How To Check For Air Leaks In An Air Bag Suspension System

Adding air suspension to your car is one of many car enthusiasts' most sought-after aftermarket mods. The ability to adjust the ride height to your favorite height at the push of a button allows you to fine-tune your suspension for the perfect stance. Since this suspension setup relies on compressed air, you will need to make sure your air suspension kit is installed correctly and free of leaks for optimal operation. Today, we will look at a few symptoms of air leaks in your system and where they can be found.

How To Check For Air Leaks In An Air Bag Suspension System

Symptoms Of A Leak In Your Air Suspension System

When your air suspension system develops a leak, it will be pretty noticeable as your kit will not perform as it should. Sagging suspension, poor performance, and longer air up times are all signs that your air suspension system is leaking. You may also hear a leak when your air suspension is aired up, and the air is escaping from one of your components. Look for these four symptoms from your air suspension kit to determine if you have an air leak.

Sagging Suspension

Sagging suspension on air-equipped vehicles is a tale-tale sign that you have an air leak in one of your air shocks or air springs. These shocks feature air-filled rubber bladders that can tear if exposed to sharp objects or extreme weather. Once these bladders develop a leak, your suspension will not air up on that specific corner as they will not be able to create the correct air pressure to raise the vehicle. 

Poor Performance From Kit

If your air suspension is not performing as it should, you may leak somewhere in the system. Identifying where will determine on what is not performing up to standards. There may be a leak in one air strut if it is one corner. You may leak before or at the manifold if it is the whole kit. Poor performance can come from many different issues, so negating out an air leak can help you track down other problems in your system.

Taking Longer To Air Up

If you notice that your vehicle is taking longer to air up, this indicates that there is a problem with your air suspension. This could be from an electrical issue, a failing or malfunctioning compressor, a clogged air line, or simply an air leak before the manifold. An air leak that affects the whole system will most likely occur between the compressor and the manifold. 

Strange Noises From Suspension Components

Strange noises coming from your air suspension kit can be due to a lack of air from an air leak. An air suspension air compressor and air strut exhaust valves should be the only thing you hear every time you use your air suspension. Any other noise that does not sound correct should be identified and remedied quickly before it causes more damage to your system.

What Causes Air Suspension To Leak?

A variety of different issues can cause air suspension leaks. The main culprit of a leaking air suspension system is damage sustained by one of the components. Most air leaks come from a damaged air line since they run in and out of the car and are exposed to the elements. While running these as close to the frame and body as possible will help keep them safe, they can still suffer damage from road grime and debris. 

Other air leaks come from fittings not being correctly installed. Compressed air fittings must be fitted using the correct thread tape and sealants to prevent leaks at the joints. This is where having an experienced air suspension professional complete the install pays off. Once you get your air suspension installed, the last thing you want is an air leak that you have to track down.

Where Can Air Leaks Be Found In An Air System?

Air leaks can be found anytime that air is stored or transported in your air suspension system. This makes tracking down air leaks difficult if you can't narrow them down quickly. Let's break down where the most common air leaks can be found and how you can test for leaks.

Air Struts/Air Bags

Air struts or airbags are a common area for air leaks both in your front end suspension and rear suspension. The rubber bladder can deteriorate over time if exposed to extreme temperatures and road grime. Keeping your air struts clean and free of contact from other components can help ensure that your rubber bladders last as long as possible. To detect an air leak on an air strut, inflate the bag and spray the bag with soapy water in a spray bottle. If you see a bubble forming from the liquid, your airbag most likely has a tiny hole causing a small leak. To fix a leaking air strut, you will need to replace the entire assembly as these cannot be patched.

Air Lines

Air lines are the most common leaking component on a malfunctioning air ride suspension system. Air lines, in most cases, are run from the trunk or truck bed to each corner of the suspension. This means they can run both inside and outside the vehicle, getting exposed to elements and road grime. This can cause tears, holes, and deterioration over time, leading to air leaks. Mounting your air lines as close to the frame and body as possible can help to prevent your air lines from being damaged by road debris. You can use the same soapy water test on air lines that you would on your air struts. To fix a hole in an air line, you can replace the section of air line with a replacement line for a secure fix.

Air Tank/Valve Manifold/Compressor

Most leakage can be narrowed down to the connection points for the rest of your components, such as your air tank, valve manifold, solenoids/check valve, and air compressor. Leaky fittings are usually caused by poor installation or deterioration of the thread taped used on the fittings. This can be a relatively easy fix as you can untread the fitting, put new thread sealant on, and reinstall to fix the leak. A leaking valve manifold or compressor leaking from any other place than the fitting or connector should be inspected, removed, and replaced for proper operation.

High-Quality Air Suspension Components From AccuAir

The best way to prevent air leaks in an airbag suspension system is to use high-quality products from AccuAir. AccuAir offers a complete line of air suspension parts that pass our highest-quality standards to give you the best products in the industry with a warranty to match. Get everything you need at our site and if you need help with your air suspension system, give us a call or fill out our online form, and an air suspension expert will be glad to help you.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published