Question about 2000 Lincoln Navigator

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Airride suspension won't deflate only inflate

My airride suspension on my 2000 lincoln navigator will only inflate and not deflate it clicks as it is sending the message but it will not lower down in the back. The dealer changed a relay but it did not fix the problem.

Posted by mattsmithmus on


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gerry bissi

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It will only process a "down command" if it thinks all the doors are closed. If you have a bad door switch, it won't lower. Any courtesy lights on with doors closed?
The dealer can conduct a diagnostic scan test and retrieve any codes that will help identify the bad circuit. Did they do that?

Do you have 4 wheel air suspension or just rear?

Assuming rear only:
The system consists of unique rear air springs, the air compressor, air lines, air spring solenoids, height sensor, air suspension control module, attachments and associated signals derived from both driver and road inputs. With these components and signals, the air suspension control module commands changes in vehicle height that are necessary for the load leveling features.
The load leveling feature rear air suspension (RAS) systems shall automatically make adjustments in vehicle height so that the vehicle is always at trim height and constant front-to-rear vehicle attitudes are maintained over the expected load range of the vehicle. Adjustments in height that are necessary to correct height differences between the vehicle's left and right sides for the RAS system shall be restricted to what can be reliably achieved with one air suspension height sensor.
The system uses one air suspension height sensor, a steering sensor, generic electronic module (GEM) and other vehicle sensors to measure driver and road inputs. The system changes vehicle height using an air compressor, two air lines and the use of air springs with air spring solenoids.

Note this section.
The air suspension system holds vehicle height when the rear hatch or any door is opened. The system stores rear vehicle height the moment any open door is detected. The system then maintains this height regardless of the addition or removal of a load. The system will return to its commanded height when all doors are closed or the vehicle speed exceeds 16 km/h (10 mph).

Air Suspension Switch
The air suspension switch supplies power to the air suspension control module. Without the air suspension control module receiving this power, the load leveling system is inoperative and will not react when the rear of the vehicle is raised or lowered. If the air suspension system is disabled by turning off the air suspension switch, a "CHECK SUSP" will appear in the RH corner of the instrument cluster with the ignition in the run position.
The vent solenoid:

  • allows air to escape from the system during venting actions.
  • is part of the air compressor cylinder head.
  • has a 1,103 kPa (160 psi) internal relief valve.
  • shares a common electrical connector with the air compressor motor.
  • is enclosed in the cylinder head casting, which forms an integral valve housing that allows the valve tip to enter the pressurized side of the system.
  • has an O-ring seal that prevents air leakage past the valve tip.
  • opens when the air suspension control module determines lowering is required.
  • provides an escape route for pressurized air that opens when system pressures exceed safe operating levels.
  • is replaced with the air compressor as a unit.
Air Suspension Height Sensor
One air suspension height sensor is mounted on the vehicle. The air suspension height sensor sends a voltage signal to the air suspension control module. The output ranges from approximately 4.75 volts at minimum height (when the vehicle is low or in full jounce), to 0.25 volts at maximum height (when the vehicle is high or in full rebound). The air suspension height sensor has a useable range of 80 mm (3.2 in) compared to total suspension travel of 200-250 mm (8 to 10 in) at the wheel. Therefore, the air suspension height sensor is mounted to the suspension at a point where full rear suspension travel at the wheel is relative to 80 mm (3.2 in) of travel at the air suspension height sensor. The air suspension height sensor is attached between the No. 5 frame crossmember (upper socket) and the panhard rod (lower socket).
When the air suspension height sensor indicates that the rear of the vehicle is lower than trim under normal driving conditions, the air compressor will turn on and pump compressed air to the air springs. When the sensor indicates that the rear of the vehicle is raised above trim under normal driving conditions, this will cause the air to be vented from the air springs to lower the vehicle back to its trim height level.
Compressor Relay
The compressor relay is energized by the air suspension control module to allow high current to flow from the battery to the compressor motor.
  • A solid state relay is used in the air suspension system for air compressor control. The relay incorporates a custom power metal oxide semi-conductor field effect transistor (MOSFET) and ceramic hybrid circuitry. The relay switches high current loads in response to low power signals and is controlled by the logic of the air suspension control module.
Air Suspension Control Module
NOTE: The 4WAS air suspension control module is used for the RAS system. The internal processor recognizes external circuitry to determine if it is installed in a 4WAS or a RAS equipped vehicle.
NOTE: The air suspension control module is calibrated with information from the air suspension height sensor. A new or exchanged air suspension control module requires a ride height adjustment calibration process to be performed.
The air suspension control module controls the air compressor motor (through a solid state relay), and the air spring solenoids. The air suspension control module also provides power to the air suspension height sensor. The air suspension control module controls vehicle height adjustments by monitoring the air suspension height sensor, vehicle speed, a steering sensor, acceleration input, the door ajar signal, transfer case signals, and the brake pedal position (BPP) switch. The air suspension control module also conducts all fail-safe and diagnostic strategies and contains self-test and communication software for testing the vehicle and related components.
The air suspension control module monitors and controls the air suspension system through a 32-pin two-way connector. The air suspension control module is keyed so that the air suspension control module cannot be plugged into an incorrect harness. There are two sides of the harness connection to the air suspension control module. Each is uniquely colored and keyed to prevent reversing the connections.
May be a bad module too.

Posted on Apr 29, 2009


David Straughan

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Sorry to hear that. Sounds not fun. You can also just ditch your air suspension by converting to coils and just be done for the rest of your car's life. It's way easier and cheaper:

1997 2002 Lincoln Navigator 2WD Rear Air Suspension Conversion Kit With...

Posted on Sep 25, 2017


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Hello, I had the same problem when my Lincoln was new. Sometimes the battery starts to short out internally and it triggers the alarm. The Dealer put in a new battery and the car was fine from then on.

You also could be having a problem with the AirRide. Some will compensate to keep the suspension from bottoming out and when the battery gets low enough, it will trigger the car Alarm.
You could leave yourself a note on the car seat and open the trunk and shut off the AirRide when it is parked as a test.

If you come out and the suspension has dropped, you will know the AirRide is to blame and act accordingly. Use your reminder note to avoid driving without the suspension being turned on.

Have your battery tested in the meantime. Autozone, Oreillys, and Advance will test it free and scan your car free too!

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When you try to start it you should hear the fuelpump kick on. If you do not hear it perhaps the Inertia switch in the Trunk next to the Airride switch was bumped or switched off. Push the Inertia switch button before trying to start your car.

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Check your switch in the trunk on the Drivers side and make sure it is turned to ON. There are also fuses in the fuse panel for this device. Look at the owners manual for a picture and size fuse and if there are other things using that same fuse. You could have blown the fuse controlling several things.

The Air suspension is needed to keep from bending other components and the bags may tear if not inflated. There is a diagnostic plug for the Airride which will quickly point to the trouble. It may be a cheap fix or not. But with the scanner for the Airride you will know before repairs are attempted.

Not all Repair shops have the correct tool. Dealers of course do, but you can call around to Body shops and Alignment places before you go.

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You can get a defective Battery. Go to Autozone or Oreillys and get the Battery tested and then bring the Lincoln in for an Alternator scan. When you pull the Battery out of its mount, look for FUSIBLE link wires in that area which could have been pinched when the Battery was changed. With Luck you're fixed.

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While you would want the Brake place to be Responsible for the damage, it may be better to have a 3rd party test your Airride.

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You have done a good job in trying to track the problem. But the ride height sensors and the angle of your parking area can affect when the parts will work.

The door jam switches also put the Airride into sequence. You may have noticed how the car waits until everyone is out before deflating. So not hearing the airflow while you hear the rear solenoids "clicking"
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This is one of those things that a diagnostic tester can find. This is also why each door jam switch costs over $10 and have 3 wires instead of 1 grounding wire.

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