The Infiniti Qx80 is one of the larger SUVs that can stand toe-to-toe with offerings from Ford, GM, or even Toyota. It is a re-badged version of the well-known Infiniti QX56, as both SUVs belong to the same Z62 platform.
But despite being one of the top-rated sports utility vehicles today, the Infiniti Qx80 has a few air suspension problems users need to take note of.
In this post, I’ve highlighted some common suspension issues your Infiniti Qx80 may develop and how to go about these problems.
5 Common Problems with Infiniti Qx80 Air Suspension
1. Bouncy and Loose Rear Suspension
The rear suspension of an Infiniti Qx80 is a double-wishbone with an Optimal Pneumatic Qx80 Self-Levelling Tow Package feature and coil springs.
Whenever the vehicle senses extra load, the pneumatic actuator lifts the suspension. This ensures the ride height of the SUV remains constant regardless of the load variation.
But when the handling of your Infiniti Qx80 feels somewhat vague, accompanied by a lot of rolls, or the rear suspension feels extraordinarily bouncy, your Infiniti Qx80’s suspension is about to fail.
The extreme bounciness of your Infiniti Qx80 is linked with weak damping. This means your vehicle’s shock absorbers can no longer dampen the bounce.
Weak rear damping compromises the cornering ability of your Infiniti Qx80, resulting in an excessive roll. You can confirm this condition by carrying out a bounce test.
At any one corner of your vehicle, vertically apply your entire weight downward such that your vehicle starts bouncing on that specific corner. Then, continue to push downwards, which will cause the maximum vertical movement of that particular corner.
Then step away from the vehicle and count the number of times your Infiniti Qx80 bounces on its own. If it takes more than a single oscillation for your vehicle to settle, it is confirmed: your shock absorbers have become weak.
Take your Infiniti Qx80 to the nearest auto mechanic for a proper diagnosis and replacement of your shocks.
2. Nonfunctional Rear Self-Levelling Air Suspension
When you apply a load to your Infiniti Qx80, the suspension automatically raises itself in order to maintain its standard ride height.
But when the rear self-leveling function is no longer functional, you won’t hear the running sound of the compressor. Unfortunately, this means your Infiniti Qx80 will stop traveling at the appropriate ride height, which is not normal.
If you find yourself in this situation, you should examine the air compressor motor relay and air suspension fuses. Replace the relays and fuses if necessary.
Afterward, perform a self-leveling verification to confirm if your DIY changes worked. Before performing the self-leveling verification, ensure your vehicle has no passengers or payload.
Then make use of a measuring tape to measure the ride height of your Infiniti Qx80 from the wheel center straight to the fender bottom. This is referred to as the ‘reference ride height.’
Load up your Infiniti Qx80 with cargo weighing at least 100 to 200kg in the rear and close to the rear axle position. Observe the change in suspension height and confirm this by using the tape to measure the ride height again from the wheel center to the fender bender.
If the second value is far less than the reference ride height obtained earlier, your self-leveling air suspension has packed up.
The next thing to check is if the Ride Height Sensor is still functional. If you find the Ride Height Linkage bent or broken, replace it immediately. After replacing the old Ride Height Sensor with the new one, carry out the self-leveling verification test as outlined earlier to see if it worked.
But if it doesn’t, it could imply that the air compressor has malfunctioned. But if you want to rule this out, you need to carry out the following steps, but only if you’re a thorough DIY enthusiast.
Take out the electrical connector from the Ride Height Sensor. Short the three terminals using safety pins or an office binder and bring them in contact with each other. If the air compressor is still in excellent working condition, it will start immediately after you short the three terminals.
But if it doesn’t start, it means your air compressor is the issue and must be fixed as soon as possible.
3. Low Front Suspension Height
The front suspension of an Infiniti Qx80 is a double-wishbone set-up with Dual-Flow Path twin-tube shock absorbers and coil springs.
Once there is a hissing noise emanating from the front as soon as you have started your Infiniti Qx80, or the front suspension sits at an unnaturally low ride height, it means something is wrong with your SUV’s suspension.
Another symptom of a low front suspension is when the rear axle feels somewhat floaty, as if there is no air suspension, especially while you’re driving. The bump stops will also hit often and differently.
The first thing to note here is the number of miles you’ve covered with your Infiniti Qx80. If the SUV has already done over 75,000 miles, your vehicle’s air springs might have reached the end of their lifespan.
The hissing noise emanating from the front of your SUV indicates the presence of leaks within the system. This can result in a considerable loss of air pressure in the air springs. The floaty feeling the rear axle displays is clearly due to the low air pressure within the air springs.
Therefore, if the air springs have lots of mileage, trace the leak’s source, which could be from the cracked rubber of those air springs. You can visually inspect the rubber or use the customary ‘soapy water solution’ bubble test.
4. Clunking Noise at the Front
While driving your Infiniti Qx80, you may begin to hear knocking and clunking noises. These noises are more apparent when driving on rough roads but less so on smooth roads. This significant suspension failure applies to every variant of the Infiniti Qx80.
The knocking and clunky noises from the front, especially on rough roads, may indicate problems with the ARB (anti-roll bar) links. The anti-roll bar articulates less on smoother surfaces, such as smooth roads.
The symptoms of anti-roll bar problems include anti-roll bar chassis bush failure and anti-roll bar drop link failure.
You can quickly diagnose this air suspension problem by holding each anti-roll bar link and shaking it by hand. Then, listen carefully to the noise or movement of every linkage point.
You can eliminate this problem by removing the anti-roll bar drop links and checking the ball joint for excess play.
5. Failed Compressor
When you load your Infiniti Qx80 with a cargo of considerable weight, the rear suspension is expected to go down in response to the extra weight. The self-leveling mechanism swings into action by automatically starting the air compressor and correcting the ride height.
However, if the self-leveling mechanism fails to work or function properly, the air compressor is the culprit, especially when it fails to come on.
Therefore, examine the air compressor motor relays and air suspension fuses. Replace the relays and fuses if necessary. Afterward, perform the self-leveling procedure outlined earlier.
If the compressor doesn’t respond or work, check to confirm if the compressor is actually receiving a power supply. Next, ascertain the voltage after loading your Infiniti Qx80 with cargo weighing 100kg to 200kg. Ideally, the voltage should read approximately 12V.
If the supply voltage is not the culprit, you may need to remove and carefully examine the compressor to see whether it has burned out. Again, you may need the assistance of a professional auto mechanic for this procedure.
Can You Drive an Infiniti Qx80 with a Bad Air Suspension?
Driving with a failed air suspension or deflated airbags is dangerous. This is due to the considerable risks of harming other vital components, especially the shocks. Therefore, driving your Infiniti Qx80 with a bad suspension is not advisable.
How Much Does It Cost to Replace an Infiniti Qx80 Air Suspension?
According to RepairPal, the average cost of replacing an Infiniti Qx80 active suspension system air compressor ranges from $714 to $731. In addition, the estimates of labor costs are between $66 and $83, while components are priced at $648.
These price ranges do not include fees and taxes. It does not also factor in your unique location or the specific model year of your Infiniti Qx80. Bear in mind that related repairs may also be necessary or required.
Moreover, the price ranges are based on the age and number of Infiniti Qx80 vehicles on the road.
The Infiniti Qx80 continues to be one of the most revered sports utility vehicles today. However, it is also plagued with air suspension problems that must be addressed as soon as they are discovered.
This guide has highlighted the air suspension problems the Infiniti Qx80 suffers from and recommends the best solutions to every issue.