Has your Lincoln Navigator been having more and more suspension problems lately? Well, that's a genuine concern since a faulty air suspension system can make your rides bumpy. We have put together this comprehensive guide to help you troubleshoot and fix air suspension problems on your Lincoln Navigator.
Lincoln Navigator Air Suspension Troubleshooting
Your Lincoln Navigator is designed to alert you when there is an air suspension problem. However, the message may only appear when the situation gets serious. There are some visual signs that can help you know your vehicle has an air suspension problem, even before the warning light comes on. Here are a few examples:
- Sagging: Perhaps the most common sign of Lincoln Navigator air suspension failure is a sagging rear end of the vehicle. Sometimes, instead of sagging, the vehicle squats on the side.
- Nose dive: Another way to tell if your suspension has gone bad is if your Navigator does a “nose dive” when coming to a stop. That’s when the rear end lifts, and the front end dips down. Nose dives are signs of weak suspension and can increase your break distance.
- Noisy air compressor: You may also have noticed a noisy air compressor in your Navigator. It may not even be able to maintain proper ride height. Sometimes, in addition to making noise, the air compressor overruns, that is, does not stop running even when the appropriate air pressure is achieved.
What Causes Lincoln Navigator Suspension Problems?
There are two main reasons why Lincon Navigators have air suspension problems:
1. Excessive Wear Due to Stress on the System
The Lincoln Navigator is a big vehicle, and that’s probably part of the reason you got it. While that size is great for carting the family or cargo around, it comes with a price. At around 6,000 pounds unloaded, that’s a lot to ask of an air suspension. Over time, this load will bear down on your air suspension system.
Components like the airbags, which use compressed air to support the weight of the vehicle, need to be made of flexible materials. Those materials, like rubber and plastic, can only do the job for so long. They are prone to wearing out or even rotting and cracking. Once there is a weak point in the airbag, all that weight bearing down on it will accelerate the problem.
2. Series of Connected and Complex Systems
Air suspension systems provide an excellent ride. The active suspension is able to read the road surface and make instant adjustments to the suspension. This makes for an extremely smooth journey. In order to do so, the vehicle relies on a complex system of electronics, mechanical parts, and components made of flexible materials. Although this system makes a great ride, the system relies on every component in the chain working properly.
For example, your Navigator has four ride height sensors. One at each wheel. These read the height of the car and send that information electronically to a control module. The ride height sensors in your Navigator are moving parts.
Like all moving parts, they will eventually wear down and need replacement. However, if your ride height sensor isn’t functioning perfectly, it will throw the entire system off. This will cause other components to wear out more quickly as they operate at less-than-ideal efficiency. This is true of almost any of the nearly dozen components in your Lincoln Navigator air suspension system.
Common Lincoln Navigator Suspension Problems
Here are the common Lincoln Navigator air suspension problems you may encounter:
- Air compressor failure: The air compressor generates pressurized air and pumps it into the bellows, allowing your car to lift and maintain an appropriate height. As the process continues, the air compressor wears, causing a reduction in the pumping speed. Such a failure can affect the entire air suspension system and leave your car disabled.
- Air spring damage: The pressurized air powers the air springs to lift or drop the vehicle, but they may wear out at the top and bottom over time. This may result in slow leaks, which can overwork the air compressor pump. Road debris may also cause the air springs to blow out unexpectedly.
- Busted airbags: The pressurized air that the air compressor produces is stored in the airbags. However, punctures and dry rots may cause the airbags to leak or bust. When this happens, the air springs may not receive enough air to lift the vehicle.
- Valve block failure: Your Lincoln Navigator's valve block sends air into the air springs to regulate the height according to the instruction it receives from the control unit. When the valve block fails, it makes it difficult for the compressed air to enter the springs.
- Sensor faults: As explained above, each wheel has a sensor that monitors the vehicle's height and sends feedback to the control unit. As your drive, the sensors move up and down to determine how much air your vehicle needs to inflate or deflate. Using the vehicle over a period causes the sensors to wear out.
- Control panel failure: The electronic control unit (ECU) or control module controls the whole air suspension system. Therefore, when it malfunctions, the vehicle cannot adjust its height as programmed, thereby affecting the smooth ride.
Lincoln Navigator Air Suspension Reset
Resetting the air suspension on your Lincoln Navigator is a simple maintenance procedure to set your wheels at the proper height. Here are five steps to guide you:
- Open your vehicle's rear lift gate.
- Remove the cargo cover, if any, and locate the switch on the wall. There is an “on” and “off” indicator to show the switch's current position. The button who always be “on” when the vehicle is on the ground.
- If you intend to lift the vehicle, switch turn off the switch.
- Turn the switch back on when the vehicle is back on the ground.
- Wait for about 10 to 15 minutes for the air suspension to fill the air springs or shocks and lift the vehicle high enough to get the wheel wells off the tires.
However, these steps may not work properly if the air suspension is worn out or damaged. In that case, the best thing to do might be to repair or replace the damaged part, or the entire system.
Lincoln Navigator Air Suspension Repair Cost
Quoting an exact figure for the cost of repairing or replacing your Lincoln Navigator's air suspension is challenging. The important thing to note is that the price may be determined by the damaged part as well as the extent of that damage.
Most often, the recommended solution is replacing the entire system since one damaged part can affect the entire chain of related components. This can be expensive, especially considering that there is a high chance of it damaging again due to wear and tear. You can get rid of that air suspension altogether and replace it with something affordable, sturdy, simple, and reliable.
Strutmasters offers several kits to replace your Lincoln Navigator air suspension with a robust mechanical coil suspension. The conversion kits will replace two or all four wheels of your Navigator at a tiny fraction of the cost of what a new air suspension would cost you. Once you install the conversion, you’ll notice that your ride feels more or less the same.
With Strutmasters’ patented Glide Ride Technology, you’ll enjoy a ride that’s comfortable and on par with your air suspension. Rather than the dozen or so components involved in your air suspension, these kits rely on simple cold-wound mechanical coils and a robust steel strut to support your Navigator. In fact, these kits are so simple most people choose to install them at home. With packaged instructions and an installation video online, even novice DIYers should have no problem installing their new struts. This means even more savings on top of not having to buy a new air suspension.
Contact Strutmasters Today!
Strustmasters is an industry leader dedicated to ensuring that your vehicle is always in good shape. We specialize in air-to-non-air suspension kits, offering affordable total solutions to customers globally. Don’t let a bad air suspension bring you and your Lincoln Navigator down. Contact us today to speak to one of our Suspension Experts. They’ll help you get exactly what you need to get back on the road with confidence!