Air Suspension Compressor Acting Up? Read This First

Air Suspension Compressor Acting Up? Read This First

Troy Hammond
7 minute read

Almost all of the components in your car will need maintenance from time to time in order to keep it running optimally. However, if your car sits on an air suspension, you have to be extra diligent. 

What does your air suspension do?

Like any suspension system in a car, an air suspension helps control the vehicle. Performing such tasks as balancing your ride to braking, it’s an essential system for keeping you and other passengers safe while you drive.

Air suspension system components

A car outfitted with an air suspension has a few different working components. Using pressurized air which inflates the bellows at each wheel, an air suspension raises the chassis of your vehicle from its axle. The most integral part of this system is the air compressor— this is what generates the air and pumps it into the bellows.

As you can imagine, an issue with the air compressor can lead to failure of the entire air suspension, and leave your vehicle disabled until you can get it fixed. If your air compressor is acting up, you’ll want to get it checked out. Before heading straight to your mechanic, however, there are a few things you can do to check if it’s working properly.

How to tell if you have a problem with your air compressor

Most modern vehicles are equipped with a system of warning lights that alert you when you have any kind of problem with your car. Waiting around for these lights can be stressful, though. If you’re someone who likes to be more proactive about car maintenance, there are a couple of things that you can do to check if you may have a problem with your air compressor.

Early warning signs of an air compressor problem

Usually, if you have a problem with your air compressor, there are a few telltale signs that will alert you that may need to get it serviced.

Look. One of the earliest and most common symptoms of a problem with your air compressor is an obviously lower vehicle ride height. When your compressor is not working properly, chances are, it won’t be able to inflate the airbags in your suspension adequately. As a result, your vehicle may sit and ride at a noticeably lower height. 

Listen. Another major symptom of a problem with your air compressor are strange noises while the vehicle is in operation. If you hear noises such as loud grinding, whining, or clicking, this can be a sign of a problem with the compressor’s motor. If you notice an abnormal sound, you should get it looked into. If you continue to operate the vehicle with a compressor that’s making strange noises, it could result in damage that may cause the compressor to fail, leading to a disabled suspension.

Feel. Have you noticed changes in the comfortability of your ride? Is it taking longer than usual to stop? Are you feeling every little bump? Does your vehicle feel hard to control around a turn? If you’re noticing any of these things, chances are that your compressor may not be working properly, and you most likely have a problem.

Being aware of these symptoms can help you get a problem taken care of before it becomes dangerous. There is also another simple at-home diagnostic test you can perform.

The bounce test

The bounce test is a reliable way of checking to see if you may have a problem with your air compressor. It’s straightforward and can be performed right in your own driveway. Because an air suspension operates with an inflatable bag at each wheel, you’ll need to perform this test on each corner of your vehicle. 

To start, pick one corner of the vehicle to test first. Push down, hard, on the bumper in that corner. Take note of how long it takes the bumper to pop back into place. Repeat the same action at each corner of your vehicle. 

With an air suspension that’s performing well, the bumper should settle back into place almost immediately. If it’s taking a long time, or bouncing around before settling, you may have a problem with your compressor that’s resulting in a loss of air.

What to do if your air compressor has a problem

If you think you may have a problem with your air compressor, you’ll definitely want to get it checked out. While it may seem like the best option to go straight to the dealer to get the compressor fixed, this option will definitely have you handing over some major cash. 

Getting any issue with your car addressed at the dealer will generally cost you more than going to your own trusted mechanic. Any air suspension repairs will be especially expensive, though. The components of an air suspension are expensive and complicated to replace. While aftermarket parts are an option, they will still be equally as difficult for your mechanic to replace. A replacement air compressor generally comes in at around $1,200-1,400. 

Spending this amount of money on a car repair can be discouraging— especially when you learn about the low reliability of air suspension systems. Investing money in repairing something that isn’t designed for long term wear-and-tear can be frustrating, at the least. While the compressor is a necessary component to power your air suspension, it is possible to replace your air suspension altogether, and get rid of compressor problems for good.

If your air suspension is acting up, it's always better to fix it sooner rather than later.

A better way to solve your air compressor problems

If you want to eliminate problems with your air compressor and air suspension permanently, the best way to do that is by replacing it with a traditional coilover suspension. Strutmasters engineers have worked tirelessly to design replacement suspension parts that can help you easily move away from your air suspension, and it costs a fraction of what an air suspension replacement would cost you.

Rather than a complicated system with fragile components, a Strutmasters replacement kit will allow your car to sit on heavy duty steel struts and springs. Each replacement kit is made with precise manufacturing and the highest quality materials, and every kit is made in the USA. 

A quality suspension conversion you can depend on

Spending hours dedicated to adjusting these cold-wound springs, Strutmasters’ engineers goal is to provide you with a replacement that comes as close as possible to replicating your car’s original ride and feel. With Strutmasters’ patented Glide Ride technology, you won’t regret replacing your air suspension. You can use this tool below to find your make and model.

These straightforward replacement kits have also been designed to be easy to install. Requiring only a few basic tools and a couple of hours, it’s possible to convert your suspension system in a couple of hours right at home.

However, if DIY isn’t your thing, the ease of installation also means your mechanic will be able to do it quickly and efficiently as well, resulting in less time in the shop and a lower repair bill.

Ready to convert and save?

We stand behind our products. We’re confident in their quality, and want you to be as well. Every kit comes with a one-year limited warranty and a limited lifetime warranty on the springs themselves.

Recommended Solutions

If you’re ready to ditch your air suspension and say goodbye to pesky compressor problems, you can order one of our kits online today. If you still have questions, we’re here to help. You can call 866-239-4896 and speak with one of our suspension experts, or contact us online.

Don’t let problems with your air suspension deflate your spirits. Call us and convert today.

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