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Chevy Suburban and Tahoe Autoride Suspension



  • 21782178 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 TXPosts: 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.
  • 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!
  • I have a 05 sub. with out autoride can one be installed or is there an after market kit that is available. thanks youbetya.
  • 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!
  • 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?

  • 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 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????
  • 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 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?
  • 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 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.
  • 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 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.
  • 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 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 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 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.
  • What is the easiest way to check the pump?
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    Put 13v battery voltage directly to it, see if it runs, make sure you put + to the +, it's a dc motor.
  • thanks! it was bad, but only because of a leaky shock! 1000 dollars later and it works like a charm!!
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666 you think the shock leaked, causing the pump then to run continuously and burn itself out.

    Well, glad you got it figured out and repaired!
  • I recently replaced the compressor for the rear shocks. They work fine now.
    The front shocks are giving me a rough, stiff ride now. There are no loose bolts, no leaks, & when jumping on front bumper, the car returns to normal position right away.
    This makes me think the shocks are OK. An electrical connection to the top of the shock mounting bolt, I assume is part of the Auto Ride. Can anyone help me out on this problem. Should I replace the shocks or is the computer telling the shocks to adjust for road conditions or ???? Any help would be greatly appreciated. I love this car, it just went over 100k miles. It's Victory Red & has the #88 on the rear glass.
  • Autoride Suspension: How do you know on a used vehicle if it installed? I have heard many dealers say they don't even know what it is... On the older Tahoes it said Autoride below the LT tag, but I have no idea how to tell on the 2007 and newer models. Makes it especially hard looking on the internet.... I had it on my 2002 Suburban and wouldn't want to buy a 'burb or Tahoe w/o it. Thanks
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    - if you lay down on your back under the vehicle, you can see the air shocks, or look for the air pump, or look for the frame to suspension sensors
    - you may also hear it pump about 15 secs after starting the engine.
  • This may be a dumb question, but where is the compressor for the shocks located? Mine no longer works and want to know where to start.
  • the compressor should be located behind the driver's side, rear wheel. Both rear shocks will be air shocks. you'll see they have a rubber boot around them.
  • Thanks, found it. Mine is actually on the frame rail on the passenger side in front of the rear wheel, not sure why its different. Mine is a 2000 which was the first year of the new model change and may be why it is there.
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