Range Rover P38.

 Replacing a suspension air bag.

The P38 range rover uses a electronic control unit to operate its electronic air suspension system (AES) this has to be reset after a failure or after any repairs. Every time the ignition is turned on the system checks for faults,a serious failure can lower the vehicle on to the bump stops,the pump turns off and a warning message limiting speed is shown on the dashboard.Although the reset can be done by a Land Rover dealer or some other workshops equipped with the necessary equipment it is possible to do the job with a lap top,a special cable and commercially available software. It is also possible to do the same thing with jumper wires although this is considerably more difficult. I have found that sometimes simply leaving it alone for ten minutes or so will clear faults. These vehicles are also very prone to display faults if the battery isn't holding a decent charge.Changing the front air springs is an easy job needing just two spanners,a screwdriver and pliers plus jacks,axle stands and some wood blocks.

My P38 range rover was suffering from a common problem.

Over a few days the suspension would settle,eventually getting so that leaving it any length of time would result in the car lowering itself down to the bump stops.

The vehicle would raise when started,over time this took longer and longer and soon it got to the point where the vehicle could almost be watched going down at one corner.

Spraying the pipes and bags with soapy water revealed a leak (just above the bolt head in the picture) The leak was not contstant sometimes raising the vehicle made things worse and sometimes it would almost seem to stabilise this was a result of the rubber flexing making the leak vary.

The vehicle was jacked up using jacks,and axle stands with heavy baulks of timber until it was approx at the height it would be when on its maximum height setting.The suspension was depressurised with a computer.


The wheels were removed with jacks lifting the front axle slightly. It is possible to access the springs,clips and pipes with the wheels on and the plastic wheel arch liners in place but these were removed.

The covers are held by cheap plastic clips that break and distort easily,new ones cost pence and are much easier to fit.

Withe the shield removed access is much easier.

The spring on this side has already been removed,with the wheel and shield removed it takes ony a couple of minutes

Then using the jaws of a small spanner or adjustable set to slide easily over the air lines press down the collet on top of the air bag turret and pull out the pipe.


Check there is no air in the bags

.Two pins on the top of the bags are held by these clips which can be removed using a screwdriver with a wide blade.

The bags on this vehicle were badly degraded on the fold.

They were replaced with Dunlop versions.

A laptop,cable and reset software are the easiest way to reset the suspension after any repairs.




















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