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Air suspension flukey

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Old 07-26-2017, 06:25 PM
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Default Air suspension flukey

While driving into NYC, in 95 degree heat, the suspension warning light started flashing and I could tell the car was sitting low and close to the bump stops. Luckily I was close to my destination. When I got out and checked the level, the front suspension was all the way down. I left the car parked for about 3 hours and when I returned and started the car, the level was back up and the suspension warning was light lit solid, not flashing.

The next morning I drove the car and the suspension light was off but lit up solid again after about 5 miles of driving, but the suspension did not lower. After about 10 miles of driving the suspension light went out.

In the past two weeks the light has lit solid twice and flashed twice. Both times only for a few seconds to a minute. The air pump works slowly, and makes a bit of noise but has been this way for well over a year. I'm sure it could use the piston ring replacement kit. I replaced the front airbags with Arnotts a year ago and have had no problems. Wondering if it could be the valve block or something to do with the ride height levelers, or perhaps could the hot weather may have caused something some to malfunction?

Any help or thoughts are appreciated
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Old 07-26-2017, 08:47 PM
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Originally Posted by SixStick View Post
While driving into NYC, in 95 degree heat, the suspension warning light started flashing and I could tell the car was sitting low and close to the bump stops. Luckily I was close to my destination. When I got out and checked the level, the front suspension was all the way down. I left the car parked for about 3 hours and when I returned and started the car, the level was back up and the suspension warning was light lit solid, not flashing.

The next morning I drove the car and the suspension light was off but lit up solid again after about 5 miles of driving, but the suspension did not lower. After about 10 miles of driving the suspension light went out.

In the past two weeks the light has lit solid twice and flashed twice. Both times only for a few seconds to a minute. The air pump works slowly, and makes a bit of noise but has been this way for well over a year. I'm sure it could use the piston ring replacement kit. I replaced the front airbags with Arnotts a year ago and have had no problems. Wondering if it could be the valve block or something to do with the ride height levelers, or perhaps could the hot weather may have caused something some to malfunction?

Any help or thoughts are appreciated
It is very rare that the valves block fail. Look for pressure leaks from the front air springs and from the Pressure Connectors. (Also on the valve block) And as you wrote, the compressor also needs some service. I do not see any connection between the high temperature and the failure of the air spring system. (Except that the compressor gets hotter faster)

Last edited by amiram; 07-26-2017 at 08:55 PM.
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Old 07-29-2017, 07:26 PM
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get a vagcom scan done
there's prolly some codes stored that will help diagnose the issue
but based on what you've said, it could be a combo of hot temps and a tired compressor
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Old 07-31-2017, 07:34 PM
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Okay, so I'm pretty sure the air compressor is toast now as the car won't raise at all and is sitting on the bump stops. I ordered the rebuild kit which should arrive tomorrow.

I assume that along with the compressor repair I'll need to find out where the suspension system is leaking. As I mentioned initially, I replaced the front air bags with another set of Arnotts a year ago. Could they be leaking already, and if not, where else could the system leak from to only affect the front air bags?

Thanks
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Old 08-01-2017, 12:57 AM
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Originally Posted by SixStick View Post
Okay, so I'm pretty sure the air compressor is toast now as the car won't raise at all and is sitting on the bump stops. I ordered the rebuild kit which should arrive tomorrow.

I assume that along with the compressor repair I'll need to find out where the suspension system is leaking. As I mentioned initially, I replaced the front air bags with another set of Arnotts a year ago. Could they be leaking already, and if not, where else could the system leak from to only affect the front air bags?

Thanks
If you disconnect the compressor from the vehicle you receive a fault code, delete it. Also check the cylinder of the compressor
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Old 08-01-2017, 07:20 AM
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I bought this item to check the tank pressure. A perfect choice! Further, you can add air via the delivered valve by a 230psi onroad bicycle hand pump in case of "emergency".

Audi A6 Luftfahrwerk Kompressor Tester für Allroad Luftbalg Luftfeder Drucktest

Audi A6 Luftfahrwerk Kompressor Tester für Allroad Luftbalg Luftfeder Drucktest | eBay

The bar values can be clearly seen, as well as the compressor's condition (bars produced until shutdown)
A new one produces 16,5 bars also maximum value within 100 seconds in you are on L2 and the tank is below 10 bar.
If your compressor is wore out, you can see 12 bar as maximum. This means the Leveling computer kicks in the compressor very often, practically almost at each traffic stop (levelling to horizontal after heavier breaking). You also notice that raising is not possible from the tank at parking, only via kicking in the compressor.
That is the point to buy a new compressor, the cylinder wall is also wore out. If yours produces still ~13-14 bar, you can add some lifetime with a new ring.

Mine is almost 4 years old and still has 16,5 but needs more time as far as I can recall. At standstill, and ignition ON a raising from L2 to L4 is no issue without the compressor.

Regarding the airbags: where I live, a company can fix the old OEM airbags with good results (additional 3-4 years lifetime) for a reasonable price. This means the bag is demounted, and against leaks, a new rubber layer will be vulcanized onto the inner wall. Afterwhile, new steel collars will be fitted. OEM bags' inner rubber structure are always better than any other ones (more strenghening nylon etc layers?).
Other alternative is the aftermarket airbag, but most of them fail after 3 years, mostly after 2 years on the front. That is my 5 years long experience. The rear ones are still OK (4 Y old).

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Old 08-01-2017, 07:35 AM
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Leak from the airpipes between the bag and valveblock is very uncommon.
Also leak at the airpipe connector at the valveblock side.

Most often leaks and reasons

Fittings:
A. O-ring seals (upper, bottom) - often! Improper mounting and/or using the old ones. Further, e.g. installing twisted and/or without silikon grease. - Slow loss of air. Quick loss in cold weather (shrinking)
B. airpipe connector at airbag: improper mount, mostly. Especially: the sleeve torn in - Arnott specific problem with the black plastic upper part. - Slow air loss.

Air bag:
C. The classical cracks in the rubber material as commonly known... after 2 years it is quite common, hence, within 1 year also, at the chinese ones...
- Slow / quick air loss.

D. Leak at the steel collar. That is manufacturing failure. For me it was an Arnott-specific problem in 2013. The car lost 1-2cm height in 24 hours on the front but not more. A half level or almost a whole level (with thermodrift). It was changed under warranty.
- Slow air loss.
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Old 08-01-2017, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by PetrolBear View Post
Leak from the airpipes between the bag and valveblock is very uncommon.
Also leak at the airpipe connector at the valveblock side.

Most often leaks and reasons

Fittings:
A. O-ring seals (upper, bottom) - often! Improper mounting and/or using the old ones. Further, e.g. installing twisted and/or without silikon grease. - Slow loss of air. Quick loss in cold weather (shrinking)
B. airpipe connector at airbag: improper mount, mostly. Especially: the sleeve torn in - Arnott specific problem with the black plastic upper part. - Slow air loss.

Air bag:
C. The classical cracks in the rubber material as commonly known... after 2 years it is quite common, hence, within 1 year also, at the chinese ones...
- Slow / quick air loss.

D. Leak at the steel collar. That is manufacturing failure. For me it was an Arnott-specific problem in 2013. The car lost 1-2cm height in 24 hours on the front but not more. A half level or almost a whole level (with thermodrift). It was changed under warranty.
- Slow air loss.
From 2011, I changed three pairs of front and two pairs rear. All this is under warranty Last exchange Two years ago All four. A new model with a Continental air bag. (Like the original)Today they look like new, no cracks at all. No more leaks. And still a lifetime warranty
About air pressure connectors (N17) VAG Catalog Number: 4B0616751
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Old 08-03-2017, 06:03 AM
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I received the rebuild kit, stripped down the compressor, cleaned it up and fitted the new piston ring (chamber walls were in very good condition) and gasket, and conencted it back in the car.

It ran much better, but I felt air leaking from the compressor from the plate on the side that covers the crank. I removed the pump again, drilled out the rivets (I don't why they don't use screws) cleaned up the mating surfaces and rubber gasket, riveted it back together and tried running it again. It was better but unfortunately still leaks air.

Was thinking about trying some high pressure gasket sealer to better seal the side plate, if there is such a thing. Has any ever tried this or had this issue?

Should I just stop chasing this and bite the bullet and get a new compressor?

Suspension is holding air, but would not rise over level 1.

Thanks
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Old 08-03-2017, 05:34 PM
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yea, you might have to break down and buy a new compressor
the 2 surfaces could have warped slightly, hence why its not mating properly
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