Magnetic Ride Control Problems: Causes, Symptoms, and Fixes

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Magnetic ride control or suspension systems have existed for only two decades and are starting to circulate more in high-end vehicles. However, as an increasing number of other cars with these systems begin to populate roads around the world, the level of complaints for which these cars are responsible has probably correspondingly increased. 

Some of the most common magnetic ride control problems include automatic ride mode switching, corner sagging, unusual noise, faulty sensors, fluid contamination or leakage, etc. 

Have you ever experienced any of these issues? If not you’re in luck. However, if you’re already suffering from magnetic ride control problems this article is for you. 

How Does Magnetic Ride Control Work?

Knowing the magnetic ride control system and its working mechanism is crucial to deal with any issue that may occur in the future or has already crept into your suspension. So, before we discuss the magnetic ride control issues, let’s first learn how this system works. 

Well, Magnetic ride control systems work by monitoring and taking readings of the vehicle’s ride height as well as inclining the vehicle in manual increments to provide more or less resistance as needed. This is a continuous process that accomplishes the following tasks: 

  1. Each wheel of the vehicle is equipped with height sensors that automatically measure the distance between the body and the axle. These sensors then send the information to the control unit for processing.
  1. The ECU or the electronic control system considers the signals transmitted by the sensors and determines how frequently the wheel needs to be adjusted to forestall a collision. And then, it instructs the appropriate struts or shocks to carry it out. 
  1. When navigating autonomously, the ECU transmits instructions to each shock or strut to know precisely when the fluid inside needs to be at a particular viscosity level. As one corner of the machine requires less resistance, the suspension adjusts the fluid’s viscosity, and the opposite happens when increased resistance is required. 

Symptoms of Magnetic Ride Control System Problems

Problems associated with a magnetic ride control system are best located by an authorized professional, but you can check these by yourself. The onboard diagnostic system on your car will alert you of a problem with the suspension if it detects it often. 

However, this may only happen after the issue is already quite severe. So, identifying the issue early and taking necessary steps promptly can minimize the harm a severe suspension malfunction can inflict on your vehicle. 

Vehicle Takes a Long Time to Stop

The magnetic suspension absorbs a large part of the force required to stop your vehicle. In case your braking system is in fine shape, but your vehicle still takes a long time to come to a stop, there might be something wrong with your magnetic ride control system. 

Corner Sagging or Leaning 

If you observe that your vehicle leans or sags to one side or corner while it is standing, your magnetic ride control system is likely at fault. More often than not, the suspension will draw the brunt of the problem in the back end of the vehicle, though this can happen at any generally positioned wheel.

Nose Diving

When the magnetic ride control system on your front part becomes worn, it can decrease in the front and ascend in the rear when coming to a rest. This is known as nose-diving and is an unmistakable indication of trouble in the front suspension.

Unusual Bounce While Driving

When the magnetic ride control system works properly, you can expect the ride to be much kinder and smoother. If it’s bumpier than you are used to, the suspension is malfunctioning.

Common Magnetic Ride Control Problems 

Boasted with sophisticated technologies and complex mechanisms, the Magnetic ride control system is prone to countless issues. However, some are less prevalent than others. Here is a list of the most common magnetic ride control problems. 

Automatic Ride Mode Switching

One of the most common problems with magnetic ride control is switching the ride mode automatically. This problem occurs most frequently on lengthy routes and roadways, where riders typically favor tour mode. However, the ride may automatically switch modes and activate the sports mode in locations with lots of weight disparities. 

It may require drivers a while to recognize the mode swap. You might find that your car suddenly has a different functioning pattern. Odd that the function of the brake also changes when the ride mode switches automatically, and it’s not so easy to manipulate. 

Malfunctioning Shocks and Struts

The shock assemblies of a magnetic ride control system are mainly responsible for keeping the system as a whole. Faulty shock assembly is a widespread problem with magnetic ride control systems. It is typically due to the failure of the shocks and the struts. Both strut and shock may exhibit issues in their structure and function or experience general wear and tear.

The Magneride suspension system’s shocks and struts should be lubricated and functioning to prevent corrosion and damage to the parts that accelerate circulation. There may be a problem with the connectors or wiring of this system. You need to know which components of this system are inhibiting its ability to accelerate circulation. 

Unusual Sounds

The magnetic ride control problem can sometimes lead to a creaking sound, and it can become annoying for the drivers and the cars. The sound is more pronounced in instances in which the vehicle crashes over a speed breaker or bumps. 

It may be a consequence of the fluid not being distributed throughout the shocks. The magnets may not work correctly, or the fluid doesn’t react to the magnetic influence. In some cases, the shocks might be damaged mechanically and cause this ride mechanism disease. 

Fitment Issues

Your magnetic ride control issues will most likely appear due to issues with the efficiency of your strut fitting. These problems occur if you replace the struts or simply change the shocks that are part of the strut fitting. Struts have precise measurements and exhibit removable belts, making proper strut assembly essential.

The right measurements should be used for the right region of the car and the ride control phase to ensure that magnetic ride control is perfect. In some instances, the components are not correctly lined up, whereas in other cases, the bottom diameter is slightly too big or too small for this car. Therefore, ensuring the strut remains secure and placing the measurements is not easy.

Uncomfortable Riding

Another ongoing issue with magnetic ride control is the difficulty in steering. You may have to spend additional effort dealing with the vehicle’s controls on rough roads. Additionally, this issue is more pronounced when maneuvering the vehicle in sharp turns. 

In reality, the shocks do not typically live up to ensure a smooth ride. It is also quite tiring, as well as time-consuming, to press the brakes when stopping the car. The vehicle may still perform well across jumps and inclines in some situations, but the problem mainly arises over long distances without physical obstructions.  

Worn or Corroded Fluid

The operation of the magnetic ride control system is dependent on the fluid it uses. It is the mechanism responsible for producing the desired response. The fluid has a variable level of viscosity, which varies according to driving conditions. It consists of mineral oil and various components required by magnetic force.

Oil leakage may sometimes cause particulate contamination in the master cylinder or its components. If this contamination seeps into the metal, it can cause voids in the structure, which in turn may lead to structural damage to the metal and changes in its physical consistency. 

Corrosion is the most common phenomenon that takes place within metal tools. This defect may hinder their operation and subsequently mitigate their placement in the chamber. 

In addition, the incorporation of external components into the system can also affect the consistency of the fluid. The changes in the fluid viscosity of the magnetic ride control reduce the suspension effect. Moreover, with time the fluid will get gradually contaminated, and you will not be able to lubricate other components.

Faulty Sensors

A series of electronic components that guide vehicle damping based on the road type make up the magnetic ride controller. Those interdependent components must function harmoniously to achieve optimal vehicle control. The magnetic ride control is typically integrated into the main computer of the vehicle and affects how it functions through independent control systems.

Dedicated sensors are built into the magnetic ride control system to detect jumps, corners, and jolts and then generalize the impacts. It immediately stabilizes the fluid that is contained in the suspension system. As soon as they are alerted, they will form a magnetic field and accelerate in response to these actions.

Hydraulic fluid flows, then, to the damper, increasing or reducing the dampening effect. Meanwhile, sensors call for accurate signals. When incorrect information is found, the suspension can malfunction, and magnetic ride control may become damaged or ineffective. You may feel discomfort as your vehicle bounces back and forth.

Fixing Magnetic Ride Control Problems – Expert Tips

Repairing a faulty magnetic suspension is significantly more challenging, unsafe, and complex than other suspensions. However, you should not overlook the MagneRide suspension faults. 

Driving on a bad suspension can be uncomfortable at best and risky at worst. It can also lead to further issues with your vehicle. So, when it comes to fixing your magnetic suspension system, keep in mind the following tips. 

DIY Process

It’s crucial to entirely analyze the suspension system in the event you’re experiencing magnetic ride control difficulties. The replacement of suspension parts will likely fix the problem.

You should also change the way the fluid mechanisms function if you want to fix the course of the suspension. Aside from reprogramming the sensors, other strategies may be needed to make the repair more difficult. 

When all of the magnetic force ride control parts malfunction, the problem is typically located in the depths of the control unit. You’ll need to ensure that all of the sensors are effective and responding to the impacts.

Going Your Dealership

Those who have tried to find solutions for their MagneRide suspensions may have noticed that it can initially be a rather expensive endeavor. That’s especially true if people go to the repair shop periodically or even as a substitute. It is easy to understand why it can cost so much if you think about it.

Fixing magnetic suspension issues at the dealership will generally necessitate the use of original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts. These are priced expensively. Only a single OEM magnetic shock and strut assembly can set you back as much as $1,000, depending on the model of your vehicle.

You’ll also have to incur additional costs for labor bills. Fixing complex systems and identifying the reasons for malfunctions take time, resulting in a significant bill for your repair. However, if you want to get extra peace of mind no matter how much it costs, go to your dealership. 

Replacing the Magnetic Ride Control System

You don’t have to immediately go to your dealership if your vehicle’s MagneRide suspension is defective. You can also acquire aftermarket magnetic suspension components to replace your malfunctioning or broken parts.

Though market prices for aftermarket components and refurbished parts are often lower than originals, their quality is typically the same or, in some cases, is even improved. 

If a well-reconditioned version is made by a renowned company, it can fairly surpass the original’s quality and performance. So, thinking about your budget, going to a local but, of course, dependable repair shop would be a wise choice. 

Final Words

Among the greatest kinds of dynamic suspension is the magnetic system. It can be found in nearly all modern cars. The system is in stark contrast to the air suspensions. 

Because the system works with no mechanical or hydraulic components, it can almost instantly read the condition of the road and adjust the suspension appropriately.

With your skills and knowledge, you can fix magnetic ride control system issues. However, it is more beneficial to seek advice from specialists in certain circumstances. They can help you with determining the root cause and then will provide you with appropriate solutions. Afterward, you can bank on them to provide you with sound solutions.