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Discussion Starter #1
I have had nothing but problems with this air suspension every winter, it freezes up and in all different configurations from the rear end of the truck being in off road 2 and the front in aero mode, or the passenger side of the truck being in off road 2 and the driver side being in normal mode, or the entire truck being stuck in the lowest (enter/exit) mode. All three times the compressor had to be changed. The dealership says FCA has no fix for this problem. The last time I had to get it fixed in Feb 2019 I had to wait almost 2 weeks to get it in for service because of all the Air Suspension problems. The dealership no longer orders trucks with the Air Suspension I was told by the service manager. The Suspension is awesome in summer and the worst thing ever in winter, which makes my 4x4 truck a great 8 month of the year vehicle. I bet there are very few problems with this system in the warmer climates but the northern states and Canada these are useless to the point they shouldn’t even be sold here in Canada until they find a fix. Has anyone heard of a class action lawsuit against FCA for these Air Suspensions or has anyone found a fix for this problem. The only fix I see is having the Air suspension removed and have just a regular suspension installed. Thanks for all your comments in advance.
 

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I have heard nothing about any lawsuit. I plan to remove suspension before December. Every time I haul my trailer in the winter the suspension failed.

Jerry
 

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I'm wondering since the air suspension failures are cold related and the system "freezes" up if it would be possible to do a triple evacuation of the system similar to a refrigeration system.
Let all the nitrogen out of the system and pull it down in a vacuum, see if you can get it under 1000 microns(for refrigeration systems it's 500). Refill the system with nitrogen. Drive around for a month and repeat. A tank of nitrogen is cheap, do this procedure a couple of times. Between the system being evacuated and the dry nitrogen any moisture should be absorbed.
 

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I'm wondering since the air suspension failures are cold related and the system "freezes" up if it would be possible to do a triple evacuation of the system similar to a refrigeration system.
Let all the nitrogen out of the system and pull it down in a vacuum, see if you can get it under 1000 microns(for refrigeration systems it's 500). Refill the system with nitrogen. Drive around for a month and repeat. A tank of nitrogen is cheap, do this procedure a couple of times. Between the system being evacuated and the dry nitrogen any moisture should be absorbed.
does the system have a drier in it like an AC system does? Perhaps there should be one if there isn't or it might need replacing if there is one.
 

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does the system have a drier in it like an AC system does? Perhaps there should be one if there isn't or it might need replacing if there is one.
I don't think it does, I don't even think the compressor has oil in it. Without oil in the compressor and the design of the system(sealed nitrogen system), there's not much reason to have some form desiccant built in.
 

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I don't remember the thread I read this from ,,,,,,, but wasn't it mentioned that when the system loses some of the Nitrogen ,
it replaces it with outside air , and that is when the humidity is introduced in the system , compressor making air warmer
, then cooling down ,not as much humidity can be contained in colder air , gets deposited on cold
surfaces , later freezing and creating problems .
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks all for the responses. If the system is a closed system using nitrogen which is an inert gas (the gas doesn't expand or contract with cold or hot weather) then there should never be any moisture in the system. If the system uses outside air then I can see the problem, if it is sucking in cold (-30c) moisture filled air which freezes that would be why these compressors are failing. I asked the dealer how these air systems work and no one can give me a straight answer. I would think that installing a desiccant filter on the air inlet of the compressor where it pulls in outside air would dry the air before entering the system which should solve the freezing problem but these filters would have to be changed constantly because they would be in atmospheric air all the time and due to their ability to absorb moisture would be full (wet) in a very short period of time probably days. I thought about trying to put the system into a vacuum using my vacuum pump and installing a vacuum gauge but if it is a closed system then there should be no air or moisture to pull out. If its an open system then I will never be able to pull a good vacuum and would introduce more moisture into the system as it went into a slight vacuum. I am not sure what suspension I would replace the air suspension with, I talked to the dealer the last time my truck was in getting fixed and they had just did a total air suspension delete for another customer so whatever they did for his will work fine for mine when the time comes. In the delete they removed the entire air suspension and put in whatever suspension comes in the other Rams, they removed all the warning lights and codes.
Any thoughts on what i have said here would be greatly appreciated as I have a few years of warranty left (2021) before they have to come up with a fix.
 

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I just traded off my ‘14 with air suspension partly due to the air suspension. The air system is designed as a closed system, but every time the truck is powered up the compressor brings in outside air for 15 seconds, reads the pressure, relieves for 3 seconds and reads the system pressure again to calculate the volume in the tank. I’m going by memory on the times, so they may be off. I started a different thread earlier this winter about possible fixes. The blanket and heater on the motor made it run better, but I have cracked the valve body once and had the line between the compressor and valve body freeze twice since adding the heat. I also managed to locate an air suspension delete kit online at https://www.strutmasters.com/products/2013-2018-dodge-ram-1500-air-suspension-conversion-kit-dr14f/ that I would have used if my truck would not have had 156000 miles on it. I hope you have better luck than I did with finding a fix.
 

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The OEM air ride system is a closed system and it is filled with nitrogen from the factory. That is what it is designed to have in it. The issue comes about when it thinks the nitrogen is getting low, it has the ability to pull ambient air to ensure there is sufficient volume to maintain the required pressure in the system. If this happens, then you can and will have the problems people are describing in the cold for the reasons already stated (moisture in the air freezing the system). There is a connection behind the passenger side rear wheel to recharge the system with nitrogen. If you're having issues with the system freezing or blowing fuses for the compressor, then I would do as Crash suggested and have the system purged and refilled to ensure there is no air or moisture present.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Ok so if these are closed nitrogen systems then I need to go back to the dealer and have them either find a leak and repair it or replace the sensor that makes it think it’s low on nitrogen. This will stop the compressor from bringing in outside air. Thanks all.
 

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My next step in mind for troubleshooting while I was chasing my possible reasons for freezing was to move the guards off of the suspension bladders and soak them with snoop then have someone move the suspension up and down while I searched for bubbles. Best of luck finding and fixing the issue. The air ride cannot be beat when it’s working properly
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I agree 100%. The ride is unbeatable when it’s working. Is this just a Ram issue as I have a few friends with Land Rovers with Air Suspension and they have never had a problem yet. One is 10 years old the other is 4.
 

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If the system uses outside air then I can see the problem, if it is sucking in cold (-30c) moisture filled air which freezes that would be why these compressors are failing.
I'll have to check with my Dodge mechanic buddy but I don't think the system is capable of sucking in outside air.
Actually the colder the air, the less moisture it is able to hold. Even if the relative humidity is 90% @ -30°C, once that air is warmed up to 20°C the relative humidity is way down in the single digits.
It doesn't take much moisture to effect the operation of solenoid valves and pressure sensors in a sealed system.
 

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Thanks all for the responses. If the system is a closed system using nitrogen which is an inert gas (the gas doesn't expand or contract with cold or hot weather) then there should never be any moisture in the system. If the system uses outside air then I can see the problem, if it is sucking in cold (-30c) moisture filled air which freezes that would be why these compressors are failing. I asked the dealer how these air systems work and no one can give me a straight answer. I would think that installing a desiccant filter on the air inlet of the compressor where it pulls in outside air would dry the air before entering the system which should solve the freezing problem but these filters would have to be changed constantly because they would be in atmospheric air all the time and due to their ability to absorb moisture would be full (wet) in a very short period of time probably days. I thought about trying to put the system into a vacuum using my vacuum pump and installing a vacuum gauge but if it is a closed system then there should be no air or moisture to pull out. If its an open system then I will never be able to pull a good vacuum and would introduce more moisture into the system as it went into a slight vacuum. I am not sure what suspension I would replace the air suspension with, I talked to the dealer the last time my truck was in getting fixed and they had just did a total air suspension delete for another customer so whatever they did for his will work fine for mine when the time comes. In the delete they removed the entire air suspension and put in whatever suspension comes in the other Rams, they removed all the warning lights and codes.
Any thoughts on what i have said here would be greatly appreciated as I have a few years of warranty left (2021) before they have to come up with a fix.
I'd have to say I'm encouraged by the possibility that the system could be replaced with the front shock, back independent springs configuration but also discouraged at the thought of needing to do so as I feel the air system is top drawer. I've had some of the same error messages everyone else has had, but never a failure and never down on the bump stops. Also, a replacement system wouldn't have that OEM feel to it, and replacing it with front shocks and back air bags just wouldn't be the same as the factory air ride. We are all cost aware, however, and I think someone commented the replacement OEm back air shocks/bags are 1500 a piece or some such crazy number. The thought of paying that even once would go down hard. 'Honey, we need to replace the back shocks on the truck'. 'Oh yes, and how much will that be?' 'Er, um, did you do something new with your hair, it looks great!'.
 

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Four vehicles now with this air suspension setup and zero problems. But while we have cold here in IL, it's not the prolonged super-deep cold of the north.
 

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This is a screenshot from the WiTech the dealers use. The system is sealed, it doesn't use outside air.

I have a suspicion that techs may be using shop air instead of nitrogen to add to these systems causing problems. Even if the shop runs an air drier, it's still has a bunch of moisture in it compared to nitrogen. There is a refill tool needed to use nitrogen, basically just a pressure regulator.
 
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