Question about 2003 Lincoln Navigator

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Air Ride Sensors Corroded?

Good Morning Fixya,

I posted here last week about a problem I was having with my air ride suspension. The car originally was wonky. The front passenger tire was sitting too high, the rear driver tire was sitting too low, the rear passenger tire seemed at normal height, and the driver side tire was low. That pattern shifted last week to the front end dropping entirely and the rear staying at a relatively normal height. This problem changed again this weekend with mainly the driver's side sitting too low, the passenger side sitting a bit high, and the rear seemingly sitting at a normal height.

Now, I realize high, low, and normal are a bit subjective from person-to-person but I know what the height was like when I purchased the vehicle, so that's the scale I'm using my visuals on.

Last weekend I took the advice from the forum and put my car in a heated garage while we looked underneath it and took care of a separate issue with the exhaust (loose baffle in the resonator was cut out and welded back in). After examining the systems, the compressor seemed to work (filled the rear and some of the front and at one time all sides until "randomly" choosing), as did the relay. There didn't appear to be any obvious air leaks in the lines or elsewhere. The airbags all seem to have held air recently at one point or another.

This leaves me to think the problem could be either with the "brain" of the air ride or the sensors. My mechanic and I looked at the sensors and he thought all of them showed major signs of corrosion and locking up. He thought if the sensors locked up, they could break easily as the shock and weight of the vehicle would force the part to move whether it was frozen or not. Upon a close examanation, the sensors all appeared to be extremely loose. Manual tightening of one such sensor broke the plastic pivot point on one of them. My mechanic manually set the ride height by turning the nuts on the sensors; however, after turning the car off and turning it back on after letting it sit overnight, the car went back down to a sunken position.

My question to the forum members is if there's a way to better determine whether or not the ride height sensors or the brain of the unit are the problem? Before I spend $500.00 on ride height sensors, I want to know they will fix my problem.

Also, when ride height sensors are replaced, is re-calibration of the ride height really necessary? I thought the brain held the information regarding the height of the vehicle and the sensors were just part of the sytem? I am getting varying answers from the dealership and I don't want to be sold on anything I don't absolutely require.

I would appreciate any advice, solution, or troubleshooting techniques and of the techs may have.

Thank you.

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  • Anonymous Jan 30, 2009

    have you found out what it was? this explaination fits my care to a t would appreciate any help

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You buy a car with all these electronics. ride hieght sensors for each wheel. this is affecting that. then when you go to the dealership you want them to replace only the exact one piece that fails. that could take hours of diagnosis time. at damn near 100 per hour. go ahead and give them the car. let them do diag. total price 2000. or you have narrowed it down to brains or sensor. do it yourself 1000. problem solved it should cost 1000-2000 to fix. if u find parts cheaper. money in your pocket

Posted on Nov 15, 2010

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