Entire Vehicle Suddenly Sinking? - Chevy TrailBlazer, TrailBlazer SS and GMC Envoy Forum

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Go Back   Chevy TrailBlazer, TrailBlazer SS and GMC Envoy Forum > 2002 - 2009 TrailBlazer/Envoy Tech > 02-09 Brakes, Suspension, Wheels and Tires > Suspension

Suspension Suspension

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Old 01-12-2016, 10:27 AM
GPM GPM is offline
Junior Member
2003 GMC Envoy SLT
Bordeaux Red Metallic 4.2L I6 4X4
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Emporia, KS
Posts: 1
Entire Vehicle Suddenly Sinking?

Three days ago I noticed our 2003 Envoy SLT 4WD (currently set on 2WD) seemed to be rather suddenly out of alignment as the vehicle began gently pulling to the right, which was quite unusual. The next day, the right side appeared to possibly be "sagging" a little bit and, by this morning, both sides in the back have quite noticeably dropped -- and it appears that the front end may be dropping now as well! Turning the engine on does not result in any raise whatsoever and, instead of hearing the gentle whirr of the motor leveling the vehicle, one hears something more along the lines of a clicking or cranking sound.

All of this has occurred during a notable cold spell -- 4 degrees F.

In addition, my husband has noticed fluid in our driveway that appears to be coming from under the engine; he has been unable to identify what the fluid is or where it's coming from.

From reading this forum it appears air suspension problems are relatively common on the Envoy, but it seems our experience -- with fluid possibly leaking, potentially the entire vehicle involved, and the suddenness with which absolute failure of the vehicle's suspension has occurred -- may be unusual.

Any ideas/thoughts/suggestions as to what might be going on and how to approach repair would be sincerely appreciated!
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Old 01-12-2016, 07:41 PM
AWD V8's Avatar
AWD V8 AWD V8 is offline
Senior Member
2003 GMC Envoy SLT
Indigo Blue Metallic 5.3L V8 AWD
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Surrey BC
Posts: 628
The rear suspension is air bag supported. It can drop if their are problems with the air suspension.

The front is coil spring supported, highly unlikely the front would drop suddenly.

If the rear does drop it can appear that the whole vehicle has dropped.

Obviously the rear air bags have lost air. This may be due to a failed air compressor, or a power supply issue. It is also possible that the air lines to the air bags have moisture in them. This is normal over time as the vehicle ages. The air compressor runs hot and then the hot air condenses, then moisture accumulates. When it gets very cold the water freezes in the lines, air cannot pass. The compressor monitors the pressure in the lines but it will be OK as the ice is holding the pressure, and stopping it from getting to the air bags.

If you disconnected the air line from the compressor the compressor should run when it sees the pressure lose. If not, then you have a compressor or power supply problem.

If you can get the vehicle into a heated garage the system may start working again. That would confirm that you have a moisture problem and need to clear the lines.

As these vehicles get older the air bags will slowly leak causing the compressor to run more and more to try to keep the vehicle at ride height. This creates more condensation as the compressor is running more and getting hotter. Compressor failure may follow, if it's not already failed.

I installed a coil spring kit in my Envoy, didn't want to replace the bags and then have the compressor fail later. The systems are getting older and prone to more failures. Coil springs eliminates all that.

I do toe a large trailer and often load the vehicle with people and stuff, no undue sagging noticed.
I was planning on procrastinating today but I think I'll do that tomorrow.
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