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Old     (ottog1979)      Join Date: Apr 2007       07-16-2012, 7:47 AM Reply   
Looking for some help, experience or suggestions. My tow vehicle is a 2004 Yukon Denali. The Service Ride Control message just came up and the leveling pumps no longer are working. I have an appointment at the dealer on Wednesday, although I rarely take any vehicle to the dealer for service. I'm a pretty good do-it-youself'er and/or I get vehicle work done at good independent service shops. Not sure about this issue, however in that it's pretty specific to this truck.

Anyone else tackle this problem? Any helpful hints or experience on getting it diagnosed or fixed (other than a trip to the dealer and top $$ repair bill)?
Old     (brett33)      Join Date: Apr 2011       07-16-2012, 7:57 AM Reply   
Had the same year Denali, never had any problem with mine, but went through that with a friend and his. Could be a number of things. Sensor out on the compressor, leak in the bags, bad resistors (which i believe is the most common... check this thread out.
Old    LR3w8kbrdr            07-16-2012, 7:58 AM Reply   
Did you check the 30amp fuse under the hoodfuse box yet?

If I can service and change out compressor etc on my suv Im certain the gm vehicles will be easier to work on. You can always have an independant shop or buddy do it if you dont feel comfortable with it. But at least have tht shop or dealer find out the issue first.
Old     (murphy_smith)      Join Date: Dec 2005       07-16-2012, 8:04 AM Reply   
Andy - I used to have the AutoRide feature on my Tahoe and it was a nightmate when it broke.

It could be a couple of things one being as simple as a fuse replacement or as complex as a busted shock that caused the pump to run constantly and burn out. Needless to say - this stuff is expensive. When I had mine looked, it was about 400 a shock and another 600 to replace the pump - I was looking a 3,000 to get it going again.

I ended up replaceing the shocks with bilstein and disabling the autoride feature. My message center still said service autoride but I could like with that as long as I still had 3,000 in my pocket. I vowed that I would never buy another vehicle with and autoride pacakge.

Good luck!
Old     (bass10after)      Join Date: Feb 2010       07-16-2012, 8:11 AM Reply   
i have an 03 escalade esv that has the same auto leveling system and just went through something similar. i ended up pulling the compressor out first which is located by the driver side rear wheel and putting 12v to it to see if it would come on or not. if it doesn't arnott industries sells less expensive oem replacements. I ended up replacing my compressor with an oem all in one unit from cadillac as i needed it asap- but to the tune of $400. I also had a blown out rear airbag which probably contributed to the compressor failing. i replaced both with a refurbished set from arnott a few months later. I'd pay the shop to diagnose the issue then determine if its something you want to tackle or not. The compressor took me 10min to pull and 5 min to put a new one in, and the shocks were about 45min.
Old     (ottog1979)      Join Date: Apr 2007       07-16-2012, 8:21 AM Reply   
Forgot to mention, it's not the fuse - checked that.

Also, the compressor did not run continuously and hence burn out - at least I'm pretty sure. Don't know how long it must run for that but it never ran longer than a 30 sec. to a minute at most.

Last edited by ottog1979; 07-16-2012 at 8:24 AM.
Old     (ottog1979)      Join Date: Apr 2007       07-16-2012, 8:28 AM Reply   
Detox - thanks for the hints. I can easily pull the compressor and see if it works when hooked up. I'll start with that.
Nauti201 - saw that thread. I'll look that over more closely later this evening.
Old     (twowakes)      Join Date: Feb 2003       07-16-2012, 8:40 AM Reply   
My shocks blew out and then the pump burnt itself out trying to pump up the shocks before i knew anything was wrong. I replaced the shocks with a standard shock that has overload springs built in. I then pulled the fuse to the ride control system. This fools the computer and i don't have the service light on any more. Cost about $150.00 and took less than 3 hours.
Old     (azeus17)      Join Date: Feb 2010       07-16-2012, 8:52 AM Reply   
I have an 07 Tahoe with the ride control. Just replaced my compressor with the Arnott unit. About $240 if I remember correctly with a warranty. Very easy swap. You have to splice the old wiring harness on the new compressor, but that was about as hard as it gets. Total time about 30 min. I say start there and when the new compressor is working, spray the air bladders of the shocks with soapy water to see if you can find any leaks. If you do, Arnott also sells replacement shocks. I would just unhook the compressor until you get them done so it does not burn out in the mean time.
Old     (ottog1979)      Join Date: Apr 2007       07-16-2012, 8:59 AM Reply   
Awesome!!! (The WW knowledge pool)
Old     (wazzy)      Join Date: Nov 2001       07-16-2012, 11:15 AM Reply   
I bought an '04 YD a few years ago & this same message came up. From what I have heard replacement shocks from the dealer are like $850 each. Not sure on the compressor.
I read on one of the Denali forums about a place that sells rebuilt factory shocks for less. They also have a replacement system for $700.... I don't remember........hang on...... ... this is the link from the forum discussion on .
ALSO, my good friend who is a mechanic told me he suggests just putting regular shock on & removing all that air ride stuff.....IDK... take it for what it's worth. I haven't decided what I am going to do yet either....
Old     (ottog1979)      Join Date: Apr 2007       07-16-2012, 11:19 AM Reply   
I'm going Adam & Daniel's route. Cancelling the dealer appointment until I check the compressor myself. $250-500 in repairs done myself I can handle. I'll report back later.
Old    LR3w8kbrdr            07-16-2012, 11:25 AM Reply   
Good choice....i always thought and people always griped about parts for foreign vehicles but compressor, shocks are cheaper than ur GM parts?!

A compressor would be my first thing to replace too. Like the others have said its pretty much a breeze
Old     (nar722)      Join Date: Dec 2003       07-16-2012, 6:03 PM Reply   
I just went through this nightmare a few months ago. This is a very complicated system. I knew my pump was out because I had a dealer diagnose the problem so I replaced it with an Arnott system and in the process blew out a control module which is very expensive. That is what triggered the message light. I luckily found a new module on ebay for $100 bucks - dealer wanted over $700 for it not including installation - and installed it myself (easy). I then had to get the dealer to re-program my whole autoride system for $100. That control module does a ton of things. It monitors speed, the rate at which your shocks are moving, senses steering wheel movement etc... If you determine that the pump is good, then check the sensors above each rear wheel. You can activate them by pushing up on them. That should trigger the pump. If it is not the pump or the sensors then it is the control module. Hope you get things fixed. Autoride is great when it is working
Old     (pennery)      Join Date: Jul 2006       07-16-2012, 7:40 PM Reply   
I have a 2003 tha t I replaced the compressor last summer. It was really easy. I bought the compressor off of EBAY and it was brand new. Mine did trip the fuse under the hood so if it doesn't work after you replace it check that... Took the dealer 9 hours to figure that out and they ended up charging me a half hour and they gave me the fuse for free...
The replacement kit comes with a new compressor and air dryer rebuild kit and the instructions are quite clear. It is mounted in a dumb spot that gets covered in crap from the tires. If I remeber correctly it was only 3 bolts that hold the entire compressor and housing onto the frame and then you replace the compressor while off the vehicle and mount it onto the housing and splice the wires. I heat shrunk the connections and taped the crap out of them...
This is where I bought the compressor from...
Old     (espritv8)      Join Date: Dec 2009       07-16-2012, 9:49 PM Reply   
The air suspension on those truck are complete crap. When I was on the market looking for an 03-04 escalade, almost every one of them had suspension problems,

I un-hooked the complete system (there is a way so you don't get the message on the display anymore) and installed helper bags. Way more cheaper and reliable!!
Old     (bass10after)      Join Date: Feb 2010       07-17-2012, 5:41 PM Reply   
I wouldn't disconnect the airbag system if it was me.. I like my caddi to ride the way it was intended and i know when i hook up my boat the airbags help level it and make it so i can actually pivot the trailer jack on the boat trailer. Without the leveling system I think i'd have to replace the jack with a shorter unit to be able to pivot it. As many years as i've had the vehicle I can say the bags are a great feature when towing and loaded down with 6 friends and all our gear.
Old     (ottog1979)      Join Date: Apr 2007       07-21-2012, 8:04 PM Reply   
OK, I tackled this problem today and while not yet fixing it, I'm 90% certain what my problem is. The "exhaust solenoid" on my compressor is kaput. The compressor works fine but it will not work in the car without the exhaust solenoid working.

I found this thread to be highly informative and containing just about everything you'd need to diagnose Ride Control problems. To start, see post #87 giving an overview if your compressor is not working.

Other good posts:
#64 & #91 (checking/fixing exhaust solenoid)
#79 (removing compressor)

Some of the most important findings: There is no "re-programing" after replacing system components as some dealers may claim. The problem is very, very rarely the ESC (electronic suspension control) module that costs $900+/-.

After an hour reading and then inspecting/testing fuses, the relay, compressor motor for another hour or two, I've found my problem. Plenty worth it compared to bending over at the dealer.

Oh, and thanks also to those above referring Arnott. That's where I'm bought my compressor (in order to get the solenoid not sold independently).

Last edited by ottog1979; 07-21-2012 at 8:06 PM.
Old     (badhabit)      Join Date: Mar 2009       07-22-2012, 1:35 PM Reply   
For those who need to replace the rear shocks:

Monroe makes the factory rear shocks/air bags. You can buy them for a 1/4 of the cost online. here's an example:

I've replaced my 2006 Escalade after a factory shock started to leak air. Only a 15 min job.

NOTE: These are brand new. Arnott's are used shocks with new air not buy Arnott's.
Old     (wazzy)      Join Date: Nov 2001       08-03-2012, 11:17 AM Reply   
Ended up disconnecting the Air ride on my '04 YD (both shocks shot & compressor not working). Put on Blistein shocks (front & back) and beefier springs. Seems OK to me & not having to mess with that problematic electronic air ride is a bonus. It's all still attached to the truck incase I ever want to spend the money, or if I sell the truck & the next guy wants to mess with it.

Now how about the issue of blowing hot air when the A/C is on? anybody get that?
Old     (ottog1979)      Join Date: Apr 2007       08-03-2012, 11:28 AM Reply   
^Hot Air - Yup, I got that too. But it happens very infrequently. The solution is usually to just turn off the whole AC, then turn it back on a minute later. Sometimes it requires re-starting the vehicle. Hasn't been bad enough to fix yet, but I was reading something on-line about the AC controllers. There's one for each side. Mine only goes hot on the driver's side.

I bought a new compressor for $187 from Arnott and will be putting it in this weekend. My diagnosis ended found that the coil in my compressor exhaust release valve solenoid was not working (thread #64 & 91 in the Edmonds link above). Unfortunately, it was inside the coil and not just re-soldering the wires on the outside. Still, I'm pretty sure it'll be fixed for $187 total. Sweet!
Old     (cadunkle)      Join Date: Jul 2009       08-03-2012, 11:49 AM Reply   
Replace the crappy air shocks with regular shocks and springs appropriate for your typical load. The truck will handle a lot better and you'll save a bunch of money.
Old     (ottog1979)      Join Date: Apr 2007       08-04-2012, 3:47 PM Reply   
^ Why? I like the way Ride Control System adjusts to the height needed for whatever weight is on the tongue.

Boom - $187 plus tax & shipping and 3-4 hours total (half of that reading on internet, which I've short-cut to above). FIXED. link was key. LOTS of good info there. No system "programing", no dealer top $$. Just plug & go, easy.


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