The Ford Expedition Air Ride Suspension is plagued with a few problems that are worth noting.
This article highlights the most notable Ford Expedition Air suspension issues you should know and what to do to fix them.
Ford Expedition Air Ride Suspension Problems
1. Vehicle Sitting Low
This problem is generally noticeable in second-generation Ford Expeditions; the 2003 model year onwards. Some of the signs include the refusal of the compressor to turn on. There will also be a complete loss of ride height at all the SUV’s four corners.
Height sensors corrode and get stuck over time. When this happens, the sensors are dislodged and no longer transmit adequate voltage signals to the entire suspension control system. Due to the failure of the ride height signal, the compressor doesn’t run. This means you will never hear any sound after starting the engine.
Running a diagnostic is the first step you should take. In most cases, the fault code would display ‘C1725: General Suspension Fault.’ This implies that the diagnostics have accurately detected the suspension’s inability to respond to lowering/raising commands but can’t locate the primary source of the problem. The code also indicates that the source of the problem is somewhere in the front suspension.
Check whether the sensor arm is connected correctly to its ball joint on the suspension arm.
A specialist can check the front suspension Air Struts by touching the rubber below. But this check only makes sense if performed when the compressor is still functional. In an ideal case, the bellow surface must always feel tight. This indicates a minimum required air pressure retention.
If the air struts feel saggy and loose upon touching, it implies possible leakage and a lack of air pressure. The leakage can be confirmed using a soapy water solution bubble test. If bubble spots persist at particular points after spraying this solution on the air struts, those specific spots are the leakage positions.
Leaving the leakage unattended will push the compressor to exert itself by working overtime to maintain the significant loss of pressure as a result of leaks. This will eventually cause the compressor to overheat and fail. So, the air struts should be checked and changed.
2. Sagging Rear
If your Ford Expedition’s rear is sagging while maintaining the correct ride height at the front, your air suspension has a problem. Like most other vehicles with air suspensions, the rear is the most prominent point of failure.
Degraded airbags are the primary cause of sagging. Therefore, ensure you check out the airbags and replace them accordingly if found defective.
3. Compressor Malfunction
The airbags that support Ford Expedition are filled with air via an air compressor. But if the air compressor starts malfunctioning or failing, the bags will not fill with air. This is because the compressor relies heavily on a motor to generate air in order to fill the bags rapidly. This is usually where problems crop up.
When the compressor in the air suspension starts failing, you will encounter strange noises linked to the dying compressor motor. It may also cause your Ford Expedition to sit lower than it usually does on a good day.
A professional should address this issue immediately via an accurate diagnosis, which is crucial to air suspension repair. Running diagnostics makes it easy to accurately isolate the issue. Once this is done, the repair protocol for the specific model of your Ford Expedition Air Ride should be followed strictly.
Whether the problem originates from a damaged seal or the compressor, it is crucial to always inspect suspension components with specific attention to detail. This is to avoid expensive repair work or overlooking the actual issue.
4. Nose Dive
You will know the front suspension of your Ford Expedition is soft or weak when it lurches forward as it comes to a stop. The faster the SUV is moving coming into that particular stop, the more the nose of your SUV will dive, and its rear will pop up.
When this happens, it simply implies you’re putting a lot of strain on what is left of your air suspension. Don’t make it worse by avoiding the problem. Instead, get it checked immediately by a professional in order to prevent costly repairs down the road.
You may keep the original or custom-made air suspension on the SUV. However, you may need to replace the entire system or repair it piece by piece for the rest of the vehicle’s lifespan.
Can You Drive a Ford Expedition Air Ride with a Bad Suspension?
Driving a Ford Expedition with a faulty suspension is definitely a bad idea. If you suspect your Ford Expedition Air Ride’s suspension is faulty, but you keep using the SUV daily, it will eventually develop faults so bad that fixing the suspension becomes next to impossible. Driving your SUV with a broken air suspension is akin to completely worn-out springs, struts, or shocks.
In other words, you will spend a lot more to replace the defective suspension since the failed air suspension components may cause negative handling and drivability characteristics and beat up the rest of your Ford Expedition Air Ride.
This is why experts only generally recommend driving your Ford Expedition Air Ride with a good suspension. It is more about your personal safety than the overall state of the sports utility vehicle.
How Much Does It Cost to Replace a Faulty Ford Expedition Air Ride Suspension?
According to RepairPal, the average cost for a Ford Expedition active air spring replacement ranges from $675 and $708. But replacing the entire air suspension will cost as much as $4,500 if done at the dealership. In addition, the costs of labor are estimated between $130 and $164, while components are generally priced at over $500.
Bear in mind that this range doesn’t include fees and taxes. The range does not include or factor in your unique location or specific model year.
Spending over $4,500 may be right up your alley if you’re a super-rich dude. But that’s quite a lot of money for the average Joe, especially for such a high-mileage vehicle.
Nevertheless, the more worry-free and less expensive options you may have to consider today include ditching the air ride entirely and converting to passive coil springs and shocks.
Ford Expedition Air Ride Models with the Most Suspension Problem
The 2013 Ford Expedition Air Ride model is renowned for its air suspension problems. They are linked to a defective air suspension sensor, a bad air compressor, as well as a cracked air spring.
The information highlighted above should make it easy to identify most Ford Expedition Air suspension problems before they become irreparable and costly. This is why proper inspection, maintenance, or replacement of your air suspension is done as soon as possible to avoid costly repairs.