Is Your Air Suspension Covered Under An Extended Warranty?

by | Feb 15, 2021

As of 2019, the global air suspension market was estimated to be worth around $6 billion dollars, with projected growth estimated to reach $9 billion by 2026.

At the moment, air suspension is still a niche product common only in upmarket and luxury vehicles, considering the overall global automotive suspension market is estimated to be worth $55.8 billion in 2019.

Air suspension offers a few notable advantages over traditional suspension, including notable pluses like:

  • A more comfortable ride due to a reduction in road vibration, coupled with a dramatic decrease in noise.
  • Less wear-and-tear on the suspension which means less frequent repairs due to the reduction in vibration.
  • Helps empty trucks bounce less, even on more challenging terrain because of a short wheelbase.
  • Improves the ride height even when factoring in additional load and speed
  • Helps corner faster due to air suspension being better suited to the surface of the road.

However there are a few notable drawbacks as well.

  • Air suspension is expensive. Our network of mechanics estimate that depending on the type of air suspension you have, you can expect to pay between 3-5x as much over a 10 year period compared to a traditional leaf suspension.
  • You’re going to spend more on fuel because air suspension is heavier than traditional leaf suspension, and it also requires fuel to run the pumps that help your air suspension work.
  • AIr suspension is prone to leaks – especially if you drive on rough terrain frequently. These leaks can cause your suspension to not work correctly – which can lead to an expensive repair bill.

Considering you are here reading this article, we’re reasonably certain you are having issues with your air suspension and you want to make sure it’s covered by your warranty before you shell out hundreds of dollars to have it fixed.

Before we can get into if it’s covered however, we need to get an understanding of how the entire system works to make sure that the problems you are having are actually caused by your air suspension and not by something else.

How Does Air Suspension Work?

Credit: KrazyTech

An air suspension system helps balance your car by using an electric compressor to pump air into flexible bellows that are made out of reinforced rubber. These bellows help absorb road shocks from bumps, potholes, and all the other fun things you might run over.

As yoy can see above, each tire has its own air bellow or coil spring system that is inflated by a central air tank in order to behave like a set of springs. Each tire can be controlled individually, which makes for the trademark smooth ride that air suspension is known for.

In most cases, air suspension is used on luxury vehicles for the increase in driving quality but it has become more popular on performance vehicles as well, with the Praxis air suspension being a favorite. Air suspension has also become more common in trucks, tractor-trailers, buses, and even on some passenger trains.

If you want a more in depth background, check out this great video by AccuAir Suspension:

How To Check If You Have Air Suspension

If you have air suspension, each individual tire will have its own bellows. If you turn your front tires to the side, you should be able to see the bellows individually. You can also slide underneath the car in order to see them.

Generally though, if you are wondering if you have air suspension or regular – chances are you have a regular, leaf suspension system. If you are still curious however, we reccomend taking your car to a mechanic for an inspection. They will be able to let you know if you have an air suspension or not.

With that in mind…

Signs That Your Air Suspension Going Bad

The suspension on any vehicle will work best when all the individual components work together to bear the load of your car. Over time however, these parts will begin to wear out or break entirely which will compromise your air suspension.

It’s very common for the suspension air bellow to be the first part to fail. You’ll find the suspension air bags on the rear of most cars, trucks, and SUVs. It receives air from the compressor which is located near the rear of the vehicle. There are multiple components of the air suspension that can cause similar problems, which is why it’s important to take your vehicle to a mechanic if you notice the following symptoms.

Car Riding Lower Than Normal

Your air suspension helps keep your car’s ride height level. As it turns out, ride height is one of the best indicators of a problem with your car’s air suspension system. If you notice your car’s ride height is lower than usual, you may have a problem.

As we have already talked about, air suspension systems work by inflating an air bag with pressurized air from the compressor. If the compressor is worn out and not performing effectively it may not be able to inflate the air bags all the way, which can lead to your vehicle riding lower as a result.

If you notice your car is uniformly riding lower, it’s most likely the compressor. If it’s riding lower on just one side, then it may be an air bag issue.

Leaking Air

You should expect that one or more of your suspension components will develop a leak at some point. Our network of mechanics reports this as one of the most common problems drivers with air suspensions encounter. There are a number of places for air to escape, from any punctures to the airbag, or from one of the many rubber seals that make up the system.

An air leak may not be noticable initially, but as it grows you will either notice your car driving lower than normal, sitting lower than normal, or in the case of a severe leak, you may hear the air wooshing out.

Otherwise though, it can be hard to detect a leak on your own, which is why it is so important to take your car in for regular service to catch problems before they occur.

Compressor Having Issues / Running Noisily

If your air compressor isn’t working correctly, your entire suspension is not going to work correctly. For this reason it’s incredibly important to pay attention to any abnormal noises it may make, or any other minor issues it may have.

If your hear any loud clicking, grinding, whining, or a huffing sound then it may be a sign that your compressor’s motor or fan is having an issue that may cause it to fail in the future. With no compressor, you will have no suspension.

You should also pay attention for your compressor failing to start at all. Most air suspension systems will automatically turn the compressor on and off as needed. If the compressor fails to come on at all, it’s a sign you need to take it to the mechanic for repair.

Car Suspension Feels Rough or Bumpy

If your car is suddenly bucking you like one of the old wooden rollercoasters at Cedar Point, there’s probably an issue with your air suspension. The primary job of the suspension airbags is to improve your ride comfort, which is why they are commonly found on luxury brands.

While no suspension system is completely smooth, if you notice your car bouncing up and down every time you go over a bump or running rougher than usual on a consistent basis, your airbags may be having an issue. Pay attention to when your ride becomes dramatically different because this could be an indicator that your car needs repairs.

Vehicle Sagging In The Rear

Most air suspension vehicles have two airbags, which are located near the rear tires. These airbags help balance some of your vehicle’s weight, which helps keep the suspension level.

Unfortunately, these bags can leak, which will cause your car to sag. Generally, this is more noticeable on luxury vehicles that automatically adjust the airbags to keep your vehicle at the proper height when you are not carrying additional weight in the trunk.

As the issue becomes noticeable, the rear of your car can begin to noticeably sag. You will notice the rear sitting lower than the front of your car. If it is, unless both of your rear tires are dramatically underinflated, you can pretty much guarantee it is an issue with your suspension air bags.

Suspension air bags are tricky, because you can have issues with them even when you have a new vehicle. They can get punctured during regular driving or have a seal fail while everything else is normal. If you do notice your vehicle sagging in the back, take it to a mechanic immediately even if it’s new.

You will be better off.

Does Your Extended Warranty Cover Air Suspension?

To answer this question, we are going to take a look at our vehicle service contracts, as well as the vehicle service contracts of Endurance, Carshield, and Carchex, who are also reliable companies in our space.

Protect My Car:

Is Air Suspension Covered: Yes

What Plans Cover Air Suspension: Ambassador Elite, Ambassador Pro, Ambassador Platinum

Direct Warranty Provider: Yes

Notes: Because Air Suspension is still uncommon, only our 3 Ambassador plans cover it at the moment. Our Ambassador plans cover vehicles with up to 300,000 miles that most vehicle service contracts will not cover. Ambassador Plans pay between 50-75% of the bill, and you pay the rest which saves you thousands in maintenance on older & more expensive vehicles.

Endurance Warranty:

Is Air Suspension Covered: No

What Plans Cover Air Suspension: N/A

Direct Warranty Provider: Yes

Notes: Endurance’s comprehensive coverage plans surprisingly do not include air suspension, although we expect they will rectify this in the future.

Car Shield:

Is Air Suspension Covered: No

What Plans Cover Air Suspension: N/A

Direct Warranty Provider: No

Notes: We highly reccomend anyone reading this article to stay away from Carshield – even if you don’t want to choose us you will be better off going with Endurance who administrates their own contracts instead of selling them off to a third party like Carshield does.

Carchex:

Is Air Suspension Covered: No

What Plans Cover Air Suspension: N/A

Direct Warranty Provider: Yes

Notes: Carchex doesn’t sell its own policies, and instead sells the policies of American Auto Shield, Royal, and Allegiance Warranty. We can’t recommend a non-direct warranty provider even though they cover struts.

What Is A Direct Warranty Provider?

So you’re probably wondering what the direct warranty provider bit is above. Fear not, we’ll break it down, even though no one is really talking about it.

A direct warranty provider is a warranty company that administrates and services its own claims, legally speaking. What that means, is when a direct warranty provider sells you an extended warranty, they are responsible for paying your claims, as well as handling any customer service issues that arise.

Direct providers can offer lower prices for their plans and better customer service because everything is handled in house. 

Currently, only Protect My Car and Endurance are direct warranty providers.

Other extended warranty companies aren’t selling their own plans.  When you buy a policy with them, they then transfer the responsibility for your future claims to a 3rd party finance company. They get paid, and then that finance company that you didn’t choose becomes the legal entity responsible for paying your claims.

This can be a huge hassle. Claims take longer to get paid, and your policy can be up to 100% more expensive than choosing a direct warranty provider.

That’s not to mention that the 3rd party finance company has no connection to you as a human being and has every financial incentive to pay as little as possible on your claim.

With over 13 years in this business, everyone will tell you that choosing a direct warranty provider is the best way to go. You’ll avoid getting a run around from claims agents, and instead will get help from a real person who wants to see you off smiling.

Don’t Want To Get The Run Around? Get An Extended Warranty From Protect My Car

A vehicle service contract from Protect My Car will pay for suspension repairs for you.

When you are protected with a vehicle service contract from Protect My Car, you don’t have to worry about paying for unexpected repairs as long as you do the required maintenance on your vehicle.

Considering how expensive it can be to repair your suspension, this is a pretty good deal.

We cover you for up to 300,000 miles of the best, worry-free driving experience you have ever had.

We know there are a number of other great extended warranty companies out there, we know we’re the best and we want to prove it to you.

That’s why all of our plans now come with these great free bonuses which include:

  • FREE oil changes & tire rotations (A $300+ dollar value)
  • FREE 24/7 Roadside assistance (A $300+ dollar value)
  • Over $150 in rewards cash to your favorite restaurants, stores, and brands each month.
  • Discounts with many of our automotive partners

So don’t wait until your car breaks down.

Better to do it now before something breaks, because once you break down, it’s too late.

Click the “Get Quote” to get your free, no-obligation vehicle protection assessment and start saving on repairs to your suspension and so much more.

About Protect My Car

Protect My Car is an extended auto warranty company. Our goal here at Protect My Car is to eliminate your worry of being financially responsible for an expensive mechanical breakdown. With our extended auto warranty, you don’t have to worry about being fully burdened with the cost of a covered repair.

Want to protect your vehicle?

Or give us a call at Orange telephone handset icon.1-800-253-2850