Jeep Grand Cherokee Air Suspension Problems – Symptoms and Solutions

Air suspension is something we tend to pay more money for. It's comfortable and it allows to set the type of driving starting with stiff sport suspension and finishing with the extremely soft suspension of the family vehicle. Jeep Grand Cherokee offers cool air suspension in the most expensive versions. But is this suspension actually good?

When you hear a Jeep dealer manager talking about this technology, you may think that it's the best suspension in the world that doesn't have any problems. But we will tell you a lot of bad things today. We don't want you to think that Jeep air suspension is an extremely bad choice, but we'll focus now on the downsides to let you know more about the problems.

Here's what we are going to talk about:

  1. What are air suspension benefits and why should you pay for it?
  2. What is the lifespan of the air suspension system in a Jeep?
  3. What are the main problems with the Jeep Grand Cherokee air suspension?
  4. Prices and ways to fix the air suspension in your Jeep.

Let's get started!

Why should you pay for a Jeep with air suspension?

Well, if you can pay a little more for a new car than just for a base version, then you should consider the option of air suspension. We can't say that it's absolutely necessary, but we should say that the suspension will improve your experience with this vehicle. It's not only about the possibility to choose the type of driving.

The air suspension also gives you other advantages. And here are just some of them:

  • much less noise when driving a car - it will not clunk at all;
  • you can prepare for a certain type of terrain which is important for a Jeep;
  • you can prepare your vehicle for a certain load or for towing a trailer;
  • your tires will live longer with this option;
  • you can regulate the ride height or clearance easily;
  • you can choose the stiffness of your suspension which is cool;
  • your driving will be absolutely comfortable, in most cases;
  • you will not need to invest in minor repairs every 10-20 thousand miles;
  • even a broken air suspension unit will still hold your SUV, but it will be lower than other units.

A lot of advantages are found in air suspension. It doesn't mean that the conventional suspension type is no longer good. It only means that air suspension is a kind of technology for all future cars. At least, this is what a lot of car sellers tell us when they want to sell us a vehicle with a lot of additional options included.

So, do you actually need a vehicle with air suspension? Now you may think that you really need it. But please read further and decide whether you want to spend money on this.

How long will the air suspension live in my Jeep Grand Cherokee?

The lifespan of a Jeep Grand Cherokee is about 250,000 miles now. The air suspension in this car will last about 100,000 miles, maybe sometimes a little more. Usually, at 120,000 miles all Jeep owners who paid for this option need to pay once again to replace all four air springs. It may seem good for you - 100,000 miles or more without any problems and then just replace the air springs.

Well, yes, but there is a little thing to be considered - the price of a Jeep OEM air spring. It's called Quadra-Lift and after 2021 they also started using another type of air suspension. Four air springs together with some minor parts that will also need to be replaced will cost you about $3000. The final price depends highly on the year of your Grand Cherokee.

This is the biggest problem with this air suspension. And you know what? It can't be repaired. If an air spring starts malfunctioning, you will just need to replace it. There is no way of repairing a failing spring even though you can find some parts and kits for remanufacturing of spring. We also don't recommend aftermarket air springs or used remanufactured air springs because they will not last long.

What are the main problems with Jeep Grand Cherokee air suspension?

The air suspension system is absolutely different from the system of a conventional metal-spring suspension. You will have four air springs, then there is a compressor, some lines that hold air under pressure, and also some electronic blocks that control all these parts. The compressor can make the pressure in the air springs higher or lower depending on the settings you choose.

You won't believe but all units of the air suspension system in your Grand Cherokee will fail eventually. It's not only about the springs that may start leaking air or something. It's about all parts of the system.

Here are just some of the most popular problems:

  • leaking air - the air may leak in the air spring because some of the rubber elements have dried and now can't hold the needed pressure;
  • leaking lines - the compressor will start working without stopping because the pressure comes out of leaking lines;
  • compressor problems - it may stop working and your vehicle will eventually fall down to its minimal possible clearance;
  • impossible stiffness - because of problems with the suspension, the vehicle will be impossible to drive because of stiffness;
  • the electronic control units can fail also and your suspension will start glitching in many different ways.

The most unpleasant thing is that all the suspension elements rely on each other. For example, one of the rubber seals in one of the air springs failed and started leaking. This will cause the compressor to work harder to maintain the needed pressure. It will cause worse wear and tear for the compressor and it will eventually influence all other air springs.

Once one air spring fails, you may be sure that all other Grand Cherokee air springs will follow. So, if you decide to replace the air spring, you should be ready to replace the whole kit. And here you can just be shocked with the prices for parts and labor.

How to repair the air suspension in your Grand Cherokee?

Unfortunately, we'll not give you any lifehacks on how you can save up some money and repair the air suspension. If you have problems with air springs, you will have to replace them. There are companies that will offer you to repair and remanufacture the air springs, but these companies usually don't give good results.

Remanufactured air springs may live for another 10,000 miles and then they will start malfunctioning. All parts of the air spring are worn out pretty fast. And this will cause problems with your air suspension after you repair it.

So, we see basically two main ways and you may choose according to your budget:

  1. Replacing all parts in your air suspension. At least, you will need to replace the air springs and look at how the compressor is doing. This is the most expensive way to solve the problem. But at least it works fine and gives you another 100,000 miles of good driving. The price is going to be over $3000.
  2. Installing a conventional suspension system. This is also a good option if you don't have $3K to replace the air springs. You can buy a convention metal-spring suspension kit and just get rid of all problems with the air suspension. It's not cheap - it will cost you about $1200 for parts and another $400-$500 for labor. But you will never have any problems with air suspension at all.

Another option is just to sell your vehicle to a scrapyard or via a salvage auction. This way, you will get some money back and will be able to buy another vehicle. Of course, this is only appropriate when you have an old car, older than 12 years. Repairing it may be financially insane.

You should also bear in mind that labor is expensive. Usually, Jeep owners have to go to dealers. But if you choose to install a conventional metal-coil suspension system, you can save up some money on labor because you can go to any repair shop. Though, this way you will lose all the advantages of the air suspension.

Final words

Unfortunately, the very up-to-date and technological air suspension is not great in terms of longevity. It's also very expensive and it needs replacement of the air springs every 100,000 miles on a Jeep Grand Cherokee. If you are a fan of air suspension, you may replace the broken springs with new OEM air springs. Repairing them is not a good idea.

But if you just want to get your SUV back on track and not spend a lot of money on it, you should choose a metal-spring suspension kit and just replace your air springs with metal springs. Though remember that you will lose all the advantages of your air suspension and will have to put up with the lower quality of driving.

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