About Me

Angela's Articulate Collection of Car Service Secrets, Tips and Tricks

Hi, my name is Angela, and as the wife of a mechanic, I was constantly tripping over car parts and complaining about the rows of project cars lining our garden. However, after a few years, I quit complaining and actually found joy in the art of auto repair. Inspired by that classic book, "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance", I decided to start working on cars with my husband. This blog is the culmination of everything I have learned and more. I hope you enjoy reading it and that my tips and ideas guide you toward a healthier car and a happier, safer driving experience.


Angela's Articulate Collection of Car Service Secrets, Tips and Tricks

Could Your Compressor Be at the Centre of Any Air Suspension Problems?

by Keith Simpson

An air suspension system is highly reliable and is found in the vast majority of heavy-duty vehicles on the road today. Yet, when it starts to fail, it can cause all manner of problems, and the vehicle may quickly become undrivable. If you own or operate a truck like this but are not familiar with how the system works, what tell-tale signs should you be on the lookout for and what component is most at risk?

System in Action

The air suspension system relies on a heavyweight rubber bag on each corner of the vehicle. These bags can be inflated or deflated on the go with high levels of precision by a central control unit. At the centre of the system is a compressor linked to a dryer, responsible for maintaining the air within specific pressure levels and ensuring that any moisture present is first removed. Without the compressor, nothing can happen, and if you develop symptoms, it's the first place to look.

But what are some of the symptoms?

Audible Signs

When you're driving along, you get used to the various noises that your truck makes as different systems switch on and off. You'll hear the compressor cycling from time to time and should quickly detect if it does not switch on when it should. That's the first and most obvious sign that something is wrong and that you should talk with a technician as soon as possible. Sometimes, the compressor will switch on, but it will make an unusual noise. It may begin to whine, or you may also hear a clicking noise as the relay tries to activate the motor. The fan may have failed, and the motor will not be able to build up pressure to the required level without it.

Visible Signs

If the compressor fails completely, it will not be able to inflate the airbags, and this will result in a vehicle that sits noticeably lower than it should. However, if the compressor is just starting to malfunction, you may see that one corner of the vehicle is sagging while the others seem okay. Typically, this will be the furthest corner from the compressor.

Other Issues

It's not always a compressor's fault, as issues can arise elsewhere in the system. The individual parts are connected by braided but flexible hoses, which can be vulnerable to damage. If some of the air were to leak, it could mimic the signs of a faulty compressor.

Expert Help

So, if you suspect a problem with your compressor, your best course of action is to schedule a service. The mechanic will look over each component and make any adjustments as needed. Regular servicing should avoid any issues and allow the technician to catch any problems before they get worse.

Contact a mechanic who repairs truck suspension malfuncitons to learn more.