ELC compressor runs but doesn't pump air - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


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Old 04-25-2011, 12:46 PM   #1
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Default ELC compressor runs but doesn't pump air

This in in regards to a '98 Olds LSS, but I'm posting here because the ELC (Electronic Leveling Control) system spans several GM models.

A few weeks ago, I heard, for the first time, the ELC compressor chattering away beneath the vehicle. I looked underneath to investigate and noticed that the air tubes had rotted. It was no longer attached to the nipple directly on the compressor, and there were holes in the tubes beyond the t-fitting running to the struts (at least that'* where I assume they run).

I replaced the tubes, but I still don't think the system is functioning properly. The compressor comes on at startup and runs for a long time (10-15 minutes, at least) before finally shutting off, regardless of whether or not there is a load in the trunk or back seat.

Honestly, I have no idea how long the air tubes have been rotted. I've owned the car for about 1 1/2 years and I live on a dirt road (2 miles to the nearest paved road). I'm wondering if the compressors (or other components) have filled up with dust.

After reading several threads in this forum, I think the electronic components are probably functioning properly or the compressor wouldn't run at all. I think the compressor keeps running because no air is getting to the struts, so the vehicle height doesn't change and the height sensor arm never rotates, which would shut off the compressor.

So, can the compressor can be cleaned and serviced? I suppose I could simply replace it, but it would be a lot easier on my wallet if I could fix it.

Also, it seems many here have had problems locating a replacement compressor. And if it can be located, it is outrageously expensive. I know several folks have had one pulled at a salvage yard, but others have expressed skepticism about the condition of used ones because of environmental driving conditions. I ran across an after-market company that manufactures this part, so I thought I'd share the link:

http://www.arnottindustries.com/part...12_pid107.html

Still not cheap, but half the price of several quotes I've seen.

Anyway, any advice/expertise would be appreciated.

Thanks.
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Old 04-25-2011, 12:48 PM   #2
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Oh, I forgot to mention ... today I pulled the tube off the nipple on the compressor while it was running. No air is coming out even though it'* running.
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Old 04-25-2011, 01:46 PM   #3
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Overall the compressor isn't very serviceable.

Lowest cost alternative would be doing a manual fill kit like Monroes AK-19 or is it 29?
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Old 04-25-2011, 03:07 PM   #4
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...hoping the airshocks don't leak. IF you have a good yard there taht will trade if one you pull doesn't work, I'd go for it. I've had an older LeSabre, Regency, and two Park Aves and in none of them didn't the compressors fail. They are pretty durable if they don't experience what yours did. My 87 Regency was 16 years old with 227k miles on it when it was pulled off the road. The compressor still worked fine.
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Old 04-28-2011, 09:50 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GXP Venom View Post
...hoping the airshocks don't leak. IF you have a good yard there taht will trade if one you pull doesn't work, I'd go for it. I've had an older LeSabre, Regency, and two Park Aves and in none of them didn't the compressors fail. They are pretty durable if they don't experience what yours did. My 87 Regency was 16 years old with 227k miles on it when it was pulled off the road. The compressor still worked fine.
Thanks for responding, GXP Venom. I read one of your previous posts and it helped me better understand the ELC system. Before I start looking for another compressor, though, another poster (1993 SLE) described all of the components of the system and mentioned that there is an air intake hose and filter. Since the current compressor is actually running, I'm wondering if this hose and filter could be the trouble. Perhaps the intake and filter are clogged with dust and that is why the compressor is not pumping air. Are these parts I can remove to clean-and-service or replace, or are they integrated with the compressor?
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