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Old 08-05-2014, 07:29 PM
Clutch Clutch is offline
Join Date: May 2010
Location: DC
Posts: 46
Clutch is on a distinguished road
Thanks to all for the replies. Once again this forum and the folks on it are invaluable. First, great explanation on the secondary air pump, thank you so much, an immense help. Second, yes, I went into the trunk tonight and found the fuse block as Ricky Bobby posted. All looked fine but I tested with a meter anyway and all fuses are good.

Third – as to why I’m chasing the fuses. Great question and I will try to make it short. It all started with my post back in 2011:

The behavior of the system was normal except for the overnight loss of air, and even that was sporadic. But the bags were definitely leaking. I put up with it for 2 years, and last summer I installed all four new Arnott air struts myself. The DIY went very well and I was quite pleased with myself. When I reconnected the battery the compressor filled the bags (I did rear first then the front) and I immediately got the SLS inactive message. Easy fix I thought, but off and on for a year I have been trying all of the various reset procedures posted in the forum – except – I do not have any software tools. I did all the battery disconnects, fuse pulls, jack car up and down, drive backwards, key on/key off/door open/door close, you name it. I can’t clear the message and get the system to work.

Finally I had enough and when I had the X in for other service about 2 weeks ago I spent some money on diagnostic time. The BMW tech said there was a leaking air hose, bad accumulator, bad sensor (no details), and leaking “valve block”. Estimated additional repair cost on top of diagnosis money already burned: $2638, with no guarantee it wouldn’t require more.

Tidbit: the middle green light on the height adjust rocker switch was illuminated when I took it in to the dealer, and not illuminated when I picked it up. I don’t know what they did, but it was hard to argue with the guy since the system functionality was not worse. Hhmmph.

I didn’t believe the “diagnosis" so I didn’t proceed. Don’t have the cash anyway. I’m baffled. My system was working near-perfect when I did the straightforward strut replacement. I could raise and lower. I was careful and didn’t pinch any lines or fry any circuits. I check ride height sensors and everything else I can think of. The system is airtight – none of the corners have budged a millimeter in 13 months. So I’m trying a last round of simple things before I consider taking a portion of the saved $2638 and finally investing in some software. I do not really need the ability to raise/lower; I can live with that – but the SLS message has been driving me crazy for a year now. Plus, if I decide to sell, that message has to be fixed or explained sufficiently – and by that I mean with little or no cost to the potential buyer.

Sorry for the long post but you can probably sense my frustration with the suspension system just as so many others have. But having the dealer tell me (via the polo-shirted greeter guy) that kind of info and price has made me have to just keep living with it. As long as the bags hold the air and keep the level, it’s just not worth it to purse the raise/lower functionality. Unless someone has a good idea or trick I haven’t tried.

I guess I’ll just put tape over the message center!

Thanks again for the info and for letting me ramble…
2006 X5 4.8is
LeMans Blue over black
Style 168 rims
Blackout grills and hood vents
Aux jack
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