In this brief article we are going to discuss the different Ram 2500 Air suspension issues, what causes these issues and Tips on how to deal with these issues effectively.
The Most Common problems with the RAM 2500 Air Suspension are:
- Service Air Suspension Warning Message
- Air suspension malfunction in extreme cold
- Failure to self-adjust Ride Height
- Slow Height Adjustment
- Harsh Rear Suspension Ride Qualtiy
Ram 2500 Air Suspension
From the 2013 model year, the RAM 2500 came with coil spring rear suspension as standard and ‘Auto-Levelling Rear Air Suspension’ available as an option initially for rear suspension. Later on Air suspension for all 4 corners in the Ram 1500, 2500 and 3500 truck models were made available from 2014-15.
The Auto-Levelling Rear Air Suspension automatically maintains and adjusts the ride height of the truck through the suspension system and also allows manual Ride height selection.
‘Service Air Suspension’ warning message
- While trying to adjust ride height, the warning message shows up
- The system does not allow height adjustment anymore
Troubleshooting ‘Service Air Suspension’ warning message
- Check whether the fuses 05, 50, and 87, related to the air suspension, are seated properly or not. If necessary remove and reseat them.
- It is a possibility that these fuses were seated about 1/16” outwards when they came from the factory. Hence they need to be pushed in further.
Air Suspension Malfunction in Extreme Cold
The Active-Level 4 Corner Suspension is particularly sensitive to extreme cold weather. In such weather conditions, the air suspension may just stop functioning all of a sudden.
Probable causes for Root causes for cold weather air suspension failure:
- A Blown fuse
- Frozen Valves
- A Damaged Air Compressor
Troubleshooting Cold Weather system Failure:
- Locate the 40 AMP fuse for Air suspension within the Fuse-Box. The Fuse-box is located under the hood near the firewall
- Pull out the Fuse and check whether the metal part inside the fuse looks damaged or also split in half. If so then the fuse needs to be replaced.
- If the Fuse was not the issue, then the next thing to suspect would be the Air Suspension pneumatic Valves. It could be that valves froze and got blocked, and, at the same time, the compressor would be still working. This is a potentially dangerous situation and could cause more severe problems within the air suspension system
- If the Air compressor does not come on (making a noise), then you could check the Relay that runs the compressor
- You can see if it was a relay issue by shorting the 2 terminals and listening to see if the compressor has started running
Pro-Tips to Prevent Air suspension Malfunction in Extreme Cold Weather
- Use an “Air brake anti-freeze de-icer lubricant” that you could easily find in your local hardware store. Follow these steps to ensure you RAM 2500 is properly warmed up:
- At the tailgate, remove all the T25 torques that hold it in place. Remove the Tail lights (Right side). Here would be two hoses, One of which is the exhaust hose,
and the other is the filter
- Carefully remove the filter by hand, taking care to not damage it in the removal process
- The next step is to pour de-icer into the filter tube. An ounce should be fine
- Once the de-icer has been added, you need to warm up important components of the air suspension system, namely the compressor and the valve, to ensure that all components are in working condition. You need to be careful so as to not overheat or melt any of the plastics in the vicinity
- This procedure is effective even at -20°C
- If you’re situated in extreme sub-zero weather conditions most of the year, it is best advised to repeat this process every two months so as to prevent any possible failure.
- As a precaution, park your RAM 2500 in a garage indoors
Ride Height self-adjustment Failure
The Ram Active-Level System sometimes fails to self-adjust. The RAM 2500/3500 come with a levelling system to maintain rear ride height. ‘Normal Ride Height’ (NRH) is the standard position. ‘Alternate Trailer Height’ lowers the suspension by 1 inch to assist in loading.
For a normally functioning system, the light blinks during ride height lowering adjustment.
If the system is not functioning properly, the system does not respond and stays at a constant height.
Troubleshooting Ride Height self-adjustment Failure
- The Air Spring might have internally gotten damaged or distorted inside the sleeve and therefore is unable to inflate itself under pressure.
- If there was a lift kit installed, it might have caused damage to your air suspension system. Historically, several RAM owners who installed aftermarket Lift-Kit solutions have reported Ride-Height Adjustment failure.
- The 4th generation of Ram Trucks (2009 to 2018) is known to have reported more instances of this sort of Ride-Height Adjustment failure.
Slow Height Adjustment
Sometimes, after engaging the Ride height adjustment switch to lift or lower the suspension, the truck takes too long to respond.
Root cause for Slow Height adjustment
- The speed of height adjustment is always related to the Air Compressor.
Troubleshooting Slow Height Adjustment
- If the Compressor moves around its own fixturing position, then the reason would most probably be its mounting brackets
- It is possible to check whether the Air Compressor mounting brackets are rusted or broken. For this, you need to remove the shield covering the compressor
- If, unfortunately, the problem is not the Air compressor mounting bracket, then you would need to be prepared to replace the compressor.
Harsh rear suspension Ride Quality
- The rear suspension of the truck feels like it is floating during normal driving. The rear suspension of the truck does not self-adjust.
- The suspension would often be hit going over bumps
Troubleshooting Harsh rear suspension Ride: Air Spring Leak
- Check visually to see whether the truck sits low at the rear end. If it does, then it means low pressure in the air springs.
- A Harsh ride at the rear also means that the axle was riding on the bump stops and that the air springs have basically lost air pressure and are sagging
- Slide down or remove the dust cover of the Air Spring to have a clear view
- Make a solution of diluted soapy water and spray it all around every corner of the Air Spring. Leave it to soak for a while.
- Now observe the Air Spring for white spots. Wipe off and spray more soapy water where necessary
- If the frothing is persistent at one or more spots then it is confirmed that the Air Spring has a hole
- A leaking air spring can only be replaced since there is no puncture repair possible
Troubleshooting Harsh rear suspension Ride: Air Compressor Fault
- Ideally, when either lowering or raising the suspension, the Compressor humming can be heard
- But if the compressor humming noise cannot be heard then it means that there could be either an electric issue or it could be a seized compressor
- To check for an electric fault remove the 40 AMP Fuse within the Fuse-Box for the air compressor, located under the hood closer to the firewall
- Examine the Fuse to see whether the metal part inside the fuse looks damaged or also split in half. If the fuse is split, then the fuse needs to be replaced.
- If the fuse was not the issue, then it is almost definitely the compressor itself that is faulty.
- Use a Diagnostic Scanner to read the Air Pressure Sensor live data while the vehicle is running. This will tell how much pressure the compressor is developing.
- If there is no Pressure sensor in your truck’s suspension system, you could connect an ordinary pressure gauge (probably one that is used for AC repair).
- Connect the gauge to the outlet of the compressor while blocking other compressor valves in order to build pressure.
- Supply separate DC current to the compressor and read the pressure on the gauge once it starts running.
In this brief article we have discussed the different Ram 2500 Air suspension issues, what causes these issues and Tips on how to deal with these issues effectively.