Oldsmobile Bravada air suspension problem. [Archive] - Chevy TrailBlazer, TrailBlazer SS and GMC Envoy Forum

: Oldsmobile Bravada air suspension problem.

03-11-2011, 08:03 PM
Well hello, new guy here. I found this site last night at work while looking for information on fixing my 2002 Oldsmobile Bravada air suspension.

To make a long story short last week the back end settled nearly to the ground. When starting the car the air compressor would kick on for 30 seconds or so but nothing would happen. I verified that the pump seems to be putting out pressure at the connection located in the rear cargo area. I was getting 60 psi. After doing some quick internet research it appeared this could be a common problem that could be fixed by just changing out the air check valve.

Today I changed out the check valve following all the procedures listed starting off with removing the #1 30 amp fuse. The entire procedure took me less than an hour. Once done I reassembled everything and reinstalled the #1 fuse and with fingers crossed started the Bravada. Much to my surprise the compressor made one blip and than died. I stopped the Bravada and then went to the cargo compartment and hit the switch to turn on the compressor, nothing. After a quick check of things I found the #1 fuse blown, huh. This lead me to check all the electrical connections on the compressor. I unplugged them, cleaned them with contact cleaner and then plugged them back in and made sure they were properly seated. From there I installed a spare 30 amp fuse and proceeded to check the system. First off I hit the button in the back to turn on the compressor, nothing but the light did light up. Time to start the car, once again nothing from the compressor but once again it blew the fuse when it attempted to fire up.

At this point I am thinking that my air spring compressor is shot. It was getting noisy right before the back end dropped. I initially attributed it to a stuck check valve but now I am wondering.

Now before I run off and buy a new compressor is there anything else I should check?

If I do need a new compressor it looks like I am going with an Arnott unit due to the general consensus of this forum. From there I will also most likely replace both the rear air bags. I see that they have a Generation 2 that appear to be a better design. Should I go with these? It appears I would have to change the air line fitting to use these bags, is this hard to do or do I need any special tools?

Thanks for any help or advice you can give me.


03-11-2011, 08:21 PM
Sounds like you've done everything right. The compressor swap is easy and you should have no problem. The mounting config is different depending on your wheelbase but as I understand the Olds was only produced in standard length. I was preparing to swap my original bags for the Arnotts having already replaced the compressor a year ago. Said the heck with the air system and it's inherent unreliability and went with take-off oem springs ($30)....great deal. Air ride was better but not by much. Could see myself stranded on the side of the road out of town with the body on the frame when the compressor quit again....which it will without warning like the first time. The Arnott bags use a compression nut vs the oem quick release collar. Could be a little tricky because it's a tight workspace, or so I was told, but doable for sure.

03-11-2011, 08:39 PM
Thanks Fitz. I went ahead and bit the bullet and ordered a new compressor and the gen 2 bags from Arnott. I found an online code and got all of it for $513 shipped to my door. I was expecting to come in at much closer to $700 to do the job so I am happy about this.

I am still wondering on why it would all the sudden start blowing the fuse? I wonder if the electric motor in the compressor finally shorted out or what? Any one got any other ideas?


03-14-2011, 12:50 PM
It must be the season for this:crazy:.

I am picking up my new Arnott compressor tomorrow for my 2002 Bravada.

Listed at 359.00 from Arnott with a price match at the local O'Reilly's

Which fuse is for the suspension system?

Also have an issue with the rear tailgate not working.

Cannot open hatch or door to remove the rear interior panel to access actuator.

Any ideas on that?

Would appreciate any help.


Thanks Fitz. I went ahead and bit the bullet and ordered a new compressor and the gen 2 bags from Arnott. I found an online code and got all of it for $513 shipped to my door. I was expecting to come in at much closer to $700 to do the job so I am happy about this.

I am still wondering on why it would all the sudden start blowing the fuse? I wonder if the electric motor in the compressor finally shorted out or what? Any one got any other ideas?


03-14-2011, 03:12 PM
Roy, I am going by memory here on the fuse but it should be the #1 fuse. It is a green 30 amp fuse located in the fuse box to the right of the engine. It is pretty much the first fuse in the box.


03-22-2011, 05:32 PM
Just an update. My parts arrived an hour and a half ago.

Since today is my last day off and it is not raining I decided to go after this project.

To start things off I examined all my new parts. Much to my surprise the new compressor came mounted on the correct plate. This made replacing the compressor quick and easy.

Next onto the air springs. These had me a bit worried because of the new/different fitting used on the gen 2 bags. After a quick peak at the instructions it appeared this was going to be very easy. In fact as another member posted it took me longer to jack the Bravada up, properly support it and then remove the tires than it did to actually change the bags. Due to the nature of where I had to put my arms with the suv up in the air I had my neighbor come over and observe the procedure. He couldn't believe it when I reached in and grabbed the old bag and popped it right out. Removing the air fitting took me a second but I quickly found the easiest way to do this is to take a pair of needle nose pliers and place the tip gently around the air line and push down on the fitting. Putting the new bags in was even easier. All I had to do was place the line straight into the new fitting all the way. Once that was in place I quickly snapped the new bags into place.

Now that I had the new bags in I decided to support the axle and then use my jack to slowly lower the frame onto it making sure that the new bags seated properly. Once that was accomplished I reinstalled the fuse, crossed my fingers and fired up the Bravada. The new pump quickly fired up and starting raising the rear. From reading other posts I knew to expect a loud pop from each bag. Initially I heard a pop from each bag and I figured that was it, than I heard the loud pop. I am sure glad I read about it before hand other wise I probably would have assumed I did something wrong.

Well that was it, once I verified the system was working properly I reinstalled the tires and torqued them down and took her for a test drive. Wow does it ride nice again.

Total time to do this repair was less than an hour.


03-27-2011, 01:40 PM
Same here. Replacing the compressor was a snap and it fired right up. So far the old bags are holding their own, may replace them anyway when it warms up.

As to the tailgate issue, manually got it open and inspected the wires behind the boot at the top of the door. Sure enough two wires were completely broken. Got out the soldering gun for the three smaller wires and butt splice connectors for the two larger ones. Closed it up and it worked again. :)

Thanks for all the help and advice.

Now my cooling fan is whirring, I already know what that is!!!!

05-09-2011, 10:43 AM
I've been fighting this system for 6 months.

When I bought the truck May 2010, the compressor had been replaced in January 2010, but the bags were original. I had some exhaust work done on the truck and when I got it back, the rear was sunk all the way down. I'm a rational person, so I couldn't imagine how the exhaust and air springs could be connected, but I looked for melted hoses anyway. While I was under there, I noticed the bags were pretty cracked. My thought was that the shop had put the truck on a frame lift and let the suspension relax causing the bags to deform/change position and allow a leak. No big deal - I replaced both bags with OEM.

That was January 2011. It's still leaking. I have checked the hoses, the bags, the fittings - everything except the compressor itself. It STILL LEAKS. Usually the left side drops all the way down.

This weekend, I started the truck to let them fill completely, shut off the truck and then sat down near the compressor area. I can hear the level sensors ticking which I think is normal. Within 30 seconds, I hear *click*...Sssssssssseeeeeoooosss and then silence. What clicked? Why did it begin to leak and then stop?

Is it possible that the check valve on the "new" compressor has already gone bad? Is the check valve located on the compressor?

05-12-2011, 11:19 PM
When the bags on my dads Bravada went last summer I convinced him to change not only the bags but the compressor and the lines..well worth changing it all but not so much the bill for parts since we did all the labour.

11-17-2014, 10:49 AM
When it gets cold the air bags don`t work but the compressor still comes on. Any way to put alcohol in the system ?