Service Suspension System – Causes, Fixes, & Resets

If you own a latest model vehicle equipped with an electronic suspension control (ESC) system, you may encounter a service suspension system warning on your dashboard. The ESC system independently controls each shock absorber in a car. It is a computer-based system capable of adjusting the vehicle performance and ride characteristics within milliseconds.

The suspension system is a critical part of a car that ensures safe handling and smooth ride. The service suspension system on GMC or any car model is a cause of concern, and hence, you should not ignore the warning message.

how to reset service suspension system

What does it mean when it says service suspension system?

The primary purpose of the suspension system in cars is to absorb road bumps on rough or uneven roads and help maintain a smooth driving experience. The suspension components increase the friction between the tires and the road, providing good grip, traction, and strong steering capacity.

If the service suspension system message appears on the dashboard, it means the car computer has detected an issue in the system. The problem could be potentially dangerous and should be fixed ASAP. It could be you have malfunctioning sensors, worn-out, or leaks in the suspension system.

How do you inspect and service the suspension system?

It is no news that at some point, your car may start to act funny, and it won’t feel or run as it is used to. The car may start pulling in one direction, or you start feeling every bump on the road.

What should you do at this point? Whether you notice the above issues or see the service suspension system message on the DIC, it’s time to inspect the suspension system. But how do you carry out the inspections?

  • Visually inspect the shocks and strut mounts.
  • Look for signs of damage.
  • Look for uneven tire tread.
  • Check if the ballon shocks are rising and lowering as you press the button
  • Inspect the airbag suspension compressor for damage. Listen for odd noises as you press the button
  • Inspect the wiring harness between the airbag suspension compressor and the ballon shocks
  • Measure the height of the front and rear wheels. Measure the space between the top of the tire and the bottom of the fender. If there’s a difference between the two front wheels, you either have uneven tire pressure or a defective shock or strut.

Replace or fix any defective component as needed.

What causes the service suspension System  

The most common causes of the service suspension system on Cadillac Escalade or other car models are leaks in the suspension system, faulty air suspension compressors, faulty air shock absorbers, worn-out suspension components, malfunctioning sensors, and electrical system issues.

how to fix service suspension system

Worn-out suspension systems

There are several components that make up the suspension system. Over time, these components can wear out and lose their potency. Depending on the specific component that wears out, the vehicle will lose its handling, become bumpy, and trigger the service suspension system warning on the dashboard.

Faulty air suspension compressor

Many luxury cars feature air suspension compressor systems. Instead of using conventional metal springs and liquid-filled shocks and struts, most newer cars use ballon shocks. These cars use an airbag suspension compressor to pump the balloon or air shocks to adjust the vehicle height according to your preference.

If the suspension airbag compressor becomes faulty, you will hear odd noises like grinding, whining, or clicking when adjusting the vehicle height, and a service suspension system on Chevy Silverado or your respective car model.

Faulty air shock absorber

Most newer luxury cars now use air or balloon shock absorbers. The balloon shocks do the functions of conventional shocks and struts. The only difference is that it is adjustable, meaning you can lift or lower the height of your car with a click of a button. Since it is air-driven, it is more prone to damage.

The first symptom of a failed air shock absorber is reduced hardness and driving comfort. The balloon shock may refuse to increase the height when you press the button. If the shock fails, the driver will feel all road irregularities, such as potholes and bumps.

Wiring issues

Wiring issues are another notable cause of a service suspension system on GMC Denali or any car model. The air suspension compressor and the balloon shocks have a wiring harness that connects them. If there’s any issue with the wiring harness, the onboard computer will display the service suspension system message on the driver information center.

The car computer will also log error codes C0711 or C0696. To be able to ascertain where the problem is coming from, you may have to dismantle the airbag suspension compressor and examine the wiring harness between the compressor mount and the frame.

Malfunctioning sensors

Most modern vehicles feature suspension sensors that detect abnormalities in the suspension system. A malfunctioning sensor in the suspension system can trigger the service suspension system warning on the driver information center (DIC).

Now that you have seen the inspection procedures and the possible causes, let’s see how to fix the service suspension system. 

How to fix the service suspension system

You have seen several possible causes of a service suspension system on Yukon Denali and other car models. So, the best way to fix the problem is to diagnose the vehicle and repair or replace defective components.

When diagnosing the vehicle, pay more attention to the balloon shock absorbers, airbag suspension compressor, and the electrical wiring harness. If you are not a DIYer, contact your local mechanic or dealership to check the system and proffer solutions to the problem.

how to clear service suspension system

How to reset the service suspension system message

If you have diagnosed and replaced all faulty suspension system components and the service suspension system message is still there, it’s time to reset the system. There are two methods on how to reset service suspension system warning message. You can reset the system using a scan tool or perform a hard reset.

To use a scan tool, locate the vehicle onboard diagnostic port and connect the scan tool. Connect the scanner and pull out the logged error codes and clear them. This process is very easy and reliable. However, you must have fixed the cause of the problem before resetting the system.

The second method is a hard reset of the ECU. This typically involves disconnecting the car battery for 5 to 10 minutes. It allows the system to reset and clear all the logged error codes, including the service suspension system warning message.

I do not recommend the hard reset for all vehicle models as it could reset other system settings, such as the radio presets and clocks. Plus, any mistakes while disconnecting and reconnecting the battery can cause damage to the car’s electrical system components.

Service suspension system costs

The cost of fixing a service suspension system message relies on the root cause of the problem, your vehicle make and model, and the mechanic doing the job. However, the average cost of fixing a service suspension system is between $1,150 and $1,500. The labor charge is estimated at $150 to $300, while the part costs $1,000 to $1,200. This does not include taxes and other charges.

Final Words

If you have repaired or replaced all the defective suspension components in the car and the service suspension system warning light is still there, all you need is to reset the suspension system. Remember, resetting the light without fixing the problem will do nothing other than clearing the light. And the warning light will reappear after a few drive cycles.

Osuagwu Solomon

Osuagwu Solomon is a certified mechanic with over a decade of experience in the mechanic garage, and he has over five years of experience in the writing industry. He started writing automotive articles to share his garage experience with car enthusiasts and armature mechanics. If he is not in the garage fixing challenging mechanical problems, he is writing automotive repair guides, buyer’s guides, and car and tools comparisons.

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