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    Thread: Air Suspension Lifespan?

    1. Member
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      12-09-2011 12:53 PM #1
      Anyone has any ideas on how long the lifespan is on Phaeton's air suspension? And anything we can do to maintain them? As the fleet ages, I am starting to think of these kinds of questions.

      Thanks!

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      12-09-2011 04:46 PM #2
      Tomasty,

      There's no routine maintenance that I can think of. If it goes bad,it will most likely be due to damaged plumbing, damaged sensors, or aged air bladders.

      Damon

    3. 12-09-2011 04:52 PM #3
      It's the same as the ATF in the 6 speed transmission.

    4. Moderator PanEuropean's Avatar
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      12-10-2011 04:19 AM #4
      Quote Originally Posted by invisiblewave View Post
      It's the same as the ATF in the 6 speed transmission.
      I'm perplexed, I don't understand that comment in the context of the question above.

      Michael
      Please don't send me technical questions via IM - instead, post your questions onto the end of the most appropriate thread in the FAQ, so that everyone can benefit from the answer, and everyone can assist in providing the answer. Thanks, Michael

    5. Member FootSore's Avatar
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      12-10-2011 09:14 AM #5
      Michael,

      I guess invisiblewave means that there is nothing we are supposed to do it. It is supposed to last the lifetime of the car, and we just have to trust them on that. The fuid never needs changing and the air suspension nevers need maintaining. Until the day it does require some assistance in the form of replacement.

      Dave

      Who this week has a Passet CC - Phaeton in for warranty work on doors, all four coming off.

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      12-10-2011 11:44 AM #6
      Thanks for the input guys, but the problem is, the ATF is not a "life time" item, please check out this post: http://forums.vwvortex.com/showthrea...fluid-(baloney

      And I just changed ATF and fuel filter in my Phaeton, which are both claimed by VW "life time" item, so I am starting to think what is the next "life time" item

      You can see my posts of ATF and fuel filter here:

      http://forums.vwvortex.com/showthrea...Y-(18-Pictures)

      http://forums.vwvortex.com/showthrea...)-(ATF-Coolant)

      Tomas

    7. 12-10-2011 02:31 PM #7
      That baloney thread refers to a completely different transmission, on a Beetle by the looks of it. Who manufactures the Beetle transmission? Compare the colour of the fluid coming out to the fluid that came out of your car, from the photo you posted yours looks like new. What happened to your transmission when you changed the fluid? Anybody can post anything on the internet, just because someone says VW are talking baloney doesn't make it so.

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      12-10-2011 02:59 PM #8
      Tomas,
      As far as the air suspension goes, and barring any physical damage, the worst enemy is the age of the rubber components. Just like any seal on a vehicle, it will be subject to failure with age. The bladders inside your air struts are like bicycle inner tubes. They will eventually develop tears due to constant friction an flexing.

      Damon

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      12-10-2011 05:54 PM #9
      Quote Originally Posted by dlouie View Post
      Tomas,
      As far as the air suspension goes, and barring any physical damage, the worst enemy is the age of the rubber components. Just like any seal on a vehicle, it will be subject to failure with age. The bladders inside your air struts are like bicycle inner tubes. They will eventually develop tears due to constant friction an flexing.

      Damon
      Hi Damon,

      Thanks, so basically, there is nothing we can do then besides keep all fingers and toes crossed and hope for the best.

      Tomas

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      12-10-2011 06:01 PM #10
      Quote Originally Posted by invisiblewave View Post
      That baloney thread refers to a completely different transmission, on a Beetle by the looks of it. Who manufactures the Beetle transmission? Compare the colour of the fluid coming out to the fluid that came out of your car, from the photo you posted yours looks like new. What happened to your transmission when you changed the fluid? Anybody can post anything on the internet, just because someone says VW are talking baloney doesn't make it so.
      HI invisiblewave,

      According to the transmission manufacturer ZF, the ATF should be changed every 8 years on 80,000 KMs depends on the driving condition, please refer to this ZF document: http://www01apps.zf.com/kst464/ZF_In...011_en0700.pdf

      I wasn't having problems before the ATF change, just change it as a preventative maintenance, as my car has 169,000 KMs on it. The tech worked on my car also told me the reason VW say ATF is a lifetime item simply because they want to sell more cars that way.

      Phaeton is a luxery car, doesn't mean it's transmission is bullet proof, all fluids degrade over time, there is no such called life time fluid.

      And changing ATF on Phaeton is not new, Michael changed the ATF on his car, there is post under TOC: http://forums.vwvortex.com/showthread.php?2967745

      Tomas

    11. Moderator PanEuropean's Avatar
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      12-10-2011 06:36 PM #11
      Quote Originally Posted by tomasty View Post
      ...changing ATF on Phaeton is not new, Michael changed the ATF on his car, there is post under TOC: http://forums.vwvortex.com/showthread.php?2967745
      There is a specific service instruction to change the ATF on the 5 speed Phaeton transmission (used in vehicles with the W12 engine). I am not aware of any specific service instruction from Volkswagen, published in either the NAR or ROW markets, to change the fluid in the 6 speed transmissions.

      Michael
      Please don't send me technical questions via IM - instead, post your questions onto the end of the most appropriate thread in the FAQ, so that everyone can benefit from the answer, and everyone can assist in providing the answer. Thanks, Michael

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      12-11-2011 12:11 PM #12
      Ok I'm planning to change my ATF . I'm seeing different numbers all over, flash controller or not. My local Canadian Tire shop has a "new" transmission flush machine, it uses the cooler lines to drain and add new fluid at the same time. I will follow the proper "top up" at 35*C. So what is the proper OEM ATF I should use, G055005A or the G052162A2? The shop listed the G052162A2 at 9.2l for my 6 speed V8, I thought this fluid was for the 5 speed W12.

      Mike

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      12-11-2011 02:03 PM #13
      I think this thread got hijacked.

      Damon

    14. 12-11-2011 03:49 PM #14
      Quote Originally Posted by tomasty View Post
      HI invisiblewave,

      According to the transmission manufacturer ZF, the ATF should be changed every 8 years on 80,000 KMs depends on the driving condition, please refer to this ZF document: http://www01apps.zf.com/kst464/ZF_In...011_en0700.pdf

      Tomas
      Yes, it says the fluid is a lifetime fill EXCEPT in those exceptional circumstances, such as a lot of towing. Thanks for posting it, I now know I don't need to change my ATF!

    15. Moderator Paximus's Avatar
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      12-11-2011 04:12 PM #15
      Anyone has any ideas on how long the lifespan is on Phaeton's air suspension?
      tomasty
      I guess a view on the suspension life would be from the repair experiences of owners of high-mileage Phaetons (say 150k - 200k+ miles). Although that wouldn't really reflect materials ageing as such, only mechanical wear.

      Does anyone know if similar struts were used before 2003 on (say) Quattros?


      So what is the proper OEM ATF I should use, G055005A or the G052162A2?
      seawind3000
      I've seen quoted G052162A2 for 5-speed ATF and G055005A2 for 6-speed ATF (in ETKA).


      I now know I don't need to change my ATF!
      invisiblewave
      I'm still going to change mine, the odd unexpected slightly harsh shift means it could be worth it, if it's got to be 'serviced ' anyway at some time in the future...


      Chris

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      12-11-2011 05:44 PM #16
      Does anyone know if similar struts were used before 2003 on (say) Quattros?
      I believe the Audi Quattros & Allroads have a distinctly different air shock. However, I believe the A8s come with air shocks pretty similar in design to those on the Phaeton. A casual view of one Audi A8 forum indicates a much higher failure rate for the compressor in this system rather than the air shocks themselves. Obviously the air shocks can fail, as we've had some evidence of this on our Phaetons. However, I believe VW designs them to last the life of the car, whatever that might mean - maybe 10 years or 100-150k miles. Nevertheless, if the mean failure rate is say, 10 years or 120k miles, many air struts will fail before that as we've seen.

      Since I have a 2004 model, most likely with the obsolete air shocks, my biggest concern is that mine will last so long that VW will cease helping owners with the policy of "owner pays for failed shock and VW pays for the other 3 plus the new controller."

      I'm hoping VW will never totally eliminate this policy, but may require owners to pay an increased share of the expenses as time passes.


      Jim X

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      12-11-2011 05:57 PM #17
      Sorrry ........ but ATF was mentioned...... somewhere.

      Mike

    18. Member tynee's Avatar
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      12-14-2011 08:45 AM #18
      Quote Originally Posted by Jxander View Post

      Since I have a 2004 model, most likely with the obsolete air shocks, my biggest concern is that mine will last so long that VW will cease helping owners with the policy of "owner pays for failed shock and VW pays for the other 3 plus the new controller."

      I'm hoping VW will never totally eliminate this policy, but may require owners to pay an increased share of the expenses as time passes.


      Jim X
      That's funny, that's exactly my biggest concern with the car right now. I wish I could do some preventative maintenance on these shocks, and I baby the car all the time, but it's hard to keep rubber from aging.

      Ditto on the "help" from VW too. Half of me wants to drive hard, fail a shock, and get "help" on the total cost before it expires, and half of me keeps my fingers crossed that nothing will go wrong with the system for years to come.

    19. 12-14-2011 08:56 AM #19
      I think all of us with 04 cars are in that same boat. Every time I approach mine directly from behind or in front when it's on a level surface, my paranoia takes over and convinces me it's leaning one way or the other.

    20. Moderator Paximus's Avatar
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      12-14-2011 09:40 AM #20
      How about applying some comfort therapy?

      Put 18 month's depreciation into a bank deposit account, put the web address of the cheap Polish strut repair service on a fridge magnet, and forget about it.

      You could have a lovely worry-free time until, say, the year 2021...

    21. 12-14-2011 10:10 AM #21
      If you can supply the address of said Polish strut service (we are talking suspension repair here??), I can forgo the fridge magnet and use a bookmark instead.

    22. Moderator Paximus's Avatar
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      12-14-2011 10:36 AM #22
      That's typical, I can't find the repair reference now!

      But used struts are about $150 each, the 3D0 907 553 B controller about $60, all plus shipping and import taxes, so no cause for huge panic if you are OK with used parts for a used car.

      But maybe that isn't quite as re-assuring as I had hoped!

      Chris



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      12-14-2011 11:08 AM #23
      There is a company in the US that is supposedly working or rebuilt units, Arnott Industries (I'm not affiliated). I've had some correspondence with them in the past asking if they were developing something for the Phaeton. They said they were and have recently introduced products for the Touareg family of cars.

      http://forums.vwvortex.com/showthrea...ilt-Air-Struts

      The following is a link to a long lost post from a forum member who has done some extensive modifications to his suspension and has images showing the internals of the air strut (second image). I think it is the air spring gaiter typically fails.

      http://forums.vwvortex.com/showthrea...1#post60387510

      Failure of air suspension components are enevitable no matter what make. Just check out the Mercedes, Land Rover, and Audi forums.

      Damon

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      12-14-2011 01:01 PM #24
      That's typical, I can't find the repair reference now!
      It was these guys. Their web site is in Polish but you can make sense of it with Google Translate.

      Jouko

    25. 12-14-2011 01:40 PM #25
      It's times like this when I find it difficult to recall how life was carried on before the Internet!

      Thanks!!

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