How to check the suspension fluid level & Serious Suspension Fault

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spiff
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How to check the suspension fluid level & Serious Suspension Fault

Post by spiff » 03 Nov 2017, 01:32

Good evening from Mullion Cove Cornwall.

This may have no bearing on the fault I have, which is intermittent failure of the suspension electric pump with the warning "Serious suspension fault".

When the car has been standing the pump runs as you get in, the car drives OK.

When the warning appears the motor will not run from the rise and lower controls.

Also if it is working and I am parked if it feels like it, when I press to raise the car to high, once up the fault flashes up and the car will not lower even though this does not require the motor.

I have sprayed the front and rear sensors with WD40, but am waiting for two ramp extensions before I get right under it to see if the sensor links are stuck.

Back to the top and my question, I cannot tell by looking at the tank how the level is, the car a C5 2003 petrol estate automatic.

Should the car be on low to check the fluid ?

Is it OK to remove the cap, will I have to re-pressure the system ?

I have a rough idea of the levels to look for from the Haynes manual.

Would I get a warning message if the fluid was low.

Would this stop the pump working ?

A thought was that a low level may only show up when the car has been driven due to it sloshing about.

The fault started soon after reversing 50 yards down a Cornish one track lane ?

Any assistance much appreciated.

God Bless Spiff
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Re: How to check the suspension fluid level & Serious Suspension Fault

Post by GiveMeABreak » 03 Nov 2017, 01:55

First the suspension should be checked on the lowest setting. Leave the engine running for 2 minutes. The level should be between the yellow lines in the picture.
CE3A2201-2413-4496-B9F7-86A04CA2EB3C.jpeg
Yes it is fine to remove the cap and no you won’t have to repressurise the system unless it is empty and needs completely refilling.

Check under the car in the morning to see if there has been any fluid leaking onto the ground. You might of nicked a pipe down the track.
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Re: How to check the suspension fluid level & Serious Suspension Fault

Post by EDC5 » 03 Nov 2017, 14:30

Should the level be checked on lowest setting or depressurised?

I ask because on Lexia under the 'Delivery' section the 'check suspension fluid level' option proceeds to depressurise the suspension and then asks the operator to disconnect the battery.
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Re: How to check the suspension fluid level & Serious Suspension Fault

Post by spiff » 03 Nov 2017, 14:51

GiveMeABreak wrote:
03 Nov 2017, 01:55
First the suspension should be checked on the lowest setting. Leave the engine running for 2 minutes. The level should be between the yellow lines in the picture.

CE3A2201-2413-4496-B9F7-86A04CA2EB3C.jpeg

Yes it is fine to remove the cap and no you won’t have to repressurise the system unless it is empty and needs completely refilling.

Check under the car in the morning to see if there has been any fluid leaking onto the ground. You might of nicked a pipe down the track.

Image

Good morning a warm sunny day here.

Thank you for the details and the image. : )

My extension ramps arrived this morning so I shall be able to have a closer look at the front and rear sensors if the fluid is OK.

There are no leaks that I can see.

I also thought of running leads from the 12 volt and earth heavy cables at the pump, plus the 12 volt signal lead to two meters in the car, that way I can see what is missing when the fault shows up.

God Bless Spiff
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Re: How to check the suspension fluid level & Serious Suspension Fault

Post by GiveMeABreak » 03 Nov 2017, 16:24

EDC5 wrote:
03 Nov 2017, 14:30
Should the level be checked on lowest setting or depressurised?

I ask because on Lexia under the 'Delivery' section the 'check suspension fluid level' option proceeds to depressurise the suspension and then asks the operator to disconnect the battery.

The levels can be checked without using Lexia / Diagbox to depressurise the system - for a ball part guess, but important to leave the car running on low for about 2 minutes just to allow as much fluid back into the reservoir as possible. They have to allow customers to check and top up the levels without expecting them to have a Lexia. :wink:

@ Spiff: I had to 'poach' that image from the web as I was out in a coffee bar with no access to my images - but purpose served :-D
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Re: How to check the suspension fluid level & Serious Suspension Fault

Post by EDC5 » 03 Nov 2017, 16:38

GiveMeABreak wrote:
03 Nov 2017, 16:24
EDC5 wrote:
03 Nov 2017, 14:30
Should the level be checked on lowest setting or depressurised?

I ask because on Lexia under the 'Delivery' section the 'check suspension fluid level' option proceeds to depressurise the suspension and then asks the operator to disconnect the battery.

The levels can be checked without using Lexia / Diagbox to depressurise the system - for a ball part guess, but important to leave the car running on low for about 2 minutes just to allow as much fluid back into the reservoir as possible. They have to allow customers to check and top up the levels without expecting them to have a Lexia. :wink:

@ Spiff: I had to 'poach' that image from the web as I was out in a coffee bar with no access to my images - but purpose served :-D


Yeah, that’s what I was thinking but then when I saw the option in lexia I thought it was a bit unreasonable to expect someone to need to take it to a dealers to have it checked.
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Re: How to check the suspension fluid level & Serious Suspension Fault

Post by spiff » 03 Nov 2017, 17:51

Thank you both.

Wish we could afford coffee bar prices : )

We have been scanning radio service data all day, I shall now go check the level.

The ramp extensions look good for the price, £12 including delivery on eBay.

God Bless Spiff
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Re: How to check the suspension fluid level & Serious Suspension Fault

Post by MikeT » 03 Nov 2017, 18:40

Doesn't removing the cap de-pressurise the system anyway? I heard it hiss when I checked mine.
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Re: How to check the suspension fluid level & Serious Suspension Fault

Post by spiff » 03 Nov 2017, 20:04

Good evening : )

Yes it did hiss a little, but worked fine afterwards.

Pump ran as I got in car, I dropped it to low and ran engine for two minutes, the level is correct as per image : )

Replaced cap and ran car up to max height then back down to normal, all OK.

Tomorrow I shall put it up on the ramps and inspect the level sensors.

There is a posting I think on another forum, about taking the sensors apart, there could be a couple of types, the ones written about had some square pins that went through a printed board.

The holes in the board were round, the print going through the holes and relying on the corners of the square to make a push contact, and also keep the board with its sensors in the correct position.

He soldered the pins in place, problem solved, one thing I can do having been in electronics all my life is solder : )

It sounded to me as if there is a type that uses a variable resistor as well as the ones encountered above, not sure ?

God Bless Spiff
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Re: How to check the suspension fluid level & Serious Suspension Fault

Post by GiveMeABreak » 03 Nov 2017, 21:27

I think EDC5 was referring to the complete depressurisation using Lexia, but yes undoing the cap does release some pressure in the system.
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Re: How to check the suspension fluid level & Serious Suspension Fault

Post by EDC5 » 03 Nov 2017, 21:41

That's interesting, I've done a bit of electronics, but only as a hobby and I was wondering if the sensor was a rotary encoder or a variable resistor. Would be interesting to find out.
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Re: How to check the suspension fluid level & Serious Suspension Fault

Post by MikeT » 03 Nov 2017, 22:12

GiveMeABreak wrote:
03 Nov 2017, 21:27
I think EDC5 was referring to the complete depressurisation using Lexia, but yes undoing the cap does release some pressure in the system.


So there's no hiss from the cap when it's fully de-pressurised? First time I checked the level, having been used to a xantia, the hiss caught me off-guard for a moment and left me wondering if it was going to get stuck in low.
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Re: How to check the suspension fluid level & Serious Suspension Fault

Post by GiveMeABreak » 03 Nov 2017, 22:27

Yes it still hisses, but the procedure in Lexia may also do something like open the electro valves and allow any fluid under pressure to return to the tank prior to working on the system.

There is the vent in the cap of course, but you’ll always get the hiss.
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Re: How to check the suspension fluid level & Serious Suspension Fault

Post by lexi » 03 Nov 2017, 22:36

My car, set on high, clears normal car ramps no problem. Bike tyres riveted on to bottom rails. Plenty grip and never slid forward.
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Re: How to check the suspension fluid level & Serious Suspension Fault

Post by spiff » 04 Nov 2017, 00:51

Old bike tyre that is a good idea. : )

The problem we have at the moment is that the only level piece of ground we have is rough and on the short side.

The rear wheels are trying to climb up a short steep incline when the front are at the start of the ramps.

It is also an automatic which I am not used to.

The softer slope using the ramp extensions, will hopefully stop the front wheels from spinning as soon as it hits the ramp.

The area is on a list to be extended and surfaced : )

Now that I have an automatic the 1st one at 72, I would not go back to manual gears, it a lovely car and has a vintage look about it, especially with the leather seats and wood effect.

God Bless Spiff
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