Why Your Nissan Armada Air Suspension Keeps Failing

Why Your Nissan Armada Air Suspension Keeps Failing

David Straughan
4 minute read

Chances are, if you’re a Nissan Armada owner, you’re in love with the space, luxury and comfort the SUV provides. Chances are, however, if that Armada has more than 80,000 miles on it, you’ve already experienced one or more problems with the rear air suspension. The most common early complaint is a noisy compressor. But maybe it’s not that. Maybe the ride is sagging lower than it used to. Perhaps it’s taking longer stop even though your brakes are in order. Maybe it leans to one side or sags in the rear. If it's gotten bad, you've already gotten a suspension warning light. While the failure of an air suspension is an inevitability in just about any vehicle, let’s take a look at why the Armada’s suspension fails.

The Armada is a Big ‘Ol Vehicle

First things first, the Nissan Armada is an absolute unit. Weighing in at just over 5,500 pounds unloaded, the car asks a lot of its suspension before you even start the ignition. Once you start loading the vehicle up with cargo and passengers, you could be reaching close to 7,000 lbs. That is simply a lot of weight. Even the most robust air suspensions eventually give out. You can bet that after city driving, hauling things, road trips and more of the normal wear and tear, the original suspension has taken a beating.

Complicated System

Air suspensions are known as “active” suspensions because they respond to changes in the road. To do this, the Armada employs a series of ride height sensors. These measure changes in the height of the vehicle. These changes are then reported back to the control module, a tiny computer that controls the suspension. The control module then determines how much air is needed in the air springs and sends that signal to the compressor. The compressor then uses another controller to determine how much air is going to which spring. This air travels through a series of flexible tubes to inflate the springs. If this sounds complicated, it’s because it is. Furthermore, the system relies on all parts being fully functional. When one component goes down, the rest of the components are asked to pick up the slack. This can lead to early failure.

Air Suspension Components are Not That Durable

Air suspensions require several flexible components in order to work. Plastic hoses carry the pressurized air. The air springs themselves are made of a flexible rubber. In addition, the Nissan Armada air suspension requires moving parts like those in the air compressor or the ride height sensors. Moving parts just wear down. It’s in their nature. In comparison to passive struts which use no moving parts, air suspensions are guaranteed to wear out.

Expensive to Maintain and Repair

Overall, the issue isn’t necessarily with the Armada, it’s with air suspensions as a whole. Though they do provide a wonderful ride, they are just going to fail at some point. Repairing or replacing parts on your air suspension can be extremely costly. Most parts are very specialized and difficult to deal with. Replacing all the components in your rear air suspension could cost you upwards of $1,300 for parts alone. And that’s if none of the electronics need replacing. Those could set you back at least another few hundred, if not more. This might leave many owners in a jam, with parts and labor to replace the rear air suspension approaching the value of an older Armada. Your otherwise perfectly good car might be cost prohibitive to fix.

Conversion Kits--The Inexpensive, Guaranteed Alternative

For about the cost of a new compressor or two air springs you can replace your Armada’s air suspension with a brand new coil suspension. With a Strutmasters conversion kit, you can replace that busted air suspension with robust, dependable coilover struts. With top-shelf manufacturing quality and no moving parts, Strutmasters can comfortably guarantee that your new suspension will last for the remainder of your Armada’s lifetime. Best of all, it’s not too difficult to install yourself. You probably have all the tools you need at home already! It’s the simple solution you may not have considered. If you’re looking to save your Armada without breaking the bank, give us a call at (866) 239-4896 to speak with one of our friendly professionals today!

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