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4 Common Audi A8 Suspension Problems (and How to Fix Them)

The Audi A8 of the 2000s brought the car manufacturer to the forefront of the foreign luxury car market in the United States. With a combination of luxury and performance that rivaled the “other” German brands, Audi broke through and became a major player.

Part of the car’s luxury appeal was its sophisticated air suspension system. While providing an excellent ride, like all air suspensions it has proven to suffer from longevity issues. This has left owners with few good options on maintaining their Audi’s ride quality.

The A8s from this time had several common issues that affected its suspension performance.


Faulty Control Module



The Audi A8’s air suspension is controlled by an electronic control module. This module is actually a small computer that reads electronic signals from the sensors. Then it determines how much air pressure is needed at each shock.

Like all electronic parts, the control module is prone to the occasional software issue or malfunction. This might cause the the air springs to over or under-inflate. In turn, this can cause extra stress on the other suspension components.


Leaky A8 Air Springs



The air springs used to cushion the ride need to be made of a flexible material. As a result, they aren’t as sturdy as parts made out of metal.

Over tens of thousands of miles, these often plastic and rubber components bear the full weight of the car. They are destined to wear out at some point, and usually well before the 100,000 mile mark.

If kept in a very cold or very dry environment, these air springs may wear out even sooner.


Punctures or Tears in the Air Lines



Your A8 uses air lines made of flexible plastic or rubber tubing to carry pressurized air from the compressor to the air springs. These materials are prone to being nicked or cut.

No matter where you live, road debris is just a part of the life of a driver. It’s not uncommon for small pieces of rock or glass to puncture an air line.

This problem is very easy to overlook. However, it will cause the compressor to work overtime to keep the air springs inflated. This will cause early failure in the compressor if left untreated.


Worn Out Compressor


The pressurized air used to pump up your air springs is generated by a small compressor under the hood of your Audi A8.

This compressor is itself a small engine made up of tiny moving parts. Like all moving parts, it will eventually wear out.

Furthermore, when other parts of the air suspension start to fail it is usually the compressor that picks up the slack. This makes them prone to failing before they are supposed to.

How to Fix It


You can choose to fix each component of your Audi A8’s failing air suspension. This method is usually very expensive. The compressor alone may cost more than $2000 just for the part! Add labor to that and just to replace the compressor you’d be out nearly $2500.

It may seem tempting to spend just a few hundred dollars here to replace one of the air struts and hold on to that air ride. However, as they are built on an interconnected system, once one component starts to go, the others are sure to follow.

An Alternative


Wouldn’t it make sense then, knowing that air suspension is going to fail completely at some point, to just get rid of the problem entirely?

With a Strutmasters Audi A8 4 Wheel conversion kit, you can divorce yourself from that troublesome air suspension for good by replacing it with a brand new extra-sturdy coilover suspension.

Like all Strutmasters kits, this one is specially tuned for your 2002-2009 Audi A8. Our patented Glide Ride technology ensures you’ll be experiencing a similarly smooth ride to your original air suspension.

Best of all, it costs a fraction of the price. For less than $1,000 you can replace your entire suspension. That’s thousands upon thousands less than it would cost to repair or replace the air suspension at the dealer. 

Here’s a video detailing one Audi A8 success story here:



When you’re ready to make the switch, give our friendly and helpful customer service a call at (866) 830-5450. We’re here to help!

The Top 5 Moments From Clay Millican’s Incredible 2018 NHRA Season

Clay Millican finished third in the 2018 NHRA Top Fuel season, his best season to date in the NHRA. Always a fan favorite, Millican provided racing fans with some of the most exciting and emotional moments of 2018.

Let’s take a look back at Clay Millican’s top five moments from the 2018 NHRA Top Fuel season.


5. Clay pulls out the win after his engine explodes in Charlotte

 

After jumping out ahead in a Carolina Nationals Qualifier in Charlotte, Clay’s engine burst into flames. Millican would maintain his cool despite his car being on fire and won the round. He thankfully walked away unscathed.

 

4. Clay explodes off the line to clinch his second career event in Topeka

 

Clay won the second national event title of his career after he gunned his Strutmasters/Great Clips car to a 3.727 at 332.59 MPH pass, beating Terry McMillen in the finals.

 

 

3. Clay sets a new track record in Atlanta

 

Millican set a new track speed record of 331.12 mph during the second round of qualifying in the Southern Nationals.

“To go 331 mph in Atlanta is pretty cool,” said Millican, at the time. “The car is the quickest in the world and I’m proud of that.

 

2. Clay makes the quickest pass in NHRA history

 

It didn’t take long for Clay to put the NHRA on notice in 2018. During the Lucas Oil Winternationals, the first race of the 2018 season, Millican set a Top Fuel national time record of 3.628 seconds at 322.04 mph.


“I knew it was a special run at the 330-foot mark,” said Millican. “And I even shut the car off a bit early so we know we can improve upon those numbers at some point.”

 

 

1. Clay picks up the win on the 20th anniversary of his first race

 

Clay Millican picked up his second win of the season and third of his career at the 21st annual JEGS Route 66 NHRA Nationals at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Illinois. But the race had more significance than just being part of back-to-back wins for Millican and the Stringer Performance racing team.

The race came on the 20th anniversary of the track’s first NHRA event which, coincidentally was Clay Millican’s first racing event. Millican didn’t fare nearly as well in the 1998 event, earning a DNQ.

“This place is really special,” said Millican. “I was the very first car to pull out on this facility. It’s such a crazy, crazy thing to win here 20 years later.”

 

All in all it was an amazing season for Millican and for NHRA fans across the country. With the Stringer Performance team already making some changes for next season, it’s looking like 2019 might be just as exciting, if not more.

After His Best Year Yet, Clay Millican is Gunning for the Top in 2019

In the shadows of Steve Torrence’s historic 2018 season, it’s easy to overlook the incredible season that Clay Millican had this year.

The Tennessee native fan favorite won two races and was the only racer within sniffing distance of Torrence for much of 2018. He survived a series of fires and explosions and pulled off some dramatic trial wins.

But by the looks of things over at Stringer Performance, Clay and his team are just getting started.

 

Millican’s Championship Reunion

 

Last week it was announced that Stringer Performance was replacing tuner David Grubnic with Mike Kloeber, despite the success of Millican’s 2018 run. This left the question as to why.

 

To answer that, one needs to look back into Clay Millican racing history just a bit.


Before ascending the ranks in NHRA Top Fuel, Clay Millican won six IHRA championships in just seven seasons. His crew chief? Mike Kloeber.


 

Excited for the Future



Despite the close of the 2018 season coming just a few days ago, Stringer Performance owner Doug Stringer is already looking ahead towards the future.

“We’re excited for what the future holds for us,” Stringer said. “There’s a long relationship between Mike [Kloeber] and Clay, so there’s a huge comfort level there. Mike’s got some unfinished business out here, as does Clay.”

As for the swirling questions around Grubnic’s departure and Kloeber’s arrival, Stringer has a no-nonsense answer.

“People say, ‘Wow, they’re changing crew chiefs, their direction.’ Yes, people are moving on and people are moving in, but our direction is to win the championship next year.”

 

Championship Vision



It’s clear that there is one goal for the 2019 NHRA season for Clay and Stringer Performance: winning the National Championship.

New crew chief Kloeber spoke about his move to Stringer earlier last week.

 

“Getting a call from Doug Stringer with the opportunity to race with this team provides a path to conclude some unfinished business for us all — winning a NHRA Mello Yello Championship,” he said.

Kloeber describes all the pieces that he hopes will come together to create a winning formula for 2019.

“With the addition of partners Scott Gardner and J.J. Koehler to the team, along with Doug, who I also share a history with, my motivation couldn’t be any higher. Their expertise and additional resources position the program for exceptional growth and performance.”


As proud sponsors of Stringer Performance racing and Clay Millican, we here at Strutmasters couldn’t be more ready for February 7th when the 2019 NHRA season kicks off at the Lucas Oil Winternationals.

3 Reasons Your Mercedes SL500 Suspension Fails (and How to Fix It)

Maybe you’ve noticed that your Mercedes SL500 is leaning to one side a little bit, or riding a little too low. Maybe you’re already seeing the dreaded ABC warning light. Whatever it is, your Mercedes SL500 hydraulic suspension is failing.

The question you might be asking now is “why?”

While hydraulic suspensions offer a great deal of responsiveness and comfort, there are many drawbacks. Namely, the all-but-guaranteed eventual failure of the system and the expense of repairing and replacing it.

Let’s take a look at some of the common reasons why these expensive systems fail.

1. Too much complexity



Mercedes’ hydraulic suspension system, called Active Body Control (ABC), uses precision sensors and an onboard computer to regulate the hydraulic pressure in the shocks.

While this allows for a very responsive and comfortable ride, it means there are lots of things that can go wrong.

Furthermore, the ABC system requires all of the components to function in unison in order for it to work properly. If one component is failing it creates a domino effect and puts more stress on the other components. This will significantly shorten the working life of the other components.

2. Too many moving parts



The sensors in the SL500 hydraulic suspension are moving parts. Like all moving parts, they wear down over time and become less effective, eventually wearing out completely.

The hydraulic pump, which pushes hydraulic fluid to the components, is itself a moving part. Once it wears out, the entire system will fail. It is a difficult and expensive component to replace.

3. Fragile components


The SL500 uses a series of lines to transport the hydraulic fluid from the pump into the struts. These lines need to be flexible and thus are made of materials like plastic and rubber.

Plastic and rubber lines can be easily cut or ripped from road rubble or other debris. Even a small leak will significantly worsen the performance of the suspension.

A hole in a line will cause the pump to work harder to keep the struts pumped up. This will cause the pump to wear out even faster.
Now that we know why the hydraulic suspensions fail, let’s take a look at how to fix them.

How to Fix Your SL500 Suspension

The first and most obvious option is of course to take it to the dealership or a mechanic. They’ll get the OEM parts ordered and replaced. Repairing the entire system could cost you upwards of $4,000. For many, that’s a little too much to spend on an aging car.

Another option is to forget that troubled hydraulic suspension entirely and replace it with a sturdy, dependable coilover suspension from Strutmasters.

A coilover suspension is a much simpler solution than the hydraulic one. In fact, it’s so simple that it’s pretty simple to DIY at home. And if you’d rather take it to a mechanic, the install only takes about one hour per wheel, meaning you won’t pay too much in labor fees.

Here’s a video of an install we did here at Strutmasters. You can see for yourself how simple it is:

Once you decide to make the switch, give us a call at (866) 985-0387 or browse our website start your order!

 

Is Your Acura MDX Suspension Failing? Don’t Ignore These Warning Signs

uspension problems in the Acura MDX can be tough to identify early on. The family SUV was factory-equipped with an air suspension that makes the ride smooth and comfortable–when it works.

The problem is, once things start to fail, they go downhill quickly. Soon, problems begin to compound and that once dreamy ride is now feeling more like a nightmare. Thousands of dollars in repairs could await you if they go on long enough.

However, there are several warning signs to look for even before the suspension warning light comes on. These indicators of a bad or failing suspension may help you identify problems before they get too drastic.

If you see one or more of the following problems with your MDX, it’s time to have someone look at the suspension:



Your MDX is Sagging or Leaning to One Side



Sometimes suspensions wear out all at once. More often than not, however, a leaky suspension will start over just one wheel.

If an airbag has trouble staying inflated over one wheel, the body of the car will dip down at that point. This will cause the car to sag or lean to one side.

Most often, this is the rear of the car. This makes the car appear like it is crouching down.

If you see this, it is likely you have a leak in your system. Inspect it yourself or take it in.



Your Compressor is Making Too Much Noise



You’ll barely hear the air compressor in charge of inflating your MDX’s air bags when it is functioning properly.

So, if it is noticeably loud, you can guess that there is a problem somewhere in the system. Similarly, if the compressor runs for more than 10-15 seconds per cycle, it is probably working too hard.

Left unattended, this will cause the compressor to overwork and eventually wear out. While air bags can be repaired or replaced rather easily, the compressor itself is one of the most expensive components in the air suspension.


Your MDX Does a “Nose Dive” at Stops



Cars with a worn down suspension have trouble distributing the weight properly. This is especially evident when a car tries to come to a stop.

Whereas a vehicle with a functioning suspension will stop evenly, a worn out or busted suspension will cause more weight to be distributed to the front of the car.

This will cause what’s known as a “nose dive.” The front of the car dips down while the rear springs up when the car comes to a stop. The faster the stop, the worse the nose dive.


Your MDX is Taking Too Long to Stop



The suspension in your car is an important part of its braking system. By distributing the weight evenly throughout the frame, the suspension helps to slow the car down as it tries to come to a stop.

If your Acura is taking longer to stop than usual and you’ve kept up with the brake service, you can almost be certain that the suspension is on its way out.

 

While this may seem like just an inconvenience, the difference in stopping distance could be the distance between getting into an accident and driving away. Don’t ignore this potentially deadly problem.



What to Do If You’re Experiencing These Problems



Let’s put this bluntly. Air suspensions are difficult and costly to repair and even more difficult and costly to replace.

A good mechanic can do a wonderful job repairing or replacing your air suspension. But understand that one problem now means that there are more problems just around the corner.

 

Be prepared to spend thousands over the remaining lifetime of your MDX to keep the air suspension in shape.

 

There is, however, another solution. You can ditch that air suspension and all its problems entirely by converting to a simple, time-tested coilover suspension.

With Strutmasters’ four-wheel conversion kit with light fix module for the 2007-2013 Acura MDX, you can replace your entire suspension and fix the suspension warning light for under $1000. That’s thousands less than you’d pay for that OEM suspension, and it comes with a Lifetime Limited Warranty!

Consider going the trouble-free route with your Acura MDX today. Call us at (866) 610-9848 to get started on your order now!

 

Clay Millican and Crew Chief Mike Kloeber Back Together for 2019 Season

As the 2018 NHRA Top Fuel season comes to a close, the Stringer Performance Racing team and Clay Millican have already begun looking to the future.

The team has decided to reunite Millican with crew chief Mike Kloeber for the 2019 season. Kloeber and Millican worked together in the IHRA and built an impressive record together. The duo won six world championships and 50 events in just seven years.

That’s the kind of success Straightline Strategy Group, the ownership group behind the Parts Plus Top Fuel Dragster driven by Clay Millican, hopes will translate to the NHRA.

 

Millican and Kloeber Have Their Eyes on the Prize


Kloeber says that his own expectations for next season are sky high:

“Getting a call from Doug Stringer with the opportunity to race with this team provides a path to conclude some unfinished business for us all — winning a NHRA Mello Yello Championship,” said Kloeber.

Millican enters the final weekend of the season in second place, having notched two wins in 2018. He is fully aware of the implications of bringing a winning formula back together.

“I’m excited to go back and work with Mike again,” said Millican. “We have a lot of history together and are looking to make more.”

 

The Bigger Picture

 

Doug Stringer, owner of Stringer Performance, sees the hiring of Kloeber as part of the bigger picture for the racing outfit, which includes Strutmasters.com as one of its proud sponsors.

“Sometimes life comes full circle, and we believe our company’s strong ties to faith and family along with an agenda built on trust, passion, and desire with the ability to weather storms brought this opportunity together,” said Stringer. “Mike and Clay have had tremendous success in the past, and Mike fully embraces our team’s platform and goals.”

 

One Final Weekend

Catch Clay in action for the last time in 2018 this weekend at the Auto Club NHRA Finals! Click here for the TV schedule.

Fix Cadillac Escalade Suspension Problems the Inexpensive & Easy Way

Ever since its debut, the Cadillac Escalade has been, well, the Cadillac of SUVs. The American-made luxury vehicle has had a broad appeal, with fans and owners in nearly every demographic.

The Escalade has everything you’ve come to expect from a Cadillac–a plush, roomy interior draped in leather, no-nonsense exterior design, and a smooth, smooth ride. That is, until the air suspension eventually fails.

For all its popularity, Escalades, especially the ones made between 2007-2013, has had several consistent issues. One of the top complaints owners have had has been a partial or total failure of the air suspension system.

 


Why The Escalade Air Suspension Fails



For starters, the Cadillac Escalade is a behemoth. Weighing in at around 5,500 pounds, it asks a lot of the OEM suspension. Add to that the weight of passengers and cargo and you have a lot of strain and stress on that original air system.

However, the main problem is not specific to the Escalade. It’s air suspensions themselves.

While air suspensions provide a comfortable ride, they do so by employing a complex system of sensors and moving parts. These complicated systems rely on everything functioning in harmony to work properly.

Many of the materials used in air suspensions, like rubber or plastic for the air bags, simply just don’t last. Constant use and changes in temperature and humidity over the years can dry rot or crack many of these components.

In addition you have a web of moving parts under constant use. Moving parts, by their very nature, will wear down eventually and need to be replaced. The more moving parts you have in a system, the higher probability something is going to fail.



How to Fix It Once and For All



Over the lifetime of your vehicle you could spend thousands of dollars repairing or replacing components in that air suspension. Once one component fails, others are sure to follow soon.

The other option, however, is to forget the air suspension altogether and convert to a reliable, sturdy coilover suspension.

A good coilover suspension just relies on mechanical springs and tension to dampen the ride. No sensors, no computers, no compressors, and no moving parts. Just a good, simple solution to the problem.

The biggest advantage of converting to a standard coilover suspension is the amount of money you’ll save. Whereas you might spend upwards of $3,000 at the dealer to replace your air suspension, you can install a brand new suspension on all four wheels for under $700.

Part of the beauty of this simple solution is that it can easily be installed at home with just a few common tools and a little mechanical sense. If you don’t want to DIY, the installation takes just about an hour per wheel. That means the labor cost of installation won’t kill your wallet either.

The best part is that like most Strutmasters products, the conversion kit for your Escalade has a limited lifetime warranty. That means once you decide to make the switch, you can count on having a working suspension for the rest of your car’s lifetime.



Give us a call at (866) 830-5450 today and get started on ending those Cadillac Escalade suspension problems for good!

Look: Chad Finley’s Strutmasters-Sponsored #42 NASCAR Truck

After the success of its partnership with Stringer Performance and Clay Millican, Strutmasters expanded its foray into the world of racing by sponsoring Chad Finley’s #42 truck in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.

At just 26 years old, Chad Finley is quickly climbing the ranks in NASCAR’s premier truck series. Here are some photos of Chad and his Strutmasters-sponsored ride:

 

Why Your Jaguar XJ8 Suspension is Failing, and How to Really Fix It

If you are getting the dreaded suspension warning light or experiencing other problems with your Jaguar’s air suspension, you are not alone. A simple online search will yield many people facing a sagging, leaning or otherwise failing air suspension in their Jaguar XJ8.



Why the XJ8 Suspension Fails

 

Your Jaguar XJ8 came equipped with an air suspension system. When it was new, it was responsive and glided over bumps and dips in the road. They don’t always age well, however.


The main problem with air suspensions is that they are complicated. They are made up of many components that need to all be functioning in unison in order for the system to work properly.

In addition, they rely on small computers and electronic sensors to tell the system what to do. This means more things that can break and a more difficult time finding the problem.

Another major problem is that air suspensions are made of moving, rather than static parts. Moving parts are guaranteed to wear down over time as they slowly erode from use.

Your Jaguar XJ8’s suspension failure isn’t your fault, it isn’t Jaguar’s fault, it’s just the nature of air suspensions.



What Can I Do?

 

The most important thing to do is to act now. Suspension problems will build up very quickly. This is because once one component goes bad, the entire system suffers as it tries to pick up the workload. Do not assume the problem will go away or get better on its own, because it won’t.

If you were to take your Jaguar into the dealership, they would suggest that you repair the current air suspension or replace some of the components. If you want to keep your air suspension, this is what you should do.

However, there are several things to consider before going down that road.

Since we know that air suspension components do inevitably wear out, if one or more components are failing you can be sure that others will fail soon.

For example, the air bags on your XJ8 all wear out at about the same rate. Once one has failed, it won’t be long before others spring a leak or rot out. If you choose to repair your air suspension, you are looking at continued expense for the remainder of your car’s lifetime.

You do, however, have another option: to get rid of that troublesome air suspension entirely and replace it with a brand new, time-tested coilover suspension.



Why replace?

 

The number one reason to replace your air suspension with a coil suspension is price. While a new air suspension might cost you upwards of $3,000, our Jaguar XJ8 conversion kit costs just under $1,000 and comes with a limited lifetime warranty. That means you spend money once and not again.


While an air suspension is certainly comfortable, you may be surprised at just how smooth Strutmasters’ patented Glide Ride Technology system feels. Some people even prefer the feel of coilovers to their original air suspension.

The beauty of the coilover system is its simplicity. Rather than a web of moving parts and electronics, the passive struts feature just a couple of sturdy, reliable components. In fact, the coil suspension is so simple, many of our customers choose to install it themselves at home. You probably already have the tools you need at home.


Once you look at the numbers, it may start to make sense to just go ahead and ditch that air suspension. When you’re ready, we’re here to help. Give one of our associates a call at (866) 684-6473 and end your Jaguar XJ8 air suspension problems for good!