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Is Your Ford Expedition Air Suspension Failing? 6 Warning Signs - Strutmasters

Is Your Ford Expedition Air Suspension Failing? 6 Warning Signs

by David Straughan on December 03, 2018 Categories: Maintenance & Repairs
The Ford Expedition was one of the auto giant’s best selling vehicles in the early 00s. It combined enormous cabin space, a touch of luxury with all the practical sensibility Ford is known for. The early 00s models featured an air suspension that provided a soft and smooth ride. Over time, however, those air suspensions proved to be problematic. Expedition owners with more than 70,000 miles have started to get suspension warning lights. Sometimes they’ve noticed that their air suspension is completely busted and are now looking at a repair bill up in the thousands. Like any car problem, early detection is the key to avoiding breaking the bank to keep your Expedition on the road. Here are some warning signs to look for.

1. Your Expedition is Sagging in the Rear

Does your Ford Expedition look like it’s crouching down? When a vehicle sags in the rear and maintains its ride height in the front, the problem is almost certainly the air suspension. Like most cars with an air suspension, the rear is the most common point of failure in the Expedition. This is usually caused by degraded air bags.

2. Give it the “Bounce Test”

An easy way to get a general idea of your suspension health is to give it the bounce test. To do this, just walk to each corner of your car and push down hard in the bumper. If the car bounces back up and stops moving, that particular corner is fine. If it continues to bounce up and down, you have a problem.

3. Your Expedition is Leaning to One Side

While the rear is the most common point of failure in an air suspension, it isn’t always where it fails first. Sometimes an air bag can be ruptured or torn from road trauma, like hitting a pothole. This can also happen as a result of some particularly rough road debris. Park your Expedition on a level surface and walk around it to see if it sits evenly. You can use a piece of paper or anything with a right angle to guide you.

4. A Noisy Compressor

You should barely, if at all, notice your Expedition’s suspension compressor running. The compressor will run in cycles of just a few seconds. When it is functioning properly it is very quiet. If you are hearing your compressor running loudly, or notice that it’s running for longer than before, that’s a sign that it’s working harder than it should. This can happen for any number of reasons. Sometimes there is a leak in the air bag or air lines, which means the compressor needs to pump more air to inflate the air bags properly. This can also happen if there is a communication error in the computer system somewhere. If you notice your compressor running too loud or too long, it’s time to have the system looked at.

5. Nose Dive

When the front suspension in your Expedition is weak or soft, the car will lurch forward as it comes to a stop. The faster the car is moving coming into that stop, the more the “nose” of the car will dive down and the rear will pop up. If you’re experiencing a nose dive in your Ford Expedition you are putting a lot of strain on what’s left of your air suspension. Avoiding the problem will only make it worse.

6. Good Brakes, Poor Stopping Performance

When a car is stopping poorly, the first thing we think to check is the brakes. But what if you’ve just replaced your brake pads and your Expedition is still taking longer than it should to stop? The answer could lie with your suspension. A worn out suspension can take 12% more distance to stop than one with a healthy suspension. That can literally be the difference between life and death. Once you’ve ruled out your brakes as the culprit, check on your air suspension.

How to Fix It

You can keep the original air suspension that came on the car. However, this means you’ll be looking at either replacing the system entirely or repairing piece by piece likely for the rest of the car’s lifetime. Replacing the air suspension entirely will cost up to $4,500 if done at the dealership. That is quite a lot of money, especially for a high mileage car. There is, however, a less expensive and more worry-free option that you may not have considered: ditch the air ride entirely and convert to passive coil springs and shocks. This conversion kit sells for just under $600. Made up of just a small number of high-quality, durable components, it will replace all four points of your suspension completely. It’s simple enough that it can be installed at home by you or anyone else with a little technical know-how and some basic tools. That means that for just a few hours of your time, you could save almost $4,000. Problem fixed for good. Best of all, this robust suspension system comes with a limited lifetime warranty. That means you will only spend the money once to repair your suspension forever. Click this link to purchase your conversion kit online or call one of your suspension experts at (866) 358-0127 to help you with your order. Convert and save today!

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