Porsche Macan Air Suspension Issues Explained(+5 Tips)

In this brief article, we are going to discuss the different Porsche Macan Air Suspension problems, what the causes are, and their troubleshooting Tips.

What are the most common air suspension issues in a Porsche Macan?

The most common Porsche Macan suspension issues are:

  • Uneven Ride Height
  • Corner Sagging
  • Suspension not lifting
  • Tips on replacing Air Spring

Porsche Macan Suspension Set-up

The Porsche Macan is categorized as a mid-size Luxury crossover that was launched in 2003 and is currently in its 3rd generation. 

The Standard version Front suspension set-up in a Porsche Macan is a coilover Damper with a Double-wishbone arrangement. The Turbo Models have Ride-height adjustable Air suspension strut instead of coilovers.

The Rear suspension of the Macan is a 3-link independent suspension (lower control arm, Upper control arm front, Upper control arm rear) with a Torsion bar & coil springs. 

The Porsche Active Stability Management (PASM) Damper Control is a system that controls the Air suspension pressure and the Damper’s damping rate using solenoid control along with the help of accelerometers and ride height sensors. 

The controls of the air suspension are similar between the Porsche Panamera, Cayenne and Macan.

The PSM System has an air reservoir tank located near the rear bumper. The Solenoid Valve block, located in front of the front-right wheel right next to the air compressor, distributes air to the 4 corners and also controls exhausting of air.

Uneven Ride Height

  • One corner sits lower than the other at normal ride height
  • Air suspension works fine; no issues with raising and lowering at all 4 corners

Root Causes:

  • Sometimes, due to road impacts, over time, the ride height sensors lose their reference ride height position.
  • In these situations, the sensors would need to be recalibrated 

Troubleshooting Uneven Ride Height: Ride Height Calibration

  • Plug the ‘Porsche System Tester’ Diagnostic Tool into the OBD II port. Select “Air suspension” -> “level adjustment system” -> test step “Calibration”.
  • Make sure that the vehicle was already set to Normal Ride Height condition. Switch ON the ignition so that the compressor comes ON in order to develop enough air pressure to lift the vehicle if necessary
  • The system first fully raises and fully lowers the suspension and then moves to the normal ride height position. The system then asks for the actual/measured ride heights of 4 corners and also displays the ideal height required at each corner.
  • Measure the ride heights using the body and wheel references mentioned in the Porsche service instruction documentation
  • Enter these values in the interface. 
  • After entering the values, the suspension performs calibration. Depending on whether the values you entered were higher or lower than the ideal values the suspension at each corner adjusts itself.

Corner Sagging

  • Corner suspension loses ride height after parking
  • When pressing the ride height button height does not change; the car icon appears on the center display showing the car is at normal height.
  • Sometimes one corner suspension drops during driving
  • After dropping the corner rises but soon loses height again

Troubleshooting Corner Sagging: Air Leakage

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • In the Diagnostic tool, use the “Air Filling/Venting Set-up” Inspection/Test to fill air into the system. Then spray springs with soap solution to check for leaking.
  • 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 Porsche Macan air spring.

Suspension not Lifting

  • Suspension does not rise after sitting low
  • Compressor working noise is heard
  • In some cases there appear 2 error messages indicating Failure in the: 
    • PSM and
    • the Air suspension

Troubleshooting Suspension not Lifting: Air Compressor

  • Use the diagnostic tool use the “Level Control” -> “Active Test” to fill air into the system by running the compressor
  • First, listen to see whether the compressor turns on 
  • If the compressor does not turn on there is one more diagnostic test you could try
  • Go to “Level Control” -> “Special Functions” and try “Fill air reservoir”. See whether this test causes the compressor to kick in.
  • See whether the suspension raises. If it does not, then it means that the air springs are not getting the required lifting pressure from the compressor.
  • To find the reason, it would be useful to measure the pressure developed by the air compressor. Check this against the normal working pressure, which will be mentioned in the Service Instruction.
  • If the pressure is insufficient, then this could be due to either:
    • A faulty air connection at the compressor outlet
    • Compressor internally worn out
  • You will need to remove the compressor and inspect for leakages
  • Replace the compressor in your suspension system

Suspension Error

  • The Message says, “Suspension System Failure Park Vehicle Safely” and displays the image of a shock absorber
  • Ride quality feels extremely rough
  • There are a variety of reasons why this error could happen. The source of the error could be either:
    • A Faulty PASM Control Unit,
    • A Faulty compressor, or
    • A Faulty Ride height sensor

Troubleshooting Suspension Error

  • A poor ride quality means that the Air springs have no air pressure and that the suspension is probably riding on the bump stops
  • This could mean an issue with the air compressor. To troubleshoot the compressor refer to this earlier section.

Tips on Replacing the Air Springs on a Porsche Macan

  • First you need to turn off the level-adjust, to make it easier to lift the vehicle. With level-adjust turned on, the system would fill up the air spring where the wheel has dropped and make it all the more difficult to remove the air spring.
  • 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 carefully remove and inspect the 2 electrical connectors that allow the PASM system to communicate with the Strut.
  • The front strut top mount is integrated along with the Upper control arm mount and can be removed as a unit
  • 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.
  • Use a soapy water solution to spray at the air connections on the air strut as well as near to the valve block to make sure there are no leakages.

Pro-Tip:

  • 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 the manufacturer

Conclusion

In this brief article we have discussed the different Porsche Macan Air Suspension problems, what the causes are, and Troubleshooting Tips.

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