experiences
an error. This failure typically takes place when they rub up against
a sharp edge and a hole is formed.
The most common type of failure is to the compressor. Compressor failure
is caused with a leaking air spring or air strut. Compressor burnout is
also an issue and this is caused by moisture from the air system contacting
We see it over and over, technology for the sake of technology, because
it is a cool thing to do and gives the maker and opportunity to one-up
the competition gets out of hand. It is too early to know whether this
is a technology that is here to stay or just one of the technological
flavors of the model year.