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While you might be most familiar with gas-filled shocks and struts, there are actually several different suspension types used today. One is air suspension, which relies on air-filled rubber air bags to provide the cushioning and ride quality necessary. This is actually a more advanced type of suspension than conventional shocks/struts and coil-over springs, but it does have its problems. These systems are inherently more complex than others, and require a significant number of components in order to operate. One of the most important is the air suspension air compressor.
The compressor pumps air into the air bags to raise the chassis off the axles and provide good ride quality. It works in conjunction with a dryer which is often made into the same assembly, although this varies from one automaker to another. If the compressor fails, your air suspension will not be able to adjust, and will be stuck at the inflation level where the compressor quit. Eventually, the air in the air springs will leak out, and the vehicle will sag.
Given the importance of having an operational air suspension air compressor, we recommend having your vehicle professionally inspected at the first sign of trouble or abnormal operation. Often, compressors fail with little to no warning, but sometimes they do operate erratically or make strange sounds beforehand. If you suspect a problem with your air suspension air compressor, have it inspected by one of our expert mechanics and replaced if necessary.
It can be dangerous to operate your vehicle if the compressor quits and the air bags are deflated. In order for your air suspension to operate, you must have a functional air compressor. Without it, there is no way to adjust the volume of air in the airbags and change the ride quality/height. In addition, air will eventually seep out of the airbags slowly, so the vehicle will begin to sag. Have a faulty air suspension air compressor replaced as soon as possible.