Range Rover Air Suspension Problemsby Stacey Howell
Range Rovers are known for their off-road capabilities, and the Range Rover air suspension system makes it possible for the vehicle to navigate a variety of different terrains. However, these air suspension systems tend to wear out over time, leading to potentially expensive repairs. The Range Rover air suspension system consists of several different components, all of which must be in working order.
In 1993, the conventional coil spring suspension system was replaced with an air suspension in some Range Rover models. The air suspension system improved the Range Rover's ability to negotiate off-road terrains by making it possible to adjust the vehicle's height from the ground. In 1995, air suspension became standard in all Range Rover models. The Electronic Air Suspension (EAS) system software inflates or deflates the air springs depending on the speed of the car and the terrain.
The Range Rover air suspension system consists of several major components. Air bags sit in the four corners of the vehicle, and can be inflated or deflated to adjust the vehicle body's height from the wheel base. Height sensors also sit in each corner of the vehicle and detect its distance from the ground. The air compressor and storage tank store and filter air, and the valve block routes air to different corners of the car. Lastly, the electronic control unit regulates the system's settings and allows the driver to adjust the vehicle's height. Many of these parts are expensive to replace, and if any of these components fail, then the entire air suspension system can no longer function.
Air Bag Problems
Damaged air bags are a common problem in Range Rovers. The air bags can develops leaks at the top and bottom when old, or they can blow out spontaneously when pierced. Slow leaks in air bags can overwork the air compressor pump. The bags often begin to leak at 100,000 miles or after six years in most climates.
Faulty air suspension sensors are another common problem. The air suspension sensors in the Range Rover can become damaged from harsh weather or when they are pulled beyond their limits. Any sensor failure can make it impossible to level the vehicle. In addition, a disconnected sensor can cause the suspension to become stuck at one height.
A variety of other components of the air suspension system are susceptible to damage. For example, the air compressor can eventually wear out, resulting in slow pumping. When the pumping system becomes too slow, an error message will result. The valve block, which is the most expensive components of the system, can eventually start leaking or can fail to shut off air flow between the various springs. The electronic control unit can fail, causing the system to incorrectly regulate the air suspension system.
When a component of the system faults, it is usually obvious. The dashboard error light will read “EAS FAULT,” and the air springs may deflate. When this happens, the Range Rover should be taken in for a diagnostic test. Because air suspension components can be costly to replace, some Range Rover owners choose to replace the air suspension system with steel springs. This eliminates air suspension system problems, although this may not be a desirable option for Range Rover owners who take advantage of the vehicle's off-road abilities. Range Rover owners can also avoid air suspension problems with regular maintenance. Periodically draining the air tank, replacing the inlet air filter, and checking for crack, blocks, or leaks can prevent future problems.
Stacey Howell has a bachelor's degree in English and media studies from the University of California, Berkeley. She currently works as a writer in New York City, and has covered fashion for various blogs and publications, including "BARE" and "Twenty6 Magazine."