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Best way to troubleshoot air spring?

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Best way to troubleshoot air spring?

 
Old 02-07-2019, 04:00 PM
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Best way to troubleshoot air spring?

I came out to the wagon this morning to the sight no one wants to see - one corner (driver rear) all the way down.

Upon starting the car, the bag lifted the car back up a bit, but not all the way, and the right corner is noticeably higher.

After letting the car run for a few minutes, I killed the engine and went back inside to do some research. One site I came across indicated that when parking on an incline (as I do on my driveway) sometimes the sensor can make mistakes and end up dropping or raising one side too high. Taking that with a grain of salt, I took the car for a short trip to the gas station and back for fuel. Upon returning, the driver side is still lower than the passenger, but now that I am leaving it on level ground, the car seems to be holding the height.

I'm fairly convinced this is probably a leaking rear airspring. What is the best way to confirm? I have an icarsoft MBII to pull values if it is relevant. As a side note, what is the expected lifetime of an OEM airspring? when I bought this wagon, I thought I would be dodging that bullet because the airsprings had previously been replaced under warranty. With the miles I have on it now though, I'm wondering if I just ran them through their useful lifetime.

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Old 02-07-2019, 05:01 PM
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Do you have 4-wheel airmatic or just rear self-leveling? They use completely different types of airbags. The rear self-leveling airbag is relatively cheap and easy to replace. The airmatic rear air bag is twice the price at a massive PITA because it has an attached air Reservoir. You have to pull the exhaust and lower the rear subframe.
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Old 02-07-2019, 05:38 PM
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I definitely have a 4matic, but I don't think I have airmatic because I don't have any of the fancy suspension switches up front in the cabin. Is there a straightforward way to tell?
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Old 02-07-2019, 08:15 PM
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Originally Posted by purplegrog View Post
I definitely have a 4matic, but I don't think I have airmatic because I don't have any of the fancy suspension switches up front in the cabin. Is there a straightforward way to tell?
Yes, look behind your front tires and see if you have coil springs. If you do you're in luck. You need one of these.
https://www.rockauto.com/en/catalog/...r+spring,15005

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Old 02-07-2019, 11:21 PM
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Awesome .I do in fact have the non-airmatic flavor. Now is there a way to confirm the problem is with the air spring and not some ancillary component?
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Old 02-08-2019, 12:14 AM
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Originally Posted by purplegrog View Post
Awesome .I do in fact have the non-airmatic flavor. Now is there a way to confirm the problem is with the air spring and not some ancillary component?
Of You're just losing air on one side it's most likely the air spring.
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Old 02-08-2019, 10:25 AM
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Thanks. Just two more questions while I wait for the part to come in.

I'm not getting a warning from the dash about the car being too low, and when I start the car and drive it, the driver's side seems to come back to at least a nominally normal height. Is it safe to drive in this condition?

Arnott's site says that if replacing OEM air springs, they should be replaced in pairs. Is that an imperative instruction, or can they be replaced one at a time at my leisure?

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Old 02-08-2019, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by purplegrog View Post
Thanks. Just two more questions while I wait for the part to come in.

I'm not getting a warning from the dash about the car being too low, and when I start the car and drive it, the driver's side seems to come back to at least a nominally normal height. Is it safe to drive in this condition?

Arnott's site says that if replacing OEM air springs, they should be replaced in pairs. Is that an imperative instruction, or can they be replaced one at a time at my leisure?
It's not imperative to replace in pairs but it would be a good idea to do so.

As for installation, it's a simple job.

Other things to check are to see if valve block is leaking or the rear junction.
In the rear, a single line comes from the valve block into a splitter, check for leaks.
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