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Old 03-13-2013, 12:30 AM   #1
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Suburban w/Autoride Leveler - Problems

I have a 2007 Suburban 1500 4WD with the autoride leveling system. I bought it at 72000 mi. Just after towing the first few hundred miles, the compressor for autoride blew. Replacement was $800. A year later, at 92,000 and another 12,000 miles of towing, the compressor has blown again. I haven't replaced it yet. Still thinking.

I have a feeling that the compressor is being overworked when towing by perhaps constantly adjusting ride height. Anyone with this problem?

There are various paths to go forward.
1. Dealer replacement of standard part $800.
2. Buy a 3rd party compressor for $250 and get someone to install it.
3. Change the suspension system to PASSIVE. This involves four new shocks, two new coil springs and a module to override the ODB codes. Around $600- $800 for parts, and unknown installation costs.

If towing is causing the problem, 1 & 2 are of little value. With #3 there is a nice option of heavier rear springs for very little additional cost.

From what I gather, these autoride systems are known to be troublesome and spendy to fix. If anyone has experiences with this autoride problem did you find a fix?
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Old 03-13-2013, 01:49 AM   #2
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Hi, my Lincoln has rear air suspension and towing hasn't effected it. Once it bottomed out [not towing] and stayed that way. My friends at the Ford dealer replaced a little hose coupler at the compressor that they said was known to go bad. I replaced the rear air bags because the rubber was cracking like an old tire and I didn't want a failure while traveling. Robert Cross would probably have some words of wisdom for you, he's a Chevy man. My Lincoln now has 99,000 miles on it.
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Old 03-13-2013, 02:54 AM   #3
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Very common problem with the air ride suspension system from GM according to all of the GM forums.

I have a 2002 GMC 1500XL and blew holes in the air bags on the rear shocks. Bags make contact with the bottom shock mounts. Then the pump works its self to death. Overloaded truck and trailer, add pot holes and ruff road, not good.

I found Arnott industries makes and refurbishes most makes of air ride suspensions. They have a complete kit that will replace the 2-rear electric dampening rear air shocks with new Bilstien electric dampening air shocks and a new pump for around 549.00 They have rebuilt O.E.M. electric air shocks 379.00 a pair. New pump is 185.27 They also have a passive conversion kit.
www.arnottindustries.com

However as you stated, you still have the same problem. When will it go out again? So my neighbor suggested I take a look into the Monroe website before I purchased anything. They also have replacement shocks that will plug and play with the GM air ride system. They have what I concider a better optioned Passive kit. Part # 90012, 168.00 total for my year. Included Manually operated air shocks for the rear and new gas shocks for the front with resisters to stop the suspension warning light. The kit has everything you need and I did the whole job in three hours. I could have done it in 2 by myself.

If you decide to keep air shocks on the rear you should not have to change the coil springs. Because the after market air shocks perform the same function as the O.E.M. air shocks, just no on board automatic compressor to inflate them.

Considering the savings now and future. I will gladly inflate my own shocks thank you.
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Old 03-13-2013, 02:46 PM   #4
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Thanks for some very good information there. On the one hand I hate to remove this autoride feature from an expensive vehicle, but I hate replacing these things at such cost. I see the Arnott compressor is $185 and that's a huge improvement over the GM cost. I might give that option a try.
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Old 03-13-2013, 03:17 PM   #5
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I believe GM makes an upgraded air compressor that is more thoroughly sealed. It's a drop in replacement and costs around $500, which is 2x the stock one. Something to consider since most of the failures of stock pumps are due to contamination from water, salt, and dirt.

I have the 3/4 ton autoride which has the electronically damped shocks but no air system. It's been reliable. That might be another direction for you to consider.
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Old 03-13-2013, 06:38 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammer View Post
I believe GM makes an upgraded air compressor that is more thoroughly sealed. It's a drop in replacement and costs around $500, which is 2x the stock one. Something to consider since most of the failures of stock pumps are due to contamination from water, salt, and dirt.

I have the 3/4 ton autoride which has the electronically damped shocks but no air system. It's been reliable. That might be another direction for you to consider.
In my discussions with two GM repair centers no one mentioned an upgraded compressor. The first one I had installed was $565 for the compressor part and about $200 labor. The second one was quoted at a very similar price - around $700 and change for installed.

I just came back from a suspension specialist I accidentally found in town. He is going to look up some specialty parts to convert my autoride system into a passive system with no air components, but with improved performance springs and shocks geared for towing. His feeling was that air systems with towing will always be an expensive proposition on an older car (mine has 96K). I'll see what he proposes. I inspected the two rear shock bodies myself this afternoon, and I can see considerable cracking in the rubber boots. If those were to go next, that's a $1200 repair on top of whatever I would spend on the compressor.

I think it comes down to my intent for long term. If I plan to keep it for another 100+k miles, a passive system would be good performance and inexpensive. If I plan to trade it in soon, I should keep it "all original."
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