Technical service bulletins (TSBs) can help you solve common problems that occur on a specific vehicle. If you’re trying to resolve suspension, ride control and air ride problems, looking at the TSBs can lead you down an established diagnostic path that has been constructed by technicians and engineers.
2013 was a good year for ride control TSBs. Some TSBs were intended for very few vehicles on the road, but the solutions can be used to resolve the same problems on a wide variety of vehicles. Several of the TSBs over the next two pages can help to solve chronic problems that have plagued some vehicles for years.
Here are the top seven ride control TSBs from 2013.
1. ACURA: Ticking From the Dashboard or Front Damper
Affected Vehicle: 2014 Acura MDX
Summary: While you may not see a 2014 Acura MDX in your shop in the near future, this TSB is still worth reading for the solution to the problem. Owners of this vehicle were reporting a ticking coming from the upper strut area. The condition is caused from the upper strut mount sticking to the vehicle body, causing a noise as the body flexed. The solution is to mount special stickers to the top of the strut mounts to insulate the body from the upper strut mount. This TSB will make you think twice about not replacing an insulator or strut mount the next time you change the strut on any vehicle.
2. AUDI: DTC 01487, No Communication With Air Ride Suspension Module and Air Ride Deflates
TSB#: 43 13 21 2017325/8
Affected Vehicles: 2007-‘08 Q7
Summary: This TSB is a reflash/reprogramming solution for a condition that happens when the vehicle is turned off and the sleep mode of the serial data bus is interrupted by the key cycle or when the door is opened. Drivers reported the air suspension warning light would blink and the air suspension would go to the lowest possible position when restarting the vehicle. If the driver cycled the ignition, the suspension would return to normal operation. If you get one of these vehicles in your shop, DTC 01487 (system function test incorrect, signal sporadic) will be stored in the system. The new software prevents this from happening by changing the parameters in the sleep mode protocols.
3. AUDI: Ride Control DTCs Caused by Bad Grounds
TSB#: 43 13 22 2018190/5
Affected Vehicles: 2007-‘08 Q7
Summary: This TSB advises if DTCs 00142-00145 are stored in the self-leveling suspension control module, the technician should perform checks on the electrical circuits going to the four air ride valve units rather than replacing the entire unit. The TSB advises to check the resistances of the valves, which should be between 1.66-3.61 ohms depending on the ambient temperature.
4. AUDI: Compressor Inoperative
TSB#: 43 13 23 2018765/9
2006-‘08 A6, 2004-‘10 A8
2007-‘12 Q7, 2013 S6,
2013 S7, 2011-‘13 A8
Summary: This is an updated TSB from 2010 that outlines the diagnostic procedures and parts replacement recommendation for a compressor that keeps running after the vehicle has been locked and the customer is unable to adjust the system. The affected vehicles have one of three codes stored in the level control system module:
DTC 0453: Restricted function through excessive temperature
DTC 1583: Leak in the system
DTC 1770: Sender for compressor temperature of self-leveling control G290
The TSB discusses thermal damage to the compressor and relay that could cause the compressor to fail. The bulletin shows what a damaged relay looks like.
5. INFINITI: Strut Housing Corrosion Issues
Affected Vehicles: 1997-2003 QX4
Summary: This TSB is a voluntary campaign to resolve issues with corrosion of the front strut housing for vehicles in rust belt states. This TSB can help you to advise customers if they need to contact a dealer for repairs.
6. MINI: Welding Spatter Causes Noise on Bumpy Roads
TSB#: SI M33 01 10
Affected Vehicles: 2007-‘09 MINI Clubman R55
Summary: This bulletin describes a clicking noise from the rear suspension that can occur on uneven roads. The noise is caused by welding spatter on the body that comes in contact with the rear upper strut mount. MINI’s solution is to remove the welding spatter, paint the surface and install a gasket on the strut mount.
7. VW: Coil Spring Creak at Low Speeds
TSB #: 40 13 03
Affected Vehicles: 2011-‘12 Passat
Summary: This TSB is a solution for a creaking noise that occurs at low speeds or while driving over speed bumps. The source of the problem is the springs. According to the TSB, some springs were not correctly formed. The bulletin recommends replacing the spring and painting the worn area of the strut’s spring seat.