Air Ride hard fault troubleshooting and forcing system to inflate


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My CE has a hard fault, the check air ride message comes on right after start up.

Here's how I troubleshoot and manually inflated the airsprings. This might help people that don't have the wiring diagram.

The air ride module is located under the passenger side lower cowl kick panel.

The gray connector is the one with the compressor, vent valve, and solenoid outputs, unplug it and pull it down a bit for access to the pins.

I use jumper cables to run the positive and negative around to the passenger side area, I tape small wires to the battery clamps to use as test positive and ground supplies. I put a glove over the positive clamp to protect it from shorting to ground, be careful with the small positive wire, don't let it touch anything unintentionally.

First, I test the compressor circuit, pin 18 is the relay trigger, connect the ground wire to it and the compressor should run. Just let it run for a second to make sure it runs, as the solenoids are not open.

Next test the solenoids, pins 14, 15, 16, and 17. Connect the positive wire to each one, one at a time, you will hear each solenoid click.

Obviously, if one of these tests fails you need to look at the compressor relay, compressor, solenoid, or wires to these components.

One of my solenoids didn't click, I checked the connector it was a little corroded, I cleaned it up, it's ok now, one problem solved.

Once these checked out ok, to manually inflate the air ride, apply positive to the solenoid pins (I do both fronts and rears together if they are equally low) and then ground the relay trigger and the air ride should inflate.

You can check the vent valve as well, apply positive to pin 30 you should hear a click, then apply positive to one or 2 of the solenoids, they should vent.

Here are the pin numbers and wire colors:

Pin 18, dark blue with yellow stripe, compressor relay trigger, apply ground to activate.

Pin 14, light green with orange stripe, LF solenoid, apply positive to activate.

Pin 15, orange with red stripe, RF solenoid, apply positive to activate.

Pin 16, purple with light green stripe, LR solenoid, apply positive to activate.

Pin 17, light blue with black stripe, RR solenoid, apply positive to activate.

Pin 30, pink, vent valve, apply positive to activate.

My CE still has the hard fault (I ran out of time and light) but at least the air ride is fully inflated for further troubleshooting.:)
Last edited:


Head Moderator
Staff member
I just noticed that I forgot to say what the the remaining problem was after I cleaned up the connector to the solenoid. Since all the outputs worked fine manually, I checked the dark green/yellow wire on the black connector for power to the module, but it was dead. I ran a jumper wire to it and that fixed it. The jumper wire I ran was a cigarette lighter plug to the lighter socket.

I like being able to enable and disable the air ride from inside the car (my winter car) so I left the plug connected and still use it today, 4 years later, to turn the air ride on or off.