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I had issues with my rear air suspension last winter (, which were caused (probably) by a stuck pressure retention valve on rear struts. So I decided to prevent it from happening again and change those valves.

I got new valves from: Valves require a special tool, so I machined one from aluminium.


But you could also use a socket with inserts as described here:

The repair manual says, that you could change the valves without removing the strut, but I found out it to be almost impossible, due to the location of the valves. You can hardly fit your hand in there!


So the only possibility was to remove struts to change the valves. So lets begin!

At first I put the car ride height to off-road level and then I enabled the jack mode. I jacked the rear of the car and positioned it on stands. Next I removed the wheels.

There are four bolts at the upper part of the strut that are attached to the body.

The bolts are in quite tight location, but the outer bolts can be accessed with a loong extension to socket wrench.


The inner bolts can be accessed using a low profile socket or combination spanner with wrench. Here is a picture of a tools I've used to remove bolts:



The outer bolts we rusted at the tip and they needed a bit more work to get out. I didn't dare to use impact driver with full power, because I was too scared that the bolt would snap. I used rust removal liquid, which I was able to spray in from the hole seen in the picture below. After some fiddling, the bolts loosened and I got them loose.

Inner bolts opened without problems. I loosened all the bolts but I did not remove them until I got the wheel bearing housing nut open.

Next I removed the connector for shock absorber damping adjustment valve (1) and bolt holding air strut to wheel bearing housing (2).


Wheel bearing housing bolt required quite much torque to get it open, but finally it opened.


Next I unbolted the airline from the strut. There ain't much space, so I had to modify my wrench

After this I was able to remove the strut from the car:

I took the strut to workbench and cleaned the outside with brush:

Same time as I unscrewed the valve off, I used vacuum cleaner to suck all the loose dirt, so it doesn't fall into the strut. You need to be careful when unscrewing the valve off, because there is residual pressure inside the strut! Mine came out with a pop. There has been some issues with valves braking at this point, but both of the valves came off very easily. But be careful and make sure you have screw/bolt extractor tool nearby.

New and old valve:

I cleaned the valve thread surroundings with brush and vacuum cleaner. Next I screwed the new valve using torque wrench (10Nm).

Before installing the strut back to the car, I put tape on the valve so no dirt could enter the valve. I also cleaned the usted bolts with die and lubricant.

With the help of car jack, I fiddled the strut back to its place. Be careful not to bump the empty strut, because it might damage the air bellows.

Then it was time to put bolts back and thighten them to the specified torques:

After the bolts were thightened, shock absorber damping adjustment valve wire connected, I connected the air line back to the strut:

Then it was time to repeat these steps to the strut on the right side.

After installing the right side strut, I put the wheels back on and swapped the jack stands to a smaller ones, so that the wheels touched the ground, but the weight of the car was not on the struts (repair manual says that you must be careful not to bump empty struts). Ride height at the rear was approximately the same as in sport mode. After that I started the car, disabled jack mode and watched how the rear of the car lifted to the off-road ride height :) I did a small test drive and changed the ride height back to sport and off-road. Everything seemed to work fine. Next morning I checked that the ride height was the same as I left it in the evening => no leaks.

Mission accomplished! This took me about 7 hours, but I bet it can be done quicker. The most time consuming part was removing the bolts. I did not dare to use impact driver for the outer bolts and they were the most stubborn.

Here is what the valve looks like inside:

The brass bar in the middle is attached to a rubber seal. That is the only moving part and I think that is what causes the valve to stuck on closed position.

I hope this helps, if someone is thinking of replacing the valves at home.

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