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Range Rover Suspension Failure? Read This Before Going to the Dealer

range-rover-suspension-strutmasters

Have you noticed a problem with your Range Rover suspension? Sometimes the problems can be noticeable well before you get a suspension warning light.

One common problem that’s easy to spot is that the Range Rover will be “squatting.” That’s when the back end sags while the front end stays inflated.

Another issue many Range Rover owners face is the car leaning to one side or another. Still others may find that their ride is very “pitchy” (i.e. a lot of going up and down) or that they are taking too long to come to a stop.

Whatever the issue, if you own a Range Rover, you know that repairs don’t come cheap. This is especially true with air suspensions.

Why do Range Rover air suspensions break down?

The problem isn’t with Range Rover, it’s with air suspensions in general.

They are complex systems made up of many moving and flexible parts. Air suspension systems also rely on computers to control them.

Simply having that many components means that there are that many components that can stop working properly. Since they are interdependent, one part going down means the rest are sure to follow.

An air suspension breaking down isn’t a matter of if, it’s a matter of when. Your Range Rover is no different.

What to do?

Your dealership will probably recommend replacing everything with the same parts that came on your Range Rover. That means new air suspension components.

Whether you have a faulty compressor, leaky air lines, or just a cracked air bag, this repair is not going to be your last.

One component being broken means the load that component would usually take gets passed onto one or several others. That means increased wear and tear on those opponents. Those components will likely need replacing soon too.

In addition, these air suspension parts don’t come cheap. Just one air bag will cost you just under $400 at a minimum. That’s just for one of four, all of which will eventually need replacing.

An alternative for your Range Rover

This kit from Strutmasters is a full replacement for your Range Rover air suspension. That means that for just under $800, you can replace all four of your struts.

Rather than spend the rest of your time with your vehicle doing endless repairs, this kit allows you to ditch that air suspension altogether. These conversions are designed to allow you to install them yourself with basic tools you probably already have in the garage.

Each kit is Made in the USA of high quality materials and comes with a limited lifetime warranty. That means that as long as your Range Rover is on the road, Strutmasters guarantees you’ll have working struts.

Fix it once, fix it right, fix it for good. That’s our philosophy.

Once you’re ready to make the switch for your Range Rover, order online or give us a call at (866) 239-4896 and let one of our Suspension Experts help you with your order.

How to Watch the Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals Live Today

Officials in Pomona, California called off Sunday’s eliminations at the Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals presented by ProtectTheHarvest.com at Auto Club Raceway after a day of heavy rains.

Eliminations have been postponed to today, Monday, February 11. While the event was scheduled to broadcast on FOX Sports, the delay means fans will need to find another way to watch the race.

Stars like Clay Millican, Steve Torrence and Brittany Force will face off for 2019’s inaugural event at 1 PM today. The event will not be broadcast live on television.

How to Watch the Winternationals Live

Fortunately for fans, there is still a way to catch the finale to the first race of the season live.

This year, the NHRA launched NHRA.tv, an online channel with live events, replays and exclusive content. NHRA.tv will be broadcasting the eliminations live today at 1 PM.

Users will need to create an account on the site and then choose from one of two subscription options.

A single event pass costs $16.99, while a pass for the entire 2019 season is $119.99.

The season pass includes 24 live events. It also features all of the 2016 and 2017 races on video on demand as well as classic races. The pass also has on-demand video of the Sportsman and Pro Mod TV shows.

The online channel provides live video Friday through Sunday  of all races. Audio is available on almost all other race days.

Fans who can’t pick up a subscription can still catch a re-airing of the race tonight at 11 PM on FOX Sports 1.

Strutmasters is a proud sponsor of Clay Millican.

Lexus GX 470 Suspension Issues FAQ

So you’ve got some suspension issues with your Lexus GX 470. Maybe you are experiencing the dreaded “nose dive.” Perhaps your Lexus leans to one side or sags in the rear. Maybe your suspension warning light has even come on.

Whatever the case, a broken suspension in your Lexus GX 470 isn’t something to ignore. It can be a real risk to you and your passengers’ safety and can cause undue wear and tear on your vehicle.

Here are some Frequently Asked Questions about Lexus GX 470 suspension issues with answers from our Suspension Experts:


Q: How Can I Tell If My GX 470 Suspension is Busted?



A: There are several ways to identify a problem with your Lexus GX 470 suspension.
The on-board diagnostics are pretty advanced in that vehicle so you will likely see a suspension warning light if there is an issue. However, there are still some ways to detect an issue early on even before the Lexus computer catches it.

Take a walk around your vehicle. Does it look like all four corners are sitting more or less even? Does it lean to one side or sag in the rear? If so, it’s likely you have a problem with your Lexus GX 470 air suspension.

Another way to tell is by how long it takes the car to stop. If your Lexus is taking longer than it used to to stop and you’ve ruled out the brakes, you likely have a soft or broken suspension.

You can also perform the bounce test. Push down on the corners of your GX 470 and see how the car responds. If it bounces back up and the settles quickly, that particular corner is fine. If it bounces up and down a few times, it probably needs replacement.

Q: How much will it cost to repair my air suspension?



A: There is no real good answer to this other than “it depends.”

Your Lexus GX 470’s air suspension is made up of many components. These components are computer monitored and controlled and are interdependent. Even getting to the root of the problem might be difficult.

Diagnosing the problem with an air suspension in and of itself can be costly. You will need to take your car to the dealer or mechanic to have it checked.

Once you identify the problem, be prepared to see your bill climb into the thousands of dollars quickly. Air suspension components are very expensive and can be complicated to install.

Q: Are there any alternatives to repairing or replacing the air suspension at the dealer?



A: Yes there are.

One method is to replace your busted components with aftermarket air suspension components. Many companies make third party replacement air suspension parts which are often high quality.

The problem is that they, too, are expensive and often difficult to install.

The most cost-efficient option, by far, is to get rid of the troublesome GX 470 air suspension completely. You can replace it with a robust coilover suspension kit that will ensure your air suspension troubles are over forever.

This kit from Strutmasters will replace your entire rear air suspension for under $400! Compare that to $2,500 for a comparable air suspension replacement. Just imagine what you can do with that extra $2,100!

Need help with your order or just want to make sure you’re getting exactly what you need? Give our Suspension Experts a call at (866) 985-0387

Check Out Clay Millican’s Awesome New Parts Plus/Strutmasters Dragster

NHRA fan favorite Clay Millican’s Top Fuel dragster will be sporting a brand new look at the 2018 season’s inaugural race at Pomona on February 7.

The ultra-clean redesign evokes the color schemes and lines of the dragsters of the 1960s and 1970s. It features classic red and white and increased prominence of the Strutmasters.com logo.

The Roxboro, North Carolina-based “Suspension Experts” have once again increased their support for the Millican team.

“We developed an awesome, new look for Part Plus/Strutmasters.com dragster, semi transporters, uniforms and more that matches our goals and ambitions,” Millican said.

SSI Decals provided the decals used in the redesign and applied them as well.

Millican’s car redesign is just one of many changes the team has seen over the offseason. Straightline Strategy Group, LLC took over ownership of the team from Stringer Performance at the end of 2018.

After setting records and finishing third overall, the aggressive moves came as a surprise to some around the sport.

“Change is a scary word as fear of the unknown can keep people from moving forward,” said Millican. “But I’ve fully embraced this change even with the valleys and hills that are expected in the process.”

In addition, the Top Fuel team hired Mike Kloeber to replace David Grubnic as crew chief. Millican’s team also hired long-time veteran Jack Wyatt as car chief and a whole new crew.

“It’s been deja-vu of sorts with Mike and Jack back in the shop,” said Millican. “I have total confidence that they will provide the performance we need with the new parts that have been arriving daily. Our new look and our new crew will be in the hunt for a championship this year.”

Bad Mercedes S430 Suspension? 5 Reasons to Convert to Coils

s430-strutmasters

The Mercedes S430 served as the German automaker’s flagship sedan in the first half of the 2000s. Incredibly popular, the S430 was the top-selling luxury sedan in North America several years in a row.

Like other Mercedes cars of the time, the S430 featured the company’s trademark Airmatic suspension. Airmatic was truly pioneer technology, and among the best of its kind in the entire industry.

The problem, however, is that like most air suspensions, even the Airmatic’s days were numbered from the beginning.

Incredibly complex systems made up of moving parts tend not to last. As a result, S430 owners were left with cars that sag and lean, nose-dive and bounce at stops, or fail completely and sit on the ground.

While you can take your car to the Mercedes dealer and have Airmatic components replaced, converting that car to coils is a much cheaper and perhaps a more preferable option. Let’s explore why.

Your Mercedes S430 Will be Safer

Driving around on a bad suspension isn’t just uncomfortable, it’s really unsafe.

Cars with compromised components take longer stop and don’t respond as well when handling. Your suspension is arguably your primary safety device.

For that reason (and many others), you should never put off repairing your suspension.

However, repairing your faulty air suspension might be so expensive you’d be tempted to gamble. Replacing just one of your air bags can cost upwards of $1,000!

On the contrary, converting all of your struts to coils costs less than $900.

Once you install your new struts, you’ll notice the difference right away. Shorter stopping distance. Tighter handling.

With a genuine Strutmasters conversion kit, you don’t have to choose between your financial and physical safety.

Things Will Be Smoother


If you’re considering changing out your air suspension, chances are it’s been a while since you’ve actually had a smooth ride.

Think back to when your car was newer. You’d glide over every dip and bump in the road, feeling it just enough to know it’s there but not enough to care.

These days, you’re probably used to bracing for impact at every pot hole.

Prepare to go back to the way things used to be. The patented Glide-Ride Technology has been engineered to provide a smooth ride that rivals your original air suspension.

You’ll see that your S430 takes corners with ease once again. Most people are amazed at just how much more responsive their car feels after converting.

No More Bottoming Out

Do you tense up or recoil in terror at the site of speed bumps? Have you worked out just the right angle to get your Mercedes S430 out of the driveway without scraping?

A bad suspension does many terrible things to your car. However, one of the worst is allowing your car to “bottom out” going over speed bumps or in and out of driveways.

Bottoming out puts your entire car at risk. You can puncture a hole or even completely tear out expensive and essential parts to your car.

When you convert your S430 to a new coil suspension, you eliminate the risk of bottoming out. This means you can back out of your driveway with confidence.

You’ll Enjoy Driving Your Mercedes Again



Perhaps the worst part of driving a Mercedes S430 with a bad suspension is the constant worry. Once you’ve dealt with a dying air suspension, you know what you’re in for. Endless expensive trips to the dealer.

It is simply a matter of time before the next time that warning light comes on.

In addition, you as a good driver will compensate for that bad suspension. You’ll start braking earlier than other cars, or driving painfully slow over speed bumps.

Once you convert your car to coils, however, the worry is over. The Strutmasters Limited Lifetime Guarantee means that as long as your car is on the road, you will have working struts.

That means you can stop worrying and get back to enjoying driving that fine automobile.

When you’re ready to convert your S430, click here to get the 4-Wheel Air or Hydraulic Suspension Replacement kit. If you’re unsure of exactly what you need, that’s okay! Call (866) 610-9848 where our team of Suspension Experts is standing by to help you get just what you need!

The NHRA Is Seeing Its Stock Rise. Fast.

Thanks to the sport’s growing popularity, NHRA fans have gained unprecedented access to the sport over the past several years. This, in turn, has led to more exposure for the league which has led to more access for the fans.

Since 2015 the NHRA has seen dramatic ratings increases. And it’s not just on TV. In-person attendance has been up as well.

So what’s behind the growth?

NHRA moves to Fox



Before moving over to the Fox network, the NHRA’s ratings were on the decline at ESPN. After the move, however, ratings ticked back up in a big way.

The Association signed a multi-year deal with Fox in 2016 in a multiyear deal after being with ESPN for 14 years. Previously, races were shown on tape delay in less marketable time slots.

With the move to Fox, races are shown live throughout the entire weekend. In response, viewership increased from an average of 513,000 in 2015 to 634,000 after the switch–a 24 percent increase.

“Seeing the early ratings for NHRA races on FS1 is tremendously encouraging,” said Patrick Crakes, FOX Sports senior vice president of programming, research and content strategy. “We worked closely with them to put together a very aggressive television package for 2016 and beyond, and to get off the line with some momentum is exciting for everyone involved.”

In an interview with Black Book, NHRA vice president of sales and chief development officer Brad Gerber explained just how much the new TV deal was helping the organization.

“All 24 of our races are on either Fox national broadcast or on Fox Sports 1,” said Gerber. “Four are on Fox national broadcast and 20 are on Fox Sports 1. We had an issue with our previous partner where they say we’re going to be at two o’clock on a Sunday, we’re going to air, then all of a sudden we got bumped for something else. Now, we have locked-in times with Fox Sports, so people know that when they turn on or set their DVR or something, it’s there.”

Increased Coverage



The move to Fox didn’t just mean better time slots, it meant a whole lot more of them.

One of the main attractions to NHRA events is that the competitive tension and drama builds over the entire weekend. Watching individual races takes the context away from the event. Some viewers were understandably put off by this.

Since the move, however, racing fans have access to almost every race. While the NHRA’s TV deal with ESPN featured 120 hours of programming, its new deal with Fox includes 550 hours.

Gerber also credited a new web presence as helping the league reach more fans.

“We also went in and completely redesigned our website, NHRA.com,” Gerber said. “We launched a brand new site, completely mobile-friendly, responsive. As I always say, every buzzword that you can imagine in digital, we did it.”


Made-for-TV Stars



Along with increased coverage, the NHRA has been fortunate to have a lot going for it in the star department. Not every sport is lucky enough to have such likeable and relatable athletes.

Brittany Force’s 2017 title run captured the hearts of several generations of racing fans. The Mello Yello champ was just the second woman to win the title and comes from NHRA royalty. Her father, John Force is one of the sports most accomplished and celebrated racers. Her two sisters, April and Courtney, are also marquee names in the sport.

This year it was Steve Torrence who grabbed headlines by winning just about everything. After five victories during the regular season, Torrence went undefeated in the Countdown to the Championship. Most of the competition wasn’t even within sniffing distance.

However, one man was a threat all year long. Clay Millican has proven to be both a perennial fan favorite and a bona fide winner. The Tennessee gentleman scored two huge victories in 2018 and looks poised to have a big year in 2019.


All in all, the growth of the NHRA comes down to exposure and the sport’s natural likeability. The combination of pulsing action and a family-friendly atmosphere is hard to resist. The more people interact with the Association, the more fans it gains.

Already the sport is looking to expand its reach, including broadcasting events in Spanish.


Look for the sport to continue to find its way to the living rooms of people across the country throughout this year and into the future.

Clay Millican Deserves a Bigger Spotlight; This Season He May Get One

This year’s third-place finisher in the NHRA Clay Millican is known around the racing world for two things: peeling the pavement with record-setting runs and his infectiously positive attitude.

Within the world of racing, Millican is an absolute fan favorite. It’s easy to see why.

 

“Stomp That Loud Pedal”

In many ways, he embodies the spirit of the fun-loving and family-friendly spirit of the NHRA. On the track, Millican is fearless.

His catch phrase, “stomp on that loud pedal” truly captures his strategy. Punch it hard, drive as fast as possible. No need to complicate things.

His car stays tuned wide open. Sometimes so much that it bursts into flames.

Millican’s aggressive approach to Top Fuel racing is everything a fan could want: a bit cowboy, a bit reckless, and absolutely thrilling to witness.

Off the track, Clay is almost the polar opposite; a humble, neighborly husband and father who is just happy to be living the dream.

“Down to earth” doesn’t even begin to describe Millican. He went from driving a forklift to being perhaps the most dominant driver in IHRA history. Even after winning six out of seven IHRA championships and several events in his NHRA career, he lives a relatively quiet life in the town he grew up in.

Millican spends a great deal of his down time doing charity work and teaching road safety and driving courses. He takes time to respond to fans on Twitter.

In short, Millican is everything we want our sports heroes to be.

 

A Growing Sport

The Drummonds, Tennessee native and his team have stayed busy in the off-season. While his easy-going nature and Southern gentleman manners may prevent him from saying it out loud, there is only one goal for the 2019 season: an NHRA Championship.

Winning the championship this year could propel Millican to a new level of stardom.

Clay’s rise to prominence coincides with steady growth in the sport’s popularity. After moving from FS1 to FOX, the NHRA more than doubled its viewership on the year.

FOX’s Spanish-language sports channel FOX Deportes even broadcast several races last season, with plans to broadcast more this season.

 

Face of the Franchise?

Nothing helps a sport boom in popularity like a star athlete. In Clay Millican, the NHRA has one in the making.

Millican’s story is almost too incredible to be true. For the unfamiliar, here’s the short version:

While working as a forklift driver for Kroger, Millican competed in the IHRA. He was noticed by investor Peter Lehman who asked him to drive his Top Fuel Car.

Soon after, Millican took the IHRA by storm and won six championships in seven years. Following this success, he moved over to the NHRA.

Then, in 2015 tragedy struck as Millican’s son Dalton passed away in a motorcycle accident at the age of 22.

That tragedy, however, gave way to triumph two years later. In a moment that seemed made for TV, Millican won his first ever NHRA event on none other than Father’s Day.

Since then, Millican has been on an absolute tear. He’s set track records, won two more events, and was within striking distance of 2018 champion Steve Torrence all season.

As the NHRA looks to expand its reach even further this season, it would be smart to turn the spotlight to Millican and his infectious smile.

At a time when even sports divides people, Clay Millican is someone we can all root for.

Mercedes-Benz CL 500 Suspension Failing: Repair, Replace or Convert?

Mercedes’ CL 500 was a watershed vehicle for the German automaker. Not only was the car enormously popular in Europe and North America, it helped introduce several of its now-standard technological innovations.

The second generation of Mercedes’ CL coupés, introduced in 1999, featured the company’s most advanced active suspension systems to date.

The Active Body Control system uses four hydraulic suspension rams that use three pressure regulators. These regulators are connected to a combination power steering and suspension pump.

The pump pushes fluid at a pressure of 2,960 psi (20,400 kPa) through the system. This fluid is regulated by several intermediate computers and a master CPU.

The result is a car that stayed absolutely flat through corners and glided over dips and bumps in the road. That is, until the problems began.

 

CL 500 Suspension Failure

Like any active suspension, the CL 500’s Active Body Control (ABC) is comprised of a network of moving parts, sensors and computers. And like any active suspension, this cluster of components is destined for eventual failure.

Even before Mercedes’ onboard monitoring system indicated a suspension failure, the signs are painfully obvious to CL 500 owners:

A sagging rear end, nose diving when braking, that bouncy “settling” feeling when coming to a slow stop. Just like its air-powered counterparts, Mercedes’ ABC technology from this time eventually let owners (and the cars themselves!) down.

This left CL 500 owners with a choice on how to proceed. The question is whether to repair the current system, replace components with OEM parts, or convert the car to a simpler, more robust suspension kit.

Let’s explore those options.

 

Repair

As mentioned earlier, the Mercedes CL 500’s ABC suspension is made up of lots of little parts, sensors and computers.

The first issue with repairs is that often it is very difficult to identify which component needs fixing. The error code from your car is a handy first step, but even those might show just one of many issues with the suspension.

Furthermore, the interdependent nature of the ABC system means that when one component fails to do its job, it disrupts the entire system.

The breakdown of something like a sensor could mean that undue stress was put on the pump, setting it up for early failure.

Repairing the ABC suspension on your vehicle is at best a temporary solution, with more repairs a certain part of the future. While it might seem cheaper now to just replace a sensor or fluid line, chances are things will start to add up quickly.

 

Replace

So maybe you’ve fallen in love with the ABC system. It was a pretty advanced system for its day and age. It’s easy to see how someone might not want to change from that.

The Mercedes-Benz dealership is happy to accommodate you if this is your preference. By going to them you can get your CL 500 riding like the first day you bought it.

The only problem? Expense.

Here’s a breakdown of the components you’d need to replace and the cost of replacing them.

+ Front Hydraulic Strut Assemblies ($2,000/strut)
+ Rear Hydraulic Strut Assemblies ($1,700/strut)
+ Hydraulic Pump ($1,300)
+ Hydraulic Reservoir ($400)

 

Note that this list doesn’t even include any of the computer or sensor components.

The average time of suspension failure is at around 80-100,000 miles for this vehicle. Therefore, you’d likely spend more (around $9,000 to be specific) on replacing the suspension than the car itself is worth.

For many people, that’s simply not practical or even realistic.

 

Convert

There is, however, a third option. For less than the cost of one hydraulic strut, you can replace all four wheels with time-tested, simple mechanical coilover struts.

That’s your entire suspension replaced for less than $1,000.

Genuine Strutmasters conversion kits are engineered to be the perfect replacement for costly and burdensome active suspensions.

Once installed, these hardy struts come with a lifetime limited warranty. This means they’ll outlast your car or you’ll have your money back.

This also means once you install them, you can kiss those frequent trips to the mechanic or dealership goodbye. The brilliance in these kits is their simplicity.

That simplicity is easy to see for yourself. They are so easy to install, you should be able to do it yourself with just a few common tools and an afternoon.

Rather get it installed by your mechanic? The simple installation means you still save bundles on costly time “under the hood.”

If you’re ready to get that Mercedes-Benz CL 500 back on the road and ready to go without spending a fortune, give us a call at (866) 984-1443. One of our Suspension Experts will be there to help you get exactly what you need.

3 Lincoln Town Car Suspension Problems Fixed by Converting to Coils

Who doesn’t love their Lincoln Town Car?

The luxury sedan was produced by Ford Motor Co. from 1980-2011. During that time it gained many fans as one of the country’s preeminent Executive-class luxury sedans.

The Town Car was the longest car produced in North America from 1997-2011. While this allowed for an almost absurd amount of interior space, it presented some unique challenges to the engineers at Ford.

The challenge? Create a smooth ride deserving of such a spacious and luxurious interior. The answer was an air suspension.

The air suspension did provide what Ford was looking for–a silky smooth ride for passengers and drivers alike that felt like one was gliding on, well, air.

The problem is that these Lincoln air suspensions worked until they didn’t.

We know this all too well here at Strutmasters. In fact, a Lincoln Continental air suspension failure is what started this company. You can read about it in the history of the company here.

There are many reasons to switch over to a coil suspension once your Lincoln Town Car air suspension fails. Here are three common issues installing a genuine Strutmasters conversion kit fixes completely.

 

Leaky Town Car Air Bags


One of the most common repairs and usually the first is to the air bags themselves.

The air bags in the Town Car get filled with pressurized air. This air, rather than a mechanical spring, is used to keep the car suspended off of the wheels and axles.

Since they are made of a flexible rubber, it is inevitable that these air bags wear out. They can crack, rot or even get punctured.

Furthermore, once one has busted, the others are soon to follow. While replacing one air bag might not seem like a huge investment, replacing all four can be cost-prohibitive.

This issue is solved when you switch to mechanical coils. The conversion kit comes with a limited lifetime warranty.

This means that as long as your car is on the road, you can count on having working struts without spending any more money.

 

 

Software Updates and Computer Issues


The air suspension in your Town Car uses a series of sensors and computers to regulate the air pressure in the air springs.


These computers, like all computers, can run into many unforeseen issues. Sometimes, the air suspension will require a software patch or update just to work properly.

For some reason, these computer issues always seem to require a confusingly expensive software solution.

With simple coils, there’s no computer necessary, just good old-fashioned mechanical resistance.  No communication errors, no system upgrades. Easy.


Endless Repairs


The reality with air suspensions is that once one or more components go, the rest will start to follow.

 

The reason being is that air suspensions are interdependent. They require the cooperation of all parts in order to work properly.

When a component loses functionality, it puts stress on the rest of the system. Unless these repairs are done immediately, the remaining components in your air suspension will suffer.

As a result, one repair turns into two, two turns into three and so on. Soon you’re repairing nearly every component in your Town Car’s air suspension. This could cost thousands of dollars.

When you convert your rear suspension with a Strutmasters conversion kit for just $199 ($399 for all four wheels), you’re going to spend that money once.

After that, under normal conditions you’ll never have to worry about your suspension again.


When you’re ready to stop making trips to the mechanic to repair your Lincoln Town Car air suspension, give us a call at (866) 685-7228 to get started. One of our suspension experts will be happy to make sure you get exactly what you need.