Chevy Suburban and Tahoe Autoride Suspension

suburbangirlsuburbangirl Member Posts: 1
edited September 2017 in Chevrolet
Does anyone have any feedback good or bad, on the autoride suspension. Is it squirrely on the road? Is it worth the expense when you have to replace the shocks and autoride parts? I have heard it is $600 a piece????


  • jvettejvette Member Posts: 70
    I have a 2006 Tahoe with Autoride. If you pull a trailer that will pull the rear of your tahoe down when you put it on the hitch it is worth it. I only have a small utility trailer so its really no big deal. The ride with out a trailer is no different than any other tahoe. Waste of money unless you have a big boat or heavy travel trailer.
  • awf_axisawf_axis Member Posts: 136
    I've had the auto-ride on an '01 Denali, and '05 Denali, and now on my '07 Escadade. I also pull a 4500 lb boat/trailer combo, with about 350 lbs on the tongue. It is definetly a good solution in my case. I previously had a '96 suburban, that had a regular 1500 suspension. When we went camping, and really loaded the back up, attached the boat, we looked like we were doing a wheeling down the interstate.

    As far as the auto-ride with regular driving, I can't compare it to anything else. However, most agree it is a superior ride because it adapts to the road quality.

  • 06suburban06suburban Member Posts: 1
    Dave, I have an 06, 3/4 ton Suburban with autoride. I hooked up my boat and the truck droped down 1 inch. My suspention did not do anything. How far down does it have to go down before it will come back up? and how far will it come back up? I have a 3 axle trailer weighing about 6000 with the boat, and I am trying to get the correct height on the toung to keep the trailer level. Any suggestions?
  • tromblztromblz Member Posts: 2
    I own a '02 tahoe with the autoride suspension, it started working intermitently, then stopped completely. Well I took it apart and found that it was comletely corroded and full of sand from inside out. Anyone know how this could happen. I have not done any off roading with this vehicle.
  • lee42leelee42lee Member Posts: 3
    I have a 2001 3/4 ton and I asked the same question on another board. This is the reply I got,

    "There is no load levelling on the 3/4 ton Suburbans--only on the 1/2 tons. Autoride on 3/4 ton is adjustable valving shocks only."

    Seems to me that the 3/4 would need the load leveling more than the 1/2 ton but what do I know.

  • magyvermagyver Member Posts: 3
    $325 a peice but I like it. After 90k still no problems. Also in tow mode, it firms up the suspension a bit. Nice for the twisty roads empty.
  • onward1konward1k Member Posts: 1
    Has anyone ever had to replace shocks with autoride ? Is there anything available other than monroe shocks ?
  • rock69rock69 Member Posts: 1
    does anyone know what to check when the rear shocks quit pumping up. it has the autoride suspension,and it normally pumps up everytime i start my truck and especially when i hook up my camper.a few days ago i noticed it wasn't doing anything at all.there's no service light on and all the fuses i found were good.thank you..
  • pnut91pnut91 Member Posts: 1
    did you ever find out what was wrong with your Denali? I have a Yukon and it has the same problem ... the autoride took a vacation about two weeks ago. You can hear the switch coming on but the pump doesn't work :(
  • jrusso1jrusso1 Member Posts: 1
    I too have the same problem. They say that you never have to replace these shocks, but my ride is horrible. Particulary the front. I dont want to spend the money. Can the autoride be disabled and just put on regular shocks??
  • ech1ech1 Member Posts: 1
    anyone find out what the problem is when the autoride stops lifting. I hear the pump running, but it is not lifting the rear end. I have been towing a 5k trailer and it has been working awesome. I started noticing some problems during my tow from sacramento to baja, but now it doesn't even lift my motorcycle trailer and it seems to be trying to pump whenever I come to a stop. Help.
  • awf_axisawf_axis Member Posts: 136
    Did you check the air lines running from the pump to the shocks? They are just little plastic lines, and on the shock, there is a simple (plastic) washer lock that may have broken. Just look at the rear of each shock, and you'll see the lines.

  • jtraurigjtraurig Member Posts: 1

    I have the same problem happen to my '01. Did you find out what the issue was with your truck?
  • rsmith1953rsmith1953 Member Posts: 2
    What's up with the autoride. All of a sudden SERVICE RIDE CONTROL reads on my odometer display. Chevrolet dealer says compressor is locked up. Which is fine with me. I never load it up anyway. Is there no way to defeat the system and make the Service Ride Control message go away. Is this a common problem with GM. The dealer says $700 just for the part. Is it possible to get one of a wrecked unit and install it my self(if in fact that's really the problem)?
  • rsmith1953rsmith1953 Member Posts: 2
    Nope! searching for a used replacement. It appears to be not to be a big deal to replace. Location is back left just beside the spare. You have to unbolt (from the frame) the brace it is cradled in before unplugging connecting wires
  • newtonrknewtonrk Member Posts: 1
    Hey I found some replacements!!!! I just ordered them from Arnott Inc. The website is The phone number is 1-800-251-8993. The have the shocks for the front and back for suburbans with autoride control and they also have the autoride control motor. Its alot cheaper than going to the dealership and these are the origial factory shocks.
  • jerrymunozjerrymunoz Member Posts: 1
    I installed regular shoks in my ajutoride suburban. 1200 dollars for the set seemed kinda pricey for my family to afford since i dont do much towing in it. after replacing the shocks i got the service autoride light como on, so i got an idea. I took a resistance reading off the old autoride shockswhich was 22.5 ohms. I went to a local electric shop and bought two 22 ohm resisters for a dollar. I got home cut the wire plugs and installed the resister in the circuit and wala it worked. The computer thought it still had the shocks plugged in and the service light came off. i had it like that for a couple of weeks and had no problems as far as burning up anything the resistor doesnt even get a little hot. hope this helps
  • repurblockrepurblock Member Posts: 1
    The connector to the top of the shock is the wires you cut? Does the resistor tap into both wires or just the ground wire?
  • scpridscprid Member Posts: 1
    What size resistors did you use? I tried 1/4 watt ones and they where fried the next day. I leary about putting bigger ones in because I don't want to fry the system. Did you disconnect anything else? Thanks
  • crewdawg28crewdawg28 Member Posts: 10
    Love my autoride and worked well with 3200 boat tow. Now that I tow a jet ski, I get the auto ride service light every so often. Don't care if it goes out a ext warrenty will cover it.
  • rhaydinrhaydin Member Posts: 1
    I am looking into possibly buying a 07 LTZ and have had nightmarish problems with a Lincoln Navigator Air Suspension system. Does anyone know if these are similar systems, do the Tahoes actually have the rubber airbags that will dry rot in about 4 or 5 year? Any help would be appreciatied
  • kiawahkiawah Member Posts: 3,666
    There are frame to suspension sensors, which feedback how far down the frame is sitting down on the suspension. Each shock is an air shock, air-tube connected back to a set of air solenoids, fed by an air pump.

    If the sensor feeds back that a particular corner is low, pump turns on, and that solenoid opens to allow the pump to pump up that shock. If the sensor feeds back that a particular corner is high, that solenoid will open to let some air out.

    I have an 07 LTZ, and although this is not something that I would have ordered if it wasn't included in the's actually quite nice.
  • rockman59rockman59 Member Posts: 250
    kiawah said: I have an 07 LTZ, and although this is not something that I would have ordered if it wasn't included in the's actually quite nice.
    And you will love it until your warranty is over and the system starts to have problems. Mercedes had the air suspension on their 560SEL series for years and possibly still uses the air ride today for some models. The MB 420/560SEL cars differed in only two ways, both were the big flagship sedan models but the 420SEL had a smaller engine and standard suspension. Every 560SEL eventually has a problem with the air ride...and it is extremely exensive to repair. I have known several 560 owners who had their shop convert the rear suspension to standard and totally remove the air suspension. It was just not worth it in terms of cost.
  • kiawahkiawah Member Posts: 3,666
    I've thought about that, which is why I crawled underneath to check out exactly how it worked (and I also have the factory service manuals). When I was originally pricing out, I was wondering why it was such an expensive option if specifically ordered on a lower trim level. I got a good deal on this vehicle with the higher trim level than I wanted with a great price on my old trade, so it didn't matter, it was effectively a freebie..

    I do all the work on our vehicles myself, so it shouldn't be too bad. I know the air shocks are more expensive, and the other parts appear to be easy enough to swap out if required.

    I figure worse case, I can always just override the sensors with a resistor as another poster had previously indicated, and I have a normal suspension...... (the electrical engineer in me taking over).
  • bsharris67bsharris67 Member Posts: 1
    Last year during winter my Autoride system on my 2004 Suburban stopped working. The compressor does not come on after I crank the vehicle. I had changed out the battery about the same time frame. Can someone help me troubleshoot and let me know what to look for? Thanks.
  • kiawahkiawah Member Posts: 3,666
    First thing I'd check is whether the fuse is okay. Look in the owners manual fro the correct fuse, and meter it out to check that it's okay. No meter, swap it with another fuse of the same amperage. My service manuals are temporarily packed in boxes and moved while the room is getting redone, or I'd look up which fuse it was for you.
  • BlownEagle28BlownEagle28 Member Posts: 2
    thanks for your posts. you seem to understand the underlying mechanisms on the Yukon Autoride system. I have an '02 Denali standard body that looks like the ride level sensor thinks the vehicle is going up a slight grade (rear end is 2-3" higher than the front.

    Is there any way to adjust for this back end high position? How about aftermarket replacement shocks with air lift capabilities? GMC wants two arms and four legs for what appears to be simple airshocks.
  • kiawahkiawah Member Posts: 3,666
    Assuming the problem isn't in the front "not being pumped up enough", then you can adjust the height of the back. On each wheel's suspension component, you'll find a small leverarm that runs between the spring axle, and the vehicle frame. When the vehicle is carrying more weight, it compresses the distance between the frame and the axle, it is sensed by the airride sensor (via that leverarm), which then sends an electrical signal back to the airride pump solenoid to "pump up the pressure".

    If you look at that leverarm, it is adjustable. Make the arm longer, it will in effect cause the vehicle to be raised up. Make the arm shorter, it will lower the vehicle.
  • kiawahkiawah Member Posts: 3,666
    Assuming the problem isn't in the front "not being pumped up enough", then you can adjust the height of the back. On each wheel's suspension component, you'll find a small leverarm that runs between the spring axle, and the vehicle frame. When the vehicle is carrying more weight, it compresses the distance between the frame and the axle, it is sensed by the airride sensor (via that leverarm), which then sends an electrical signal back to the airride pump solenoid to "pump up the pressure".

    If you look at that leverarm, it is adjustable. Make the arm longer, it will in effect cause the vehicle to be raised up. Make the arm shorter, it will lower the vehicle.

    This assumes of course, that the rear solenoids are letting air out of the shocks, when the suspension is sitting too high.
  • BlownEagle28BlownEagle28 Member Posts: 2
    Thanks Kiawah!

    I'll check it tomorrow morning. The system is fully functional and engages the pump mechanism when I load the trailer hitch. Will let you know what I encounter with adjusting the load arms.

  • 21782178 Member Posts: 1
    I am about to purchase a new suburban and it does not have this feature. I tow a car trailer with car 2,000 miles periodicallyand the total weight is about 6,000 lbs. Seldom tow 11,000 lbs but only 5 level miles.
    Is having this feature essential?

  • ahightowerahightower Member Posts: 539
    What was your previous tow vehicle?

    I wouldn't say Autoride is necessary for the situation you described, but most people who have it seem to really like it. Not knowing any better, I personally wouldn't pay the extra $$$ for it, but I don't tow great distances with any regularity

    I've only towed once with a 19' travel trailer (rented), and will go again with a 24' next week. But we frequently load up with five people, all our camping gear, and a loaded hitch haul platform hanging off the back for ice chest, firewood, etx, and I've never had it sag in the rear. (05 Yukon XL 1500) It "levels off", but I've never felt it was overloaded with regards to weight. All that to say that the load you described should not cause the rear end to sag on a Suburban with the standard suspension.

    What I'm most interested in when we eventually trade up, is the new 6-speed transmission that's standard for 2009. We have the 4-speed auto and 3.42 gears, and it does provide relatively good fuel economy. But when towing, I kept the speed around 55-60 mph and avoided cruise control, otherwise the transmission would want to kick down fairly aggressively to maintain speed on the slightest incline. I believe it had more to do with the wind resistance of the trailer than the weight (only 3500-4000 lbs).

    Now, if I was going to tow long distances frequently, I'd seriously consider a 2500. A cousin has one and says while he barely gets 12 mpg unloaded, downhill, with a tailwind, when he does tow, he doesn't even feel the trailer back there and has no problem maintaining higher speeds.

    Anyway, that's my two cents, maybe someone else will chime in for you.
  • bert77bert77 Member Posts: 1
    I'm having continuous troubles with my 2001 GMC Yukon XL autoride system. I had the compressor replaced last spring and it worked great all summer. This fall all that changed. The compressor started to running more frequently and intermittently without any load and then began doing nothing under load. After a diagnostic test at the dealer, they told me I needed a new ride control module for $1200. Pricey part...for a truck with 150,xxx miles.

    I elected to purchase the same part from a salvage yard and had it installed. I took the truck back to the dealer to have the system reprogrammed and the same DTC C0660 code comes up again. They continue to point to the module as being the problem, but I'm concerned it may be something other than that.

    I'm looking for info or suggestions on what the process is to abandon the autoride system and just have heavy duty shocks installed? Anyone got suggestions? Please help. Thanks!
  • youbetyayoubetya Member Posts: 1
    I have a 05 sub. with out autoride can one be installed or is there an after market kit that is available. thanks youbetya.
  • fongerellifongerelli Member Posts: 28
    My 2000 GMC Yukon did this around 87k and the compressor was coming on more frequently than normal. So I went to the dealer and it was a leaky shocks. So at 380/per shock it fixed the problem but that is a lot of money for shocks!
  • marcthomas1marcthomas1 Member Posts: 1
    I dont pull boats or anything like that..... just a small to med trailer. My question is can i just replace the shocks with regular shocks and avoid the auto ride system?

  • swamprabbitswamprabbit Member Posts: 1
    I had the autoride shocks taken out and some other ones put in. I think I got ripped off because it is rare that the autoride shocks go bad. This happened about 4 years ago. The light doesnt bother me. But it seems that alignment is impossible now. The tires I buy are $200.00 each. I need to get some more, but am putting it off for some reason. Any one else have alignment problems after removing the autoride shocks? Only the front tires go bad.
  • chuckles7chuckles7 Member Posts: 4
    I've replaced air compressor which took care of the squirily ride in the rear. Now, I have a hard, stiff ride in the front. I don't believe the shocks are bad, could my problem be the ride sensors? That's the name I've given them. They are approx. 2-3 inch square looking, micro-switch type sensor mounted to the frame, & have a small arm connected to the upper A-frame. I'm assuming they control the ride adjustment to the front shocks, electronicly. Does anyone out there in computer land have any suggestions, & is this device available from the dealer only????
  • 1967chevy1967chevy Member Posts: 6
    bought a 01 burb a while back , i have never heard the pump running,,,, no problem i thought i will fix it when i get time. i drove i today ,when i started it up i heard a clicking from front shock and when i drove it what a mess wheel hop and shock dive in the front . can i replace the shock selinoid or is it total shock replacement?and are 06 parts interchangeable i might hit the local salvage yard.
  • kiawahkiawah Member Posts: 3,666
    There are basically 6 pieces that work together.
    - A pump, which is able to pump up air pressure.
    - A vehicle height sensor on each wheel, which measures the distance between the frame and the axle.
    - An air shock, on each wheel
    - A solenoid (for each wheel), which will either stay shut (holding the air in the shock), open-out (open to allow the air out of the shock), open-in (open to allow the pump to pump up the shock pressure).
    - Some brains to monitor the heights, turn the pump on/off, and open/close the solenoids.
    - Some air tubing, which runs from the pump and solenoids out to the shocks.

    So before you go randomly replacing parts......What's not working in your system?
  • 1967chevy1967chevy Member Posts: 6
    well its pouring cat n dogs and my garage is full , the burb looks to be sitting level . I was able to bounce each corner the front pass acts like shock is gone , so im just guessing its the selinoid or level linkage problem. however when it stops raining i will start with testing the pump.
  • kiawahkiawah Member Posts: 3,666
    If the shock dampening is gone....then the shock is bad.

    Shock dampening, is to resist all change. The shock dampening should want to slow the ability for shock to be depressed, and slow the ability for the shock to be extended.
  • 1967chevy1967chevy Member Posts: 6
    if the selinoid has failed and the shock has zero pressure this would have the same affect right? or wrong??? thats why i stated in my first message the selinoid was clicking or rapid cycling or failing, or faulty / sticky level linkage. could this be possible. I was looking to hear from anyone who may have encountered the same problems . i dont care about text book mumbo jumbo at this moment thanks.
  • kiawahkiawah Member Posts: 3,666

    Forget about the air piece of this, to start with. It is an hydraulic shock. The dampening effect, keeps the shock from extending out too fast, and closing too fast. Go to an autoparts store, and try to pull open a new shock, it is very hard to pull out. Try to compress it, it is very hard to compress. If you tried that with a worn bad shock, you would be able to pull the shock open, and close it easily. A bad shock provides reduced dampening effect.

    If your shock is defective from a standard shock perspective, the tire will bounce all over the place. You need that hydraulic dampening effect to keep the tire on the road.

    The height of your vehicle is determined by your springs. If you put in stronger springs, your height would be higher. Your shock would remain the same, still dampening up and down.

    Now lets treat it like the air lift shock that it is. The air lift is the same as if you put in stronger springs. When the air is pumped up it will lift the vehicle up. The lift piece, is different than the hydraulic dampening piece.

    If I go out in my Suburban, with the car off and sitting in the driveway, and then start loading it up with suitcases, people or stuff, it starts to squat down lower. If I then start the vehicle, you'll hear the pump turn on, and then see the vehicle raise up to level again. When it gets to level, the pump turns off.

    If your dampening is bad, the hydraulic shock is bad.

    If you are hearing the solenoids open and close, you should also hear the pump turn indicated in previous note.

    You may have two or more separate problems (e.g. bad shock, and bad pump, or bad sensor, or bad solenoid, or leaking hose. These shocks are not cheap.
  • 1967chevy1967chevy Member Posts: 6
    O.K. thanks, I swaped out the fronts with some KYB 's $70 each since they are electronic dampened & wired in a resistor on each front to turn off service light , no probs yet,,,, i am going to call Arnott for pump and rears since i still will be pulling a trailer.
  • kiawahkiawah Member Posts: 3,666
    k, that'll work.

    Make sure you cap off the line that was going up to the front shocks. Whatever resistor you chose, would designate that the pump has to let air into or out of those lines. You need to have a closed air system at whatever resistor you chose, otherwise the pump might run all of the time....trying to 'pump up' an empty line and never being able to get the reported resistance to change.
  • kiawahkiawah Member Posts: 3,666
    Actually, the more I think about this, the more I think this might not work......unless you luckily chose the right resistor.

    How did you determine what resistor to put in the line? Only if you put in the resistor that matched the target 'normal' resistance the controller was looking for, would your solution work.

    As an example, let's say (hypothetically) that the target resistance was 1,000 ohms. If the resistor you chose was different than the target, then the control would open the solenoid and either let air out of the system, or pump air into the system, to try and get the reported resistance up to the target resistance. Since in your case you have some fixed resistor, the controller would never be able to achieve the target. If you chose a resistor with the wrong resistance one way, the pump would run continuously trying to pump it up. If you chose a resistor with the wrong resistance the other way, the solenoid would be constantly energized and open all the time trying to let the air out. Only if you chose the resistor 'just right', would the controller be happy, and faked out to think the vehicle was at the correct height. In that situation it would not try to pump up the line to the shock, or release air from that line.

    So your random resistor might have been okay to turn the error light off, but it may be the wrong resistor and cause the pump to run continuously, or the solenoid to be energized continuously.
  • 1967chevy1967chevy Member Posts: 6
    the fronts are or were factory electronic dampend with no air lines so nothing to cap, just replaced with conventional kyb shocks, as far as the ohm measure ment i measured the old factory shock and was getting about 22.5 ohms so i bought 22 ohm resistors. i found that info on a previous thread but still checked it for myself . I hope it wont affect the pump , I have orderd a pump and bilstien replacements for the rear from Arnott ind with life time warrenty on them , i will get them installed this weekend and will let you know in about a week if things are working properly, if it does the whole thing will cost me less than $700 USD.
  • 85suburban85suburban Member Posts: 3
    bought an 01 Suburban a few months ago and it does not level out with a load in or on it. Where do I start to know what to replace?
  • kiawahkiawah Member Posts: 3,666
    Well the first thing you have to do, is to know whether your suburban even has the autoleveling option. IIRC, this is like a $1K option on the lower trim levels, but may be included in LTZ package....not sure which trims has it and doesn't. Due to it's cost, I know when I was looking most vehicles didn't have it included. If it has it, then see my earlier post as to what the pieces are and what they do. You'd have to start troubleshooting with what is working, and what is not working.
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