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How to do BMW X5 Air Suspension Reset

How to do BMW X5 Air Suspension Reset

X5 is regarded not only as one of the most famous medium-sized SUVs in the world but as BMW's first SUV as well. This luxury vehicle was first produced in 1999 under the E53 model and is still in production. With each new model, this SUV keeps getting better. But what makes it more luxurious is its air suspension system. With many BMW X5 users attesting to how comfortable their rides have been with the air suspensions, you can be sure that your rides will be enjoyable. 

Still, this air suspension, like other suspension systems, could develop problems that would require resetting. That's why this article will guide you through the process of resetting the air suspension on a BMW X5. 

Here are other things discussed in this article: 

  • What is BMW X5 self-leveling suspension?
  • How does the BMW air suspension work? 
  • How to turn off the air suspension on a BMW X5? 
  • How to fix common BMW X5 air suspension problems

BMW X5 Air Suspension Reset

Resetting your BMW X5 air suspension is easy. This is something that you can do on your own. Hence, there is truly no need to drive your car to the mechanic nor is there any technicality involved here. All you have to do to reset the air suspension is follow one of the two methods below. 

Method One 

  • Park your Car in a Safe Spot
  • Turn Off the Engine

You can only begin resetting the air suspension when the engine is off. However, ensure that the ignition is kept on. 

  • Turn the Air Suspension Switch Off 

To turn the suspension switch, you need to locate the air suspension toggle on the center console. Pull down/up the toggle for about seven seconds. Note that once you start pulling, the air suspension would keep flashing green light on the dash-line. Once the green dash line stops showing then the air suspension is off. 

  • Check that the Air Suspension is Off

You cannot proceed unless the air suspension is turned off. If this has been confirmed, leave the car for a few minutes before advancing to the next step. 

  • Turn on the Air Suspension

Using the same toggle, turn the air suspension back on. 

  • Turn on the Engine

It is expected that once you turn on the engine the air suspension should have reset itself. 

  • Go for a Drive

While on the drive, monitor your car. Check if things are working properly after the air suspension reset. 

Method Two

  • Disconnect the Battery from the Cable

This method involves disconnecting your car’s battery. However, note that while this would reset the air suspension, it would equally reset the entire vehicle’s system. 

  • Leave the Vehicle for a While
  • Reconnect the Battery
  • Go for a Drive

This is the same as the first method. The test drive is to examine the car's suspension by monitoring the ride quality. Just check if things are working better with the air suspension after your reset. 

What is BMW X5 Self-leveling Suspension?

The self-leveling suspension is regulated by Electronic Height Control (EHC). This is a type of automotive suspension that works by using airbags and air compressors to keep the vehicle at a standard ride height. That's why your BMW stays comfortably on the road without slogging regardless of the load/weight in the rear. 

BMW’s self-leveling compressor makes use of an electronic sensor that is placed in the vehicle’s chassis. This electronic sensor is positioned in important parts of the vehicle’s chassis to maintain a leveled ride height at all times. So, the self-leveling suspension is triggered whenever the sensor senses an unleveled attitude on any part of the vehicle, especially the rear part of the chassis. This activation of the self-leveling suspension is what causes the airbags to raise or lower in whatever area needs raising or lowering.  

The air suspension compressor does the raising and lowering of the chassis. The work of the air compressor is to pump air into the airbags. So, whenever a part of the vehicle's chassis needs lifting, the air compressor would pump air into the airbags which then raises the chassis area. The same thing applies to lowering the vehicle and the good thing about this self-leveling suspension is that it gives handling and ride balance. 

Ultimately, self-leveling suspension ensures that both the rear and the front of the vehicle’s chassis are balanced and of adequate ride height. This also applies to the left and right of the vehicle thereby maintaining great ride quality and stability. 

How does BMW Air Suspension Work? 

The air suspension system comprises some key components like the air compressor, airbags, air springs, height sensor, electronic control unit, air shocks, and airlines. These key components are responsible for the work the suspension system does. Since the suspension system has moved significantly from the stock system to the air ride system where coil springs have been replaced with air springs, things have gotten a lot easier to understand and manage. 

Beginning with the air compressor, the primary part of the air suspension system, we see that pressurized air is pumped into the airbags via the airlines. It is the airbags that take in the air produced by the compressor and use the air in maintaining ride height. If the ride height needs to be raised, the airbags have to lift the chassis from the axle. 

There is also air shock acting as a shock absorber to absorb the road impacts. This component reduces or eradicates bumpiness and vibrations. Regardless of road changes and potholes, the active air shocks or dampers in the BMW X5 would use air supplied to reduce the harsh impacts of the road.  

All in all, each part of the air suspension system works to ensure that ride height is maintained, handling is firm and stabilized, and that the rides are smooth, bump-free, and noiseless. Using the compressed air that is stored in the tanks, air reaches the needed area, and the drives in your BMW are comfortable. 

How to Turn Off Air Suspension on BMW X5? 

On your BMW X5, every setup and adjustment can be done manually via the center console. There are also air suspension setup options on the key fob. However, the air suspension toggle on the center console is what lets you turn off the air suspension on your BMW X5. Here is how it is done. 

  • Turn off the Engine

While the engine is turned off, ensure that the ignition remains on. 

  • Pull the Toggle

You would have to pull the toggle up/down for about seven seconds till the green dash line light goes off. 

  • Check the Dash Line

If the dash line green light is still flashing, the air suspension is still on. The moment the green light disappears, the air suspension turns off. 

How to Fix Common BMW X5 Air Suspension Problems

Your BMW X5 could develop suspension problems due to faulty components or total mileage (old or degrading air suspension). When this eventually happens you may spend a huge amount of money on multiple trips to the mechanic. To save you stress and money, here are some common BMW X5 air suspension problems and how to fix them. 

  • Sagging Rear-end

When the rear end of your vehicle sags, it means that the vehicle’s ability to hold weight is compromised. Also, a sagging rear end means that the ride height of the vehicle is lost. This is mostly caused by a faulty air compressor or malfunctioning valve block. So, to fix the problem, you would have to check if the compressor is working or if the fuse is blown. Once that is done, you can replace them if they need replacing. 

  • Noisy Rides

Based on user complaints on Car Problem Zoo, a noisy ride is a common problem of a bad air suspension system in the BMW X5. One of the potential causes of this problem is a broken suspension component. It could also be that the air suspension system is worn and needs replacing. So, to fix this problem, you would have to first find out where the noise is coming from. The most practical way to do this is to go on a test drive or walk around the vehicle listening to the noise.  Once this has been discovered, replace any broken parts of your air suspension.  

  • Bumpy Drives

The air shocks are in charge of absorbing the bumps from the road. If your BMW X5 is incapable of withstanding and dampening road impacts, then you can only fix this problem by replacing your air shocks.  

  • Leaking Air Springs or Airbags

Your air spring/airbags can start leaking due to time and usage. To be sure of any leakage in your air suspension, you can try spraying soapy water on the area. If it bubbles, then there is air leakage. Once this is ascertained, you should replace your airbags or air springs. 

Conclusion

Your BMW X5 has a great air suspension system which increases the vehicle's luxury. However, despite the air suspension and EHC self-leveling suspension, the vehicle could still develop some suspension problems. The problem is not with the BMW but with the air suspension itself. So, for what it's worth, such a crucial part of your vehicle must be inspected and tested regularly. Also, whenever a part needs replacing, replace it as soon as possi

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