Installing Check Valves in a Car's Air Suspension

Having check valves installed in car’s air suspension will add extra safety to your car. A check valve will not allow air to escape in case you suddenly lose pressure. This is because it only allows the air to flow one way. This will make sure a leak will not affect the entire air system. You can turn this project into a DIY job. Having the right tools will make the job easier. Follow these steps to complete a check valve installation for your air suspension.

Tools and Materials

  • Wrench set
  • New check valves
  • Workbench with holding jig
  • Thread sealant
  • Wet rag

Step 1: Identifying the Check Valve Types

Before starting with the replacement job to improve your air suspension you will have to identify which style of check valves you need. There are two types of check valves. They work exactly the same in every way. The difference between the two types is only the way they are held into place. If your car's air suspension has interior threading on the piping then you will need to use check valves with exterior thread. Use valves with interior threading if it’s the other way around. These are the most common setups you will have. If you have a different type of mounting, check your local car shop for matching valves.

Step 2: Removing the Assembly

Once you have the right type of check valves ready, start by removing the valve assembly. Your valve assembly is made of a lift valve connected to a fitting and a dump valve. The connection is made using an air pipe. Place the assembly on your workbench, align it and tighten in the jig. Do not pinch or squeeze the air piping as these can crack and get damaged. Place the actual lift valve in the jig for best results.

Step 3: Installing the Check Valves

Check valves need to be installed between the lift valve and the fitting that is shaped as a T. Using a wrench, remove the straight pipe between the lift valve and T fitting. Removing the piping beyond that fitting can result in a loss of pressure and should be avoided. Apply plenty of thread sealant to the check valve’s thread at both ends. The check valves will have an indication of the way the air flows marked on them. Make sure you point this to the fitting that is shaped as a T and not the other way around. Thread the check valve in on one side but do not fasten. Thread it on the other side and, using your wrench, fasten both sides at once.

Step 4: Finishing Touches

Once you have the check valves in place, make a final check of your air suspension. What you want to focus on is making sure you positioned the air flow correctly and that you don’t have any leaks. Leaks are usually due to poor sealant application so check that you’ve applied enough for all the threads. Wipe the excess sealant using the wet rag. Install the valve assembly into its initial assembly. During the following week, do a routine daily check to spot for leaks or loss of air pressure in your air suspension.