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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello there,

I have a 2004 Touareg v10 TDI with 186,500 miles. She has been a dream!

However late last night the front air suspension went out & she went down.

I live 5 hours south of Denver, so I am currently stuck here in the hotel with my 2 young daughters. It was towed to a Firestone repair shop. They have tried to search for info on the suspension but are coming up empty handed. They also can't do a diagnostic until tomorrow when one of the Sr. Technicians comes in.

I don't have enough knowledge and am hoping someone has some information you can give me so I can help with the repair process. The Rep at Firestone seems to think this is a 'dealer only' type of thing.

OR

I could swap out the Air suspension for a regular suspension. (I know that is done on old Rovers - is this even possible for a VW?)

Also - what am I looking at price-wise to get this fixed up??

What am I looking at here? Should I spend the $500+ to have it towed home to a mechanic that I KNOW... or stay stuck here in Denver and see what they can do?

THANK YOU so very much in advance for your help!
~Tricia
 

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Could be many things..the air nipples or the air shocks are known to snap, there is good documentation on this site that explains what happens and the fix.

It could be a phyiscal problem ie: a burst bag or burst shock bad compressor, air leak etc.

It could be a sensor problem like level sensors gone bad or something in the relatively complex system gone bad

In any case a general repair shop is highly unlikely to have the equipment and knowledge to deal with it. If I were you I'd get it towed to a knowledgable dealer or specialty shop.
 
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You might be better off towing it home to your mechanic, as long as they're familiar with VWs.

VW dealers are closed on Sundays, but they would likely have to order parts, anyway.

I doubt a Firestone store will have VAG-COM/VCDS to scan the vehicle for codes, either. That's really the ONLY way they're going to properly diagnose and repair the issue.

I know from personal experience that a blown air line at the compressor will result in both ends going down. Sounds like only the front end is down, so actually that's good news. But it does sound like either a front bag is bad or an air leak in the front end.

Did you hear anything that sounded like an air line breaking or any hissing sounds? Not that that will help your situation, but I was just curious what occurred before this happened.

You CAN swap in a steel suspension, but it's not a quick 1 day affair, even in a shop. There is a company on the forum (see commercial vendors, I think) that sells swap parts.

I'm an hour north of you, so unfortunately I don't know of any good independent VW repair shops.
 

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I've spent a bit of time Goggling and come up with these guys. As others have said, a Firestone shop won't know one end of a Touareg from another unless there is something blindingly obvious like a burst shock or a broken inlet valve/nipple.

Why not give the aptly name Mr Sump and his gang a call on the dot of 0715 tomorrow and see if he can help you out.

Bmw Repair Denver | Audi Service CO | German Auto Repair 80220 - Avalon Motorsports

Keep us all in the loop on here and hopefully, one way or another, you'll get the car fixed.
 

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I have used Berg Performace in Denver. They are all ex-Audi dealer mechanics.
 

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+1 on Avalon Motorsports. They mostly deal with performance upgrades, and have built a good reputation over the years. They may not see a bunch of Touaregs with air suspension issues. But, I'm confident that they could diagnose the issue with ease, and provide cost effective methods to get you on the road again.
 

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The Touareg air suspensions are generally pretty reliable. The Rover crowd tends to dump the air suspensions on the old RR Classics as those are not nearly as reliable, and losing an air suspension offroad is a huge problem. I put 100K miles on a couple of Rovers and had a valve go on one suspension. Driving that truck on the bump stops was not fun.

Sit tight, have your truck looked at by someone who knows what they're doing, and get back on the road. You do NOT want someone without experience messing with the suspension. They will just create more work for the mechanic who eventually will fix it.

In the meantime, enjoy the extended vacation with your daughters. :)
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
THANKS y'all are so awesome, I really appreciate your help.

I walked over to the Firestone Garage and if they can't fix it, they'll get me hooked up with someone that can; but I'll look into the people that have been recommended here first.

While there, I looked at my VW (I call it my Happy Wagon) and between the tire and the inside top of the wheel well is probably 4 inches of room?

I started it up and noticed a hissing noise coming from only the left front.
This is where we heard the 'pop' sound and then a hiss - ok bear with me guys: It sounded like a trapped Fart and that it finally let loose. (only way I could really think to describe the sound.)

There is no hissing noise coming from any of the others, just the left front.
 

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THANKS y'all are so awesome, I really appreciate your help.

I walked over to the Firestone Garage and if they can't fix it, they'll get me hooked up with someone that can; but I'll look into the people that have been recommended here first.

While there, I looked at my VW (I call it my Happy Wagon) and between the tire and the inside top of the wheel well is probably 4 inches of room?

I started it up and noticed a hissing noise coming from only the left front.
This is where we heard the 'pop' sound and then a hiss - ok bear with me guys: It sounded like a trapped Fart and that it finally let loose. (only way I could really think to describe the sound.)

There is no hissing noise coming from any of the others, just the left front.
Tricia
Sounds like the valve, air line or the airbag has failed.
All parts should be readily available at a reasonable price from either genuine VW or Arnott Industries or if lucky a wrecker.

If the strut needs to be pulled and the bag repaired don't let them charge more than 4hrs labour total.

Regards
Drag
 

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Tricia,
Be sure whom ever ultimately does the work has VCDS as the sytem will need to be calibrated once repaired. Worse case I was treated very fair by the service dept at Larry Miller VW in Denver.
 

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From your description, it sounds like the front airbag in the suspension failed. When my line blew, it was just a pop and the hissing of the air coming out.

Interesting that there is still air in the bag, though? Mine dropped to the bump stops.
 

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@LuckyChances: Update?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Update!
Yesterday Firestone identified the problem as a blown front left airbag. Sounds correct with what had been posted on here.
They were able to locate a new part in Germany which would take 3 weeks to come in. (Ugh.) :(
I asked them to sit tight while I did more research.

Thankfully I've all you wonderful people! !
I looked up Arnott Industries and they have a part in Los Angeles. However, Firestone (the manager) would not allow me to order the part or have it put in due to liability issues, and according to him:VW would be responsible/liable. (??) (The service reps were really nice guys to work with, so I will give them that for sure!)

Next up I contacted Avalon Motorsports and spoke to Drew. He got the part ordered from Arnott, shipped next day (really hoping Fed Ex or UPS get it here before 4pm today!!)
If it gets in, they can get it on and we can get home!
 

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Fantastic news. Thanks for the update!

Odd response form Firestone. But it's probably corporate liability and the manger's hands were tied. My independent mechanic has no problem with me bringing in parts. Probably because they know if something goes wrong, I understand that they were MY parts.

Once fixed, if you haven't seen it before, drive through downtown Denver to see the City & County Building lit up for the holidays (Put 1431 Bannock St Denver, CO 80202 into your GPS.).

That way, you'll have at least one good memory of Denver.

Safe travels.
 

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We'll all keep our fingers crossed for you and your girls to soon be . . .

 
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