Nissan Armada Air Suspension Problems

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When it comes to full-size SUVs, the Nissan Armada is a popular choice for its spacious interior, impressive towing capacity, and powerful engine. One feature that sets the Armada apart from other SUVs on the market is its air suspension system. This system provides a smoother ride and better handling compared to traditional suspension systems. 

However, like any mechanical component, Nissan Armada air suspension problems can be prominent over time. Many Nissan Armada owners have reported problems with the shocks or struts. These issues can lead to an uncomfortable ride and may also affect the overall performance of your vehicle. In severe cases, the suspension system may need to be repaired or replaced altogether. 

It’s essential for car owners to understand these issues and take necessary steps to ensure their safety while on the road. Don’t worry; we will delve into these issues in greater detail, providing insights into what drivers can do to ensure their vehicles are running smoothly and safely on the road.

Causes of Nissan Armada Air Suspension Issues

Nissan Armada Air Suspension Problems

Let’s first discuss the causes of Nissan Armada air suspension issues. By understanding these causes, you can take proactive steps to keep your Nissan Armada running smoothly for years to come.

Massive Size

To begin with, the Nissan Armada is an impressive vehicle that commands attention. Its weight alone, exceeding 5,500 pounds when unoccupied, places significant demands on its suspension system. 

As you add passengers and cargo, it’s not uncommon for the weight to approach 7,000 pounds. This represents a substantial load for any suspension system to bear, even one designed for heavy-duty use. 

Even the most durable air suspensions will eventually deteriorate under such conditions. Over time, the strain of city driving, hauling cargo, and extended road trips can take their toll on the original suspension system. It’s important to be aware of this normal wear and tear and plan accordingly.

Flexible Components

For an air suspension system to function, it necessitates the presence of numerous pliable elements. The transmission of pressurized air is facilitated by plastic hoses, while the air springs are fashioned from flexible rubber. 

Furthermore, the Nissan Armada air suspension mandates mobile components such as those found in the air compressor or ride height sensors. Unfortunately, moving parts are inherently subject to wear and tear. In contrast to passive struts that lack mobile parts, air suspensions are certain to deteriorate over time.

Complex System

Air suspensions are commonly referred to as active suspensions due to their ability to react to changes in the road. The Armada vehicle utilizes ride height sensors to accomplish this feat. These sensors track the height of the vehicle and relay this information to the control module, a small computer responsible for managing the suspension. 

The control module analyzes the data and determines how much air is necessary for the air springs, which is then sent to the compressor. The compressor utilizes a separate controller to distribute the air to each spring through a network of flexible tubes. 

This process may seem complex, but it is essential for optimal performance. It’s important to note that all components must be fully operational for the system to function correctly. When one component fails, it puts additional stress on the remaining parts.

Expensive Maintenance and Repair

In general, the issue does not lie specifically with the Armada, but rather with air suspensions in general. While they do offer a comfortable ride, they are prone to failure at some point. The cost of repairing or replacing parts for air suspensions can be quite high. Many of these parts are highly specialized and difficult to handle. 

For example, replacing all components of the rear air suspension alone could cost over $1,300 for parts alone, not including any necessary electronic replacements, which could add several hundred more dollars. 

This situation could leave many owners in a difficult position, as the cost of replacing the rear air suspension could approach or even exceed the value of an older Armada. This means that owners may find it cost-prohibitive to repair an otherwise perfectly good vehicle.

Most Common Nissan Armada Air Suspension Problems 

Listed below are five common air suspension issues that Nissan Armada owners may encounter.

1. Loose and Bouncy Suspension

Many Nissan Armada owners have noticed that the rear end of their Armadas feels loose and bouncy, which can lead to a less comfortable ride.

This problem typically occurs in older models of the Armada due to wear and tear on the air springs or leaks in the airlines. If left untreated, it can result in damage to other parts of the vehicle’s suspension system and even compromise safety while driving. 

This can be especially noticeable when going over bumps or rough roads. Some drivers have reported feeling like they are driving on a trampoline instead of a smooth road.

Possible Solution

Generally, weak damping is directly linked to bounciness. The shock absorbers are incapable of effectively reducing bounce. Insufficient rear damping severely compromises the vehicle’s cornering ability and results in excessive roll. To verify this, a bounce test can be performed. 

Apply vertical pressure at one rear corner of the vehicle until the suspension begins to bounce. Continue applying pressure in an oscillating manner until maximum vertical movement is achieved at that corner. 

Release the corner and observe how many times it bounces on its own. If it takes more than one oscillation to settle, then it is confirmed that the shock absorbers have weakened.

To ensure proper replacement of the Air spring, it is imperative to maintain the wheel end at its original height prior to jacking up the vehicle. This can be achieved using Wood Blocks or a Screw jack positioned beneath the wheel end.

2. Suspension is Rigid or Sits Low

The air suspension of many Nissan Armadas is frequently reported to feel more rigid than expected. Upon starting the vehicle, this can result in a lower ride height for the front suspension and occasional hissing noises. During operation, drivers may notice a floaty sensation in the rear axle, as if there were no suspension present. Additionally, bump stops are often hit with some frequency.

Possible Solution

If your truck has surpassed 75,000 miles, it’s possible that your Air Springs have reached their end-of-life. The hissing sound could indicate the existence of leaks in the system, resulting in a loss of air pressure in the Air Spring. Additionally, the floaty sensation is a clear indication of low air pressure in the air springs. 

However, if the Air Springs have a considerable amount of mileage on them, the cause of the leak may be due to cracks in the Rubber of the Air Springs. This can be visually inspected or tested using a Soapy Water Solution bubble test.

3. Compressor Malfunction

Compressor malfunction is a prevalent occurrence in Nissan Armada’s air suspension system, much like any other air suspension system. Typically, the Self-Levelling mechanism should activate the Air Compressor and elevate the Ride 

Height when the vehicle is loaded, and the rear suspension dips due to weight. However, some owners have reported instances where this mechanism fails to function as expected, resulting in the Air Compressor not being activated.

Possible Solution

However, if the compressor malfunctions, it can lead to uneven ride quality, noise, and even a total breakdown of the vehicle’s suspension system. Here are some steps on how to fix a malfunctioning compressor in your Nissan Armada:

Firstly, check the fuse that powers the compressor. A blown fuse can cause the compressor not to work correctly. If this is the case, replace it with a new one with the same amperage rating.

Secondly, inspect for any damage or leaks in your air suspension system’s hoses or lines. Any leakage can reduce pressure within your air shocks and make them susceptible to malfunctioning.

Finally, check if there are any faults with your relay switch by testing it with a multimeter tool.

4. Ineffective Self Levelling 

The Nissan Armada air suspension system boasts a noteworthy attribute – its self-leveling mechanism. Regrettably, this feature may occasionally prove to be ineffectual. Specifically, the Rear Air Suspension Self-levelling function may fail to operate. 

Ordinarily, the suspension should automatically elevate to the standard ride height once a load is applied. The absence of any audible compressor running sound indicates that this is not occurring.

Possible Solution

In order to address a malfunctioning self-leveling system in your Nissan Armada, it is imperative to begin by examining the Air suspension Fuses and the Air Compressor Motor Relay. Any faulty Fuses or Relays should be replaced accordingly. 

Following this, a Self-Levelling Verification must be conducted to ensure proper functionality. It is important to note that no payload or individuals should be present within the truck during this process. To establish a reference ride height, measure from the wheel center to the fender bottom using a tape measure. 

Once this has been established, introduce a load of at least 100-200 kgs in the Rear near the rear axle position. Observe any changes in suspension height and confirm by measuring from the wheel center to the fender bottom using a tape measure.

Final Words

You might have realized that Nissan Armada air suspension problems have been a significant issue for owners. The system has failed to provide the smooth ride and load-leveling capabilities that it promises. 

While some may argue that these issues are isolated incidents, it is clear that the number of complaints received by Nissan suggests otherwise. As a result, owners should approach their dealerships cautiously and take proactive steps to address any concerns regarding their vehicle’s air suspension. 

It is crucial for Nissan to address this issue as soon as possible and implement necessary changes to ensure customer satisfaction and safety in their products. As consumers, we can demand accountability from manufacturers and push for better-quality products that meet our expectations.

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