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1996 Air Suspension Problem


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We have a 1996 LS400 with 19,800 miles, that we have owned since 1997, purchased from a local Lexus dealer (San Francisco Bay Area), with about 2,500 miles on it. It has the variable air suspension option. Recently, we observed the rear driver's side dropping in height.

Measurements taken showed normal height as approximately 16" from the lower surface of the top of the wheel well to the mid of the hub cap. It has been as low as 14", or just barely enough clearance between top of tire and bottom of the wheel well to drive.

Starting up the car and driving even a very short distance restores the height to normal. When we parked the car with the air suspension setting in the "normal" position, the car seems to drop much faster than with the setting in the "high" position. However, the car drops in both settings.

The local Lexus dealer tried to find a problem but could not. It seems odd that a car with this low mileage should be experiencing this problem. Apart from this problem, the car drives wonderfully. Does anyone have any suggestions or ideas?



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It may be in the shock or the hose that is loosing air

need to inspect it for leaks .

Probably easiest when the car is down

Thanks so much for your reply. The dealer couldn't find anything, but I don't believe he looked very hard. From other posts I've read, it sounds like the left driver-side rear shock, although your suggestion that it might be something as simple as a hose is interesting. Isn't 19,800 miles, though, a bit early for this to be manifesting a problem, notwithstanding the age of the car? What is the most efficient and least expensive way to find a leak? This one appears to be slow, if indeed it is a leak.

BTW, when you say it should be "down", are you referring to the "norm" setting?

Thanks so much for your help---much appreciated!


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  • 3 weeks later...
It appears the problem was due to the car sitting idle for 3-4 weeks. Since driving the car, the problem has self-corrected.


Its very normal for it to lose air if its been sitting for that long my friend. So your good. People with problems usually report a serious drop overnight... hahah... they are prolly like 3-4weeks and he's complaining!!! Enjoy the ride.

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