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      03-07-2019, 05:32 AM   #1
Gucci74
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F11 Air suspension inconsistent

Hello

I have a 2011 F11 523i (love that straight six petrol sound). But recently having a weird air suspension issue which is inconsistent.

On the passenger side, it occasionally drops. Once ignition is started, it levels back up, no error codes, all fine. It might stay at that level for 4 days unused. Then car is used, parked up, after 1 hour, it's dropped.

Local garage plugged in diagnostics, no error codes. Tried soapy water on the affected areas, saw no air leak bubbles.

If it were a control module misbehaving, you'd expect an error code? If it were a leak, you'd expect a consistent deflation pattern?

Thoughts?
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      03-07-2019, 02:14 PM   #2
Herr Dreier
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gucci74 View Post
Hello

I have a 2011 F11 523i (love that straight six petrol sound). But recently having a weird air suspension issue which is inconsistent.

On the passenger side, it occasionally drops. Once ignition is started, it levels back up, no error codes, all fine. It might stay at that level for 4 days unused. Then car is used, parked up, after 1 hour, it's dropped.

Local garage plugged in diagnostics, no error codes. Tried soapy water on the affected areas, saw no air leak bubbles.

If it were a control module misbehaving, you'd expect an error code? If it were a leak, you'd expect a consistent deflation pattern?

Thoughts?
The air bags can have that behaviour when they have a crack in. It depends on how they settle as to whether they leak. Mine went at 4 years, 40k miles and had exactly same behaviour as you describe. Far cheaper to replace than the compressor, which can die if overworked.
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      03-07-2019, 04:01 PM   #3
Gucci74
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Ah, thank you for the tip!
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      03-07-2019, 05:22 PM   #4
HighlandPete
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Herr Dreier View Post
The air bags can have that behaviour when they have a crack in. It depends on how they settle as to whether they leak. Mine went at 4 years, 40k miles and had exactly same behaviour as you describe. Far cheaper to replace than the compressor, which can die if overworked.
Same here, random drops, even weeks apart. I inspected the air spring couldn't see a visual fault. The garage did as well. Performed the BMW tests. Couldn't identify the problem on the first visit. It even dropped when the car was outside for me to pick up.

Had the car back in, as they wanted to perform more checks at BMW's direction, like cross fitting the air lines. Was told that just threw the electronics into confusion. Nothing showed up, so they did the bubble test again, nothing. They were sure it was the air spring, so devised a test on the ramp to apply more load to the springs. Left the car there and the Tech kept going back to check for bubbles. Eventually he spied some bubbles. As he said to me, next time they will use the same test when they suspect a spring and the normal bubble test fails.
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      03-11-2019, 08:25 AM   #5
Gucci74
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Thanks, probably best to just swap it out
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      04-07-2019, 01:54 PM   #6
Gucci74
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So, quick update. Replaced both air suspension bags with Arnott replacements courtesy of my local garage, for 400. A lot less than BMW I'm guessing.

Turned out to be a blessing, on the inside of the rear tyre wall, there was some unexpected wear (only visible by removing the wheel) - needed replacing, so all safe now!
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      05-24-2019, 12:22 PM   #7
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Had the same issue on my F11 at about 49,000 miles required both bags replacing. It’s about a 500 job all in.
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      06-25-2022, 09:13 AM   #8
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I'm having the same issue. Is it ok to replace just 1 bag or should I replace both?
The other one has been replaced not too long a ago at the dealership by the previous owner.
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