As the wheels meet the road, it’s your vehicle’s suspension system that takes on the hurdles of uneven terrains allowing for a smooth ride. But what happens when this very system falters in one of Toyota’s premium offerings?
Toyota Sequoia air suspension problems have been annoying many Toyota lovers for many years. Specifically, issues like suspension failure under heavy loads or in extremely cold weather, sudden ride height drop, etc.
Therefore, we came up here to dig deep into this intriguing problem plaguing many proud owners and potential buyers alike by exploring key issues related to Toyota Sequoia’s air suspension system and how it affects the overall driving experience.
Read also: Why Is Suspension Important In A Car?
Toyota Sequoia Suspension Basics
The Sequoia’s front suspension is modeled after the Toyota Tundra, incorporating a double-wishbone coil spring arrangement. Before 2008, the original generation of the Toyota Sequoia featured a rigid-axle 5-link suspension system, including four control arms, a Panhard rod, coil springs, a shock absorber, and an anti-roll bar.
However, after 2008, this changed to an independent double-wishbone suspension in the rear. The premium Sequoia Platinum variant comes equipped with a height-adjustable rear Air Suspension and Toyota’s Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) Dampers. These allow drivers to choose between Comfort, Normal, and Sport modes.
The damping system employed is comparable to those found in Lexus models and the Toyota Avalon sedan. It incorporates dampers engineered by Hitachi and Aisin, with these dampers boasting solenoid-controlled valves.
These valves adjust the damping by manipulating a piston that alters the dimensions of the orifices through which the shock absorber oil circulates. The damping can be recalibrated as rapidly as every 20 milliseconds, thanks to an array of sensors that includes several that monitor g forces at each corner.
Toyota Sequoia Air Suspension Problems
Anything from minor leaks to blockages in the air supply can lead to air suspension problems. However, replacement parts have become rather user-friendly in recent years.
Most challenges can now be overcome via DIY projects or by skilled local mechanics who specialize in Toyota models. In the following portion, we’ll discuss the common Toyota Sequoia air suspension problems along with their potential solutions.
1. Air Suspension Doesn’t Work with Heavy Load
Toyota Sequoia owners have been expressing concern over an unusual issue with the air suspension system, particularly when the vehicle is heavily loaded, such as when carrying more than three passengers. Specialists have identified three potential causes for this occurrence.
Firstly, it could be due to a defective rear ride height sensor which, when burdened, is pushed beyond its reading capacity and thus fails to activate. Secondly, the threaded rod connected to the rear height control sensor might be either misaligned or bent.
Lastly, there’s a possibility that the bolt in the oblong hole (where the threaded rod links to the axle) has shifted position, causing displacement of the threaded rod.
To address the problem, begin by replicating a bump-stop load scenario and monitor the ride height sensor’s reaction under significant weight.
Presuming that the threaded rod is in good condition and properly adjusted, along with the bolt in the oblong hole (which should have corresponding match marks on both bolt and bracket), it wouldn’t be unexpected to find a malfunctioning sensor.
Considering its exposure to various environmental factors such as rain, snow, salt, and dirt, there’s a chance for internal complications to develop within the sensor. Further examination of this aspect is necessary.
However, it may not be prudent to purchase and install a new sensor right away only to encounter similar problems due to an out-of-calibration threaded rod (the point where the sensor begins reading).
It would be advisable to get your vehicle reassessed on a hoist. Check if the matchmarks on the oblong hole align correctly with those on the threaded arm attachment point. Confirm that there are no bends or stripping on your threaded rod. Lastly, create a high load situation again and assess the performance of your sensor unit.
2. Air Suspension Failure in Cold Weather
After extensively analyzing feedback from numerous Toyota Sequoia owners, we’ve pinpointed a common issue with the vehicle’s air suspension system that seems to magnify in colder climates.
Indeed, Toyota Sequoia Air Suspension Problems are more rampant than initially perceived, with car owners often encountering a malfunctioning air compressor. This undesirable occurrence leads to an operational failure – the vehicle is reduced to resting on its rubber stops, instead of being comfortably suspended by its air cushioning system.
The origins of these complications can be traced back to two primary causes. The first and most common issue arises when moisture inadvertently infiltrates the intricate workings of the compressor system.
Furthermore, plummeting temperatures could dramatically compromise the functionality of the unit as severely cold conditions may result in frozen lines, effectively crippling your vehicles’ smooth operation.
In handling this issue, dealerships generally recommend replacing both the problematic compressor and the height valve subassembly. For those who are encountering this challenge, there exists a whole host of troubleshooting steps that could assist in fixing this recurring problem.
The first step in troubleshooting is to check the air suspension compressor. If it’s not running, there may be an issue with its wiring or internal components. You can try resetting it by disconnecting and reconnecting the battery.
Moisture can cause a lot of problems in an air suspension system, especially during cold weather when it freezes and clogs up the lines.
Some owners opt for alternative solutions such as installing an aftermarket air suspension kit or using silica gel bags to absorb moisture in the compressor.
If the issue is due to frozen lines, warming up the car before driving can help thaw out any ice buildup and restore normal operation of the air suspension system. Alternatively, parking in a heated garage during cold weather may reduce freezing issues.
3. Ride Height Loss
Air suspension problems are not uncommon with the Toyota Sequoia, as owners often report a gradual decrease in ride height. Despite the air system appearing to work properly, with the compressor functioning as expected, a steady diminishment in ride elevation is observed over time.
This issue becomes particularly noticeable when the bump stop frequently makes contact with the rear axle, even under regular driving conditions. Additionally, when this problem occurs, there’s a significant hissing noise similar to the sound produced when lowering the ride height control setting.
This results in an unpleasant bouncing experience at the vehicle’s rear whenever it encounters bumps. The main culprit behind this gradual reduction in ride height is typically a leakage in the air suspension system. This leakage could occur anywhere within the system, from the air springs to the lines, fittings, or even within the compressor itself.
You begin by assessing the vehicle’s condition – examining if it’s slouching towards one side or sitting lower than usual.
Then, inspect the air springs and struts for visible wear and tear or leaks; these problems could contribute to a decrease in ride height. Pay close attention to the airlines connected to them – they often deteriorate over time and can cause sagging or deflation.
Afterward, check the operation of your vehicle’s air compressor as this could be another culprit. If it’s not working correctly, replacing or repairing it can fix your problem. Finally, analyze the sensors that control the suspension system as faulty sensors may also lead to ride height issues with Toyota Sequoia Air Suspension.
A pro-tip for addressing air suspension problems is to replace all four Gas Chambers after depressurizing the hydraulic system and purging it. Once these components are installed, remember to refill the system with fresh Hydraulic Fluid and bleed it to remove any trapped air bubbles – a process similar to servicing brake hydraulics.
4. Vehicle Leans One Side When Parked
Numerous owners of Toyota Sequoia have reported an issue wherein their vehicle appears to tilt to one side after being parked for some time. From a frontal perspective, it may appear as though either the left or right side of the car is slightly elevated than the other. This is a common complaint related to problems with the Toyota Sequoia’s air suspension system.
This could potentially be attributed to the Control Arm of the Ride Height sensor in the Toyota Sequoia, which features an adjustable slot that is fastened onto the frame with a single M10 nut and bolt.
There’s a possibility that this adjustable bolt may have been displaced, possibly due to a severe jolt that resulted in full contact between the suspension and Bump Stops.
This is a straightforward solution that you can do yourself, as it only necessitates adjusting a single bolt at each corner. The Calibration adjustment for the Height Sensor Bracket is located on the Control Arm pivot and essentially consists of a Nut and Bolt in a vertical Slotted Hole, connecting the arm to the bracket.
The Control Arm’s position can be altered along the slot, allowing for adjustments on both the left-hand side (LH) and right-hand side (RH) to achieve uniform Ride Height.
Issues with air suspension in Toyota Sequoia are a significant concern. Such issues not only affect the vehicle’s performance but also compromise passenger comfort and safety. The recurring nature of these problems indicates a need for potential design enhancements or recalls from Infiniti.
It is advisable for owners to proactively inspect their vehicles and promptly address any signs of malfunction in the air suspension system. Remember, early detection and repair can save you expensive costs down the line, so keep an eye on your Toyota Sequoia’s air suspension system and ensure its optimal performance at all times.