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2005 a8L 4.2 suspension problem

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Old 09-20-2013, 04:59 PM   #1
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Default 2005 a8L 4.2 suspension problem

I have a 2005 a8 that i just purchased, the front struts were low, the driver side seems lower than the passenger side. Upon the mechanic jacking up the tire, he said there was a tear in the rubber boot on the driver side. I have made a video showing how the suspension looks and is currently acting, you can hear the compressor making the loud annoying noise but nothing is actually happening, any idea what the issue could be


here is the video
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Old 09-21-2013, 03:54 AM   #2
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any idea what the issue could be
Compressor is, or is close to being, shot due to an air leak in the suspension.
VCDS scan will tell more - probably going into thermal shutdown.
Relay possibly fused and may need replacing.

Find/fix all leaks in lines and replace any faulty air struts, rescan, etc.
Lots of threads with sources for parts if you don't want to spend thousands at dealership.
Several have done as DIY or used independent shops to repair.
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Old 09-21-2013, 05:51 AM   #3
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The compressor is making the classic noise that indicates one of the magnets has become unglued from the motor's cylindrical case.

Although not recommended by the manufacturer (WABCO-Westinghouse Air Brake Company), you can disassemble it and JB Weld the magnet back in place. If you're in there, also re-glue the other magnets because they are on their way out as well. Or, replace the whole assembly.
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Old 09-21-2013, 08:58 AM   #4
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How many miles does this car have? The compressor may not last long if it keep making sound like that.
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Old 09-21-2013, 12:12 PM   #5
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Yea, obvious compressor going bad due to trying to compensate for leak in 1 or more air struts.

Curious what is going on with the paint job? Was there body damage? Scratches? Or just changing color?

I am always curious why people will alter a factory paint process, especially one as high end as with the A8.
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Old 09-21-2013, 01:52 PM   #6
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car has roughly 131k miles on it. car was hit in the rear, damage was not extensive...i am going with a factory white color code, just wanted to change color since i didnt want to go back with the blueish color it had, it was between black or white and just went white because i dont think they came white with peanut butter interior for the 2005 model but i may be wrong
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Old 09-30-2013, 02:23 PM   #7
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quick question, on my a8 at the top part of the strut under the hood, it is loose by the rubber loom, i will try to get a pic tomorrow, but here is a sample pic attached from an s500 of the same area where mine is loose on both sides, will this possibly cause it to leak air and sag down? i cut on the car and went to the MMI display and select the option to lift the suspension and it went up a little bit and then came back down. Not sure if a relay could be causing this also, i want to chase all the cheaper channels first before diving into buying a strut or compressor.

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 10-01-2013, 07:00 AM   #8
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I will say this first. If you jacked the car up without turning on the "jack mode" in car setup, the strut can "drop out" past the oring in the lower sleave. I have done this and fixed it easily. After made the mistake though the compressor would just run and the strut would not budge as it had no seal below the bag. It's complicated. But the easy way to check would be to let the compressor run and spray soapy water at all 4 struts at the top and bottom of the outer casing and at the input lines to check for bubbles. I say check the back ones too because if you have a leak in the back, the car will never try to air up the front struts as it levels the back of the car first. Ask me how many months I spent chasing demons up front before I figured that out. The compressor may be a little loud but remember, as long as the piston is moving in that thing, it will make pressure. The magnets in the motor aren't preventing it from moving and you can troubleshoot that by unhooking the brown line at the compressor and see if it's pumping, if it is putting out air at all your good for now, it will eventually pump up at least one strut.
So in review, always turn off the system before jacking (jack mode), Spray everything while the comp. is running and look for leaks as this will save you alot of time, that air is going somewhere.

I would also just peak at the ride height sensors in the front to make sure the links are hooked up and correctly positioned. I spent 4 months on my car back end would go up up up and the nose never moved before I figured out the back ride height sensor links were on backwards Needless to say, I have been all over this suspension with a fine tooth comb and know it pretty well at this point. Hope some of this helps you.

Last edited by quiksilverly; 10-01-2013 at 07:02 AM.
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Old 10-01-2013, 07:49 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quiksilverly View Post
I will say this first. If you jacked the car up without turning on the "jack mode" in car setup, the strut can "drop out" past the oring in the lower sleave. I have done this and fixed it easily. After made the mistake though the compressor would just run and the strut would not budge as it had no seal below the bag. It's complicated. But the easy way to check would be to let the compressor run and spray soapy water at all 4 struts at the top and bottom of the outer casing and at the input lines to check for bubbles. I say check the back ones too because if you have a leak in the back, the car will never try to air up the front struts as it levels the back of the car first. Ask me how many months I spent chasing demons up front before I figured that out. The compressor may be a little loud but remember, as long as the piston is moving in that thing, it will make pressure. The magnets in the motor aren't preventing it from moving and you can troubleshoot that by unhooking the brown line at the compressor and see if it's pumping, if it is putting out air at all your good for now, it will eventually pump up at least one strut.
So in review, always turn off the system before jacking (jack mode), Spray everything while the comp. is running and look for leaks as this will save you alot of time, that air is going somewhere.

I would also just peak at the ride height sensors in the front to make sure the links are hooked up and correctly positioned. I spent 4 months on my car back end would go up up up and the nose never moved before I figured out the back ride height sensor links were on backwards Needless to say, I have been all over this suspension with a fine tooth comb and know it pretty well at this point. Hope some of this helps you.

I 100% agree with quiksilverly. You never jack this car up without going into your mmi and turning on the vehicle jack mode. I did that once, and that's the first week I had the car and I had to do a brake job up front. When I got done and let the car down, my car was so low up front the tires were touching the wheel wells. I had to start the car up so the compressor can lift the car back up and I was thinking to myself damn I know that wasn't a good decision. I used that feature and it puts the car back at the original or slightly higher when you lower it. When you start it after that the suspension will lower it back to originally set height. You'll weaken that compressor because it has to work harder or mess up the shock. I can't afford to spend $900 per shock for my stupidity. You live and learn lol.
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Old 10-01-2013, 09:15 AM   #10
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Question:

Does the below information apply if the car is being put up on a lift at the hard points or is it if you are only jacking the car up in the front,back or on one side?

Just so that i know for future reference. When I read the manual it lead me to believe that jack mode should be used ANY time the wheels are lifted of the ground, even when it is done using a Hydraulic lift at all 4 hard points.

Thanks for any opinions..

Dan


Quote:
Originally Posted by quiksilverly View Post
I will say this first. If you jacked the car up without turning on the "jack mode" in car setup, the strut can "drop out" past the oring in the lower sleave. I have done this and fixed it easily. After made the mistake though the compressor would just run and the strut would not budge as it had no seal below the bag. It's complicated. But the easy way to check would be to let the compressor run and spray soapy water at all 4 struts at the top and bottom of the outer casing and at the input lines to check for bubbles. I say check the back ones too because if you have a leak in the back, the car will never try to air up the front struts as it levels the back of the car first. Ask me how many months I spent chasing demons up front before I figured that out. The compressor may be a little loud but remember, as long as the piston is moving in that thing, it will make pressure. The magnets in the motor aren't preventing it from moving and you can troubleshoot that by unhooking the brown line at the compressor and see if it's pumping, if it is putting out air at all your good for now, it will eventually pump up at least one strut.
So in review, always turn off the system before jacking (jack mode), Spray everything while the comp. is running and look for leaks as this will save you alot of time, that air is going somewhere.

I would also just peak at the ride height sensors in the front to make sure the links are hooked up and correctly positioned. I spent 4 months on my car back end would go up up up and the nose never moved before I figured out the back ride height sensor links were on backwards Needless to say, I have been all over this suspension with a fine tooth comb and know it pretty well at this point. Hope some of this helps you.
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Old 10-01-2013, 10:35 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paveldn View Post
Question:

Does the below information apply if the car is being put up on a lift at the hard points or is it if you are only jacking the car up in the front,back or on one side?

Just so that i know for future reference. When I read the manual it lead me to believe that jack mode should be used ANY time the wheels are lifted of the ground, even when it is done using a Hydraulic lift at all 4 hard points.

Thanks for any opinions..

Dan
It only applies when you use an actual jack on any side. When the car is on the lift, it doesn't need to be turned on. I had tires put on and they put it on the lift and when they put it down, the car went back to its set height. No problems. Actually the car has lowered to readjust so there's no harm with the shocks when on a lift.
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Old 10-01-2013, 10:41 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paveldn View Post
Question:When I read the manual it lead me to believe that jack mode should be used ANY time the wheels are lifted of the ground, even when it is done using a Hydraulic lift at all 4 hard points.
Exactly like that. Whenever you lift any or all wheels you should engage Lift Mode. If you forget to turn it off it will do that itself once you reach 5 mph.
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Old 10-02-2013, 07:09 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paveldn View Post
Question:

Does the below information apply if the car is being put up on a lift at the hard points or is it if you are only jacking the car up in the front,back or on one side?

Just so that i know for future reference. When I read the manual it lead me to believe that jack mode should be used ANY time the wheels are lifted of the ground, even when it is done using a Hydraulic lift at all 4 hard points.

Thanks for any opinions..

Dan
Yes, anytime you lift the car without turning off the system the valving alows the weight of the wheels and suspension to "suck" all the air out of the bags or the lower sleeve of the strut will release and the Oring can't seal
Click the image to open in full size.
It's a pretty big Oring about the width of a pencil. The actual gas strut is still trying to extend and if the bag and its metal sleave don't have all the right valves close it will allow the gas strut to push the fork end out of the oring. it doesn't always happen as the oring-strut-sleave fit is pretty tight already. But yes, always turn the system off (which is basically what the jack mode is). It should also be said that if you don't turn it off the car will try to use it's overflow pressure tank in the back to compensate for the suspension level signals everytime you unlock, lock, open the car door etc. even when the car is off.

Last edited by quiksilverly; 10-02-2013 at 07:12 AM.
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Old 10-02-2013, 02:37 PM   #14
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Heres what I noticed. I put it in lift mode in MMI and front raises up some and you can hear the compressor doing a lot of work just like in the video earlier and when I cut off the car, it went back down. Could this be a possibility of something not as major as the shock? The back sits fine, the front driver sits a little lower than the front passenger
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Old 10-02-2013, 05:42 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by okegs4ever View Post
Heres what I noticed. I put it in lift mode in MMI and front raises up some and you can hear the compressor doing a lot of work just like in the video earlier and when I cut off the car, it went back down. Could this be a possibility of something not as major as the shock? The back sits fine, the front driver sits a little lower than the front passenger

You have an air leak at one of the front shocks or the lines. You should get that fixed because you'll be buying another compressor next. You will burn it out. Check really for air leaks but check it when its running when its trying to raise up. Get some soapy water and put it on the shock boots and or lines. When it bubbles, that's the source of the leak. You said the back raises fines so there's nothing wrong with the rear.
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Old 10-03-2013, 04:55 AM   #16
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Heres what I noticed. I put it in lift mode in MMI and front raises up some and you can hear the compressor doing a lot of work just like in the video earlier and when I cut off the car, it went back down. Could this be a possibility of something not as major as the shock? The back sits fine, the front driver sits a little lower than the front passenger
If the front raises at all then drops back down then I agree, you probably have a leaking strut. I promise, if you let it try to pump and spray soapy water you will find your leak in 45 seconds give or take. It's the easiest method I know of and we use it in the aerospace industry all the time. If you find a leak at the inlet fitting you may be able to change the o-ring or other cheap fix, but if the strut itself is leaking check www.car-part.com for a strut. I found a right front strut for mine for $200 5 days ago and have been driving on it for 2 days now. Look for a grade "A" part and call to make sure it's what you need but alot of these small town shops don't know what they have so they price it like all the other struts they have. Just a thought. hope this helps

Oh, and the compressor has a thermal type shut off switch that shuts the compressor motor off at a certain temp. with no leaks the compressor should only run for a short time like 20 seconds max. If you have a leak it will run for over a minute or a minute 30 sec. If the thermal shutoff cuts the compressor off, and you reset your jack mode to get it to cut on again it will cut off even faster as the compressor housing is still close to the cut off tempurature so it takes less time to reach max temp. One time, to save my compressor, I just rigged a nitrogen bottle with 2000+ PSI to the brown inlet line on the solenoid valve block and trouble shot the rest of the system with about 120PSI coming from a bottle...worked great.

Last edited by quiksilverly; 10-03-2013 at 05:02 AM.
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Old 10-03-2013, 04:55 AM   #17
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ok thanks very much. so i just jack it up and i will have easy access to the strut boots and also the lines? or is it tough to get access to them? i am a newbie at this so sorry for asking so many questions
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Old 10-03-2013, 08:10 AM   #18
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ok thanks very much. so i just jack it up and i will have easy access to the strut boots and also the lines? or is it tough to get access to them? i am a newbie at this so sorry for asking so many questions
It kinda weird but you put the car in lift mode (highest setting) and "help" it up at the corner you want to check for leaks. don't jack so much that the compressor stops, just help it up. You will probably have to go in to car setup once it's high enough and shut the system off (jack mode) cause the other corner will still be low and compressor will continue to pump for that reason. Then pop the clamp off the dust boot and pull it loose from the top and bottom of the strut. Let some of the weight of the car back down on the strut using the jack and spray the area's in the picture. Really if you just soak the entire strut you can't go wrong. Look for bubbles. Again, if the air inlet is leaking from the vavle body or the line fitting you can fix, if it's leaking from the square part mounted to the outside of the strut, you can put any amount of JB weld etc on it but it will always find a way to leak. If it's like most bags it will fail at the bottom ( the middle circle on the picture)
Click the image to open in full size.

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Old 10-03-2013, 08:24 AM   #19
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Click the image to open in full size.
Do you know how exactly is that tube connected to the shock absorber at the bottom (lowest circle)? That connection carries all the weight.
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Old 10-03-2013, 09:22 AM   #20
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This is area I found a leak on the driver side top. You can feel air coming out, however not on passenger side. Any ideas?

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