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4CN Air

HELP - Forgot to disable suspension before raising vehicle

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I forgot to disable my air suspension before i jacked up the Cayenne to work on the exhaust. Now the front end is way too high and it won't drop down.

How can I fix this? Starting it, and driving forward a little bit didn't solve the problem.

Thanks for your help.

- Cody

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Never mind, I pulled out of the garage and it started lowering... then the left front airbag exploded.

God I love my Porsche.

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If you don't put the suspension into the service position the system keeps running until it overheats or something gives.... in this case it was a air spring.

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I didn't run the car with it raised. The key was off and out of the ignition. However, I opened the hatch manually while it was on jack stands and you could hear the suspension work for a couple of seconds. That's when I remembered that I hadn't disabled the load leveling. I didn't think much of it, I figured it would adjust back down when I turned it on later.

I finished the work, took the car off of the jack stands, and the front end was sitting very high. So with the car on the ground, I turned the car on, but did not start it. I got the error code about my suspension, and you could hear it going to work. I left it go for probably 30 seconds, but it wasn't lowering, so I turned it off and started researching online.

I couldn't find any details, so I decided to try to just drive it forward out of my garage and into the driveway. I didn't get 30 feet before BANG!

Now I understand that I forgot to disable a system, and I expected a warning light. I figured worst case I would be stuck with the warning until my Durametric came in, which would serve me right for my forgetfulness. Instead a potentially dangerous failure occurs that would cost thousands to be repaired at a dealership?

With all the sensors that are installed on this thing, you're telling me Porsche never thought to have one to sense an overpressurized state?

What about if I had taken it off road and flexed it enough to drop a wheel to the complete bottom of its range (exactly what happens when lifting the car with a jack)? This would occur with the vehicle running, so should I expect my airbags to explode then too?

Please tell me that this isn't something that's just accepted by the Porsche community.

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You definitely have some valid points. I would have thought also that there would be an overpressure limit switch to kick in and shut things down or a pressure relief valve of some kind. Definitely some poor engineering there.

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Why do you assume that this failure is caused by overpressure? A weak spot on the air strut bellow, caused by road debris, wear, an accident happened before or something similar gives the same result. Check whether the lower bellows attachment is not torn also. All brands of air suspensions have some issues with that.

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@ RFM - Is it possible to overpressurise the bellows as described by 4CN Air?

Does the air suspension system have a high pressure cutout?

What is the normal operating pressure inside the strut bellows?

@ 4CN Air - When your air strut blew, did the other 3 struts or the opposing strut deflate as well, or was it just the blown strut that drooped?

Edited by bigbuzuki

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Just the blown strut drooped. All others are at the correct height.

RFM,

Do you have any detail regarding servicing one of these air struts? I want to just replace the air spring, but the FSM goes into a procedure requiring a fair amount of special tools (source?) and requires filling with gas prior to installation. Then it'll have to go to a dealership anyway to calibrate the ride height sensors.

I'm tempted to just convert to aftermarket steel-springed coilovers, which would cost as much as repairing this one strut. If this "happens", then I'd rather just pay once before it happens to the one of the other 3. I could probably sell the other 3 and various components (compressor, tanks, lines, sensors) and finance a nice set of KW coilovers.

I'm less than a month into ownership and I've already had the coolant pipes go (200 miles outside of the dealership, luckily they covered them), I replaced all 8 cracked coils and plugs, and I've replace all the o-rings in the charge pipes because of leaks. Next up was going to be repairing a leaky headlight washer and I figured I'd be good until my driveshat failed. I also planned to have the tranny computer replaced with the newer model and the new valvebody when I had the time/money. Now I'm into a $1000-2500 repair (depending on what work I can do), just to get it back on the road.

I called PCNA yesterday and while they apologized, I was told they couldn't offer any goodwill service because the warranty expired more than 2 years ago. I'm also unlikely to get much support from the dealer I bought the car from since they already replaced the coolant pipes, and I believe they new of the oil leak and washer fluid leak, but covered them up with a car wash right before I go there to pick it up.

This is my first, and probably last Porsche. I don't believe a car should be designed in such a way as to require dealer service for every minute issue, especially for a vehicle that's riddled with so many.

Edited by 4CN Air

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I'm going to need:

Socket wrench insert 3353

Arm bracket P 9630

Filling unit adapter T10157/1 (I believe this is p/n PNA-T10-157)

I also can't find which wiring harness section I need, as the explosion took out the level sensor and its connector and Porsche doesn't sell pigtails. (I guess tough luck if you damage a connector on the $12,000 main engine harness)

Edited by 4CN Air

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I'm new to my Porsche, so this maybe stupid question - but I'll ask it anyway. How do you disable air suspension?

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This is my first, and probably last Porsche. I don't believe a car should be designed in such a way as to require dealer service for every minute issue, especially for a vehicle that's riddled with so many.

Okay here is my take on German cars. I have had BMW's and MBZ's and lately Porsches. The Porsches have been the most trouble free of all the cars. When a German car is over 6 years old it can turn into a money pit. ANY German car.. The 04 Cayenne had a lot of issues. Which Porsche has rectified (at least most of them.)

Instead of saying "I will never buy another Porsche" say "I will never buy another Porsche without a warranty"

I personally will never have a Porsche without a warranty.. Period.. Cheap insurance and no headaches..

Edited by phillipj

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I'm new to my Porsche, so this maybe stupid question - but I'll ask it anyway. How do you disable air suspension?

Ignition on, push level / height switch forward for 5-10 seconds, message appears in display. Same procedure to enable or just drive forward and system will automatically reactivate. Page 222 of your owners manual.

Edited by bigbuzuki

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03/04/05 had some metal fatigue issues on some air struts. When the go they spray debris and the whole strut needs to be rebuilt. Its VERY rare. US $ 800.

Jacking without turning suspension off does not cause this, done it loads of times. If you don't its more difficult to lift because the system can try to compensate.

You bought an 03/04 you knew you were gambling

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The air springs can fail and it isn't just a Porsche thing. It sounds like it was just bad luck.

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I'm new to my Porsche, so this maybe stupid question - but I'll ask it anyway. How do you disable air suspension?

Ignition on, push level / height switch forward for 5-10 seconds, message appears in display. Same procedure to enable or just drive forward and system will automatically reactivate. Page 222 of your owners manual.

Thank you for your answer. I got my winter wheels changed to summer wheels safely.

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Hi I found 2 cracks on the drivers side front airsus housing. From what I understand this is a protective 'shell' but does not carry weight or hold pressure. Do I need to replace the shocks right away? Thanks in advance.

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post-40239-0-72332000-1345879197_thumb.jpost-40239-0-32769200-1345879210_thumb.j

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voodocat, what year and model is your Cayenne? It would be good to see some correlation between models and/or model years. Maybe only a year or two affected? I haven't heard of many problems on '05 and later Cayennes? Maybe they have an improved part?

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2004 TT

I don't know if the quality varies with the model year, but 2004 is the first real year for Cayenne.

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