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      01-12-2016, 06:43 PM   #1
jabroni80
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F11 leaking self levelling suspension?

Hi all

I'm looking for some advice with regards a potential air leak I have on my F11 touring rear air suspension. I have recently noticed the car sags equally across the back axle if its not been used for a few days. When I start the engine the compressor fills the air bags and it levels fine- I have no issues while driving and no errors on the dash.
My local dealer quickly checked the airbags for leaks but they are ok. Have any of you experienced a similar issue and if so what caused it? I cant hear any air leaking from the system so I imagine it maybe something to do with the compressor. Bmw want 1200 for a replacement unit but Id rather fit an aftermarket one if that turns out to be the problem on a 4 year old car.

This issue only came to light when the car was at the dealers for timing chain problems but Ive posted that in the engines section. Great car to drive but I'm really starting to worry about how reliable the current 5 series is
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      01-13-2016, 04:47 AM   #2
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The rear suspension has failed on mine across last weekend, from what I can find out the compressor solenoid valve often fails, it is easy to get at and quite straight forward to replace being under a cover just behind the rear bumper. The part can be bought from Germany and is a genuine WABCO part for just over 100. If the compressor is the issue then a genuine WABCO replacement can be bought from Germany for less than 400 and is easily accessable in the same place as the solenoid valve.

The air bags are also very easily replaced when the time comes, I bought Arnott replacements which have a lifetime warranty and are US made from HIDS-Direct here in the UK.

Hope you get it sorted soon.

Ian

Last edited by SuffolkIan; 01-13-2016 at 04:49 AM.. Reason: Mssing info.
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      01-13-2016, 05:22 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuffolkIan View Post
The rear suspension has failed on mine across last weekend, from what I can find out the compressor solenoid valve often fails, it is easy to get at and quite straight forward to replace being under a cover just behind the rear bumper. The part can be bought from Germany and is a genuine WABCO part for just over 100. If the compressor is the issue then a genuine WABCO replacement can be bought from Germany for less than 400 and is easily accessable in the same place as the solenoid valve.

The air bags are also very easily replaced when the time comes, I bought Arnott replacements which have a lifetime warranty and are US made from HIDS-Direct here in the UK.

Hope you get it sorted soon.

Ian
Hi Ian

Thanks for the info thats a big help. I had the airbags replaced under mfg warranty a year ago- both have been checked with no leaks. I think I may have the same issue as your F11 with the solenoid. Could you tell me how I access the compressor to check the pneumatic connections and solenoid- do I have to remove the back bumper?

I have a bmw driveline warranty but have been told air suspension isnt covered

Thanks again for the info its a big relief to know Im not looking at a 1200 bmw repair bill. I think Ill look into fitting uprated arnott air bags in the future too
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      01-13-2016, 10:36 AM   #4
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No, dont remove the bumper. Look under the car just behind (in front?) of the rear bumper and you will see a small piece of under tray and then a plastic rectangular piece, this is the box that houses the compressor. Remove the small section of under tray, 5 clips that attach it to the bumper and 2 x 8mm screws. You will then see most of the box, there are 4 x 10mm nuts holding this on, one is on the far side toward the front of the car but can be felt easily to undo. Remove the box and you will see the compressor and solenoid valve assembly. The box is sitting next to the exhaust back box heat shield.

The attached link will show you what you are looking for.

http://www.arnottmanuals.com/Reader/...px?part=A-2780

Also, check the new solenoid connections, you probably need to remove the small brass olive from the end of the air hose followed by the union and then just push the hose into the new fitting as far as it will go and then pull back slightly and the hose should be secure. The new fitting will have little white plugs in that you remove. Obviously if there are not new brass fittings in the new solenoid then re-use the existing ones and just screw back in making sure the olive is seated, it has a flat face on it to locate correctly.

Ian

Last edited by SuffolkIan; 01-13-2016 at 10:39 AM.. Reason: Missing Info
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      01-13-2016, 03:40 PM   #5
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Brilliant Ian just the info I was looking for. I'll have a look at the Compressor over the weekend to see if I can see anything obvious.

I spoke to a chap from arnotts in Holland this afternoon. He was 99% sure the airbags will be leaking- he mentioned bmw fit cheap Chinese ones to the F11. I will follow your lead and replace them while Im looking at the self levelling setup. We use our car to tow a caravan and I'm heading to Spain soon so cant afford them to start leaking over there!

Thanks again mate you've been a big help.

Tony
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      01-14-2016, 04:22 AM   #6
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You're welcome, it's what forums are about. The Arnott air bags are very different looking in terms of the rubber used, it feels far more substantial and is Continental branded so should be good quality.

Good Luck

Ian
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      01-14-2016, 05:25 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuffolkIan View Post
You're welcome, it's what forums are about. The Arnott air bags are very different looking in terms of the rubber used, it feels far more substantial and is Continental branded so should be good quality.

Good Luck

Ian
Great advice Ian

So true these forums are a god send and prevent the dealers fobbing us off with their BS
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      01-14-2016, 06:02 AM   #8
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Great advice Ian

So true these forums are a god send and prevent the dealers fobbing us off with their BS

Correct. I have a warranty with Bmw and surprise surprise suspension isnt covered! They want over 250 quid and air bag and 1200 if its the compressor.....and thats to fit the rubbish they use.

My car had both airbags replaced under warranty in 2013 and they've now gone again. The chap I spoke to at Arnott was telling me they are inundated with orders as Bmw originals are cheap chinese rubbish!
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      01-15-2016, 04:30 AM   #9
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Who quoted 1200 for the compressor? I was quoted 374 to buy from BMW plus a few quid for the relay. Fitting time with the car in the air could only be 1 hour max. Thats a crazy price, over 800 for labour. BMW told me they have no stock of compressors and no idea when they will!

Ian
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      01-15-2016, 06:42 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuffolkIan View Post
Who quoted 1200 for the compressor? I was quoted 374 to buy from BMW plus a few quid for the relay. Fitting time with the car in the air could only be 1 hour max. Thats a crazy price, over 800 for labour. BMW told me they have no stock of compressors and no idea when they will!

Ian
Hi Ian

It was a local indy that told me I'd pay those sorts of prices. I'll be honest when I actually seen the compressor unit I thought that was an exaggerated figure even at Bmw prices!

I'm pulling my hair out with this one now.....

The car has stopped sagging at the rear if parked up over night now! Still going to give it a check but I suspect the leak maybe very small. I havent had any warnings on the dash just sagged if left for a couple of days. I can only think the recent temperature drop may be affecting the pressures
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      01-16-2016, 04:09 AM   #11
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Mine went all of a sudden so can't help with the intermittent side of things. However it took a long while for it to come up with the failure warning so I wouldn't rely on that to tell you all is well, we got bounced around in the car for 40 minutes before we could stop and the warning never came up in all that time!

I'd do the springs and solenoid valve and go from there, if you do have a small leak then eventually it will burn out the compressor. You may save a bigger expense by doing those now.

Ian
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      01-16-2016, 08:46 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuffolkIan View Post
Mine went all of a sudden so can't help with the intermittent side of things. However it took a long while for it to come up with the failure warning so I wouldn't rely on that to tell you all is well, we got bounced around in the car for 40 minutes before we could stop and the warning never came up in all that time!

I'd do the springs and solenoid valve and go from there, if you do have a small leak then eventually it will burn out the compressor. You may save a bigger expense by doing those now.

Ian
Exactly my thoughts Ian. If the compressor is running more than normal to compensate for a leak it will eventually knacker it. I had an indy have a quick look at the bags and he couldnt see any leaks but the chap from Arnott said 99% of leaks are caused by the bags.
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      01-16-2016, 10:02 AM   #13
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I couldn't see any obvious tear in either of mine when I removed them but one was flat as a pancake. When removed and I extended it fully the area where it was generally creased over was deteriorated and you could feel air coming from there when you squeezed the bag.

Ian
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      01-20-2016, 04:19 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuffolkIan View Post
I couldn't see any obvious tear in either of mine when I removed them but one was flat as a pancake. When removed and I extended it fully the area where it was generally creased over was deteriorated and you could feel air coming from there when you squeezed the bag.

Ian
Arnott parts ordered....time to get these substandard bmw parts removed
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      01-22-2016, 01:38 PM   #15
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Tony,

Mine has just started to fail again, looks like the relay which I replaced has burnt out again. Reason looks like water in the battery well where the relay is mounted. Definitely worth checking and replacing the relay.

Hoping it hasn't trashed the shiny new air compressor!!

Ian
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      01-24-2016, 07:14 AM   #16
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Self levelling compressor relay location F11

Does any one know where the compressor relay is located on a 2012 5 series touring?
Thanks
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      01-24-2016, 02:50 PM   #17
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In the boot down in the battery well. Lift the cover for the below floor storage and then lift the rear storage tray (1 clip to remove) and you'll see the battery and the relay is in the well with it.

Discovered on mine that the relay was sitting in water so have re-located it to a dry place! Why the battery well is wet will be a job for another day.

Ian
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      01-25-2016, 04:41 AM   #18
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Thanks for that

Found it
Steve
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      05-15-2017, 03:01 PM   #19
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Sagging rear end

Please HELP
The wifes 2012 F11 520 Msport
Replaced both air bags couple of months ago due to near side being perished and dropping over night.
Its been perfect since replacing them until last week, whilst driving both bags lost pressure and car sits on the bump stops. Within a few minutes of sitting the car starts to rise and in a few seconds its at correct level. It doesn't come down over night so rules out the bags especially with them being new?

So every time after a few minutes driving it sits down on the bump stops then a few minutes later it levels itself until the past few days when I've had to drive 6 miles home with it on the bump stops.

Pump? Relay? HELP HELP HELP

Last edited by vagbill; 05-15-2017 at 03:03 PM.. Reason: Car Model
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      05-24-2017, 01:19 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vagbill View Post
Please HELP
The wifes 2012 F11 520 Msport
Replaced both air bags couple of months ago due to near side being perished and dropping over night.
Its been perfect since replacing them until last week, whilst driving both bags lost pressure and car sits on the bump stops. Within a few minutes of sitting the car starts to rise and in a few seconds its at correct level. It doesn't come down over night so rules out the bags especially with them being new?

So every time after a few minutes driving it sits down on the bump stops then a few minutes later it levels itself until the past few days when I've had to drive 6 miles home with it on the bump stops.

Pump? Relay? HELP HELP HELP

I have the exact same problem . both airbags replaced a few months ago.

Did you get sorted ? what was the issue ? my compressor is running fine.
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      06-22-2017, 12:45 AM   #21
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Had the same issue, common fault and probably the last BMW I get with air bags. The passenger side went last year and was replaced under the BMW warranty, driver side has been dropping over the last couple of months and got it in last week, also replaced under the warranty.
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      02-07-2018, 01:26 PM   #22
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Air suspenson failure

Hi

Just started using this and cant figure out how to do a new post so have tagged onto this one.

I have a 2013 5 series touring. I noticed the air suspension had gone down on the drivers side. Usually over night but not every night. The airbag was found to have a split in it. Obviously I changed it thinking this would solve the problem. I wish !! It now goes down every time the car isn't being used. Takes about 3 hours for the drivers side to go down. The other side has now just started to sag a little but not as much.

I then changed the solenoid valve box hoping this wold cure it. still no joy !!

Compressor all seems to be working fine and suspension go back to intended height once running. Have also had it plugged into a diagnostics machine but no faults appear

We have sprayed everything up to try and find a leak but cant find anything obvious and no air escaping. Mystery

Considering changing the springs over to see if the left side goes down instead so i know the airbags still the issue.

Has anyone experienced the same thing and can someone please help ?!?!?! Tearing my hair out now.
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