Complete Guide to Land Rover Suspension Problems
Suspension is a crucial component of your vehicle, regardless of type or model. However, it is considered even more critical when it comes to Land Rover models, since these vehicles are SUVs designed to be competent on and off-road.
Range Rover models are known for some suspension issues which often cause trouble. Some of these issues are common for most vehicles, while others are more specific to Land Rovers. In particular, Range Rovers often experience suspension problems and faulty air suspension systems. It is crucial to know how to determine what is wrong with your suspension, and how to avoid causing even more damage.
Diagnosing Suspension Issues
Determining what the problem is with your Land Rover suspension is relatively easy. If everything is ok, the vehicle should drive straight, with equal ride height and no thumping noises coming from the wheel wells. If you notice that the car is “sagging” either on one side or all four wheels, it is a clear sign that your air suspension has failed.
However, be advised that it is known that cars “sag” after sitting for a few months, and the system deflates the airbags for preservation. If this is the case, when you start your Range Rover, the standard ride height will be established in a matter of minutes.
Other suspension problems can be diagnosed by listening to strange noises when going over bumps. These types of sounds are not to be ignored, as, if any of those problems aren’t addressed in a timely manner, they can cause more extensive damage, or even a crash. Of course, the car’s control system will signal if any of the electronic controls or pressure valves are broken, so it is important to always pay attention to warning lights.
Common Range Rover Suspension Issues
Failing Air Suspension
Problematic air suspension is the biggest fear of any Range Rover owner. Although it offers superb drive quality and an extremely smooth ride, air suspension is known to have numerous issues not just associated with airbags (which replace the coil springs on standard cars), but also with air pumps, regulators, and electrical control systems.
Their biggest problem is the bursting of the airbag at speed – however, this is a rare occurrence. Issues with lines, valves, and pumps are more common, which can leave your car glued to the ground.
Worn Suspension Bushings
The thumping sound coming from your wheel wells is probably from worn suspension bushings that need replacement. Bushings are not expensive or complicated, but are still essential if you want your Range Rover to drive as it should. Bushings get worn during the use of the vehicle and are known to fail if the vehicle is modified (bigger wheels) or driven especially harshly.
The clunking sound coming from the undercarriage of your Range Rover often indicates a detached sway bar or failed sway bar bushing. A loose sway bar often hits other suspension components, causing a characteristic sound. It is also a relatively easy and affordable fix, and should be quick to not cause any more issues.
Why Does Range Rover Air Suspension Break Down?
There are three main reasons why Range Rover air suspension breaks down. The first is, of course, the wear, as over time, airbags start to wear out. This wear also affects the rest of the air suspension components such as pressure regulators, pumps, and valves. When airbags are broken, the system cannot hold air or keep vehicle height, resulting in “sagging.” In addition, when certain other components fail, like compressors or valves, the system cannot pump air and keep airbags sufficiently inflated.
The second reason is towing excess weight or overloading. When you use your Range Rover as a tow vehicle, be sure that you are carrying loads under the manufacturer’s limit. If you go over it, the airbags, which are the crucial component of the air suspension system, could burst and cause you to crash. A sudden change of vehicle geometry caused by the bursting of airbags will affect the trailer, resulting in loss of stability, which can result in an accident.
The third reason for air suspension failure is ignoring warning lights. When certain air suspension components, such as electronic units, pressure regulators, or air pumps fail, the onboard computer will signal to the driver that a problem has occurred. Ignoring such signs will undoubtedly result in overall failure, since one failing item will affect the other, causing the whole system to break.
How to Fix Your Range Rover Suspension
The secret of functionality is regular maintenance and periodic check. While suspension systems are complicated, they can be made as dependable as anything else by paying attention to the signs and routine maintenance.
At Westminster Motors, our team is highly skilled in addressing any possible issue you may have with your Range Rover air suspension. We repair, modify, enhance, and maintain all suspension components so that your Range Rover will remain dependable and drive as it should.