RAM 1500 Diesel Forum banner

21 - 40 of 65 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
116 Posts
Seems like there are a few potential outcomes depending upon what the real problem is I can surmise the following

1-Nothing bad and the system draws an extra amp or two and solves the nuisance fuse blowing with no real harm

2-Still not enough and the fuse still blows but wiring or motor not damaged.

3-Burns out the motor of the compressor and/or melts wiring either initially or eventually.

It would seem to me if this was a reliable and safe fix it would be one FCA would have issued a bulletin on.
Thanks Howie12, thought i would throw it out there. I have not read that anybody tried this, if it was a viable option it would have been talked about. Not willing to take that kind of risk and really damage things.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
God my air ride system really pissed me off this winter. I explicitly told my dad to avoid it when buying his new truck. I live in northern Illinois and it's terrible. Our -20 temps this winter had me grasping at straws. I read all I could about the system. Macram where did you read the system "can't take in outside air"? I want to believe you but there is some evidence that points to that being inaccurate. Do you have a system diagram? Behind the taillight is an exhaust port as well as an intake port I believe with an air filter. I constantly blew fuses and scoured the web to find a solution and came up with one video of a quirky gent from our neighbors to the north in Alberta Canada. I'll link it at the end of my post but his solution actually helped. The problem seems to be that the solenoid pack that allows for the transfer of nitrogen in the "sealed system" locks up probably due to poor design and different expansion rates of the build materials. The ingenious solution that was recommended was to buy a battery blanket and wrap the compressor and solenoid pack to warm it up. I did buy one and wrap it around the compressor and solenoid pack and it did work. I plugged it in along with my block heater every night and placed it on a timer to turn on two hours before I left for work. It warmed up the parts and the truck would level itself when I started up. As I drove however the truck would slowly sag on the front end over the course of my commute. The rear end would go all the way to offroad two... This means the solenoid pack has the issue. That sag and rear end rise would really only happen at -10 to -20 degrees. When it was between 0-30f it would usually stay level for my 40 min commute. When it was below 30 degree (F for freedom units of course) the fuse would blow. If I used the battery blanket the truck would level and maintain level my whole drive. So it seems the lower the temperature the more issues the solenoid pack has. I found that the fuse blowing was the 40 amp cube fuse. That's for the compressor I believe. This would make sense if the compressor tried to run and the solenoids weren't moving and the compressor was dead headed just causing a high current situation. I don't believe the compressor is what's binding but it's wrapped in the blanket anyhow. One issue I did run into with the battery blanket is if it's plugged in too long the compressor won't run. There is a high temperature limit switch also on the compressor to prevent it from running too long and destroying itself which becomes active if the blanket warms it too much. The blanket won't get warm enough to melt anything. It's for a plastic housed battery after all but it does seem to make that temp limit switch.

Look forward to your thoughts on this.

Link to the YouTube video.

https://youtu.be/E_PyTx-lu-w
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Yes I agree I have told so many people to never buy the air ride Ram truck and so have my buddies that had them for a few years and traded them all off after only the second winter. My truck sits in a heated garage all night, the first time I had a problem it would level itself out over night and sag all the way down onto the bump stops by the end of the day sitting outside at -35c. Then park it in the garage and it would level out. Took it to the dealer and they replaced the compressor? And dried the system and put in new nitrogen. The second time it didn’t matter it never levelled out in the garage driver side was in normal mode and passenger side in off road 2, took it to the dealer and replaced compressor again, this winter it failed again with the front on the bump stops and the rear in off road 2, wouldn’t level itself in the garage, had to wait 2 weeks to get it in to fix. Replaced compressor for a third time thank god for the extended warranty. The worst thing is FCA has no answer to this problem. I watched the video you speak of but it won’t help my issue as I already park in a heated garage.. FCA needs a recall on this terrible Air Suspension and either fix it or remove it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
There are so many problems up here in the winter with this air suspension that the dodge dealer has quit ordering air suspensions in all vehicles. Last winter the 2 week wait was because there were so many air suspension problems, plus now I have been kinda looking around at possibly trading the ram on either another Ram without the air suspension or a different make all together but when the dealerships find out it has Air Suspension the value decreases because they don’t want the headache of all the problems.
Is there any way to lock the Air Suspension in off road 1 and turn off the compressor for the winter? Then it wouldn’t matter if it froze up because it wouldn’t need to run if you could set the height, lock it in and then shut off the compressor.. pulling the fuse for winter would stop it from running but not sure if it would stay at the height I want. Anyone know if this is possible?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
229 Posts
There are so many problems up here in the winter with this air suspension that the dodge dealer has quit ordering air suspensions in all vehicles. Last winter the 2 week wait was because there were so many air suspension problems, plus now I have been kinda looking around at possibly trading the ram on either another Ram without the air suspension or a different make all together but when the dealerships find out it has Air Suspension the value decreases because they don’t want the headache of all the problems.
Is there any way to lock the Air Suspension in off road 1 and turn off the compressor for the winter? Then it wouldn’t matter if it froze up because it wouldn’t need to run if you could set the height, lock it in and then shut off the compressor.. pulling the fuse for winter would stop it from running but not sure if it would stay at the height I want. Anyone know if this is possible?
I am not familiar with this system but since this seems to be cold weather related I can't help but wonder if the system would handle some air brake antifreeze ? the air brake antifreeze also lubricates and conditions valves and seals ect. it works quite well on air systems.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
My 2014 1500 Ram limited eco-diesel Air ride just started acting up here in Pennsylvania 9/15 / 2019 . It’s on the bump stops and thinks it’s in normal ride height . I’m going to change out the compressor hope that does the trick as I have found no leaks and no blown fuse I Think the nitrogen In the system act like an accumulator to smooth out the lowering and raising of the truck .cuz it’s an active system that automatically goes in Aero mode when it hit 60 or so miles per hour after a set amount of time and when coming to a stop goes back to normal ride height or traveling at a slower mph under 60 for a set period of time
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Great write up , i just learned a bit more on my beast .. LOLL
I have had issues , winter on all 4 bags deflating ( OEM bags) , and again in july , it was 65f(18c) and i lost air pressure to the rear bags … compressor runs , then stops ( meaning system has reached its max PSI ??) i have also read that the compressor runs on a timer i imagine they say it takes X minutes to fill the reservoir .
the problem seems to always occur on the highway , and in AERO mode as far as i an see . but as of late if i drop the suspension to ENTRY/EXIT , it will not repressurize for me . The compressor runs , the screen says RAISING , but nothing happens .
I have ruled out the air leak theory after i tested by raising to OFFROAD2 , and pulled the 20a fuse for the air susp module , and the 40a fuse for the compressor also . the truck has been like that for 2 weeks and all is fine , i measure with a tape measure ground to fender well , no movement at all . Did a few highway runs also , still no change . Am i dealing with a computer(module) problem in you opinion ?
Any insight is appreciated !!
Thank you
Don
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
So pleased to finally find a 'recent' and knowledgeable post on the 1500's suspensions issues. I bought my RAM 1500 in 2015 outside of Toronto and stupidly massively over-loaded it (1500lb in the bed) and left it outside up near Barrie in the freak -30 ish weather we had winter 2017-18...
Anyway, long story short, i'm certain it iced up the compressor and the system freaked out - not helped by having a truck camper designed for a 2500 in the back at the time. Basically the suspension locked up, and simply said 'immediate air suspension service required' (or something like that) and the ride was stiff an bouncy.

About a week later I shipped the RAM to England where i'm still living and working, it arrived in Southampton docks in 2018 and the suspension has worked fine ever since, no errors, no lockups, ride height is fine, never visibly sags or lowers over time.
The only net result of all the above was ever since getting it to England the compressor makes a loud whooshing noise, or hissing noise similar to a semi or any other air compressor blowing off. It does this every 10 minutes or so about three times total when the truck is started, then maybe a few random times when out and about.... But otherwise works completely fine! Its been like this since 2018, never got any worse (or better)...

There is only one company i'm aware of in England that can service the nitrogen-air suspension system, and I've been quoted £528 ($880 CAD) to get the nitrogen re-pressurized.

Has anyone experienced the same as me, the blowing off noise, but otherwise no other indications of a problem? Should I get the system re-gassed, or just leave it alone?

Thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,801 Posts
Ypu will see mty earlier posts in this thread but let me give you my 2 cents worth on on what you are describing. But first remember we have a nitrogen storage bottle, the air bags as you call them and the compressor To avoid bringing in humid air and freezing up the system with the water in the air it is a closed system. When the load in the truck is heavy and/or the truck is in the offroad higher modes the pressure in the bags is high and the pressure in the storage tank is low since most of the nitrogen has been compressed from the storage tank to the air bags. On my truck I often hear the hissing initially if I am lowering the truck and then a bit later the compressor starts. While I have not seen or studied the control details of the system what I conclude is early on in the lowering the pressures in the bags is high enough to let the nitrogen flow into the relatively low pressure storage cylinder and then it reaches apoint where the pressures between both are equalized and the compressor must run to pressurize the nitrogen coming from the air bags to the high pressure storage bottle.

I don't fully understand the details of your circumstances but perhaps this can help you a bit.

For me I have been very happy with my air suspension and have ordered it again on my 2020 truck which I hope to get in the next month or so.

ALl the best,
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Thanks for the response. I was very impressed with the suspension system and the RAM in general coming from a 2013 F150 FX4, after test driving a number of 1500's from different manufacturers the RAM seemed light years ahead in terms of quality (full-spec Sport) and the suspension was a lot smoother, plus the utility of the raising and lowering - which was useful as I use it for carrying lots and towing.

Since having my cold weather issue with the suspension locking up (under heavy load) the suspension hasn't felt quite the same, as an engineer the best way I can describe the change in the feel of the suspension is the springs (if they were normal springs) feel a little more saggy than they used to, the absorption of bumps in the road seems to have a little more impact on the suspension than it did originally. There's no bounding or bouncing so the shocks are fine, i'm just wondering if the excessive weight of the truck camper overly stressed the bag assemblies... Stupidly the truck effortlessly carried the truck camper from Ontraio to BC and back without any issues (pus towing a double axle trailer) - its just the cold weather in combination with camper that seemed to cause the issue.

Anyway, going back to my original questions, i'm still trying to figure out exactly how the system functions, typically a closed loop system wouldn't need a compressor, I understand that if there are high and low pressure tanks that might explain the need for a compressor, but all the images I can find of the system show the two tanks connected via one pressure line. I'd love to take one of these system's to bits and get a true understanding of how it works, cut through a lot of the bull on the internet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,801 Posts
Thanks for the response. I was very impressed with the suspension system and the RAM in general coming from a 2013 F150 FX4, after test driving a number of 1500's from different manufacturers the RAM seemed light years ahead in terms of quality (full-spec Sport) and the suspension was a lot smoother, plus the utility of the raising and lowering - which was useful as I use it for carrying lots and towing.

Since having my cold weather issue with the suspension locking up (under heavy load) the suspension hasn't felt quite the same, as an engineer the best way I can describe the change in the feel of the suspension is the springs (if they were normal springs) feel a little more saggy than they used to, the absorption of bumps in the road seems to have a little more impact on the suspension than it did originally. There's no bounding or bouncing so the shocks are fine, i'm just wondering if the excessive weight of the truck camper overly stressed the bag assemblies... Stupidly the truck effortlessly carried the truck camper from Ontraio to BC and back without any issues (pus towing a double axle trailer) - its just the cold weather in combination with camper that seemed to cause the issue.

Anyway, going back to my original questions, i'm still trying to figure out exactly how the system functions, typically a closed loop system wouldn't need a compressor, I understand that if there are high and low pressure tanks that might explain the need for a compressor, but all the images I can find of the system show the two tanks connected via one pressure line. I'd love to take one of these system's to bits and get a true understanding of how it works, cut through a lot of the bull on the internet.
I am also an engineer. There is a detailed schematic of the system on this site somewhere but I don't have time to search for it. The two tanks you reference may both be storage tanks and both may run at the same pressure. If you give it some thought you will see that it must have a compressor. It needs to compress the nitrogen from the low pressure bags to the higher pressured storage tank when the weight on the truck is small and/or when you are lowering it. Conversely you need the compressor to move the gas to the airbags when the truck is heavily loaded or raised up into offroad 1 and 2. No matter how you size the storage tank and what pressure you run it at you cannot move gas both ways without compression.

At 80,000 miles mine rides differently than it did 5.5 years ago when it was new too. I put this down to a bit of wear in all the linkage and some aging of the various rubber bushings. I notice it mostly on rough roads not on the highway. Mine has been overloaded several times to the point where it would not raise or lower on demand but it carried the load just fine. I guess the maximum load mine has seen was about 2500 lbs loaded well forward in the bed. AS I am sure you understand where the load is placed affects the suspension in addition to the actual weight.

Best of luck figuring it all out!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Thanks for your responses Howie. I think your quite right, some age related wear is quite normal and could explain the change in ride quality - with this in mind, i will probably leave my truck's suspension alone, i'd rather not mess with it and cause more issues considering apart from the compressor blowing off noise as described earlier the system is working fine.

I found some interesting info on the compressor's intake and exhaust tubes behind the rear pax tail light, so for curiosity's sake might take a look at those...

Whats your thoughts on the use of hydraulic deicer lubricant, seen several mentions of "NAPA deicer-lube Part number: 537001 (ALD-3)"?

And just to clarify, thanks for your explanation of the use of the compressor, I had been reading multiple source of information and got confused between this and another forum thread (on another forum) in which someone claimed that the two tanks were individual, one for high pressure storage and another for low pressure storage, which is why I mentioned that earlier confusing the situation further...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,801 Posts
Thanks for your responses Howie. I think your quite right, some age related wear is quite normal and could explain the change in ride quality - with this in mind, i will probably leave my truck's suspension alone, i'd rather not mess with it and cause more issues considering apart from the compressor blowing off noise as described earlier the system is working fine.

I found some interesting info on the compressor's intake and exhaust tubes behind the rear pax tail light, so for curiosity's sake might take a look at those...

Whats your thoughts on the use of hydraulic deicer lubricant, seen several mentions of "NAPA deicer-lube Part number: 537001 (ALD-3)"?

And just to clarify, thanks for your explanation of the use of the compressor, I had been reading multiple source of information and got confused between this and another forum thread (on another forum) in which someone claimed that the two tanks were individual, one for high pressure storage and another for low pressure storage, which is why I mentioned that earlier confusing the situation further...
I would not try and use any additive without more knowledge than I have on the details of the system. I don't know if the compressor is oiled or oilless. Even if I wanted to use it I am not sure how to do so. The concept of a sealed system is put dry gas of the type you want into it and close it up and you are good to go as long as there are no leaks. There should be no moisture in the system. I'd be inclined to not monkey with it until there is a problem with the functioning of the system.

Just as another bit of info, mine has had a couple times of being unwilling to change height in the winter. This is usually when I want to put the vehicle down for entry/exit. It has always happened when the roads are yeally slushy and nasty in the Spring or Fall and I have put it down to ice freezing somewhere externally on the system causing it a problem. It always worked fine again the next day or later in the day if the temperature was warming up during the day. My garage is usually about 32 degrees or just below that but the salty stuff always melts off overnight.

All the best,
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
...

I have a Foxwell Tool with the Chrysler specific add-on so I can access the Air Suspension module to view codes, metrics, and run tests. This is what I understand so far, and if anyone wants to correct any items please feel free to make suggestions:

...
Hello MacRAM, would you mind sharing the exact model of your Foxwell tool? And can this tool control the bags individually, as well as dump the system to atmosphere?

Thank you!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
499 Posts
Discussion Starter #37
Hello MacRAM, would you mind sharing the exact model of your Foxwell tool? And can this tool control the bags individually, as well as dump the system to atmosphere?

Thank you!
NT510 it can run all of the internal diagnostics for the air suspension including air mass calculation and vent to atmosphere. I hear the alpha odbc can do the same.

Sent from my SM-G950W using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
Awesome write up on how the air suspension works. We just had our air suspension serviced where they said they had to replace the compressor, thankfully under warranty. Right now the system is acting up again. It will say the compressor needs to cool down and it can't sense the load. This usually clears up quickly but yesterday we were on the highway and it said that it was at Normal Ride height but we were on the bump stops and the ride was really bouncy. Once back into town and stopped, put it up all the way to Offroad 2 and then back down to Normal and everything was fine.

We live in Manitoba and I know the cold weather isn't great for these systems but this has been an absolute nightmare to drive. I am at the point where I want them to convert the truck to coil, instead of replacing parts again. We have only had our 2016 for 1 year and right now we regret getting it because of the air suspension. We still have 4 year/160,000 km factory warranty on the truck and we don't want to fight with the suspension every winter.

Do you think it would be beneficial to get the Foxwell OBD and test the system ourselves or just bring it to the dealership for the 2nd time in just over a month?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
NT510 it can run all of the internal diagnostics for the air suspension including air mass calculation and vent to atmosphere. I hear the alpha odbc can do the same.
Thank you for the reply MacRAM, unfortunately I'm just seeing it now. I did purchase the AlfaODB shortly after my last post and can confirm that it does anything the dealer can do.


...
Do you think it would be beneficial to get the Foxwell OBD and test the system ourselves or just bring it to the dealership for the 2nd time in just over a month?
Kalyphus - I would consider the AlfaODB + OBDlink MX if you're going to invest in a scan tool. It'll do any suspension diagnostic and service procedure, as well as fun things like enable DLRs, LED/HID light conversions, tire circumference, global windows down from keyfob, program replacement fobs, etc...

That said, there's a fair bit of equipment needed to fully service the air suspension. I'd start with adding a few ounces of air line antifreeze to the intake breather behind the tail light, but you'll likely continue to have problems regardless with the bitter cold up there. I know guys have had good success with wrapping the compressor with an electric battery blanket and keeping it plugged in overnight. Other resourceful Canadians have gone to the extreme of piping hot exhaust gases into a shroud around the compressor.

Let me know if you need any service documents or equipment recommendations. Being you still have a warranty, I'm doubtful that you're interested in opening that can of worms. I purchased a new compressor and valve block for under $500 US new. The nitrogen, vacuum pump, manifold, and programmer were another $400. It's a significant investment, but now I can dry out and recharge the system every fall. I'm in Minnesota, so freezing up once or twice a season is tolerable, but any more than that and I'd be seriously considering a coil spring conversion.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
499 Posts
Discussion Starter #40
Man, I hate reading of all of the people struggling with the suspension. I have a 4/120 on my truck and have the ASU replaced once now. Would have been like $2300, which is ridiculous and one of the reasons I bought the Maxxcare.

This year no problems but the winter was somewhat mild.


Sent from my SM-G950W using Tapatalk
 
21 - 40 of 65 Posts
Top