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Discussion Starter #1
I'm considering the air suspension option. What happens if the air suspension fails (ie, no air in the bladders)? Are you bottomed out on the suspension? Or is the air suspension a combination of spring and bladder so at least you have springs in the event of failure?

Sorry to sound like such a newbie, but that's what I am. Thanks for any feedback.
 

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I'm considering the air suspension option. What happens if the air suspension fails (ie, no air in the bladders)? Are you bottomed out on the suspension? Or is the air suspension a combination of spring and bladder so at least you have springs in the event of failure?

Sorry to sound like such a newbie, but that's what I am. Thanks for any feedback.
Welcome. Good question that I had as well. There are no springs. A Ram rep told me that if the system fails it goes into "protection mode" that turns off the compressor but that the truck is still drivable. I could not find an account of anyone actually driving it in protection mode, so the question remains as to how "drivable" it would be. I'm sure the dash would be lit up with a nagging error message.
 

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Welcome aboard. That's a good point. I think only time will tell how many problems the air suspension will have. It's been proven on big rigs for years so I wouldn't really worry about it.
 

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Big trucks and trailers use all air ride suspension. Occasionally, they have an issue, but they are pretty durable.
 

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Great question, as I am sure many of us will ask before we check off the box, when we are ordering.

Air suspension, bladders work great on big rigs. My concern for this system is the number of settings, and I had heard from a rep that the system has to be disconnected when the truck is put on a rack for service. I have not confirmed that 100%, but I was told by a Ram Rep.

For towing, the self leveling feature looks nifty.... the idea the truck lowers itself before you get out, and can raise in off road conditions, lowers the nose of the truck at highway speeds to reduce wind resistance and drag..... all that sounds great.

Looking at a diagram of the air lines, my question was same as yours Dan, what if an air line gets pinched or cut, OR WHAT IF THE AIR SUSPENSION DOES NOT WORK, OR FAILS ?

While I understand the advantages, for sure, and they work on big trucks, I used to drive big trucks years back, and air ride works good, some cargo requires air ride trailers.....

I know I'll get scolded by someone here... but to me the air suspension is just one more system, one more thing that has a possibility of breaking... except if it does break, and what if you are 100 miles or more from a dealer....

Each guy will have to weigh it out..... benefits of the air suspension are disputable, it works and works well...

I'll probably pass.
..
Marsman....
 

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Chooch, some cargo in the high cap T Box cars uses air bladders to protect the cargo ! which is actually an air suspension, but it is acting to protect cargo in box cars from the back and forth "slack action" forces, in train motion.
 

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I would get an aftermarket rear for when hauling and towing but couldn't justify $1700 for factory option.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
.....

I know I'll get scolded by someone here... but to me the air suspension is just one more system, one more thing that has a possibility of breaking... except if it does break, and what if you are 100 miles or more from a dealer....
I'm slowly coming to the decision not to get it. My wife really liked the way it lowered so she could get in easier. But she still needed the step and the hand-holds. So two more inches in height won't make that much difference for her.

I'm close to retirement and plan to keep the truck fifteen years or more. The fewer doodads and gimflaps to break the better. I'm a little concerned about all the electric and electronic gizmos. But you can't buy any vehicle without them.
 

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marsman is correct about one more system going wrong.

Here is what I see for towing. A 1/2 ton does not have a lot of payload. Everything added is payload. Put in the family, the bikes, firewood, and the tongue weight of the trailer, and it is easy to be over payload, gvwr, or gawr of the truck. How will the air suspension handle this situation. I would love to find out from someone who has overloaded their truck. But my opinion on this, if you are going to haul a camper, get the springs, and get firestone or air lift 1000lb air helpers.

Marsman, didn't know that about the tboxs. I guess it is something to look at if I can see it.
 

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I appreciate all the talk about payloads for the sake of discussion but does anyone really look at their payloads that closely. When I vacation I hook up the boat and fill the bed with everything we need for a week at the lake. I have weighed my boat and trailer and I have an idea of what the tongue weighs but I do not consider what I put in the bed. I'm it's not like I say well I can't take this cooler and these bikes because I'll be over my payload. I wouldn't go way over but a few hundred would not concern me at all. Maybe because I'm coming from a 3/4 ton but payload does not worry me to much.
 

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Nail, with your boat trip 2 times a year and other towing, you may want to keep the Duramax. There are times when I wish I never sold my 2008 Duramax, and if I had a "do-over", I would have kept it. Marsman
 

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Welcome. Good question that I had as well. There are no springs. A Ram rep told me that if the system fails it goes into "protection mode" that turns off the compressor but that the truck is still drivable. I could not find an account of anyone actually driving it in protection mode, so the question remains as to how "drivable" it would be. I'm sure the dash would be lit up with a nagging error message.
glade to see someone has a ram rep say it is drive able in protection mode, would like to see it in writing . I would like to point out that on big rigs if you lose all air in the system you will still be able to move but your drive line angles will change causing damage to u-joints ,tran etc. Having said that I have gone more than 100 miles with one air bag deflated/wrecked( T/A 4 bag suspension ) with out any visible damage or vibration. The other 3 bags kept the frame more or less level, a situation to be fixed ASAP but not towed. I did not go to work the next but fixed it my self then to work . I've ordered it on my ecodiesel because it will save the truck and everything in from being shaken to death. I have a 26' 5th wheel rv so helper bags were in my future my cost was about 800$ installed back axle only. So I figured 1700 for a true 4 corner air suspension more than worth it. One other note in ref to diesel dan's post about them being reliable, big rig systems are the as simple as it gets thus reliable. Lowering to get in, higher to go4+4, lower at high speed adds a level of complexity that you do not see in big rigs. What my dealer related was the problems they have seen is mostly sensor's not allowing airing up or lowering (TO BE expected).
 

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Just a question but dose protection mode just disable the comp so a over pressure of system dose not occur??
 

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I'm just spit balling but I'd guess there are some bump stops of some kind below the lowest setting inside ea susp cylinder. That way If pressure is lost the truck will lower to that point and no more. I can't imagine Ram would want a bunch of secondary damage caused by an air susp failure.

As an aside, I've yet to see a single thread on air susp physical failure.

Further data point, I've had 1700 lbs measured tongue weight plus 300 lbs cargo inside the cab. No issues other than won't change ride height at that weight.
 

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Great question, as I am sure many of us will ask before we check off the box, when we are ordering.

Air suspension, bladders work great on big rigs. My concern for this system is the number of settings, and I had heard from a rep that the system has to be disconnected when the truck is put on a rack for service. I have not confirmed that 100%, but I was told by a Ram Rep.

For towing, the self leveling feature looks nifty.... the idea the truck lowers itself before you get out, and can raise in off road conditions, lowers the nose of the truck at highway speeds to reduce wind resistance and drag..... all that sounds great.

Looking at a diagram of the air lines, my question was same as yours Dan, what if an air line gets pinched or cut, OR WHAT IF THE AIR SUSPENSION DOES NOT WORK, OR FAILS ?

While I understand the advantages, for sure, and they work on big trucks, I used to drive big trucks years back, and air ride works good, some cargo requires air ride trailers.....

I know I'll get scolded by someone here... but to me the air suspension is just one more system, one more thing that has a possibility of breaking... except if it does break, and what if you are 100 miles or more from a dealer....

Each guy will have to weigh it out..... benefits of the air suspension are disputable, it works and works well...

I'll probably pass.
..
Marsman....
For the air suspension for alignments and tire changes there is a check box in your settings to disable the self leveling capabilities.
 

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If you live anywhere that gets below freezing on a regular basis DO NOT GET THE AIR SUSPENSION. Some will chime in that theirs works fine in the cold. Mine and many others do not work especially if it gets below 0 F. I live in Minnesota. My truck threw a warning on the EVIC "Service Air Suspension Immediately" on my way to work. By the end of the work day the left side of the truck was sitting roughly 3" lower than the right side. I brought it to the dealer and they put it in their shop. They charged the bags back up and checked system pressure it was normal. Tested for leaks - No leaks. They then parked it outside till I came to get it. Paid $127 for them to do this. I start truck at the dealer and the same warning comes back up on the EVIC. They take it back in shop and can't figure out whats wrong. Truck sat at the dealer for two days while they contacted FCA. They eventually decide the compressor is having issues in the cold. Want $1200 to replace it but won't guarantee it won't have issues in the cold again. The really stupid part is that everything works JUST FINE when its warmer out (above ~20 F) so its not like something broke or wore out. That is absolutely ridiculous. If you search online others have had this issue in the cold. There was another truck there the same day as me for the same issue. For reference it was -20F that morning (January 6, 2017). My truck is a 2014 1500 Sport and has 68k on it. I purchased it new. I know one person personally who has a 2013 with the air suspension and his will throw the same warning when its cold. His solution is to park in a heated garage. I don't think a $40k+ truck should have to sit in a heated environment for it to function correctly. I contacted FCA to see if they would help remedy the situation but they essentially said it's over 36k mileage so tough luck - absolutely zero help.
 

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For what it's worth, I love the 4 corner air suspension ride, my driveway is miles of dirt washboard every day. Keep in mind that it is designed as a closed system, so no moisture should be entering the system (wet air). (ala BMW, and others).

No trouble with it, over 2 years now, 2 winters outside in Colorado.

Towing is great, last thursday I took a 16' stock trailer through our biggest snowstorm of the year to retrieve a horse. Averaged 18 mpg in 4x4 on snowpack roads for 8 hours.

I bought the air suspension to keep myself from lifting it. But now BDS has a lift for air suspension, although I might just do the links.
 

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What I have been told by the dealership. Is to make sure they use nitrogen instead of air. Nitrogen has little or no moisture in it. The first year ecodieselsfroze up. They went to nitrogen and said problem resolved. Also if you drove it on highway snowing and snow packed around suspension problems could arise. Supposedly if you lose air in system the truck rides on bumpers for suspension. I live up here in the big white north of Canada. And in two seasons I have not had any problems with air suspension.
 

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It's below here and mine is working . Not surprised fca walked past warranty, it's hard to get things done in a timely fashion during warranty
 
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