Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Symptoms of Bad or Failing Air Spring Bags

air spring bags

Bad or Failing Air Spring Bags Inspection

by a top-rated mechanic at your home or office

Modern day vehicles can come equipped with a variety of different suspension systems types. One of these kinds of suspension systems is the air bag suspension system. Air bag suspension systems have been used on luxury and SUV vehicles for many years, due to the the increased comfort and load leveling capabilities that they provide. Air spring bags serve the same purpose as conventional shock absorbers - to support the weight of the vehicle and absorb road impacts. However, they do so in a slightly different manner. Air spring bag systems work by using a vehicle mounted air compressor to pump air into suspension air bags. The system is monitored and pressurized or depressurized according to what setting is chosen by the driver, or the conditions detected by the computer or regulated by a valve.

Because the air spring bags and the pressurized air inside of them are what support the weight of the vehicle, if there is any problem with the bags or system, the handling and ride characteristics of the vehicle can be greatly affected. Usually, when air spring bags fail, the vehicle will produce a few symptoms that can alert the driver that there is a problem that should be serviced.

HAVE SYMPTOMS OF CAR TROUBLE?
Get an $80 diagnostic
by a top-rated mechanic at your home or office.

Get a quote · Book an Appointment · Our expert mechanics come to you.

1. A bouncy ride

One of the most noticeable signs that there may be a problem with the air spring bags is a bouncy ride. The air springs are designed to absorb the movement and force of road bumps, so all of the movement will transfer directly to the vehicle if they fail. A vehicle with a bouncy ride will not only be more difficult to operate, but it will also not be as comfortable for the passengers.

2. Suspension sagging

Another symptom of a possible problem with an air spring bag is the suspension sagging. Suspension sagging occurs when one or more of the air spring bags is damaged or worn. This will cause the corner or corners of the vehicle to sag or sit lower than the others where a problem with an air spring has occurred. In more serious cases, such as with complete air spring bag failure, the suspension can sag to the point of interfering with the steering and forward movement of the vehicle and may render the vehicle undrivable.

HAVE SYMPTOMS OF CAR TROUBLE?
Get your car fixed at your home or office.

Get a quote · Book an Appointment · Our expert mechanics come to you.

3. Bottoming out

The air spring bags are what support the vehicle and absorb road shocks and movements. When the air bag springs fail, road shocks and movement are transferred directly through the suspension uncushioned, which can cause the suspension to bottom out. A bottoming out suspension is not only a safety hazard, as the steering and stability of the vehicle is compromised, but it can also cause damage to other suspension components due to the increased stress placed on the suspension by failed springs.

Because air spring bags support the weight of the vehicle and affects its handling and ride characteristics, it is important to maintain their proper functionality at all times. Any problems with air bag springs can quickly translate to problems with the ride, comfort, and drivability of the vehicle. This will take away from the overall driving experience and may even render the vehicle undriveable. If you suspect that you may be having a problem with one of your air bag springs, or perhaps the air spring suspension system, have the suspension system diagnosed by a professional technician, such as one from YourMechanic. They will be able to determine if the car needs an air bag spring replacement, or perhaps another issue addressed.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Still not sure about your car's issue?
Diagnose your car
What kind of issue are you experiencing?
Brakes are squeaking
Car is not starting
Car is overheating
Car is shaking (vibrating)
Fluids are leaking
Heating and A/C
Smoke or steam is coming out of the car
Warning light is on
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

More related articles

How Long Does a Vacuum Brake Booster Check Valve Last?
The braking system on your car requires a lot of pressure. The vacuum booster is one of the main sources of this pressure. This booster will take the pressure that...
How to Find the Keyless Code on a Ford Explorer or Mercury Mountaineer
Many Ford Explorers and Mercury Mountaineers were manufactured with an option known as the Ford keyless entry keypad. Some models refer to it as SecuriCode as well. It...
The Traveler’s Guide to Driving in Malaysia
CraigBurrows / Shutterstock.com Malaysia is a popular destination for many tourists today. The country has amazing sights and attractions that you will want to explore....


Related questions

Q: How do I know if I need upper or lower control arm bushings for the front? 1999 Mercury Grand Marquis

Hi - worn, damaged or "soft" control arm bushings will usually make themselves known as "loose" steering, requires more frequent or constant "corrections" from the steering wheel, abnormal tire wear, or the inability to get the front suspension aligned properly....

Q: Vehicle shaking

There could be a combination of faults creating the shaking effect you are feeling. Certain tire defects, particularly internal belt damage or separations, as well as irregular tire wear will cause vehicle shaking, or shimmy, and such could be "set...

Q: Loud noise coming front front end.

You should have the tire n the left front checked to see if it is wearing incorrect causing the humming noise. The alignment on the front may be out from a loose upper or lower control ball joints or bushings....