If you love the safety and surefootedness of an SUV, you may have kitted yourself out with one of the better models available. It has a luxurious interior trim and all the bells and whistles, and it is also fitted with a sophisticated suspension system. However, the more complex the system, the more likely it is to encounter an issue as time goes by, and you may have come across just such a problem in recent times. What could be going wrong if your SUV is fitted with an automatic levelling system?
In Pursuit of Perfection
Vehicle manufacturers are always on the lookout for ways to make their models stand apart from the rest and provide a more comfortable ride for the occupants. As part of this quest for perfection, they may have included an automatic ride height levelling system on your particular SUV to cope with the rough-and-tumble of off-road life.
How It Works
This type of system relies on monitoring sensors, which are placed on the rear axle and on both front corners, to send data back to the central brain and to adjust the ride height dynamically. As the ECU receives this information, it will automatically adjust the specially made shock absorbers and springs independently so that, in theory, the ride is always smooth, no matter the surface underneath.
Usually, these shock absorbers are filled with a hydraulic fluid, and the amount that is released into each strut will vary based on the feedback. In turn, a series of springs are used to temper the movement of the shock absorbers, and these are connected to torsion bars.
Issues may start to materialise if the springs start to get weaker with advancing age. The ECU may not be able to detect this but will simply turn up the pressures in each strut to compensate. As the spring gets progressively weaker and more pressure is released into each strut, then those parts will also start to fail, and everything will start to spiral.
On the other hand, issues could arise with the struts themselves, as the seals may start to perish and the absorbers may start to discharge. The system is also primed by a hydraulic pump, and this can also fail as time goes by. Lastly, the sensors that monitor the height of each individual corner can play up and may no longer be able to send the required information to the brain.
If you suspect early problems with your automatic suspension system, take action right away. If not, any issue could have a knock-on effect and cause damage to other components as well. Reach out to companies that handle things like Land Cruiser suspension for more information.