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Old 01-24-2015, 11:04 PM   #1
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Default New Buick & Air Shock/Compressor Question

Hello! I bought my Park Avenue a month ago and so far it'* been a great car! It'* a 2002 base model with 114,000 miles and I'm the third owner. I also own a 1989 Lincoln Town Car that was my daily for four years before being moved to project car status.



One issue I've had so far is with the air ride suspension. The compressor would stay on for a solid minute after turning on the car and it would intermittently start running at different times while driving. To me it sounds like there'* a leak somewhere. Would it make sense to just replace the shocks? I've already disconnected the compressor so that it doesn't burn out.
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Old 01-24-2015, 11:58 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forums Patrick.
One minute sounds about normal to pump up the shocks to specs.
I don't think that will hurt these robust air compressors.
I just replaced the rear air shocks cause they were cracking and rusted so bad.
I installed new Delco air shocks, and now my compressor now runs for 4 minutes initially, and then on and off every once in a while.
I also suspect I got a leak, even though I replaced all the air lines. What fun.
The other option is to install non air ride, just normal shocks back there.
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Old 01-25-2015, 09:58 AM   #3
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While the struts are usually the most likely cause, there are other places it could leak as well.

It is my opinion that scrapping the air leveling all together is a bad idea, because the spring rates are counting on load leveling. You put anything more than a small child in the back seat, and the back bumper cover gets ripped off when you run over a squirrel.

And he is right, the compressors are pretty stout, with failures few and far between. Even if you lost a compressor, you should be able to source a recycled unit fairly easily.
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Old 01-25-2015, 12:08 PM   #4
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I agree....more often than not, that exhaust solenoid on the compressor will fail before the compressor does, and it'* not replaceable, it'* part of the compressor....

I reckon those 13 year old air shocks are probably leaking by now...
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Old 01-25-2015, 12:55 PM   #5
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And to add, welcome! If you keep up with maintenance, that PA should treat you very well for a very long time. Just be on the lookout for coolant consumption if you don't know where it stands with the upper and lower intake manifold issues, and check oil condition just as often.
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Old 01-25-2015, 01:11 PM   #6
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and w/p leaks, tensioner assembly leaks, f/p reg , check for complete tuneup, coolant and transmission services, etc.
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Old 01-25-2015, 04:34 PM   #7
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If you decide to not use the air system I highly recommend the Monroe 90007 Rear Strut Assembly conversion kit (that fit my 2000 Park Avenue - you would need to double check that on yours). They have springs that do a really nice job with the ride and the handling.
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Old 04-16-2015, 11:16 PM   #8
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The 2001 Lesabre Custom I recently purchased must have rear ELC. I can hear what sounds like the compressor cycle soon after ignition-on. I've had the car for about 6 weeks now and the only thing I'm not used to is the way the rear suspension responds.

It'* not stiff like add-on air shocks. Mine is cushy.. too cushy. Sudden little dips in the road will leave me feeling like I'm floating up and down - but not boucing. It'* a really loose up-and-down feeling from the rear which is not like blown shocks bouncing on springs. There is no real feeling of loss of control. I'm kinda getting used to it. The car rides like a dream - floating on a cloud.

Everything is level and the ELC system seems to be working fine. My concern is how will it handle in an emergency situation. Will that cushy, floating response translate to loss of control when I have to snap the steering wheel to one side?

That Monroe 90007 Rear Strut Assembly conversion kit looks like a good substitute. I see them on sale (online) for under $100. You get a slightly higher rear end, but hardly noticeable from what I've read. I'll keep this in mind for when (if) something gives out on my system.
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Old 04-17-2015, 12:17 AM   #9
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In all honesty, I haven't noticed a difference in ride whether the car is loaded or unloaded with properly working struts. It'* entirely possible the shocks themselves are worn out in your case. You may also want to go find a nice empty dirt lot and do some research on the handling of the car in emergency situations.

The C/H body'* are inherently stable and easy to settle down in low traction situations, but in my experience, the softer the suspension, the more susceptible it is for weight transfer to bite you in the behind. In my case, the combination of braking and swerving is a highly dangerous maneuver. Get out on a curvy dirt road however, and I can hang the car sideways all day long.
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Old 04-17-2015, 02:26 AM   #10
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My car is currently unloaded. Nothing in the trunk but spare tire and jack. I do have a bunch of water jugs I can drop in there for a test - about 125lbs worth. That'* an extra person - maybe something interesting will happen. I'll try it this Saturday and let you know.
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