Can You Tell if the Air Suspension on Your Truck Is Working Properly?
It may often be difficult to tell when the air suspension system fitted to a heavy-duty truck begins to fail. There are a number of reasons why the system could malfunction and the situation can often go unnoticed for a long period of time. However, what are some of the earliest signs of an issue and what could be going wrong?
The average heavy-duty vehicle is fitted with an air suspension system, as it is typically robust and the most effective way of maintaining ride height and drivability. A compressor linked to the engine pushes air through a series of rubber tubes that expand to separate the chassis from the axle when positioned correctly. A mechanic regulates the amount of air that passes through the system so that the vehicle's ride height is properly adjusted. Yet if only a small amount of air were to leak out, it might be difficult to tell until the problem is more pronounced.
When one airbag is slightly less inflated than the others, it can lead to a "drooping" corner. It can often be hard to see this with the naked eye, but the driver may need to put more effort into the steering wheel when negotiating a particular corner. The tyre on that corner may also show additional signs of wear, and potholes may represent a bigger challenge than before.
A sequence of pipes and hoses connects individual parts of the suspension system. The hoses, in particular, are vulnerable to damage and where the pipes and hoses join together, problems can arise. Even the tiniest hole can lead to issues down the road, and if you suspect that you may have a leak, the simplest and most rudimentary way to check is to mix a bucket of soap and water. Smear the solution over the suspect area, and you will immediately see if you have a leak when bubbles form.
Of course, you can always take the vehicle to an experienced mechanic instead, and they will be able to have a close look at the entire system for signs of any problem. They'll test the pressure without needing to resort to soap and water and will readjust each corner of the vehicle if needed. They'll also make sure that the air dryer system is working correctly as this is responsible for removing any excess water from within the system.
Remember, an airbag leak is not always obvious, but if left unchecked, it can lead to additional costs, reduced drivability and operator fatigue.
Contact an auto service that performs truck repairs for more information.