Car Suspension Problems : Air Shocks


Whether you recently moved to Chicago or have lived your whole life here, you know how bumpy the roads can be. With hard winters and never ending construction tearing up the city streets, driving in Chicago can feel like auditioning for a Vin Diesel movie. To help alleviate some of the rough bumping and swerving Chicago drivers have to put up with, some cars have a special type of suspension called, air suspension.

It’s like having 4 very strong pillows underneath your car to help provide a smooth, constant ride quality. In some cases, air shocks are used for sporty suspensions like in some Land Rovers or BMWs. Electronically controlled systems in automobiles and light trucks usually feature self-leveling along with raising and lowering functions. This is what allows CTA buses to raise and lower when letting people on.

The expected lifespan of air suspension systems could be as long as 100,000 miles. Their are situations which shorten this lifespan if you drive on rough roads or are constantly hitting curbs. Air shocks over time can crack, leak, or rupture, so let’s take a look at 3 common signs of a bad air suspension.

Dashboard Warning Light


This light, commonly found on Volkswagen dashboards, is a warning sign that your air suspension needs to be checked. Often times debris puncturing your air bag or “bellow” can be the main cause of air suspension problems. Also, with the amount of rain we have received this season, moisture may build up in the system and can result in damaged air springs or a burned out compressor.

Drop in Height


Sometimes this sign can be severe. If the bag on your air suspension blows, it can leave your car sitting on your tires and enabling you to drive. In most cases the air suspension will deflate when the car is turned off. When you start the engine, the compressor inflates the bag to take the weight off your wheels, allowing you to drive again.

Loud Compressor

If the compressor has to constantly inflate the suspension because of a leak, it can quickly burn out. A sign that your compressor is having issues may result in a loud humming noise coming from your wheels (see video above).

If you have any questions or concerns regarding your car’s suspension system, please don’t hesitate to give us a call. specializes in European auto repairs and maintenance. We strive to keep our service costs 40% less than dealerships. Schedule an appointment for your Audi, BMW, Land Rover, Mercedes, Mini Cooper, or Volkswagen with us.

Written by Spotlight Automotive