2003 Bravada Air ride suspension problem - ClassicOldsmobile.com


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Old January 25th, 2018, 04:04 PM   #1  
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2003 Bravada Air ride suspension problem

On my 2003 Bravada, after about 4 days the rear air bags deflate. they pump right back up when you start it up, and from time to time you will hear the compressor kick in. just trying to save some time here, should I just assume the bags are gone? I hear no air escaping when I park it. like I said, it takes a couple of days for the rear to drop down. Bravada has 101,578 miles on it. thank you for any info on this
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Old January 25th, 2018, 05:09 PM   #2  
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I would check for air leaks with water and soap solution. You have to have something leaking.

Sounds like it's turning on and off!

Pat
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Old January 25th, 2018, 05:29 PM   #3  
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ok thanks, i'll do that this weekend
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Old January 25th, 2018, 06:16 PM   #4  
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I'm running two Bravadas, a 2002 and a 2003. Both have been changed to coil springs because of the same thing you're experiencing. If they're the original fifteen year old air springs. They're about due to fail. Most times the springs fail first causing the pump to run more and then the pump fails next. ~BOB
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Old January 25th, 2018, 07:12 PM   #5  
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Like Bob, I have an 02 and 03 Bravada also and the air pumps failed on both vehicles so I installed coil springs in each one...
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Old January 26th, 2018, 08:46 AM   #6  
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I had a 19987 Lincoln MK VIII with air suspension that had a similar issue. On those cars it was very common for the air spring/strut develop slight cracks where the rubber air bag folded over. When fully inflated, the rubber area with cracks were "straight" so the cracks were closed and the system would hold air fairly well. When the suspension was at a different height, the rubber area with cracks was folded over and air would escape. As stated, this caused the pump to run more than usual and eventually lead to pump failure. Changing rear air springs on the MK VIII was extremely simple and fairly cheap (at the time $99 a pair). The front struts were more involved and of course more expensive as it was a strut/air spring assembly. Don't know what the Bravada system is like but I suspect it's very similar.
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Old January 26th, 2018, 09:57 AM   #7  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MidNight Rider View Post
On my 2003 Bravada, after about 4 days the rear air bags deflate. they pump right back up when you start it up, and from time to time you will hear the compressor kick in. just trying to save some time here, should I just assume the bags are gone? I hear no air escaping when I park it. like I said, it takes a couple of days for the rear to drop down. Bravada has 101,578 miles on it. thank you for any info on this
I have the same problem with my 2002. It deflates during the cold weather and while i'm driving. I had enough of this so I replaced the compressor, air bags and lines all together. The rear air bags is still up.
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Old February 6th, 2018, 12:35 PM   #8  
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I have two 2002 Bravada's, both had leaking air bags, got tired of spending money for new ones that would last for a couple of years, so finally converted both to coil springs from the junk yard, problem solved for good.
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Old February 6th, 2018, 02:05 PM   #9  
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well i bought two air bags from Rock Auto, as you know, it took less than an hour to change them out, while I was disconnecting the lines off the pump I noticed that the right air line was empty and the left was full....of air. so after further inspection once removed, yes, the bags were factory and were dry rotting and cracking at the fold over part. installed new bags and aired them up and thing are right with the world. if the old factory ones lasted 15 years, and if these last another 15 years, I am happy.
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Old February 7th, 2018, 05:17 AM   #10  
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My first car, a 58 Pontiac, had air suspension. Oldsmobiles of that era had it as an option as well.

The car was extremely comfortable over bumps, never bottomed, and cornered better than other cars of the era. The air pump was part of the power steering pump, belt driven and industrial strength. The air bags were made by Firestone; they were nearly identical to the ones you see on big rig trailers, again, extremely durable. The weakness was the mechanical controllers--the small diaphragms would develop leaks.

I can see why manufacturers keep coming back to air suspension, but you would think they would have learned enough by now to do it properly instead of thinking they can save a few dollars by compromising reliability.
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