RAM Truck Air Suspension Issues Explained(+7 Pro-Tips to Fix them)

In this brief article we are going to discuss the different Ram Truck Air suspension issues, what the causes are,and Pro-Tips on how to deal with these issues effectively.

The Top 7 problems with the RAM truck Air Suspension System are:

  • System Malfunction in Low Temperature Conditions
  • Noisy Air Compressor
  • Failure to self-adjust Ride Height
  • Slow Height Adjustment
  • Unable to Self-Reset after repair/replacement
  • Air Leakage
  • Compressor malfunction due to moisture

What is the Ram Active-Level Four Corner Air Suspension?

The Active-Level Four Corner Air Suspension is the proprietary suspension system. It became available as an option initially for rear suspension and then for all 4 corners in the Ram 1500, 2500 and 3500 truck models from 2014-15. Basically, it automatically maintains and adjusts the ride height of the truck through the suspension system and also allows manual Ride height selection.

What are the most common RAM Truck Air suspension Problems?

Probable causes for 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. The Root causes for cold weather air suspension system failure are:

  • A Blown fuse
  • Frozen Valves
  • A Damaged Air Compressor

Diagnosing Cold Weather system Failure:

  • Locate the OH 40 fuse 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 truck 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 truck in a garage indoors

Noisy Air Compressor

Whenever the system changes the Ride Height of the vehicle, the compressor sucks in air and results in some noticeable noise. Over time, you would get used to the normal noise level.

Occasionally the noise could get louder in case there is an issue in the system.

Pro-tips to deal with a Noisy Air Compressor

  • If you do feel that the noise is a lot louder than usual

while driving, then try listening to the noise when the truck is parked. If the noise has reduced, then it could be a case of the tyre rubbing against the wheel well.

  • If the noise is still loud when the truck is parked, the issue could be with the compressor itself. IT would be wise to get it inspected by a trained technician

Root Causes for 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. 

Pro-Tips for Ride Height self-adjustment Failure

  • The airbag 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.

Root Causes for Slow Height Adjustment

  • The root cause for Slow Height adjustment speed is related to the Air Compressor. 
  • If the Air compressor, for some reason, is moving around when the truck is in motion, then it would be the reason for the slow height adjustment.
  • If the Air compressor brackets happen to be fine, then the reason would most probably be with the Air Compressor itself

Pro-Tips to Diagnose 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.

Root Causes for the Air Suspension being Unable to Self-Reset after repair/replacement

  • On many occasions, even after replacing either airbags or the air compressor, the air suspension system fails to resume functioning back to normal. 
  • The reason is that the air suspension control unit is not able to detect that the malfunctioning parts have been replaced and therefore not ‘RESET’ itself

Pro-Tips for Self-Reset after repair/replacement

  • It would be best to get a certified professional to attend to this problem
  • The dealer also might be able to solve the problem by flashing the Air Suspension control Unit using some sort of a firmware update.

Symptoms of airbag leakage include

  • The rear suspension of the truck feels like it is wandering during normal driving. The truck would almost not self-adjust.
  • The driver would notice that the car suspension feels almost no response when driving over a bump.

Pro-Tips for Airbag leakage

  • Slide down or remove the dust cover of the airbag to have a clear view
  • Make a solution of diluted soapy water and spray it all around every corner of the airbag. Leave it to soak for a while.
  • Now observe the airbag for white spots. Wipe off and spray more soapy water where necessary

Compressor malfunction due to moisture

  • Air compressor sounding different from the factory-fitted sound that you would have gotten used to hearing
  • Sometimes a warning message appears like- “system disabled due to excessive load, and air suspension cooling down, please wait.”
  • If you can positively recognize that the compressor is sounding different than usual, then the most probable cause would be moisture that got into the air suspension circuit.
  • Moisture causes the compressor to eventually seize and shut down the air suspension system altogether 
  • There are several instances of the problem temporarily disappearing for a while, but with every chance of coming back eventually
  • Unfortunately, if the air compressor does completely stop, then you would be left with no choice but to replace the air compressor in order to solve the problem.

Conclusion

In this brief article we have discussed the different Ram Truck Air suspension issues, what the causes are, and Pro-Tips on how to deal with these issues effectively.

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