In this brief article we are going to discuss the Audi Q7 Air Suspension problems, what the causes are, and how these issues can be effectively dealt with.
What are the common air suspension issues in an Audi Q7?
The most common Audi Q7 suspension issues are:
- Q7 Corner Sagging
- Q7 Suspension stuck in ‘Off Road’
- Q7 Suspension leaning to one side
How does Audi Q7 Adaptive suspension work?
The Audi Q7 Adaptive Suspension is a system that controls the Air suspension ride height and the Damper’s damping rate using solenoid control along with the help of accelerometers and ride height sensors.
The Q7 seven seaters all came with Adaptive Air suspension as standard. In all other models, the Air suspension was optional. The S Line model had a slightly firmer Adaptive Air suspension Sport, which had a lower ride height compared to the regular Adaptive Air suspension.
The Q7 air suspension system consists of air struts at 4 corners, an air compressor, an air tank reservoir/accumulator, a solenoid valve block to distribute air pressure to the struts, and a control system to manage all of these. Although the Adaptive suspension Control interface would look different between comparable Volkwagen group SUV’s, this system shares several components like the air compressor with SUV’s like the VW Touareg and the Porsche Cayenne.
Q7 Corner Sagging
- Corner suspension loses ride height after parking
- In some cases, both sides (left and right) have lost height
- When pressing the ride height button height does not change; the yellow suspension warning light appears showing a fault in the ride height adjustment; Green suspension light blinks
Root Cause for Q7 Corner Sagging:
- If there is a loss of suspension height in spite of a properly working air compressor, then the air leakages could be the next thing to suspect.
- Air leakage related suspension sagging generally is seen when the car is parked overnight and sometimes even over a period of days.
- This fault can be confirmed using the VCDS Scanning/Diagnosis tool
- Before starting the scan clear all Fault codes that have already been stored
- Start the vehicle and try to lift the vehicle by selecting “Lift” option
Troubleshooting Q7 Corner Sagging: Air Spring Leakage
- You need to Scan the Fault codes while the vehicle suspension is trying to lift itself. This can be started by setting the suspension to ‘Lift’ mode.
- In the case of leakages, the system does detect and display the error code 01583
- Air springs are known to wear out and crack at the rubber bellow surface gradually after accumulating mileage. They generally would last 70K to 80K miles depending on usage.
- In a high mileage vehicle, the air springs would be the first place to check for leakages.
- Fill the Air springs by either
- Turning ON the ignition, or
- In the Diagnostic tool, use the “Air Filling/Venting Set-up” Inspection/Test to fill air into the system, OR
- If the diagnostic method is not possible, then you can pressurize the air spring through the inlet using an external air compressor
- After spraying the soapy water solution, wait to see if there are white foam bubbles that stay at one spot even after wiping it with a finger.
- In cases where the leak is major, you even hear a hissing noise coming from the leakage point and be able to locate it by ear.
- Once you have confirmed that there indeed is a leak, the air spring has to be replaced. Read this section to know tips on how to easily replace your Audi air spring.
Troubleshooting Q7 Corner Sagging: Valve-Block Leakage
- The DTC (Diagnostic Trouble Code) will mostly show up as :
“02250 – Function Deactivation; Valve Duty Cycle
001 – Upper limit exceeded
- Use a soapy water spray to detect bubbles at the valve block air connector fittings
- If there is a crack or damage at the valve block body, then it will need to be replaced.
Q7 Suspension stuck in ‘Off Road’
- Rear suspension alone stuck in “Off Road” (maximum suspension height)
- The suspension control greys out other ride height options and does not allow ride height adjustment
Root Cause for Q7 Suspension stuck in ‘Off Road’:
- Using VCDS diagnostics scan for DTC’s
- The most usual to appear in this situation are DTC code numbers 01400 and 02250
- The 02250 trouble code points to the Valve Block of the air suspension as a potential defective component
Troubleshooting Q7 Suspension stuck in high position
- The valve block distributes air pressure to the individual air struts and receives air from the compressor
- From the symptom of Rear suspension not able to move, it is possible that the valves connected to the rear suspension might not be opening and closing as per the control system’s instruction
- There could be 2 reasons for this
- A blockage in one or more valves due to internal corrosion
- An electrical fault within the Valve block leading to malfunction
- The first thing to do is to carefully dismantle and inspect all the valve connector fittings to the valve block and check for any deposits or corrosion.
- If needed replace the damaged individual valve connectors
- Do a leakage test for all the connectors using soapy water solution, just to make sure that the connectors were fixed properly and that none of them are loose.
- If a valve connector blockage is not the issue, then the valve block will need to be replaced
Q7 Suspension Leaning to one side
- The Audi Q7 Air Suspension, sometimes, makes the car lean to one side due to daily use and wear in the suspension.
- The Self-adjust mechanism of the suspension does not Level the car Flat, or in other words, one side (either left or right)
- Ride height is self-adjusted by the Suspension System at a different ride height compared to the opposite side.
TroubleShooting Q7 Leaning Problem
- You can solve the Leaning Problem using a Diagnostic Tool that you plug into the OBD 2.
- In VCDS Select ‘Control Module’ -> “34- Level Control” – “Options” -> “Security Access” and then “Adaptation”
- In order to access the Adaptation (calibration) module, you will need to enter the access code of the vehicle
- You will need to input the 4 corners’ Ride Height in the software starting by entering “01” as the ‘Channel number’ for the ‘Front Left’ suspension and then clicking ‘Read’
- The diagnostics shows the reference (factory set) values at each corner
- You will need to input the actual ride height values at each Channel (corner) measuring from the wheel center to the bottom of the fender in the vertical direction
- It then runs a program which will self calibrate and correct the ride heights at each corner to the factory set values
Tips on Replacing the Air Springs on an Audi Q7
- Before removing the air spring for replacement, be sure to relieve the air pressure from it at the valve block, which is located in the underbody near the rear bumper.
- Relieve the left or right air spring valve by loosening the connector gradually. If this is done suddenly, then you could risk damaging the O-rings within the air connector fitting.
- While replacing the Air Spring, be sure to cut off the portion of the line that was squeezed or stretched in the old fitting after disconnecting. The reason being that the old used portion of the air line could crack and cause a potential leak.
- Some aftermarket brand replacement bellows tend to give a higher service life as compare to the original OE spare part
- Moreover, some aftermarket replacement parts also come with a lifetime warranty instead of a limited warranty offered by manufacturer
Tips on Rebuilding the Air Suspension Compressor
- This applies to air suspension from all generations
- To check for compressor issues, you need to dismantle it and check the Piston, Cylinder and Piston ring condition.
- The best course of action would be to replace the compressor, but for economic reasons, you could also try using a repair kit (Piston rings and 2 o-rings) to rebuild the compressor.
The rebuild option does come with risks as there could be issues in the compressor other than just the piston and rings.
In this brief article we have discussed the different Audi Q7 Air Suspension problems, what the causes are, and how these issues could be effectively dealt with.
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