Almost all modern heavy vehicles like the RAM 1500 are integrated with an air suspension system, which maintains the pressure and adjusts ride heights. However, sometimes the RAM 1500’s air suspension may be off and you’ll need to reset it. But how is this done?
To reset the air suspension system in a RAM 1500, first try pressing the suspension button for 40 seconds. You can also lower the transport mode to the entry/exit level and raise the wheel alignment mode to an average level in the display panel. Otherwise, detach the battery or change the dash fuse.
Let’s discuss how the air suspension system in a RAM 1500 works, what causes its failure, and how to know when it’s defective.
How Does an Air Suspension System Work?
Unlike traditional suspension systems, air suspension pumps air into suspension bellows when pressure is put on the vehicle. This reduces the volume of the air springs and increases the pressure, allowing wheels to move easily on uneven roads.
Air suspension systems are more modern and have replaced conventional coil springs. Its key elements are an air compressor, an air dryer, and an air reservoir.
The suspension bellows or air springs are typically made of polyurethane and a textile-like rubber, which makes them more flexible against air pressure.
Air suspension systems have multiple types based on their design and function. “Bellow type” air suspension systems have circular rubber bladders with two convolutions to properly transit where when the pressure is released.
The “piston type” air suspension system has a drum in a sliding position with a metal-air container. The piston is the system that presses against the air container when pressure is put on the vehicle, which reduces the volume and increases the pressure to adjust it with the air.
The third type is the “elongated bellows” which is usually used to adjust the pressure against the rear axle of a vehicle.
With further technological advancement, the air suspension system is becoming more sophisticated in modern vehicles. One of the most popular systems is electronic control air suspension systems, which are powered by sensor technology in each corner of the vehicle to control air pressure.
Both manual and electronic air suspension systems help the vehicle by:
- Reducing noise and vibration of the vehicle over uneven terrain.
- Saving you money, as there is less wear and tear on the suspension system.
- Increasing the lifespan of the air suspension with effective pressure management.
- Preventing short trucks and cars from bouncing back on rough terrain by adjusting the vehicle’s ride height.
What Causes Problems With Air Suspension?
Air suspension systems may suffer malfunctioning by rust or moisture, fitting failure of the air tubes, and leaks in the air springs.
Compressor burns can also cause suspension problems. You may also face regular problems with air suspension if you don’t maintain it regularly.
Let’s discuss how these factors affect your vehicle’s air suspension:
Rust or Moisture
Rust and moisture can cause mild to severe damage to spring bags. The moisture inside the air spring may come from air particles, and it can cause rust when the air dryers in the system don’t work properly.
You should periodically check for any damages or leaks in the airbag, and get them fixed before they cause any severe damage.
Air Tube Connectivity Failure
Improperly connected air tubes will cause them to rub against the vehicle chassis or other parts of the suspension, and it becomes likely to get damaged soon.
With connection failure, the airbag may also hang and rub against the surrounding parts.
Compressor failures generally occur due to leaks and strut in airbags.
Leakages and the strut may require the compressor to run heavily to maintain the air pressure, and this repeated compression will burn the compressor and cause its failure.
Regular maintenance is essential for the effective functioning of the air suspensions and poor maintenance will eventually cause the system to malfunction. Always have a mechanic check the air suspension at least twice yearly and more regularly if you drive on rough roads.
How to Reset Air Suspension in a RAM 1500
Pressing the suspension button for 40 seconds is the best way to reset your air suspension system in RAM 1500. An alternative method is to lower the transport mode to the entry/exit level and increase the height and wheel alignment mode to the average level in the display panel. You can also detach the battery for about 30 minutes.
Another simple solution is to change the dash fuse box if you want to reset the system. If the system is still malfunctioning, visit a professional mechanic.
You’ll probably need to reset the air suspension system after its maintenance. This will allow the system to adjust with the new parts if you have changed the parts in maintenance.
Here’s the different ways you can reset the air suspension in further detail:
Press and Hold the Suspension Button
The best way to reset air suspension is to press and hold the suspension button for around 40 seconds. You can find the suspension button on the truck’s console in a RAM 1500.
Most professionals recommend following these steps when resetting the air suspension:
- Don’t start the engine and turn on the car’s ignition.
- Press the button for 40 seconds.
- Wait until the system automatically reset it.
- You can start the engine if the system reset is complete.
Reset The Display Panel
Another effective way to reset your air suspension system is to reset it manually from the display panel. The display panel is usually attached to the radio on the center stack in your RAM 1500.
You can connect the vehicle display to your computer to do it more conveniently.
Lower the transport mode to the entry/exit level and increase the height and wheel alignment mode to the average level in the display panel. This will allow the vehicle to automatically shift to normal ride height.
You can reset the panel settings to normal level when the system completes resetting.
Detach The Battery
Disconnecting the battery can help you reset the air suspension method if the suspension button isn’t working and the display panel settings didn’t work.
Cutting the battery connection will allow the entire vehicle system to reinitialize, and reset all the systems, including the air suspension system.
Professionals recommend keeping the battery disconnected for 30 minutes, and then reconnecting the negative cable to the terminal and letting the system reset.
Change The Air Suspension Fuse
One of the most convenient alternatives to reset your air suspension system is changing the dash fuse box. For this, you’ll need to open the vehicle hood, remove the bad working compressor fuse and replace it with the new one.
It will not only reset the air suspension system but will also improve its overall performance. However, this may be an unnecessary expense in many cases.
What Are the Signs of a Defective Air Suspension System?
Generally, the air suspension system doesn’t turn on when you start the car if it is defective. But, there are multiple other signs that may indicate the malfunctioning of the air suspension system.
Here are some of the most common signs that indicate that your air suspension system is defective:
- Your vehicle is sitting lower than it normally does. This might indicate that the compressor cannot provide enough pressure to the air springs to lift the vehicle up.
- Your compressor is running more than it usually does, or your vehicle is crooked. This indicates weathering of the rubber inside the air springs of the air suspension system.
- You see rust on parts of the systems. This could indicate a problem in the air dryers that that’s preventing moisture from drying inside the system.
- The system isn’t responding to faults by automatically adjusting the pressure. This might be indicative of a problem with the sensor.
- You’re experiencing a bumpy ride. This could be a sign of worn-out airbags, springs, and shock absorbers.
- Your vehicle is frequently drifting or pulling when turning corners when the air suspension system fails to balance your vehicle.
Always reset the suspension system immediately if you notice any of these problems. Also, check your vehicle’s wheel alignment to be sure that it’s balanced.