Air ride compressor not working properly

Tiny
TAKIJA
  • MEMBER
  • 2012 BMW X5
  • 3.0L
  • V6
  • 4WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 13,000 MILES
Image is attached with explanation and suggestions from car dealerships, all the fixes are worth as much as the car at this point, I need an advice on what to do?
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Friday, August 21st, 2020 AT 1:33 PM

10 Replies

Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Hi,

For some reason, the image isn't attached. Can you resend it? Also, let me know exactly what is happening as to why it is at the dealership. That will help me determine if things are required at this time.

Take care,
Joe
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Friday, August 21st, 2020 AT 1:47 PM
Tiny
TAKIJA
  • MEMBER
Hi Joe,

Thank you for responding, well let me try to explain:

Problem:
After some time being parked my car goes down about 4 inch and on starting up I hear a loud noise (compressor ) and the noise stops after the car is completely lifted (about 30 seconds or so), also while driving I hear it turning on sometimes for a few seconds.

BMW Dealership has a onsite repair show as well which is why I took it for checkup and usually fixes.

Dealership recommendation:
Replace both rear air bags and air compressor (left rear air bag suspension leaking and compressor overworking ). $ 3,000.00.
Replace both front lower control arm bushing(s) (due to being worn they say) $400.00 each, m so total of $800.00.

Other fixes that brought the total price to around $10,000.00 are not related so I wont bother you with it.

I hope this help, and thank you.
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Friday, August 21st, 2020 AT 2:04 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
As far as the lower control arm bushings, that is really based on how bad they are. Do you hear any clunking or having any steering issues? Also, if the compressor is being overworked, why can't the just replace the airbag to prevent it from happening or has the compressor gone bad as well?
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Friday, August 21st, 2020 AT 2:54 PM
Tiny
TAKIJA
  • MEMBER
Regarding arm bushing; no clunking or steering issues however once left side of a car would not lift completely (not sure is it related to the arms), but I got a warning (yellow sign) on the dash board that ride might be uncomfortable and not to go fast in the corners.

Regarding replacing air bags only, I got the email pdf file with recommendations and all it said and I quote:
" 'fc 5f9a control time lifting inspected and found left rear air bag leaking(left side has sign of leaking in near future as well) and compressor overworked "

I haven't talked in person yet but I decided to pick up the car as it is and see about alternatives/other shops or is it see how hard would it be to do it myself.

My thoughts:

1. Looks like compressor is fine (overworked which make sense if there's a leak but nothing wrong with it).
2. Arm bushings are worn apparently. How long do you think I got? And how fast should I dead with them/how much damage can they do if I don't focus on the at the moment.
3. Airbag seems to be the issues and if you think airbag could be replaced alone could I just take care of airbag for now?

Also:

What would be worst case scenario for me here?
Do you think I should go with the dealership or find a small mechanic shop?
Is it doable for someone like me to do it (not my best idea)?

Appreciate your time Joe.
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Friday, August 21st, 2020 AT 3:23 PM
Tiny
4DRTOM
  • EXPERT
Hello, I'm Tom,

I'll put 2 cents on this. I would stay away from the dealership. There business model is change everything the corporations make the service managers over diagnose from what I have seen. Some small shops wont deal with BMW's to many special tools but if you find one that will just look into there reputation. The airbags aren't a terrible job for BMW's if you are some what good with tools. This post looks like an extension of an earlier one, are you just having the rear sit low? The front control arms they mentioned wont be an issue with the rear airbags leaking. If you have noises like Joe asked then yes lift it up and inspect them and see if there is play in any, in the tire too and grab the arms and see if you can move them to see, look closely at the rubber wearing.
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Friday, August 21st, 2020 AT 6:59 PM
Tiny
4DRTOM
  • EXPERT
Here is a run down of the removal in the images below review it to see if you feel comfortable.
Tom
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Friday, August 21st, 2020 AT 7:21 PM
Tiny
TAKIJA
  • MEMBER
Hey Tom,

Thanks for taking the time to write.
Yes back of the car is low after being parked few hours (low rider pretty much), front is good, then at start a loud compressor noise until the car is lifted.
While driving it will also kick in and make the noise here and there.

It does seem like I wont be going thru the dealership, I looked over the YouTube a bit as well and I went ahead and ordered a pair of rear suspension air bags (cost me $105.00 on Autoshack), I might even have the tools needed to reach and replace them (YouTube made it look simple, lol).

I think I might start with airbags and that should stop the air compressor from being overworked for one and hopefully solves my issue for now.(They did told me it was a suspension leak a the dealer)

regarding front lower control arm bushings, I do not have any noise or any issues described so I might be okay for now but definitely keep an eye on it and replace them soon. (Because they also mentioned they are worn/loose)

I guess that's my game plan for now.
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Friday, August 21st, 2020 AT 7:24 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Hi,

I think that is a good plan. I don't know if you want the directions for replacing the air spring / bags, but figured I would add them in case you do. The attached pics correlate with the directions.

___________________________________________

2012 BMW X5 xDrive 35i (E70) L6-3.0L Turbo (N55)
Removing and Installing/Replacing Left or Right Air Spring [REP-REP-RAE7037-3712155]
Vehicle Steering and Suspension Suspension Suspension Control ( Automatic - Electronic ) Air Spring Service and Repair Removal and Replacement Removing and Installing/Replacing Left or Right Air Spring [REP-REP-RAE7037-3712155]
REMOVING AND INSTALLING/REPLACING LEFT OR RIGHT AIR SPRING [REP-REP-RAE7037-3712155]
Removing and installing/replacing left or right air spring
REP-REP-RAE7037-3712155

37 12 155 Removing and installing/replacing left or right air spring

Warning!
Danger of injury!

Drain the air spring system before any repair work on the air supply system, pipes and air springs!

Danger of injury if this instruction is not complied with!

Risk of damage!

Extreme cleanliness must be ensured at the connection face of the pipes during dismantling and installation. Even the smallest of dirt particles can cause leakage in the air suspension system.

Note:
Read and comply with notes on air suspension system.

In a warranty case, you must always provide a fault memory printout with the defective component, even where there is no fault entry.

Necessary preliminary tasks:
Deactivate and drain air spring/suspension system

Note:

Repeat the brake bleeding procedure (drain the air spring system) if applicable.

Remove rear wheel

Pic 1

Removal:

Important!
Do not use any tools to dismantle the lower section of the air spring (1).

Tilt lower section of air spring (1) by hand towards front/side.

Pic 2

Press air spring (1) upwards and turn through A = 30 in counterclockwise direction.

Important!
Do not kink, twist or crush pipe.

Press air spring (1) together, remove sideways and set down on control arm.

Pic 3

Release banjo bolt (1).

Seal pipe (2) and connection of air spring with adhesive tape.

Note:
Banjo bolt (1) remains on pipe (2).

Pic 4
Important!
It is not permitted to cut open the protective gaiter to feed through the pipe (with banjo bolt)!

Remove protective gaiter (1) from air spring.

Unclip pipe (2) from groove of air spring upper section and remove air spring.

Pic 5

If reusing: check protective gaiter (1) for damage.

Note:
Protective gaiter (1) may be reinstalled in spite of expanded opening (for pipe with banjo nut).

If protective gaiter is damaged: pull pipe (2) with banjo bolt through opening in protective gaiter (1).

Pic 6

Installation:

Check air spring for damage, replace if necessary.

Check pipe for damage, replace if necessary.

Note:
Observe notes on installing a new pipe.

Pic 7

When replacing air spring:

Important!
Replace protective gaiter only if damaged.

It is not permitted to cut open the protective gaiter to feed through the pipe (with banjo bolt)!

Moisten protective gaiter (1) at pipe opening with water/soapy solution.

Insert pipe (2) with banjo bolt through opening in protective gaiter (1).

Pic 8

Important!
Replacement only: Remove and dispose of banjo bolt on air spring connection.

Check banjo bolt (1) for dirt contamination, clean if necessary. Then carefully screw in by hand to avoid damaging the plastic thread and with it the air spring.

Tightening torque:

37 12 1AZ Type Thread Tightening specification Measure
1AZ
Screwed connection, air line

E70, E70M / E71, E71M / E72 Dia. = 4 mm 2 Nm
Clip pipe (2) into groove of air spring upper section.

Pic 9

Align protective gaiter (1) by way of opening for pipe (2) to upper section of air spring and install.

Pic 10

Important!
Do not kink, twist or crush pipe.

Insert air spring (1) into locator or frame side member and turn clockwise to the limit position.

Check air spring (1) for correct installation in locator or frame side member; correct if necessary.

Pic 11

Important!
Do not use any tools to install the lower section of the air spring (1).

Press lower section of air spring (1) by hand into wheel carrier until it can be seen and heard to snap into place.

Note:
In so doing, make sure that orientation lug is correctly aligned to groove in wheel carrier.

Check air spring for uniform formation of rolling lobe (1).

If necessary, slide rolling lobe (1) by hand downwards and shape on lower section of air spring (2).

Important!
Risk of damage to air springs!

Do not set down vehicles with empty air springs on the wheels.

Wheels must be freely suspended.

They may be damaged by the load of the empty air springs!

After installation:

Activate and fill air spring system

Note:

The sequence for activating and filling the air spring system must be followed.

_____________________
Here are the directions for draining and reactivating the air spring system

2012 BMW X5 xDrive 35i (E70) L6-3.0L Turbo (N55)
Draining/Filling Air Spring System [REP-REP-RAE7037-3700100]
Draining/Filling Air Spring System [REP-REP-RAE7037-3700100]
DRAINING/FILLING AIR SPRING SYSTEM [REP-REP-RAE7037-3700100]
Draining/filling air spring system
REP-REP-RAE7037-3700100

37 00 100 Draining/filling air spring system

Warning!
Danger of injury!

The air spring system must be drained before carrying out any repair work on the air supply system, pipes and air springs!

Danger of injury if this instruction is not complied with!

Important!
Risk of damage!

To fill the air springs, raise the vehicle until the wheels are freely suspended.

Note:
Read and comply with notes on air suspension system.

Pic 12

Deactivating air suspension system:

Fold down power distribution box in passenger compartment

Pull out fuse (F32) for air supply system

Pic 13

Draining air spring system:

Connect BMW diagnosis system

Switch on ignition.

Drain air springs with the aid of the BMW diagnosis system (control unit function, menu item Bleeding procedure for air springs )

Note:

Depending on the output pressure in the air spring, it may be necessary to repeat the service function "Bleeding procedure for air springs."

(See functional description of the "brake bleeding procedure - air spring" in the BMW diagnosis system.)

Raise vehicle until wheels are freely suspended

Remove ignition key

Pic 14

Activating and filling air spring system:

Important!
Risk of damage to air springs!

Do not set down a vehicle on its wheels if it has empty air springs.

Wheels must be freely suspended.

They may be damaged by the load of the empty air springs!

Check air spring lower section (1) for correct latching in wheel carrier and correct if necessary

Jack up the vehicle until the wheels are freely suspended by at least 30 cm.

Failure to comply may result in damage to the air springs!

Pic 15

Insert fuse (F32) into the corresponding slot in the power distribution box.

Connect BMW diagnosis system.

Switch the ignition on.

Fill air springs using BMW diagnosis system (control unit functions).

Lower vehicle.

Clear diagnostic fault entries from fault memory.

____________________________________

I hope this helps.

Joe
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Friday, August 21st, 2020 AT 8:50 PM
Tiny
TAKIJA
  • MEMBER
Thank you Joe for this extensive and detailed guide. I believe airbags should arrive by Wednesday so hopefully by the end of the week I will have it done and post an update.
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Sunday, August 23rd, 2020 AT 11:38 AM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Hi,

You are very welcome. Let me know how things go for you.

Take care,
Joe
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Sunday, August 23rd, 2020 AT 5:57 PM

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