Why Is My Air Suspension So Bouncy? Fixing Common Issues

Why is my air suspension so bouncy? A few months ago, I experienced the same issue with my car. Then, I opened my eyes to different automobile forums to learn more about it. Some car owners found this problem critical like I did. So, I have discussed the reasons and solutions to bouncy suspension in this article.

You may have a bouncy air ride due to several reasons. Some common causes are worn-out parts, air leaks, incorrect ride height calibration, etc. Likewise, these reasons can affect the air pressure in the suspension system.

Bounciness in an air suspension system can be quite a nuisance. It affects the comfort of your ride. Also, it can impact the performance of your vehicle. You should treat the bouncy air suspension quickly to avoid further problems.

Why is My Air Suspension So Bouncy – A Brief Overview of the Causes

Let me share my views (also the experts’) regarding an excessive bouncy air suspension system. Before that, look at the below table for a quick understanding:

Worn-out air springsExcessive bouncing, sagging rear end, bottoming outMust be replaced with newer one
Leaky Air LinesLoss of air pressure, uneven ride height, delayed responseInspect and repair leaks
Faulty air compressorsSlow or no response, loud noises, uneven ride heightMust be replaced with new compressors
Improper ride height calibrationUneven ride height, sagging rear end, bottoming outAdjust ride height properly
Faulty height sensorsSensor fails to monitor heightInspect and calibrate accordingly
Electronic Control Unit (ECU) issuesImproper air pressure regulationInspect and troubleshoot faulty ECU

Reports or Complaints on Bouncy Air Suspension

After checking the forums, I have found several threads discussing bouncy air rides. Some of them are:

A 2004 Lexus GX owner faced the bounciness of air suspension. He said in a thread,

Whenever I go over any little bump with the rear, the car bounces like hell.”

He found no result upon modifying the height adjuster. However, people responded to him,pointing out the reasons like bad compressors, faulty sensors, etc.

In another forum, someone posted a thread on the same topic. He said,

Ride height adjustments still work, high/low. But it is very bouncy in both modes.

He got the answer from another user:

That is the first sign of air shocks going bad.

A 2013 Longhorn 1500 owner also faced the same problem. He posted a thread on RamForum where he said,

“I’ve gotten a brief “Service Immediately” type notification … after which the ride became stiff and bouncy.”

I have also checked the popular social media Quora to find out any discussion of why air suspension becomes so bouncy. There I have found,

Whenever your car feels excessively bouncy, … wrong with your shock absorbers.”

So, you can see, many people have already complained about their vehicle’s air suspension system becoming bouncy. Before learning the causes, I want to share some information about the basics of air suspension in a car.

Air Suspension: Function &Impact on Vehicle Performance

Wikipedia and FastCar refer to air suspension as an essential vehicle part. It uses air springs instead of conventional steel springs. Recently, manufacturers have used this system in different vehicles, from heavy trucks to passenger cars. Even some motorcycles have this suspension system too.

Air suspension has an electric or engine-driven air pump or compressor. This pump or compressor fills bags of air to absorb the shock of bumps on the road.

How Does Air Suspension Work?

According to some resources (1, 2, 3), any air suspension replaces the vehicle’s coil springs with air springs. These springs are tough rubber and plastic bags inflated to a certain pressure and height.

Car air suspension has an onboard air compressor, sensors, and electronic controls. The air in these bags compresses when the vehicle encounters a bump or dip. Also, it rebounds like spring. The whole process provides a smoother ride and better handling.

You can adjust the air pressure in the system for optimal ride quality and ground clearance for different situations.

The Role of Air Suspension in Vehicle Performance

Air suspension provides smooth, constant ride quality.

Think about comfort and safety. The air suspension is integral to how your car drives. Likewise, it can adapt to different situations and vary load capability. As a result, you get a smooth, controlled movement on the road.

Air ride suspension can lower a car to improve its street credibility. It can even out a heavy pay load and simply improve the ride of a vintage vehicle.In some cases, it’s even used for sports suspension.

Now, you will learn about the causes of bouncy air suspension in detail.

Common Causes of Bouncy Air Suspension

Your air suspension system can sometimes exhibit excessive bounce. It causes an uncomfortable and unsafe ride. Let’s explore some of the potential causes and solutions to why you get a bouncy ride:

Faulty or Worn-out Air Springs

Air springs are also referred to as airbags. They support the weight of your vehicle. Over time, they can wear out and may not hold pressure as effectively. When these springs wear out or become damaged, they cannot absorb shocks effectively. Then, you may get air suspension bouncy and get a bumpy ride.(Your Mechanic and Counterman)


The easiest way to diagnose worn-out air springs is to perform a visual inspection. Check for any cracks, leaks, or other damage to the air springs. You can also perform a bounce test by pushing down on each corner of the vehicle. If the car bounces more than once or fails to settle after being rocked, it is a sign of worn-out air springs.


You can find many replacement kits in automobile stores. Replace the worn-out air springs quickly using the tools. However, the process of replacing these springs can differdue to the vehicle model.

The process of removing air springs starts with eliminating old ones. Then, you need to replace new ones and reattach the retaining clips. For better assistance, you can check the vehicle manual for instructions. If you cannot do the job yourself, don’t hesitate to contacta professional service.

Leaky Air Lines

The air lines in the suspension system carry air from the compressor to the air springs. These lines may develop leakages over time, like worn-out air springs. Hence, the leaks can cause the air pressure in the system to drop. You will get a bouncy ride when driving the vehicle with this issue. Thus, a constant air leak at a spring, shock, or airline causes the compressor to run constantly. It will lead to premature failure. (source)


You should identify the damaged or worn-out lines first. For this, you can use soapy water. Spray the water on the air lines and look for bubbles. If you see any bubbles, consider there is a leak. Again, you may hear a hissing sound indicating leaky air lines. Physical inspection may also help to identify any visible damage, like cracks or holes.


Once you have identified the leaky air lines, you can repair or replace them quickly. Now follow the procedures:

  1. Locate the damaged air lines.
  2. Turn off the air suspension system to prevent any air leaks.
  3. If the damaged section is small, cut the damaged portion out using scissors or a cutter.
  4. Replace the entire (severely) damaged line.
  5. Use a coupling to connect the two ends of the air line if you have cut out a damaged section.
  6. If you are replacing the entire line, you can use a new air line instead.
  7. Reconnect the air line to its respective component.
  8. Turn on the air suspension system.
  9. Test the air suspension system to ensure there are no more leaks.
  10. Repeat the repair process, or seek professional help if there are still leaks.

Faulty Air Compressors

The compressor supplies the necessary air pressure to the air springs to ensure a smooth ride. But a faulty component can also cause your air suspension to bounce. When it gets damaged or fails, it loses air pressure in the system. Then, you get a bumpy ride as the ride height becomes affected. Constantcompressor usefor an extended period can burn out and fail. (CounterMan)


You can check out the condition of the air compressor in this way:

  1. Check the air pressure in the system using a gauge.
  2. Listen for any strange noises from the compressor, like grinding or whining.
  3. Inspect the compressor for any visible leaks or damage.

A faulty air compressor must be replaced to make it a comfortable ride.


You should have a replacement compressor to replace the older one. After having the new compressor, you can install it in the following ways:

  • Disconnect the battery to avoid any electrical shocks or accidents.
  • Locate the old compressor and remove it from the vehicle.
  • Install the new compressor in the exact location.
  • Connect all the necessary electrical connections and air lines.
  • Check the air pressure and ride height calibration to ensure everything works correctly.

You may call experts if you cannot follow the processes yourself.

Improper Ride Height Calibration

Another common reason you get air suspension bouncy is improper ride height calibration. The air suspension cannot work optimally if you do not calibrate it correctly. It can cause a harsh and uncomfortable ride. So, you should check and adjust the ride height frequently for better performance.

Checking the Ride Height

Park the vehicle on a flat surface to check the ride height. Then, measure the distance between the ground and the vehicle’s body at specific points. But you should follow the manufacturer’s guidelines. Adjust the air suspension height properly if you get the height exceeding the recommended range.

Adjustments & Alignments

You can use the vehicle’s controls or a specialized tool to adjust the height of the air suspension. Besides, ensure right alignment for even weight distribution. It can impact on the bounciness. You can get expert assistance if you cannot calibrate the height precisely.

Other Reasons to Get Air Suspension Too Bouncy

Some other reasons to get a bouncy ride in a car are:

Faulty Height Sensors

Damaged, misaligned, or malfunctioning height sensors may not accurately monitor the vehicle’s height. As a result, the air suspension system may over compensate. It will cause a bouncy ride. Inspect the sensors to see if they are working fine. Otherwise, calibrate it professionally.

Electronic Control Unit (ECU) Issues

The electronic control unit controls various aspects of the air suspension system. But adefective ECU can cause improper air pressure regulation or incorrect suspension adjustment. Likewise, you will get the air suspension so bouncy. Have the ECU checked by a qualified technician if necessary.

Worn Shocks or Struts

The shocks or struts of the air suspension system can wear out over time. When damaged, they may cause excessive bouncing and reduced ride quality. So, replace any worn shocks or struts to restore optimal performance.

Preventive Measures for Bouncy Air Suspension

You can prevent the air suspension from being bouncy by following these things:

Regular Maintenance

According to StrutMasters, regular maintenance prevents issues with your air suspension system. It includes:

  • Checking the system for leaks.
  • Ensuring all air lines’ connections are secure.
  • Examining the air springs’ pressure regularly.

You should also perform visual inspections and clean the system regularly.

Look for any damage, loose connections, or debris built up around the air springs, valves, or brackets.Clean them off to prevent system performance issues.

Timely Replacement of Parts

To prevent additional damage to the system, you should promptly replace any worn-out or damaged parts. It includes air springs, air lines, shock absorbers, and compressors. Consequently, timely replacement of these partsprevents issues like a bouncy ride.

Proper Driving Practices

Sometimes the way you drive can also impact the health of your air suspension system. So, avoid rough roads and do not overload your vehicle. It will increase the lifespan of the air suspension.

Often the car owner forgets that the car’s air suspension is not designed for aggressive driving or off-roading. So, you should drive following the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How much does it cost to fix a bouncy air suspension?
  • It can vary widely depending on the root cause of the problem. Replacing worn-out air springs or repairing leaky air lines can cost $200-$1000anywhere. Again, fixing or replacing a faulty air compressor can cost up to $1500 or more. Proper ride height calibration can cost around $100 for a simple adjustment.
  • How dangerous is it to drive with a bouncy air suspension?
  • It may not be immediately life-threatening. But driving with a bouncy air suspension can be hazardous and uncomfortable. It can cause poor handling, reduced braking efficiency, and increased tire wear. Therefore, you will need costly repairs in the long run.
  • Can I replace just one air spring, or must I replace them all?
  • You can replace just one worn-out air spring. But experts suggest replacing them both concurrently to ensure even wear and performance. If one spring has failed, chances are the other may die soon.
  • Should I consider upgrading my air suspension system?
  • Upgrading your air suspension system can be a worthwhile investment for ride comfort and performance. You can find many high-quality aftermarket components. They offer smoother rides, better handling, and improved durability over stock parts. But I would prefer not to spend extra money if the current components are fine.
  • What are the signs of a failing air suspension?
  • Some signs of a faulty air suspension system are a noisy, bouncy, rough ride, sagging ride height, and sloppy handling.


In this article, I have explained the answer to “Why is my air suspension so bouncy”.

Car bouncing means it jumps up and down a lot when you drive. It may happen due to different problems within the air suspension system.

Some common causes of faulty air suspension are worn-out air springs, leaky air lines, and defective air compressors. Improper ride height calibration, ECU, and sensor issues are also responsible for bouncy air suspension.

Follow the solutions and preventive measures I have discussed in this article. I hope you can solve the problem soon and get a comfortable and safe ride.

Have a great driving experience!

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