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DTC9968 01-16-2011 03:17 PM

Air suspension - Manual pump up
3 Attachment(s)
Ok Gang

I posted trying to figure out how to manually pump up my rear air suspension but did not get an answer. So...... I went out in the garage and figured it out myself.
I am posting this for others if they have the same problem as me.


My 2002 X5 was sagging in the rear end and suspension was rough and bouncie. I noticed that the rear of the X5 was low. I checked all my fuses and went out and bought a new relay. I could hear the new relay click when I inserted it thinking the relay was gone. I turned the X on thinking I would hear the compressor turn on but NO?????.
I do not have an error message on my dash either.

I wanted to see if the compressor it self still worked so I jumped the relay and pumped up the rear of the X manually. Jumped relay and the compressor turned on and pumped up the rear of the X. I checked to see if I had a leak in the rear air springs and all the tubing. NO air escaping.
I think it must be my sensors in the rear but still checking that.

Quick fix

Here is how you pump up the system manually by jumping the relay.

1. Take the rear floor cover out and remove the spare tire.
2. Unbolt the air compressor housing
3. Turn it over and you will see the orange colour relay.
4. There are two red wires that go into the bottom of the relay housing (One is red with a white tracer and the other is red with a yellow tracer) see picture.
5. Remover the relay and locate the positions of the two above mentioned wires. (I marked mine with red paint)
6. Use a stiff copper wire ( I used a piece of stiff copper wire) and insert the copper wire into the two located terminal sockets and the air compressor will come on. ( Have the key in the "ON" position.
7. Pump up to the desired ride height. (I only left my wire in for 30 second intervals to avoid overheating the wire or the compressor)

Hope this helps everyone.

****Remember this is a quick fix until you find out the real issue so you can still drive the X with a comfortable ride.

Milsy 01-17-2011 03:06 AM

Ha, sounds dodge, but good to see it has worked for you

FL2002x54.6 04-04-2011 03:53 PM

I am going to give this a try (just replaced both air springs and the rear is fully deflated). How many "30 sec" cycles did it take to get your ride hight up?

Pstephana 04-07-2011 04:33 PM

Do you have all four air suspension?
Hey DTC.

I'm having a bit*ch of a time with my '02 4.4i all air suspension system.

It started when I got the "INACTIVE..." warning. I let it go for some time. The ride height was in it's normal position and could not use the manual switch on the lower dash. I started reading Xpost for ideas. I replaced the rear relay next to the battery (nothing), checked all the fuses (glove and rear trunk). I had my neighbor help and he was able to jump the relay (the key was not in) we determined it was not the realy. BUT!!! afterwards the manual switch lights were off and the entire drivers side was lowered complety and the passenger side was begining to lower. The ride SUCKS!!! I went ahead and changed the air suspension module (located in/under the glove box $650) Nothing. I was told/reading it might need to be re-programmened. Any ever done this in SF/CA?:dunno: I checked all the bags and all are good.
Any ideas?
And HELP!!!! From X5 Guru's!

Pstephana 04-09-2011 02:39 AM

Air suspension relay jump...VIDEO
Hey all and DTC,

Here is a video I shot yesterday. There was no height change. Driving home my suspension felt a little better. Not a hard/bottoming out feeling. I think the drivers side air bags must have filled a little (sorry youtube link):
YouTube - X5 BMW 2002 Full Air Suspension Relay Jump

Today, I jumped the relay again to see if there was any height change, nothing noticeable but the ride felt better:confused:. I will post that video shot today this weekend.

Any thoughts?:(

Pstephana 04-11-2011 03:23 PM

Another attempt at jumping the relay just to verify if it work
Another attempt at jumping the relay just to verify if it works:
YouTube - X5 BMW 2002 Full Air Suspension Relay Jump DeuxiemePartie!

I am still trying to find a reliable Independent BMW repair/service Shop in SF or on the Silicon Valley Peninsula?:dunno:

Blue4.8is 04-25-2013 01:40 PM

What Ended Up being the problem?

xsx450 04-25-2013 03:53 PM


Originally Posted by Pstephana (Post 817673)
Another attempt at jumping the relay just to verify if it works:
YouTube - X5 BMW 2002 Full Air Suspension Relay Jump DeuxiemePartie!

I am still trying to find a reliable Independent BMW repair/service Shop in SF or on the Silicon Valley Peninsula?:dunno:

I am in the same boat. There are several good "BMW" shops, but nobody seems to really KNOW the 4.8is issues that I have found.

I have used the following 3, and they were OK, they have autologic and are good mechanics, but didnt demonstrate any great knowledge of the IS.

Belmont Motor Works
645 Harbor Blvd
Belmont, CA 94002
(650) 592-7352

Max Motors
945 American St
San Carlos, CA 94070

Motorsport Division
4021 Pacific Blvd
San Mateo, CA 94403

I think I am going to try this place next (next to my house, and right next door to motorsport)

ABS - Alternative BMW Service
3983 Pacific Blvd
San Mateo, CA 94403

I feel like the best way to "feel out" these places is to ask them how familiar they are with the 4.8is and ask them what they think about the air suspension, etc. see what they know. Its hard

Blue4.8is 05-09-2013 10:46 PM

DTC. If i stick that copper wire into the terminals would there be a possibility of being electrocuted since the positive and negative are now connected? any more pics? :dunno:

Pstephana 05-10-2013 10:25 AM

red terminal
You won't get electrocuted but I would suggest not to do this. This action causes a "fault" and disables the module that regulates the air suspension causing all air bags to deflate.:excited:

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