Auto Service Professional

JUN 2018

Magazine for the auto service professional

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40 A S P J u n e 2 018 C h a s s i s S e r v i c e light comes on, but the car seems to be maintain- ing its height, you should use a scanner to diag- nose the fault code. Typically, this is an electrical problem such as a relay or fuse. If the vehicle sags at one corner or side the easiest way to diagnose the air suspension prob- lem is to put the vehicle on a li and perform a visual inspection of the air struts and springs, the ride height sensors, air lines and connections and the compressor. To locate leaks in the air suspen- sion system, spray the air bladders, fittings and lines, and top seal with a solution of dish soap and water and look for bubbles. ere are multiple options for repairing and replacing a leaking air spring or strut. New OE springs, struts and compressors are expensive at dealerships but aermarket vendors offer op- tions that cost far less than the dealership. Ar- nott, for example, offers new OE quality com- pressors as well as new replacement air springs that are oen easier to install than the OE and built with heavier-duty rubber. ey also offer both new aermarket replacement struts that they design and assemble and remanufactured OE struts. If a vehicle has multiple air suspension problems or has had a long history of issues it may be more cost effective to replace the air suspension with a coil conversion kit. Some kits cost about the same as a single air strut at a dealership but should provide many years of trouble-free driving. e bottom line is air suspension repairs are not difficult to diagnose or fix. You should be in- specting they systems aer 50,000 miles and cus- tomers should be encouraged to repair their air suspension problems quickly before one problem turns into multiple, more expensive, problems. Ride control issues Ride control, in terms of both handling and noise concerns, are common complaints. Quite oen, the customer's description is vague or mislead- ing. Attempt to gather as much information from them as possible prior to performing an inspec- tion. For example, do you only hear a "funny" noise when driving on bumpy roads or on smooth roads, as well? If you suspect that the vehicle is heavily loaded with cargo at times, ask if the "wandering" they experience only occurs when heavily loaded, etc. e customer's descriptions of an issue should be considered merely as a start- ing point. It's up to you to inspect and road test to determine the actual cause of the complaint. Prior to any chassis-related issue, always be- gin by checking the basics, including tire size, tire inflation and vehicle ride height. ese basic checks can help to quickly identify contributing factors with regards to directional pull during cruising and braking, as well as wheel alignment issues and potential cause for uneven or prema- ture tire tread wear. Any lubricated joint that reveals a torn boot must be replaced, regardless of how good it "feels" at the time. A failed boot allows grease to exit and water and grit to enter. It's only a matter of time before this joint either locks up or comes apart. Note the torn and failed rubber bushing in the control arm that features a vertical bushing. Failures in the vertical arm connections are common. PHOTO COURTESY FEDERAL-MOGUL MOTORPARTS PHOTO COURTESY FEDERAL-MOGUL MOTORPARTS

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