Air suspension problems

Tiny
FCASILLAS88
  • MEMBER
  • 1995 LINCOLN TOWN CAR
  • 4.6L
  • V8
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 163,000 MILES
My car's air suspension compressor raised my car way too high and will not go down. What could cause this?
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Friday, September 15th, 2017 AT 9:40 PM

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Tiny
KEN
  • ADMIN
It sounds like you have a ride height sensor that has gone out or the control rod has fallen off. You will need to raise the car up safely to inspect.

Here is a guide to help you:

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/jack-up-and-lift-your-car-safely

Here is its location (below):

Please let us know what you find.

Cheers, Ken
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Sunday, September 17th, 2017 AT 12:18 PM
Tiny
JTR53
  • MEMBER
  • 1995 LINCOLN TOWN CAR
  • V8
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 200,000 MILES
My air bags won't go down they aired up one day and never went down
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Monday, February 15th, 2021 AT 12:31 PM (Merged)
Tiny
HMAC300
  • EXPERT
Have it scanned first as it can be a wiring issue, compressor, load height sensor etc.
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Monday, February 15th, 2021 AT 12:31 PM (Merged)
Tiny
KTMKEVIN
  • MEMBER
Sounds to me like a bad vent solenoid in the compressor.

Short term, you'll need to replace the compressor/dryer.

Long term, replace the dryer a couple times within a 6 month period. This is to absorb the accumulated moisture from the system.

For even less than the compressor, you could do a coil spring conversion.
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Monday, February 15th, 2021 AT 12:31 PM (Merged)
Tiny
MICHAEL8CARS
  • MEMBER
  • 1995 LINCOLN TOWN CAR
  • V8
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 127,500 MILES
Good day,

I bought a 1995 lincoln town car, and the check suspension system light is on, and the rear is way high in the rear, the air bags in the rear are filled up and the car is sitting very high in the reaqr. Im considering taking the bags out and putting the springs kit, is there a release valve that I can let some of the air out of the bags to lower the car in the rear? I want to do this until I put the springs on the vehicle. Thanks Michael 954-245-5572
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Monday, February 15th, 2021 AT 12:31 PM (Merged)
Tiny
MERLIN2021
  • EXPERT
. My opinion is the hieght adjuster in the back, on the axle needs adjustment, If you try it, turn the air suspension switch off in the trunk before you jack it up!
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Monday, February 15th, 2021 AT 12:31 PM (Merged)
Tiny
SHTEVE2
  • MEMBER
  • 1995 LINCOLN TOWN CAR
  • V8
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 72,000 MILES
The left rear air bag keeps leaking down and the pump runs too much. Then the 30 amp fuse blows.I know it's leaking somewhere in the system, causing this (at least I think it must be. How should I proceed, in order to locate the leak(problem)? Thank you, Steve Taylor
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Monday, February 15th, 2021 AT 12:31 PM (Merged)
Tiny
JNOVACK
  • EXPERT
Jack the car from the axle and no were else so you don't blow the whole system and with a spray bottle filled with soapy water spray the airbag and the lines to find the leak you will find bubbles were it's leaking
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Monday, February 15th, 2021 AT 12:31 PM (Merged)
Tiny
BILLYMAC
  • EXPERT
Hi steve use a spray bottle dish soap and water inflate system shut off car spray lines from front to back may be easier to start at the bag going down. You will see bubblrs where leak is o rings are replaceable. Billymac
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Monday, February 15th, 2021 AT 12:31 PM (Merged)
Tiny
JNOVACK
  • EXPERT
Here is the testing for air system

TOOLS FOR THE JOB
Digital multi-meter and/or analog multi-meter
Some jumper wires
Small tool kit with assorted screwdrivers, wrenches and pliers
Garden sprayer or spray bottle filled with soapy water
Also an assistant can be useful at times
COMPONENT LOCATIONS
Compressor: under the hood, left front corner under the air cleaner
Compressor relay/fuses A, C and U: under hood in power distribution box
Other fuses: in instrument panel fuse board
Control module '90 - '94: Right side of trunk behind trim panel
Control module '95 - '97: Behind the glovebox
On/Off switch: right side of trunk
Height sensor: under the car from suspension to frame
Air springs: one each side on rear axle to frame
Air spring vent solenoids: one on the top of each air spring
Diagnostic plug: right side of trunk behind trim panel
AIR SUSPENSION TESTING

Your "Check Suspension" light has come on, what do you do next? Well the first thing to check is the fuses and that the on/off switch is "on".

Model Year I/P Fuses Under Hood Fuses

90 - 91 1 and 4 A (50amp) and U
92 - 93 1 and 8 A (50amp) and U
1, 4 and 8 A (50amp) and U
95 - 97 7 C (50amp) and U


https://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/52960_00061_1_1.jpg



The picture above shows the power distribution box of a '92 Town Car with the compressor relay removed and placed to one side, fuse "U" and the compressor relay pins labeled.

TESTING THE MODULE POWER FEEDS AND ON/OFF SWITCH>

Switch the air suspension off and disconnect the control module connector.

Switch testing

'90 - '94 Town Cars
Connect a voltmeter or test light to the Dark Green/Yellow wire and ground. You should get twelve volts when the air suspension switch in turned on, if not check fuse 1 or service switch/wiring to fuse 1.

'95 Town Cars
Connect a voltmeter or test light to the Dark Green/Yellow wire and ground. You should get twelve volts when the air suspension switch is turned on, if not check fuse U or service switch/wiring to fuse U. NOTE: There are two terminals with Dark Green/Yellow wires, both should test the same.

'96 - '97 Town Cars
Connect a continuity meter (ohms) between the Dark Green/Yellow wire and the Purple/Light Green wire; you should have 0 ohms with the switch closed and infinity with the switch open.

Other power feeds

'90 - '91 Town Cars
Check the Light Blue/Pink wire for battery voltage when the ignition is switched on, if no voltage check fuse 4 and wiring.

'92 - '94 Town Cars
Check the Red/Yellow wire for battery voltage when the ignition is switched on, if no voltage check fuse 8 and wiring.

'95 Town Car
Check the Light Blue/Pink wire for battery voltage when the ignition is switched on, if no voltage check fuse 7 and wiring.

'96 - '97 Town Cars
There are three Light Blue/Pink wires. The ones on pin 1 and 15 will have battery voltage all the time, if no voltage check fuse U and wiring. The one on pin 16 will have battery voltage when the ignition is switched on, if no voltage check fuse 7 and wiring.

TESTING THE COMPRESSOR AND RELAY

If the compressor appears to not be working, first check the fuses. Then check that the compressor actually works: the simplest way to do this is to remove the compressor relay and with a jumper wire bridge the terminals in the power distribution box for pins 30 & 87. You may get a small spark and the compressor should start.

If the compressor doesn't start, remove the jumper wire and check for battery voltage on pin 30. If you have no battery voltage on pin 30 then there is a fault in the power distribution box or with fuse U. If you have battery voltage on pin 30 then gain access to the compressor and disconnect the compressor harness, reinstall the jumper wire to pins 30 & 87, and check for battery voltage on the Purple/Orange wire ('90 - '95) or Grey/Red wire ('96 - '97). If you have battery voltage then check for continuity to ground through the black wire, if you have continuity to ground and the compressor connector is in good condition then the compressor is bad. NOTE: The wires on the compressor side of the connector are different colors.

If the compressor started when pins 30 & 87 were jumped then the next check is the relay. The easiest way to do this is fit it in the horn relay slot next to the compressor relay slot (first check the horn sounds), and then sound the horn - if the horn doesn't sound the relay is bad. To check the relay is functioning and wiring to the control module, first remove the compressor relay and check for battery voltage on pin 86. If there is no battery voltage then a fault exists in the power distribution box. If you do have voltage refit the relay and gain access to the control module and switch off the air suspension and disconnect the module connector. Now with a jumper wire ground the Dark Blue/Yellow wire (all years) and the compressor should start; if not then there is a fault with the wiring to the module from the power distribution box. If the compressor does start then the module may not be giving the signal to start the compressor, maybe the module, maybe the height sensor.


https://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/52960_00061_2_1.jpg



The picture above shows a Town Car compressor with the airline connection circled in red and the vent solenoid circled in green.

TESTING THE DOOR INPUTS

The air suspension will not vent if a door is open, the module may be receiving a false "Door open" signal from a faulty courtesy light switch. To test the door open signal switch the air suspension off and disconnect the control module connector.

'90 - '94 Town Cars
Connect a voltmeter between the Dark Blue/Orange wire and ground, you should have 0 volts, now open and close each door, you should get 12 volts each time a door is opened.

'95 - '97 Town Cars
The door open signal comes from the LCM (Lighting Control Module), I am not sure what type of signal is used but from studying the wiring diagrams I believe it to be low voltage, probably 5 volts. The door open signal wire is Black/Yellow; it may be possible to test using a voltmeter as for the '90 - '94 Town Cars.

TESTING THE AIR SPRING AND VENT SOLENOIDS

Venting test '90 - '94 Town Cars

Switch off the air suspension and disconnect the control module connector, then simultaneously ground the Purple/Light Green, Light Blue/Black and Pink wires. The rear of the car should lower. If not then check fuse U and try again if blown. Next, gain access to the compressor assembly and disconnect the air line from the drier. Then once again ground the Purple/Light Green wire and the left side should lower - ground the Light Blue/Black wire and the right side should lower.

From these tests you will know if both spring solenoids are working and if they are, whether or not the vent solenoid is working.

Venting test '95 - '97 Town Cars

Switch off air suspension and disconnect control module connector, then simultaneously ground the Brown/Pink, and Tan/White and Pink wires. The rear of the car should lower. If not then check fuse U and try again if blown. Next, gain access to the compressor assembly and disconnect the air line from the drier. Once again ground the Brown/Pink wire and the left side should lower; ground the Tan/White the right side should lower.

From these tests you will know if both spring solenoids are working and if they are, whether or not the vent solenoid is working. If this test shows both spring solenoids and the vent solenoid are venting, then it could be the control module is not sending the signals to vent. This may be a bad control module, height sensor or false door open signal.

Spring solenoid testing '90 - '94 Town Cars

Switch the air suspension off and disconnect the control module connector. Next, gain access to the spring solenoids and disconnect the solenoid connectors. Now ground the Purple/Light Green and Light Blue/Black wires on the module connector. Next, using a voltmeter or test light bridge the two terminals of each spring solenoid connector and you should have battery voltage (test light lit). If not then connect your voltmeter to the Orange/Red wire of the solenoid connector and to a good chassis ground and you should have battery voltage. If not, check fuse U. If fuse U is okay then you have a wiring fault between the power distribution box and the spring solenoid. If you have battery voltage on the Orange/Red wire and when the two-solenoid connectors were previously bridged you did not get battery voltage then you have a wiring fault on the wire (Purple/Light Green or Light Blue/Black) between the control module and spring solenoid. Finally, remove the jumper wires from the control module connector and with your voltmeter or test light bridge the spring solenoid connectors - if you get battery voltage then the wire (Purple/Light Green or Light Blue/Black) between the control module and spring solenoid is shorted to ground.

From these tests you will know if the wiring is okay. If during the previous venting test one or both air springs didn't vent and the wiring is okay, then it would be safe to assume that you have a bad spring solenoid(s).


https://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/52960_00061_3_1.jpg



The picture above shows a spring solenoid and retaining clip.

Spring solenoid testing '95 - '97 Town Cars

Switch air suspension off and disconnect the control module connector. Next, gain access to the spring solenoids and disconnect the solenoid connectors. Now ground the Brown/Pink and Tan/White wires on the module connector and using a voltmeter or test light bridge the two terminals of each spring solenoid connector. You should have battery voltage (test light lit), but if not then connect your voltmeter to the Light Blue/Pink wire of the solenoid connector and to a good chassis ground. You should have battery voltage but if not check fuse U, If fuse U is okay then you have a wiring fault between the power distribution box and the spring solenoid. If you have battery voltage on the Light Blue/Pink wire and when the two-solenoid connectors were previously bridged you did not get battery voltage, then you have a wiring fault on the wire (Brown/Pink or Tan/White) between the control module and spring solenoid. Finally, remove the jumper wires from the control module connector and with your voltmeter or test light bridge the spring solenoid connectors if you get battery voltage then the wire (Brown/Pink or Tan/White) between the control module and spring solenoid is shorted to ground.

From these tests you will know if the wiring is okay. If during the previous venting test one or both air springs didn't vent and the wiring is okay, then it would be safe to assume that you have a bad spring solenoid(s).

Vent solenoid testing '90 - '95 Town Cars

Switch air suspension off and disconnect the control module connector, next disconnect the compressor connector, then check for battery voltage on the Orange/red wire, if no voltage check fuse U, if fuse U is okay then you have a wiring fault between the power distribution box and compressor connector.

If you had battery voltage, ground the Pink wire on the control module connector and bridge the Orange/Red and Pink wire of the compressor connector with your voltmeter. You should have battery voltage, but if not then there is a fault on the wire between the compressor connector and the control module connector.

Next, with the voltmeter still bridging the compressor connector, remove the ground from the control module connector. If you still have battery voltage indicated then the Pink wire from the compressor connector to the control module is shorted to ground. NOTE: the wires colors are different on the compressor side of the connector.

If the wiring is okay and the previous venting test showed the vent solenoid wasn't venting then you have a bad vent solenoid.


https://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/52960_00061_4_1.jpg



The picture above shows a Town Car vent solenoid removed from the compressor. Notice the corrosion - this is the usual cause of vent solenoid failure. Also notice the broken sealing tip - this occurred when I removed the vent solenoid as it was old and fragile.

Vent solenoid testing '96 - '97 Town Cars

Switch air suspension off and disconnect the control module connector, next disconnect the compressor connector, then check for battery voltage on the Light Blue/Pink wire, if no voltage check fuse U, if fuse U is okay then you have a wiring fault between the power distribution box and compressor connector.

If you had battery voltage, ground the Pink wire on the control module connector, then bridge the Light Blue/Pink and Pink wire of the compressor connector with your voltmeter, you should have battery voltage, if not then there is a fault on the wire between the compressor connector and the control module connector.

Next, with the voltmeter still bridging the compressor connector remove the ground from the control module connector, if you still have battery voltage indicated then the Pink wire from the compressor connector to the control module is shorted to ground. NOTE: the wires colors are different on the compressor side of the connector.

If the wiring is okay and the previous venting test showed the vent solenoid wasn't venting then you have a bad vent solenoid.

TESTING THE HEIGHT SENSOR

Wiring colors 1990 - 1994

Pink/White = Power
Black/Pink = Ground
Orange/Black = Low height input
Pink/Black = High height input

Wiring colors 1995 - 1997

Purple/Light Green = Power
Black/Pink = Ground
Orange/Black = Low height input
Pink/Black = High height input


https://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/52960_00061_7_1.jpg



It is very important to follow these instructions exactly as damage to the height sensor may occur.

You will need a REGULATED 3.3volt (+/- 0.3 volts) power supply and a digital ohmmeter (multi-meter) as follows.
Connect the positive of the regulated 3.3volt power supply to the Pink/White ('90 - '94) Purple/Light Green ('95 - '97) wire, and the negative to the Black/Pink wire.
Connect the RED lead of the ohmmeter (multi-meter on ohms range) onto the Pink/Black OR the Orange/Black wire.
Connect the BLACK lead of the ohmmeter (multi-meter on ohms range) onto the negative of the power supply.
Observe the reading on the ohmmeter (multi-meter on ohms range) and compare with the table below.

AIR LEAKS

The most common place for an air leak is the air springs, closely followed by the drier/compressor joint and on early 90s Town Cars on the air line just where the frame goes up over the rear axle. Other suspect places are on the spring solenoids and any place there is an air line joint. To test for an air leak, fill a garden sprayer or spray bottle with a strong soap solution and spray the air springs, air line joints, air lines, or anywhere there is a leak suspected or probable and watch for bubbles. To check if an air spring is leaking, allow the compressor to inflate the air springs to trim height, switch off the air suspension and go for a drive or let sit overnight - if the rear of the cars drops significantly then you can be sure there is an air leak.


https://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/52960_00061_5_1.jpg



The picture above shows a Town Car air spring with a crack in it that was almost certainly leaking.

SOME COMMON FAILURES AND POSSIBLE REASONS

Check Suspension light comes on after driving a while: You have an air leak on an air spring that the compressor cannot keep up with.

Fuse U keeps blowing: The compressor is being overworked because you have an air leak or the compressor is badly worn and drawing too much current.

Rear of car too high: Vent solenoid seized closed so no venting is possible

Check Suspension light comes on but the rear height looks okay: The vent solenoid is seized closed so no venting is possible.

Moisture is the enemy of the air suspension system and does the most damage to the compressor and vent solenoid usually seizing the vent solenoid closed. The only cure for excess moisture in the system is to replace the compressor/drier assembly, both rear air springs/spring solenoids, and blow through the air lines with compressed air.
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Monday, February 15th, 2021 AT 12:31 PM (Merged)
Tiny
JBCC420
  • MEMBER
Get the spring conversion kit. Unless you plan on spending alot to keep your air suspension running. I converted to springs 2 years ago for $200, ive not had another problem since and I cant feel any difference in ride quality. Its still got the same floaty kind of boat like ride as it always had. I did the repair myself. Very easy, in about an hour. I lost my instructions half way thru and still finished everything but turning off my "check air suspension" light. If anyone knows how to do that id appreciate it. Anyway the conversion kit is the best money ive spent in years!
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Monday, February 15th, 2021 AT 12:31 PM (Merged)
Tiny
CHERTNT
  • MEMBER
  • 1995 LINCOLN TOWN CAR
  • 6 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 120,000 MILES
My car keeps blowing the 30 amp fuse for the air ride, it keeps saying check air suspension, and was told by a local parts store that the relay for the air ride needs to be replaced, one person said the relay is on the firewall and other said it is in the fuse box I have looked in the owners manual for the location but cannot find it
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Monday, February 15th, 2021 AT 12:31 PM (Merged)
Tiny
NOMAD39993
  • MEMBER
I would like this information also. But dont no where to look for the answer you gave him
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Monday, February 15th, 2021 AT 12:31 PM (Merged)
Tiny
2CEXPT
  • MEMBER
The compressor relay is in the relay center on the passenger side of the engine compartment

See the diagrams below
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Monday, February 15th, 2021 AT 12:31 PM (Merged)
Tiny
WKNORRIS
  • MEMBER
  • 1995 LINCOLN TOWN CAR
The check air suspension system light has come on for the 95 Lincoln Town Car and the air springs are no longer working. The car is riding low. Is this something that I can fix or repair or is this a shop fix? Any suggestions?
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Monday, February 15th, 2021 AT 12:31 PM (Merged)
Tiny
PEPPERMRJ
  • MEMBER
If memory serves me the town car has rear air bags and conventonal struts/springs in the front.
Ten years is about the average life span of the rear air bags.
Will the compressor still raise the car? Does it ride low all the time or just sink overnight?
Being that you are getting a check air light I'll bet the compressor is toast.

To replace the whole air (2 bags, compressor and misc, ) setup (aftermarket) will run about $350.00 in parts. The aftermarket airbags have a lifetime warranty. A conversion to rear coil springs will run around $200.00 for parts.

[i:d2b7593d4a]Good time for new shocks.[/I:d2b7593d4a]

The air system is a fairly easy replacement requiring a few hand tools, jack, and jack stands.

The spring conversion is somewhat more difficult. It requires the same tools and an additional jack and jack stand. There are a few more steps in the process also.

Now I will give you my opinion having done the conversion on a 1985 continental. I miss the air springs. The conversion does not give the same ultra plush ride. It also does not adjust to a full load of folks. Three adults in the rear and it sits a little too low for my taste. I went to the conversion primarly due to age and the fact that the conti has 4 airbags. My compressor was shot and I the thoughts of finding the air ride computer for that car was not pleasant. Towncars are so much more readily available at the recycle yard. They are also much more interchangeable when it comes to parts and year.

Check out this link. It will give you an idea of price and procedure. There are several other aftermarket suppliers not to mention OEM. Post back if you want a few more links.

Good luck and let us know. :)
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Monday, February 15th, 2021 AT 12:31 PM (Merged)
Tiny
NOS
  • MEMBER
Make sure the switch in the trunk is turned on. Go to the passanger side under the hood and check your fusses a blown fuse will not let the compressor come on if you do have a blow fuse suspect a bad compressor. The compressor is located on the driverside finderwell I think under the washer bottle there is a drain in that box and I gets colleged up with dabre and in some cases with water cause it can't drain and it shorts the compressor motor which will blow the fuse. The dump valves on the airbags go bad and will release the air all the time whice will overwork the compressor andalso blow fuses hope this helps. ( NOS )
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Monday, February 15th, 2021 AT 12:31 PM (Merged)
Tiny
TODDRSTOREY
  • MEMBER
  • 1994 LINCOLN TOWN CAR
  • V8
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 79,000 MILES
What is the best fix for the air ride suspension going out? What is the best guess estimate for the approx. Amount to fix. My car is 15 years old, however, it only has 79K miles and I would like to get a few more years out of the car, but I am not sure if it is cost effective to get this fixed. Any thoughts?
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Monday, February 15th, 2021 AT 12:32 PM (Merged)
Tiny
MERLIN2021
  • EXPERT
Only way to tell for sure is to scan it with Ford tester, codes displayed will tell you which part is bad, but from my experience it can be the height sensor that connects to the rear axle, it can pop out of the ball socket, then the car emties out the air springs. Or the compressor can be no good. Or one of the lines or spring solenoids has a leak(compressor runs constantly, what symtom do you have?
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Monday, February 15th, 2021 AT 12:32 PM (Merged)
Tiny
TODDRSTOREY
  • MEMBER
"ass end" of car is riding extremely low and the car bounces when hitting bumps-- rear end of car is noticably riding low
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Monday, February 15th, 2021 AT 12:32 PM (Merged)

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