Most drivers are accustomed to gas-filled shock absorbers and struts, but as modern vehicles continue to evolve, other types of suspension are becoming prevalent. Many new vehicles are equipped with air suspension systems, which use rubber bags that are filled with air in order to deliver a smooth, comfortable ride. This type of system makes use of a compressor that delivers air to the rubber bags in order to take the chassis up off the axles.
Of course, from the moment you sit down in your vehicle until the time you exit, your suspension system is working. Air suspension systems are more complex than the traditional gas-filled shocks and struts, and generally less vulnerable to damage. The air suspension air compressor is one of the most important parts, since it is what works to pump the air into the bags. If it goes bad, then your suspension will be stuck at whatever the inflation level was when the compressor failed.
There is really no set life expectancy for your air suspension air compressor. It could very well last you the life of the vehicle, but if it does fail, it could happen with little or no warning, and without it, you have no way of delivering air to the bags.
Signs that your air compressor needs to be replaced include:
- Vehicle sagging
- Compressor works erratically or not at all
- Unusual sounds coming from compressor
Without a proper suspension, your vehicle will not be safe to drive, so if you think that your air suspension air compressor has failed, or is failing, you should have it checked and replaced if necessary.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as How Long Does an Air Suspension Air Compressor Last? and was authored by Valerie Johnston.