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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.


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I believe one of the main problem is leak down when the O-rings are cold, so the compressor keeps running to compensate and burns itself out, struggling to operate in the cold. I purchased a rocker switch to cut power to the system while not in use, but I haven't installed it yet. The power wire is the red one going to the control module under the drivers seat, it would be an easy mod.
 

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Its not if but when it will fail out of warranty....


Tim Crank has a good write up....Bilstein's.
 

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First off I would like to say great write up on how this air suspension actually works, that’s the most information I’ve seen on the system to date. I have a 2014 ram that I purchased in late 2016. I have owned it now for about 2.5 years and have had the Air Suspension fail 3 times, every winter at -25c or colder. I purchased the extended warranty so this problem hasn’t cost me a dime yet but the problem obviously hasn’t been fixed as it keeps happening. Feb. 2019 there were so many trucks at the dealership with Air Suspension problems that I couldn’t get mine in for repair for almost 2 weeks. I know of 6 people who had the Air Suspension with all the same problems, they failed every winter. These rams were of all years from 2014-2017. Needless to say everyone of them traded them off on a different brand as they were so PO at ram for selling something that doesn’t work in Canada. Having said that the dealership is no longer bringing in any vehicle with the Air Suspension. So my question is... can I some how lock the Air Suspension in off road one for the winter no matter what speed I travel so the system doesn’t have to run in cold weather? Thanks for your help.
I have a 2014 ram 1500 ...I have been having problems since last summer...I keep loosing air to the rr airbag while in aero mode after I go over a bump....also if I park on unlevel ground...I know I have no leaks but the system seems to pump it out the exhaust port...I put in a new valve block and compressor and the problem is still there so I blocked off the exhaust port in the valve body....that cured the air leak and I maintain air mass...I still drop on the rr...I have ordered a new height sensor for the rr and will try that....for anyone loosing air mass through the outlet at the tailhight in the winter....block off the out port on the valve block so you stop loosing air mass.. that will stop the compressors from wearing out from trying to replenish that air mass
 

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I believe one of the main problem is leak down when the O-rings are cold, so the compressor keeps running to compensate and burns itself out, struggling to operate in the cold. I purchased a rocker switch to cut power to the system while not in use, but I haven't installed it yet. The power wire is the red one going to the control module under the drivers seat, it would be an easy mod.
It's not the o-rings...the way the valve body is installed on its side causes moisture to lay in the bottom right at the out port...it freezes open and you can heat the air coming out at the rr taillight...unscrew the line at the valve body and block it off with one of the plugs that come in a new valve body...take a brake high compression union with another one of those plugs in one end and thread it on the line to stop dirt from getting in it...this will keep the system closed and will stop the compressor from trying to replace air mass which is not built for...the valve block shouldn't be venting anyway.. if you ever need to drain the system you will have to remove that plug.The compressor has its own blow off valve. This procedure is working for me...now my compressor on runs while changing height levels....the way it's designed to...the manufacturer will never admit this is where the problem is because they don't know how to fix it...and those worn out compressors bare a cash cow
 

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It's not the o-rings...the way the valve body is installed on its side causes moisture to lay in the bottom right at the out port...it freezes open and you can heat the air coming out at the rr taillight...unscrew the line at the valve body and block it off with one of the plugs that come in a new valve body...take a brake high compression union with another one of those plugs in one end and thread it on the line to stop dirt from getting in it...this will keep the system closed and will stop the compressor from trying to replace air mass which is not built for...the valve block shouldn't be venting anyway.. if you ever need to drain the system you will have to remove that plug.The compressor has its own blow off valve. This procedure is working for me...now my compressor on runs while changing height levels....the way it's designed to...the manufacturer will never admit this is where the problem is because they don't know how to fix it...and those worn out compressors bare a cash cow
So basically you removed the valve at the rear right taillight?
 

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Yup i pulled the 2 fues and the relay for the air suspension and left it in normal nothing moves do the same with off road 1 will leave it there
 

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I bought a 2014 1500 about 4 months ago. It has the air ride and I thought it was pretty cool.
This weekend it went high in the back and low in the front. Error says calibration and plant mode. I checked and its low pressure 6.6 bar on the high side. I thought the compressor would pull in outside air if the nitrogen got low? I suppose a suspension swap is in my future.
 

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I bought a 2014 1500 about 4 months ago. It has the air ride and I thought it was pretty cool.
This weekend it went high in the back and low in the front. Error says calibration and plant mode. I checked and its low pressure 6.6 bar on the high side. I thought the compressor would pull in outside air if the nitrogen got low? I suppose a suspension swap is in my future.
One issued and ready to scrap the entire suspension?
 

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I bought a 2014 1500 about 4 months ago. It has the air ride and I thought it was pretty cool.
This weekend it went high in the back and low in the front. Error says calibration and plant mode. I checked and its low pressure 6.6 bar on the high side. I thought the compressor would pull in outside air if the nitrogen got low? I suppose a suspension swap is in my future.
Pretty sure it is a closed system. I think there's been some discussion about it pulling outside air on this forum, but I don't think that's the case.
It wouldn't make sense to have a nitrogen based system and then have it mix with outside air.
I saw something on another thread about being able to access the air ride thru Alfaobd. I dont know much about it but it sounded like you have some knowledge and may be able to use that to recharge the system and/or replace bags if you have a leak.
 

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Yes I have some good software as well as AlfaOBD to make adjustments.
I took the truck for a short drive yesterday and it fixed itself. I've been a mechanic long enough to know when things fix themselves it not going to last. Time will tell.
 

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I want to start a thread around the factory Air Suspension because it appears many have had issues with it in cold weather, including myself. This is my 3rd Winter and I experienced the blown fuse first and then situations when the suspension will not operate. I have an extended warranty and brought it to the dealer and their answer is that they will just replace the Air Supply Unit (ASU)

There doesn't appear to be a lot of technical information on it and a lot of misinformation posted on it so here goes....

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:

1.. First and foremost. The Air Ride Suspension is designed as a sealed nitrogen filled system and does not have the capability to bring in outside air unless commanded with the fill port and procedure. It is manufactured by Continental Automotive.
2.. The system does have the ability to vent to atmosphere with the vent located in the passenger rear taillight area. It is unclear on what commands this to take place but there are test procedures to vent each bag to atmosphere and I think if your ASU is locked up and you hit transport mode you vent to atmosphere.
3.. There are 2 tanks (Reservoir High/Low), the ASU, Air Suspension Control Module (ASCM), Bags, and Level Sensors.
4.. The ASU contains the air dryer, compressor, exhaust valve, valve block, pressure sensor, and temperature sensor.
5.. There have been numerous revisions to the ASU to deal with cold temperature issues. The latest was in late 2016 and involved changes to components to prevent lockup of the compressor head due to dissimilar expansion and contraction of materials. (My Dealer tells me there is a new upcoming revision to the control module to fix the fuse blowing issues)
6.. The unit needs to do a Air Mass Calculation to bring it into operation anytime you utilize testing procedures. (Plant Mode). This Air Mass Calculation is needed because the nitrogen is dispersed through the components at any point in time so it needs to get a true calculation of how much nitrogen the system has in the system. It does this by checking the pressure of each bag, tank, and the reservoir. The reservoir is charged to 175 PSI when new and again, it has the ability to sustain many vents to atmosphere before it will reach the point where the Air Mass is not enough for the system to operate.

From an issue perspective the system appears to have 2 levels of codes:

Yellow - "Service Air Suspension" or "Ride Height Not Permitted" - The system has pressure but the ASU has a code or the ASU is responding but is not able to execute function. It will be yellow the air bags are inflated and within a certain level or height spec.
Red - "Service Air Suspension Now" - The ASU is not responding at all, the system has low or no pressure, one or more bags has no pressure or below normal ride height or differential.

When looking at issues, they appear to be broken down into:

System Leak - There is a leak either to Tank or Atmosphere.
ASU or ASCM Failure or Frozen - The ASU or ASCM is not responding or unable to complete command.

Basically if your truck is on the bump stops, you have a leak. If the leak is to the atmosphere, your truck will at some point in time run out of nitrogen in the reservoir and you will get a Red Code. If the truck is more or less level and not in entry mode, you will get a yellow code. There are circumstances though that can result in your tuck lowering slightly after huge temp swings because the truck has a timer when shutoff to where it will level the truck. Once leveled, it will not run the ASU to level it until you start the truck.

If anyone wants to add anything, please feel free.

Cheers,
First i have to admit i don't have a Diesel, I have a RAM1500 2013 Hemi. But I do Have air suspension. I have air suspension with a problem. Right now it is sitting on the stops at its lowest level.
Quick History:
Oct 2019 left rear corner goes down, then comes back up. continues up and down at random. "Immediate air suspension service required" keeps flashing up. "Please wait air suspension compressor cooling down" keeps popping up, "trailer break service required". Truck will not raise to off road 1 or off road 2 or when it did it took forever.

Both rear ends went down, then up at random.

Then front and rear left only went down, then up.

Finally everything went to the bottom.

Took it into dealer. Its the compressor and ABS Unit they say. $3,300.00 later I drive off with suspension working. the only thing that didn't show was AERO ride height achieved (normal ride height would show but not AERO). Anyway all was good for a week then the random stuff started again. I did have a heavy load at one point that week (1,900lbs)

Took it back to dealer. They cleared the faults and it all came back and worked, for about a week, then here we go again. currently it is sitting down on all bumpers again on my drive waiting to go back to the dealer this Tuesday. Got any ideas as to what might be the problem.?
 

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I bought a 2014 1500 about 4 months ago. It has the air ride and I thought it was pretty cool.
This weekend it went high in the back and low in the front. Error says calibration and plant mode. I checked and its low pressure 6.6 bar on the high side. I thought the compressor would pull in outside air if the nitrogen got low? I suppose a suspension swap is in my future.
Gosh, my 15 did the exact same thing a month ago, the dealer had replaced the pump a year ago, they replaced it again, that 125/8 yr warranty is a lifeline. I asked for antifreeze in the line last year, it froze all winter, so it stays in the garage, I asked for nothing this time, I can't believe I bought a fiat, 28mpg, no 20mpg, tow my horses, no, can't get out of the driveway, dependable, no, can't use winters, spend summers repairing the various failures and pretending it's a great truck.
 

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I have just over 200,000 km on my 2015 RAM 1500 and the air ride system in an Alberta winter climate can be a pain - big $$$s - but not unsolvable.

First - it is a closed system. However, if there is a slow leak, it WILL eventually draw in make up air (along with the moisture.) It is designed that way so that it will continue to function until you can repair it. Yes, repairs at the dealership are extremely expensive and they also use their highly marked up OEM parts - all of this is a pain unless you have a warranty (especially one where the fine print covers the air ride)

Fixing it yourself is an option and it is the path I have chosen. It is not for those who do not have knowledge and some key tools. Knowledge is available on Chrysler’s “TECH AUTHORITY” via a subscription. I chose the 3 day subscription and screen will printed everything to PDF files on the repairs of interest. There are also some excellent online resources (Arnott Industries) and other YouTube videos (they don’t have to be RAM specific.)

Real information NOT conjecture or supposition will help you figure out what the elephant in the room is - otherwise the dealership service department is simply waiting for you to show up with credit card in hand.

Tools:
  • Air regulator (Available online or welding supply stores - mine is specifically for inert gases like argon and nitrogen. You need to be able to regulate the high pressure nitrogen gas down from 1500 psi to about 170 psi.)
  • R 134A adapter. This lets you connect to the on board high pressure reservoir’s coupling by the rear back passenger tire. You will need to take off the tire and remove the plastic wheel well tub to access. The adapter is expensive via Mopar tools but once you know that it is a standard automotive air conditioning fitting it is about $50 to $100 online for one of reasonable quality.
  • Pressure couplings, fittings, hoses, etc. I got a lot of my stuff via Harbor Freight or Princess Auto.
  • A pressure testing fitting assembly that you need to make yourself to test the four air bladders and lines individually. A micro leak can be found by isolating any of the 4 segments from the solenoid valve block using your test assembly. Then you carefully pressure that segment up just enough to raise that corner to the right level and then shut off (or isolate) the high pressure source side of the regulator and wait a few hours and watch the low pressure side regulator dial for leakage. Regulate your pressures carefully - a mistake here will break something or worse hurt you! I made my test fitting from a piece of aluminum stock using a drill press, tap and die, and some salvaged air suspension tubing and fittings from a wrecked RAM Ecodiesel.
  • Compressed nitrogen (you can rent a bottle from Praxair or Air Liquide). My 3 foot bottle costs $80 per charge and $30 rent for a month. The bottle is about 1500 psi and there is enough nitrogen to do at least 6 full air ride system purges and refills with some left over to fill all your tires with nitrogen. Straight forward venting/purging and re filling is one way of removing moisture trapped in the tanks and bladders. I have vented and filled the system then drove around for a few days raising and lowering then truck and then revented the system - a few cycles and the system is free of moisture.
  • I am sure that an advanced scan tool that lets you control the air ride system can be helpful - but I do not have one or need one (so far.) Just do not overpressure anything!!!
My experience is that the most common failure mode is a leak that occurs in the air spring itself - specifically it occurs where the air bladder folds in on itself. The rubberized bellows fabric cracks over time at these points of tension - at about 120,000 km on my truck. These “ in the fold” pin hole leaks are under the dust cover and not visible, but a sustained pressure test will tell the story. After you replace the air spring you can pump up the old one on the shop bench with about 15 psi and spray it with a soap and water solution. You will see a ring of pin holes right were the air spring folds on itself. Also, as the air spring pushes up or down to different levels the internal micro cracks will sometimes be squeezed together and the leak is stopped while the air spring is in that position (a “feature” that you can use to stop gap your problem for some weeks and even months and also a reason why leak detection can be difficult.)

Used parts are a viable option for some elements (Compressor, solenoid valve block; and if you know your auto wrecker really well, the air springs themselves.) Also, there are non OEM parts and remanufactured parts available online that are cost effective alternatives. Be careful about “really cheap” knockoffs - only a rich man can afford to pay for something twice. I had one rear air spring from an unnamed source that lasted a total rolling distance of about 10 feet because the upper mounting structure folded like a paper cup. The part looked good but was worthless because of the poor quality control when pouring the high impact high strength plastic.

Finally - if you are in a cold climate and the air ride is not operating properly, the compressor stopping, you see repair messages on the screen, riding on the bump stops, frozen valve block, etc.; YOU HAVE A LEAK. The make up air that was pulled into your normally closed system brought with it some moisture that is affecting your solenoid valve block, the compressor and other elements as it thaws and freezes. This is less of a problem in warmer climates but you need to be aware that your system is building up internal water over time, which will eventually cause problem. But the warmer climate individuals do enjoy a bit longer run before the repair bills hit.

The 1500’s air ride is normally a closed system and if it is NOT working properly in winter conditions - the most likely (95% plus) answer is that moisture got into the system due to a leak (often a micro leak at the start) and everything you are experiencing is due to icing up, water lockup, or lack of operating pressure as the leaks get bigger and the internal reservoir pressure falls too low because the make up air is no longer sufficient. The compressor cannot handle a continuous load and will burn out - to prevent this there is a high temp sensor which shuts down the compressor. In the meantime the system continues to leak - you get the picture.

Tricks such as adding brake line antifreeze, heating blanket for the compressor, setting the ride height at a different level and pulling fuses, and all of the other stuff I have read online (many of which I have used with some success) are all interim stop gaps. They “may“ hold you over for a few months (hopefully?), use that time to keep you running while you source parts, manage your budget, and ultimately fix the problem.
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I don't know why you air ride guy's don't just put Air Brake anti-freeze into your air ride system it's a very small system 1 ounce of brake line anti-freeze would likely do it. Air Brake anti-freeze contains an additive like old school brake fluid that would benefit all the seals keep them soft and lubricated may even help keep the air bags pliable so they don't crack. I have used tons of the stuff in commercial trucks it's cheap and would likely solve 90% of your problems if not more.
 

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I don't know why you air ride guy's don't just put Air Brake anti-freeze into your air ride....
That would make a lot of sense. I suspect the thinking is, “if it is closed system, it should not have any moisture in it. If it does, it has a leak.”

I did add a small amount and it did help but after further research, I found that many o-ring materials and lots of plastics and rubber do not work well in the the long run with brake line antifreeze. Not knowing what the o-rings, the tubing and the rubber air bladders are made of I decided to purge the system to remove the antifreeze.

The system could certainly be designed to work with antifreeze and regular compressed air. It is a maintenance item, though, that the average owner may my not wish, or know how, to deal with.
 

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That would make a lot of sense. I suspect the thinking is, “if it is closed system it should not have any moisture in it. If it does, it has a leak.”

I did add a small amount and it did help but after further research, I found that many o-ring materials and lots of plastics and rubber do not work well in the the long run with brake line antifreeze. Not knowing what the o-rings, the tubing and the rubber air bladders are made of I decided to purge the system to remove the antifreeze.

The system could certainly be designed to work with antifreeze and regular compressed air. it is a maintenance item, though, that the average owner may my not wish, or know how, to deal with.
I really doubt Air Brake anti-freeze would hurt any thing what so ever I have used it on machinery and commercial trucks with multiple air operated systems made by many different companies and never had a problem. My experience is Air Brake anti-freeze dose what the manufacturer says it does, if anything it makes your valves ect. last longer problem free. Pure Methyl Hydrate on it's own will damage every air valve it goes through but Air Brake anti-freeze that does contain Methyl Hydrate is harmless because it has additives similar to old school Brake fluid added. Before anybody freaks out and rips the air ride system out of their truck force air brake anti freeze through the system from one end to the other with compressed air, blow the system out and add an ounce of brake line anti-freeze. I don't know the Air Ride system but it likely has a small reservoir the anti-freeze can lay in the bottom of, all that is need is only the vapor coming off the Air Brake anti freeze it will likely last all winter at least.
 

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It's not the o-rings...the way the valve body is installed on its side causes moisture to lay in the bottom right at the out port...it freezes open and you can heat the air coming out at the rr taillight...unscrew the line at the valve body ...
So basically....
I think the exhaust/intake tube runs up from the compressor that is bolted to the frame rail up to a pint just behind the rear passenger side tail light.
 

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I have a 2014 ram 1500 ...I have been having problems since last summer...I keep loosing air to the rr airbag while in aero mode after I go over a bump....also if I park on unlevel ground...I know I have no leaks but the system seems to pump it out the exhaust port...I put in a new valve block and compressor and the problem is still there so I blocked off the exhaust port in the valve body....that cured the air leak and I maintain air mass...I still drop on the rr...I have ordered a new height sensor for the rr and will try that....for anyone loosing air mass through the outlet at the tailhight in the winter....block off the out port on the valve block so you stop loosing air mass.. that will stop the compressors from wearing out from trying to replenish that air mass
I suspect that your air spring is the real culprit. It has a micro leak in the folds of the bladder/ bellow. This type of leak is also intermittent because as the spring moves up or down there is a chance that the small crack will temporarily be squeezed together and the leak stops.
 

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I don't know why you air ride guy's don't just put Air Brake anti-freeze into your air ride system it's a very small system 1 ounce of brake line anti-freeze would likely do it.
Do you know of an easy way to introduce the antifreeze into the system?
 
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