Audi allroad Suspension Questions

kambeikambei Member Posts: 3
edited October 2019 in Audi
Often when starting my 2002 Allroad I have to wait 15 to 30 seconds for the air supsension warning light to go off. The front end has dropped so low the tires are almost touching the wheel wells. Is this an indication of malfunction, or is it normal?
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Comments

  • quattroquattro Member Posts: 100
    I have a 2003 Allroad and it has a perpetual alignment problem. The car always wants to steer to the right. I have taken it to the dealer 3 times and to an alignment specialist but the problem never goes away. I have checked tire pressure and that's not the problem. Does anyone have similar issue? I am suspecting it's either the wheels or the air suspension. Any idea anyone? I love the Allroad but this alignment issue is real annoying.
    Any comment is appreciated.
  • pbrabpbrab Member Posts: 3
    I have the same problem exactly. I have 20k, and after the third trip to the dealer the alignment is a little better but still slightly off. The dealer said they had to reset the calibration on the height adjustment system, but without results. Interestingly, I learned separately that when you replace springs on a car to lower it or increase its clearance, it needs to be realigned. The Allroad must have a complex mechanism to make this adjustment on the fly as the care is raised and lowered. I wonder if this is a defect on some cars, or if this problem affects all of them.
  • quattroquattro Member Posts: 100
    Hi pbrab. Thanks for your input.
    Mine is 03 with 26K miles on it. The alignment problem probably started from day one. I took my Allroad to the dealer 3 times and once to an alignment specialist. The dealer spent a lot of time adjusting the alignment but at the end it was the same. The alignment shop did better. The problem went away for a couple of weeks but eventually it came back. I suspect it has something to do with the air suspension too. If just one of the suspensions is slightly off this would cause the car to pull. Right?
    Anyone having the same problem please post something. If other people are having the same problem then it's probably a defect and if enough people complain hopefully Audi will come up with a solution.
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  • munstermunster Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2001 allroad and I just got new tires and an alignment done. The car still pulls to the right. I have had some problems with my air suspension warning light coming on off and on. The dealer says, it's just a malfunction, but I think there is a flaw in the air suspension. Does anyone know anything else about this? :confuse:
  • hernanhernan Member Posts: 1
    Now I know why the front right tire seemed to wear quicker... my 2001 Allroad has 56000 miles and have had it since new... just recently, for the first time, the suspension began lowering itself randomly when parked for a long period of time under very hot weather. Is there any solution, inexpensive solution, for this? or should I just live with it?
  • mikeh20854mikeh20854 Member Posts: 7
    I recently purchased a new 2005 Allroad. Apparently I can set the suspension level so it will basically at the 2nd level for both highway and city driving; that is it stays at the 2nd level regardless of whether I'm crawling at 10-15 miles through the city or traveling on a highwat at 70 mph or so. If I manually set the level to level 3 th car will stay and reutrn to level 3 when my speed drops below a certain level, but go to level 2 if I spee up sufficiently (although I haven' gone so fast to make it drop to level 1). My question is what are the reasons to or not to either keep the car at level 2 all the time or have it alternate basically between level 2 and level 3 depending on my speed?
  • jims3jims3 Member Posts: 1
    I would like to lower the suspension 12mm on the lowest setting. My independent Audi service center said they could change the settings if I could supply the data. I have the '01' w/6 speed, any help would be greatly appreciated.
  • pbrabpbrab Member Posts: 3
    I don't see why its lowering would affect tire wear.

    In any event, here's an update. I just replaced my tires (stock Good Year's pretty much wore out at 25k miles) with Michelin Sport A/S, and the car no longer pulls to the right. The difference is striking, and I find the overall handling much better too. I cannot say if the problem will be solved by switching tires, but in the meantime I feel like I'm driving a new car.
  • 2xaudi2xaudi Member Posts: 7
    I have a 2003 with 23K miles and just had to replace the stock Pirelli P6 which were badly worn on the front right and pretty much were the noisiest tires I've ever been owned. :mad: I have had similar problems with wearing on the front right -- it is so bad that you can smell the burnt rubber after I pull into the garage (on only that front right tire).

    I took my car into a trusted alignment shop and they were able to get the pull to the right out but they told me they weren't able to get the cambers to match. Left needed to be at -1˚ and the right the closest the can get is -1.625˚. They say it can be a half a degree off but clearly it's 1/8 beyond that. Which is troubling me as the burnt rubber smell still exists; this is not a good sign (I had the same smell problem with my older tires). But my car does drive so much smoother and quieter with these new tires because they don't have the uneven wear (yet!).

    I've read on other forums on alignment topics (this was for an 02 A4): www.audilife.com/forums/showthread.php?goto=newpost&t=7812 that you'll want to do your alignment at the dealer because the whole subframe in front has to be loosened and shifted. Audi has a special tool for it. I'm not sure if this is something that applies to the Allroads. :confuse:

    Nevertheless, My mistake for not asking the shop if they know how to do this and I'll have to eat $80, so I'll have to take it to the dealer to have them rectify the problem. At least I know the settings and they will do it over and over till they get it right. What a pain.

    I love this car but now I realize buying an SUV would have been a good tradeoff. Crappy gas miles are better than constant trips to the dealer.
  • drasondcdrasondc Member Posts: 2
    I just began having the same problem. It corresponded with a very cold snap here in DC. Anyone have a clue what's going on? Thanks
  • drasondcdrasondc Member Posts: 2
    I took mine to the dealer this week for the same problem and was told that it was a front, left, air bladder that had sprung a leak. Repairs, including parts and labor, are in the neighborhood of $1,000. Ouch. I also was told that it is not advisable to continue driving the car until you get it repaired, lest you incur even more costly damage to the supension.
  • baqarbaqar Member Posts: 1
    Here's a horror story in progress with the 03 Audi Allroad (bought new from the dealership). At roughly 8K miles with the stock pirelli's I started to feel vibrations in the steering wheel at hwy speeds. The dealership said that my tires were wearing unevenly, and that I would have to call the manufacturer to have it inspected. Long story short, all 4 tires wore unevenly and were out of round. I changed to the Goodyear Assurance Comfortred ... within another 8k miles, the same problem with very little cupping on all 4 tires. I even had one road hazard exchange and the same thing happened to that. Goodyear gave took my tires back and gave me "store credit" to get any other set I wanted. I went with the Goodyear tripletread (great tires by the way in the rain and snow) but two weeks down the line, same exact problem.

    The reviews on tirerack.com with the stock tires display the same problem from other drivers. I'm fighting with Audi right now that there is something wrong with the car. I'm having all four tires changed once again with a set of Bridgestone's, but I'm going to have the dealership mount them. If these go out of round, I'm taking them to court.

    I love this car too, but the amount of time I've wasted at the audi dealership, goodyear store and talking to the customer reps from audi, goodyear and sonic automotive (they own the dealerships) isn't worth it.
  • pbrabpbrab Member Posts: 3
    Not good. Good luck, and please keep us posted.
  • shlushershlusher Member Posts: 1
    Had the exact same problem. I also have a 2002 with 60000 miles. My dealer diagnosed the problem as a drivers side bladder. We replaced both front bladders which includes stuts. The additional problem is the compressor can burn out from attempting to keep the bladder inflated. My total bill was $2700.00 Address this issue asap to avoid compressor problems.
  • 2001allroad2001allroad Member Posts: 1
    Same problem here but with a 2001 with 73K miles, left front sporadically lowers. Troubling thing is that it will hold air.

    For $2700 I hope the new bladders fixed it? Any clues why the symptom comes and goes?

    shlusher, if only one was an issue, why did you replace both front? Anyone see any of the rears go?
  • hopkinsonhopkinson Member Posts: 1
    Ihave the same problem. I took it audi and they had it for over a monthg messing around and didnt do anything apart fropm check all the various hoses for air leaks. Certainly leaks are not the probelm on the car. It dipped hard on the front end as well. It hant had the setting changed from when they had it on the ramp. It seems quite temermental. On setting 3 it holds all night on 2 it dips. It was resetting well then i took it locval garage and got brake pads changed and forgot to tell then to press the 2 buttons to hold the suspension and its at it again. I get the yellow triangle sign on the dash in the morning and the resets itself.
  • bryobryo Member Posts: 4
    No problem allowing the suspension to automatically raise and lower. The problems some have reported with airbag failure has been tracked to leaving the car in level 1 all of the time. Apparently this stresses the airbag too much and causes a leak. If you let the compressor pump the car back up and just drive it with a leaking airbag, you'll overheat the compressor and have a more expensive repair.

    Once the bag has gone bad, there's nothing to be done but replace it, at a cost of around $700.
  • bryobryo Member Posts: 4
    It seems to happen mostly to the driver side front. A good dealership would have told you to replace ONLY the bad airbag. The two local dealerships both said they replace ONLY the bad bag, and have NEVER replaced an allroad strut (they've seen allroads with over 170,000 miles). Mine airbag fix cost $700 at the dealership.

    They also told me that airbag failures happen mostly to owners that leave their cars at level 1, which I did, as it puts a lot of stress on the bag. Putting the car at level 2 often would temporarily seal the level 1 leak. If your car drops when parked, it needs attention to keep from overheating the compressor while driving.
  • quattroquattro Member Posts: 100
    I think I finally have my alignment problem resolved.
    I reported last year that my car was pulling to the right and numerous trips to the dealer and alignment specialist found no cure. Now my allroad has almost 50k. I have always suspected it's the air suspension that is the root of the problem but the dealer kept saying the computer picked up no error code from the suspension system so it can't be the suspension.
    Guess what. I have always noticed the allroad was slightly uneven after parking overnight but it was not significant enough to tell for sure. Recently I went on a trip and left the car parked for two weeks. When I returned the driver side suspension completely lost pressure. This time when I took the car back to the shop they kept it overnight and found a leak with the suspension. After replacing the air bag inside the suspension the alignment problem magically went away. I'm lucky enough that I had a couple hundred miles to spare before the warranty expires and the repair was covered. It took me almost 3 years to get the problem finally fixed. Even though the dealer was nice enough to keep adjusting the alignment I would fault them for not looking hard enough. It's a pity that it took so long to get it fixed and it really took the fun out of driving the car for the last three years.
    So if you have a pulling problem that won't go away insist the dealer to inspect the suspension for leak.
    Good luck.
  • dlaustindlaustin Member Posts: 23
    I have owned my 2001 Allroad since new. In all likelihood, the sinking is cause by a leaking airbag, plain and simple. The test for this is real simple. Park the car and place it at level 1. Rub very soapy water all around the bladder. With a very good light and a mirror, inspect for air bubbles. Do the same for level 2, 3 and 4. In all likelihood you will find bubbles at level 2. When you raise the levels 3 and 4, the bubbles probably won't exist. Cannot comment on level 1 leaks because I just have not observed it.

    Many on the forum members believe the o-rings seals leak. I just don't believe that the o-rings can ever leak if installed properly. My experience indicates that the leaks appear in the rounded portions on the lower side of the bladders. You cannot see the holes, only soap bubbles where the leaks exist. When the level is raised above level 2, the bladder begins to straighten out and the holes tend to seal.

    The only fix is to replace the bladders and this is not an inexpensive job. Audi must use a ton of these bladders.

    If a bladder leaks, it's probably best to replace its mate also because they seem to fail about the same time. So far, the rear bladders on my car have not failed, but both fronts have failed within 60K miles.

    Based on my experience, if you have good tires - certainly none of the tires that came on the Allroads from the factory - and your car is properly alligned, which is not difficult, your car will track just fine and the tires will wear just fine leaky bladders or not. I have used V-rated Bridgestone's and V-rated ContiContact's with great success. Oh yes, I highly recommend running the tire air pressure at 35 psi, not 30 psi per Audi. The tires wear very evenly at the higher pressure without compromising anything.

    Happy driving!
  • rabbitrockrabbitrock Member Posts: 8
    I have a 2002 Allroad. Same level 1 and 2 bladder leak. The car is fine at level 3 but when it drops to two or one front suspension drops.. tinkering with buttons and restarting the car will usually get it back to three, but not so last week which prompted me to get a quote..

    I'm looking for repair suggestions.. Can this be done with parts in hand, or are there such special tools and techniques that I'm dealer locked?

    Dealer just quoted me to install front left and front right airbags as follows
    2x $540 for front bag
    2x $48 for an install kit
    2x $160 for a bracket they suggest you replace
    $150 alignment
    plus 6 hours labor at $120 / hour

    Total quote was over $2600
  • dlaustindlaustin Member Posts: 23
  • dlaustindlaustin Member Posts: 23
    The parts list in your post are more or less correct, as are the prices for the parts. The arms that are mentioned do not necessarily require replacement, but the rubber bushings attached to those arms should be carefully inspected for cracks and it is a good idea to replace the cracked rubber bushings. In my case, I replaced only the top-most bushings, not the whole arms. The lower bushings looked fine. Pressing out the four (4) bushings, each of which costs about $20.00, requires care so that the arms are not damaged (They're aluminum.). I did not have my car re-aligned. It was fine prior to the change-out and is fine after the change-out. I cannot speak to whether your car, as is, is in alignment. Check your tire wear. It should be even. If in doubt, alignment never hurts.

    The time allocated for the work is about right.

    Some good news. I know of no rear air bladders that have failed and that's a good thing. Some must have failed but it must happen very infrequently.

    More good news. When you get this repair completed, you will not only find that the air suspension works as designed, but the car feels like a brand new car. I think the replacement of the defective rubber bushings has a lot to do with that. I hated to spend the big bucks, but I was thrilled with the results.

    Worth mention. I am now using level 3 around town. I think it places a lot less stress on the front air bladders and besides you can see that much better.

    It is necessary to place a chain around the suspension to keep the wheel from falling relative to the car when the car is lifted to work on the air bladder/suspension, i.e. lifting the car and allowing the wheel to drop fully is not appropriate for the work. I don't thinks any special tools are required except for the heavy chain.

    Hope this helps.
  • rabbitrockrabbitrock Member Posts: 8
    Thanks DL! I called a different dealer/parts man who said try the seals/repair kit first (the $50 item), then if that doesn't work change the bladder. I think I need to do the soap and water test next which will reveal the bum bag.

    Not sure if the repair kit includes the bushings you speak of, but it sounds like no. I'm still a bit confused as to why both sides lower if only one bag is beat. I guess that somehow the air distribution / balancing keeps the two in sync. For the record the dealer said that both the repair kit and the front bladders are universal (fit both front left and front right).
  • dlaustindlaustin Member Posts: 23
    Hi again:

    I do not believe for one second that a seal kit will do one thing for your car. I frankly cannot believe that the o-ring seal for the air bladder can ever leak if installed properly.

    I had assumed that you did the leak test with soapy water on both front seals at levels 1, 2, 3 and 4. I am obviously mistaken. Run the test as I outlined earlier before taking your car in so that you know what's leaking. Start at level 1 and work upwards on one bladder. If it leaks, stop and move to the second air bladder. Repeat the process. If only one bladder leaks, you certainly have the option to just replace the one air bladder with kit and nothing else. When the second air bladder begins to leak, then do what you have to do.

    Good luck!
  • rabbitrockrabbitrock Member Posts: 8
    OK.. I did the soap test. Both front bladders leaking. So bad now that if the car drops below 3 the shocks drop to bottom and won't pump back up (readily). Tip. If it won't pump up, let the car sit and come back to it in the heat of the afternoon. So my next steps are a. search for parts / do the change out myself. b. pay the dealer $2600 or c. trade the car. Anyone know of another place to buy these air bladders?
  • rslackrslack Member Posts: 1
    www.geniuneaudiparts.com has the best price I've found. $415 per side shipped. This is the bladder and the kit. Feel a little better now?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    I called an indie Audi shop and they said it takes them 1 to 1.5 hours per side to do the bladders....mostly bolt-in work, no rocket science, but you need the right tools and of course you MUST put the car in "jack" mode before you raise it off the ground or you'll destroy the entire suspension.
  • rabbitrockrabbitrock Member Posts: 8
    Thanks guys. I've just purchased the bags and install kit and should be able to report back by weeks end on the install. I did find this walk through that others may find helpful: http://forums.audiworld.com/allroad/msgs/187583.phtml
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    PLEASE be sure you are in jack mode! I think if a professional shop can do it on the hustle at one hour per wheel you should be able to do both sides in say 3-4 hours. Work safe, take your time, don't rush.
  • smwkobismwkobi Member Posts: 2
    I replaced my right drivers side airbag on my 2001 Allroad 4 months ago for about $900. Now passenger side has a leak. I've been told that there is a back order for the bags that could be up to 6 months. I was also told that there are 15 people ahead of me in Denver to recieve the bags. Audi needs to recall this part and replace them for free. Obviously, a major problem with all Allroads. So I now have a car that will have to sit in the garage for up to 6 months because the part is not available. Nice Audi. German engeneering is obviously highly flawed.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Well that sucks big time! I wonder if a call to Audi national headquarters can speed this up for you? Call Customer Relations, ask to speak to a Supervisor, and tell him/her your predicament. I'd also fax a number of auto dealers' parts departments and inquire if there's one bag lying on a shelf somewhere. I bet there is and I bet they'll ship it to you.
  • rabbitrockrabbitrock Member Posts: 8
    Audi Charlotte did not have the bags and kept saying they would be in "in a few days". I called Flow Audi in Greensboro. They were also out but dropped shipped them two-day to me from a dealer in Virginia (not sure what dealer). Then on day of receipt the Flow Audi guy called me to make sure I received the parts. Wow.

    As for the replacement procedures… we used the highest settings (4), placed in jack mode, and got to work. The key for us was to "carefully" remove the air supply from the bag early in the process. Doing so relieved pressure on the front suspension components and greatly simplified the change out.

    Also, note the need for a star wrench to remove the top six or so top bolts. The install kit includes the replacement star bolts. If you don’t have the star driver, try NAPA (Advance Auto did not have that driver, btw).
  • ar04ar04 Member Posts: 2
    Seems like my 04 Allroad has the same problems...since I have owned the car and after multiple road force balances, alignments new tires etc I am still getting a vibration @ +45mph. Dealership says that my tires are possibly out of round. An Audi tech says that the way the driveshaft is mounted directly to the chassis you will always feel vibrations??? The whole car vibrates...need help!
  • dlaustindlaustin Member Posts: 23
    My '01 Allroad does not vibrate at any speed - it's very smooth. That was not always the case. The original tires were the problem from day 1.

    The "allroad" tires, no matter the brand, are terrible and I can say nothing good about them. They vibrate, wear terribly and steer pitifully. I don't know if your car has those tires mounted. If so, get rid of them. I'm using Bridgestones now. Have had good success with Conti CV95, also.

    Vibrations can be caused by all kinds of things. One source could be your front outer CV joints. They may need to be repacked with the appropriate grease. After 50,000-60,000 miles, the boots for the CV joints cracked on my car. This can cause a greasy mess and result in vibrations throughout the car. I cannot comment about the inner CV joints on this car - probably less susceptible to problems. By the way, in the distant past vibrations caused by the CV joints were eliminated by replacement of the CV joints. More recently, just repacking and a new boot will do the trick in all but rare instances.

    Also, I have to assume that cracked rubber bushings (common after 40,000-50,000 miles)on the front suspension near the shocks could be a source of the problem.

    Am flying blind - hope this helps.
  • ar04ar04 Member Posts: 2
    Audi dealership yesterday tested my brand new Nokian WRV tires for deflection and imbalance and said that all 4 tires exceeded the specified level of road force deflection (3 tires approx 40lb and the 4th 16lb). They said that they like to get around 12-15lb. They said they have had good results from the Pirelli "allroad" tire...because the compound is soft(200)...but did admit that they wear quickly 10-12K.I tend to agree with you about the allroad tires.

    They did do a complementary 15 point inspection...not sure if they would pick up a cracked CV boot with that.

    I'll check the bushing on the front suspension.
    I just hope it's the tires. It's scary when you are on a first name basis with all the guys at the dealership
  • dlaustindlaustin Member Posts: 23
    Regarding tires for the allroad, I cannot comment on the Nokian tires - no experience. I have had experience with the Pirelli allroad tires. All I will tell you in this reply is "Don't use them or any other "allroad" tire!" My recommendations still hold. Based on my current experience, I recommend the Bridgestone Turanza LS-V 225/55R17 97V tires. I had excellent experience with the Continental CV95's. Also, I highly recommend inflating the tires to 35 psi all around. I cannot remember how many miles I got out of the Conti's, but all the miles were "happy" miles with no vibration or wear problems. However, having said that, I think I would go with the Turanza's. By the way, I get my tires from TireRack.com and have them mounted locally.

    Again, check the CV joint boots carefully for cracks with a strong light. Again, use a strong light to check for bushing cracks - they can be pretty subtle in appearance.

    Good luck.
  • pcsinpspcsinps Member Posts: 3
    After my 25,ooo mile break job I quickly developed a rattle in the left front end. Like others my allroad lowered itself after shutting off, I wasn't sure what was going on until it got so bad that the front end started jumping around like a mexican jumping bean. Finally I had to shut off ESP put in level two, the only level air pressure would hold steady, and take it down to the dealer. I was told left air bag broken. Ok it was fixed but now my backend is .6" higher than my front and I know I'm not in level one with the front end. I called Audi cust serv. they referred me to a dealer, but I'd like to know from other owners how far off the wheel level 1-4 should be, and if that measurement is from the top of the tire to inside the wheelwell. I hate they way the car handles and corners and hi-speeds. I take my wagon in every 6 thou. miles do a rotate bal and align and run nitro instead of air-ToyoProxies). Kind of doing some grunt work just in case the dealer says i'm within Audi specs...LOL Thanks
  • tonybttonybt Member Posts: 1
    Left front drops significantly only when car (2003 allroad/ 117,000 miles) left in 2nd level or 1st level and only when car is shut off. I ususually drive in level 3. When car is in 3 level all seems OK with no drop at all even when car shut off. What does this mean? I'm trying to decide if I should bring car in for repair or just sell it, or just continue to drive in level 3. Help!
  • pcsinpspcsinps Member Posts: 3
    Take it in. Left side seems to be a problem with all of us who have experienced like problems. You have a leak in airbag also have them check the hydraulic motor. Make sure you read the owners manual I think it's page 26 on the hydraulic system.
  • dlaustindlaustin Member Posts: 23
    tonybt:

    In case you have not read my previous filings:

    You have a leak in your front air spring(s). I doubt that there is any problem with your air pump. Use the soapy water test I outlined previously to confirm the problem. It is a very simple test and doesn't take much time.

    A very good source for the air springs is www.genuineaudiparts.com.

    Even with the air spring changeout, I have decided to drive around town and overnight park in level 3 because I am convinced there is less stress on the air springs at this level. I'm confident the air springs will last a lot longer doing this.

    Hard to believe your allroad has 117,000 miles and this is the first front air spring change. If so, you are a very lucky man indeed.
  • rabbitrockrabbitrock Member Posts: 8
    What it means is don't drive over 48 MPH. Order two shocks, two install kits, get the star tool that fits the parts kit head bolts, and find a friend with an air wrench, jack and stands. It took us 5 hours to do one, and 90 minutes to do the second.. if you remove the air line on the bag once you have it on stands the suspension arms are under much less tension and easier to work with. Mine went at 105k and I think i was lucky to go that long.
  • smwkobismwkobi Member Posts: 2
    I have an 01 Allroad with 82,000 miles on it. I have had both front air bags replaced in the last few months as well as three of the suspension control arms. The front passenger side of the car sits about an inch lower then the left when left in the second (normal driving) position, as well as the car will lower it self down to the (low) postion periodically when left for a while. Is either of these a concern?
  • jimleejetpilotjimleejetpilot 60033Member Posts: 2
    I just totaled my 2002 Allroad 2.7 with 55,000 miles. No suspension problems (thank you Lord!). I am considering a 2004 Allroad 4.2. I had one dealer mention that the 4.2 has a reputation for suspention problems due to it's extra weight. Does anyone know of this reputation? I loved my 2.7 so I have no problem getting another one. I just thought the extra 50HP would kinda be cool.

    Thanks
  • jamhbjamhb Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2002 Audi Allroad with 55,000 miles. The Air Bag Suspension will not raise the car any more. It started happening on and off, and now the car stays below level 1 all the time. What can I do short of taking the car in to the dealer?
  • barlibarli Member Posts: 1
    I saw this blog when I was searching for answers to my air suspension issues. Did anyone figure out the root cause of the problem with leveling? I have also replaced the driver's side air bladder for $1000, but I still have intermittent problems re leveling esp during colder temps. Any feedback would be helpful. Thank You.
  • akamberakamber Member Posts: 1
    Wow! Lots of air bag (my dealer calls them "air springs") problems. I read on another forum that you should clean the dirt and stuff off the outside of the air springs once or twice a year, as long-term rubbing of creases with sediment of any type can wear holes.

    I replaced my LF AS under warranty a year and a half ago and the RF just went out (I had to pay this time). Had I known about this AS cleaning, they may have lasted longer.

    I have a 2001, and it's coming up on 100K (I bought it used five years ago with 60K on it). I'm selling it because, after the 90K servicing and this latest AS (they also had to replace my tie rod ends which brought it up to approx. $1200), I can't afford the constant parts-replacing I've been doing, esp. now that I'm out of warranty. I LOVE the car... when it works. :sick:
  • jchewjchew Member Posts: 4
    I believe I have the answer to most people problem with air suspension but will have to test my theory out on a bad air bag. I believe the problem lies in the air release valve. On my car it will work sometimes and at other times will leak past the valve. I need to take a bad one apart and troubleshoot further. If it were a blown bag it would leak all the time not once in a while. If anyone has replaced there air shocks and would like to donate them to me for experimenting email me at [email protected] so I can arrange to have them shipped. Thanks John
  • dlaustindlaustin Member Posts: 23
    I think you are wasting your time. Both of mine leaked in levels 1 or 2, but not 3 or 4. How do I know this? I used soapy water on the boots and set my car at each level and watched the resulting soap bubbles. Bubbles appear instantly at levels 1 and 2, but no bubbles on 3 and 4. The bubbles appear where the boots are folded over. When the boots are more or less straight, no bubbles. Also, the air leaded out overnight when parked at levels 1 and 2, but not 3 or 4. Obviously, as the leak gets worse, the leaking will worsen until leaking occurs at all levels. I addressed this much, much earlier in the thread.

    David
  • jchewjchew Member Posts: 4
    Well I broke down and ordered a front air spring cost $620 with install kit. I received it and found that there is no release valve at the top like I was told. After careful study of how this air spring works, I have come to the conclusion that my intermittent air leak is coming from a $2 seal at the top of this shock and not a valve problem since there is no valve on the shock. It makes sense now that I can see how the seal relates to the shock. It would leak more often when it was cold because the seal would shrink. What really bothers me is that no one has figured this out by now there must be thousands of these failures over the last 7 years and yet when I goggled the problem I found no mention of replacing the $2 seal before replacing a $600 air spring. So to everyone with a simular problem try the seal first before you spend $600 plus labor per corner. Also I would recommend raising the car to highest level once a month and spraying water to clean out any sand or dirt from around the base of the air spring. It seems if sand or grit gets between the rubber and the steal shaft it will wear a hole into the air bags. I think the life expectance of the air shock is around 10 years if kept clean in this manner but the seal will fail around 5-6years first. :D
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