Bentley Continental GT Suspension Issues Explained (+3 Troubleshooting Tips)

In this brief article, we are going to discuss the issues that occur in the Bentley Continental GT Suspension, what the causes are, and Troubleshooting Tips.

Top 4 Suspension problems in Bentley Continental GT

  • One Corner/Side Sitting Low
  • Newly replaced air strut Sitting low 
  • Suspension Fault Message
  • Suspension Diagnostic not working

What Suspension does the Bentley Continental GT Have?

The Bentley Continental GT, Continental GTC and Flying Spur share the same chassis platform and similar in Suspension. The Volkswagen Phaeton also belongs to the same platform and it has almost the very same Air Suspension System.

The Front suspension is a Double Wishbone with Pneumatic Springs.

The Rear suspension on the Bentley Continental GT is a 5-link with Isolated Subframe. Springs are pneumatic.

The front and rear are hooked up to an ‘Adaptive Air Suspension

How does a Bentley Air Strut work?

A compressor fills the air struts via a reservoir to different volumes: with increase in the volume of air, there would be increase in the ride height.

Along with variation in ride height, the air circuit also allows for an increase or decrease in the spring rate. The Bentley system uses three chambers on each air spring. Among the 3 Chambers, two Chambers can be either activated or deactivated through a solenoid valve.

For a greater volume of air, the suspension would behave softer. So, when selecting Comfort mode, all three Chambers(C1, C2, C3) would become active. Chamber one (C1), the smallest among the three, operates standalone when maximum spring rate is required. For other intermediate spring rates, chamber one can be combined with either C2 or C3.

All Bentley suspensions come with ZF Sachs Continuous Damping Control (CDC) shock absorbers. It operates with multiple Damping rates that are controlled by Electromagnetic Valves that can change the Damping Fluid flow rate internally.

One Corner/Side Sitting Low

  • Usually happens after parking for long hours
  • Corner suspension drops and then rises as soon as the car is started

Root Causes:

  • Leaking Air Strut due to age/deterioration
  • Failed Air Compressor

Troubleshooting Leaking Air Strut

  • Air Struts generally last a max of 100k kms or 10 years. It would be good to regularly check and replace before it completely fails.
  • Use Soapy water solution in a spray bottle and spray all over the Air Strut, 
  • Check for White bubbles that pop out from one position even if you wipe it out with your finger

Troubleshooting Failed Compressor

  • Air Compressor failure almost always happens if there was a failed Air Strut and if the system continued operating with this failed Air Strut
  • A Failed Air Strut creates a pressure drop and hence overworks the compressor, thus increasing chances of Compressor Failure
  • The compressor in a Bentley is located at the rear underbody right below the Boot

Newly replaced air strut Sitting low 

  • Air strut is fairly new and not worn out/deteriorated
  • When starting the vehicle, suspension goes upto normal ride height
  • Whilst driving the one corner/side suddenly loses height
  • Generally happens with First generation 2003–2011 models

Troubleshooting Newly replaced Airstrut sitting low

  • Check Ride height Sensor Arm. If this is either bent or Broken, Suspension loses height during vehicle running
  • This component needs to be replaced if it is broken or damaged

Suspension Fault Message

Root Cause:

  • The System has detected that the vehicle is sitting at lower-than-normal ride height
  • There could be a possible Air Leakage or a faulty compressor

Troubleshooting Air Leakage/Compressor Fault

Refer to this earlier section.

Suspension Diagnostic not working

  • VCDS does not allow Suspension Diagnostic Options
  • If you go to the “Chassis” Menu -> “Level Control”, it does not allow you further access

Root Cause:

  • Issue with Suspension Control Module
  • Possible Water Damage or Short Circuit

TroubleShooting Suspension Control Module

  • Try replacing the Control Module
  • The Control module is located within the boot behind the Right-side Tail-Light

Pro-tip: The Suspension control module of the Volkswagen Phaeton is the same as that of the Bentley Continental GT. It costs less than 1/5th. The only difference between the two will be the first 3 digits, which stands for the chassis code of the car it belongs to.

Conclusion

In this brief article we have discussed the issues that occur in the Bentley Continental GT Suspension, what the causes are, and Troubleshooting Tips.

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