How Can You Diagnose Issues With A Heavy-Duty Truck Suspension?

Posted on: 9 November 2022

Most heavy-duty vehicles today are fitted with an air-ride suspension system, and while these are typically very reliable and robust, they can sometimes fail. Also, this type of system is far more complex than the suspension system you may have on your car or ute, so if problems arise, it may be more tricky to diagnose. So, where should you start if you suspect problems with one of your vehicles?

Damaged Lines

For this system to work, compressed air must be pumped from the processor to each corner of the vehicle, which involves quite a lot of tubing. These lines must be correctly fitted with proper connectors and valves, and care must be taken to ensure that they do not chafe against other parts of the frame during everyday use. If they are rubbing against something, it'll only be a matter of time before they develop a pinhole, which can lead to decompression. You may find that your compressor works overtime to try and do its job. In reality, most of that air is wasted.

A simple soap and water test is a good way to check the system without any professional tools. You may be able to narrow down the problem area if you find that one particular suspension airbag is holding less air than the others. Apply soap to the lines supplying that particular bag, activate the system, and you should see bubbles next to the damaged area.

Problematic Wiring

The next most common cause of a problem is defective wiring. Remember, you will need a compressor, tank and controllers in order to inflate and deflate the springs properly. You need to connect all these parts with a high-quality wiring harness and protect the installation from weather and wear and tear.

When you encounter strange problems you can't put your finger on, it could be down to a defective power supply. While there are various ways to test each component with a voltmeter and other devices, it's best to turn this type of troubleshooting over to an expert.

Punctured Airbag

Sometimes, an airbag will puncture if it is hit by some road debris. This is quite unusual as these devices are very robust and designed to work well in such a harsh environment. However, you may notice that one side of the vehicle sags down when a bag is not properly inflated, and you may also see that the compressor works much harder than usual in a vain attempt to inflate that bag.

Turning The Work Over To An Expert

Changing some of these suspension systems in such a large vehicle can often be hard. It may be quite dangerous unless you have the expertise and the tools. So in this situation, you're better off talking with an expert mechanic instead.

For more info, reach out to a local truck repair service.