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The Armada is Nissan’s largest SUV and forms the basis of the luxury-oriented Infiniti QX56/QX80. Built on the same chassis as the Titan, the Armada is spacious and has one the most powerful engines in its class. Unlike its pickup counterpart, the Armada caters to comfort, and Nissan’s engineers equipped it with active air suspension. While it delivers a plush ride that you expect from an Infiniti, air suspensions are complex systems that require periodic maintenance and repairs. In this article, we will go over some basics and signs that something is amiss with your Nissan Armada’s air suspension.

Air Suspension 101

Unlike regular sealed shocks, an air suspension can adjust the firmness, rebound, and ride height while the vehicle is in motion. This is done through a series of sensors that constantly measure road conditions and transmit the information to a control module. A compressor is then activated, inflating or deflating a bladder inside each shock as needed. Aside from delivering a smoother ride, the shocks can be pumped up to improve stability and eliminate rear-end sag when carrying heavy loads or towing.

Signs something is wrong with the Air Suspension

While air suspensions offer several benefits over traditional gas shocks, they are more complicated, and all the parts must work in harmony. Should a component fail or leak, the system will not function properly, and below are some problems you may encounter with your Nissan Armada’s air suspension.

Sagging Rear: If the vehicle sits lower in the rear, especially to one side, it usually means a shock is worn or damaged. A common cause is a leaking air bladder since it is made up of flexible materials that enable it to expand and contract. Unfortunately, this is a weak spot and a common source of leaks.

Noisy compressor: The compressor only runs when needed, but if it sounds louder than normal or runs more frequently, it may be due to an air leak. This puts additional stress on the compressor, wearing it out faster. 

Faulty compressor: Over time, the compressor may simply fail, and this can be said for any vehicle with an air suspension. In fact, it is not uncommon to have to replace the compressor around 100,000 miles.

Illuminated air suspension light: An illuminated light in the instrument cluster means something is amiss with the air suspension. However, faults like a small leak or worn-out shock may not trigger the warning light. 

Replacement Air Shocks

All shocks need to be replaced, regardless of the type. While that depends on factors like road conditions and how the vehicle is driven, it usually occurs between 60,000 and 100,000 miles. If the shocks on your Armada are due for replacement, there are some excellent alternatives to the expensive Nissan original equipment units. We recommend Arnott air shocks. These premium assemblies are designed and assembled in the US to meet or exceed OE specifications. In addition, they come with a two-year warranty, double that of the Nissan factory replacements.