Recommendation Sought: Air Suspension Specialist in East Berks / Surrey / Hants


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Mar 2, 2010
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Following on from I yesterday drove the car to the Audi main-dealer to investigate and fix the air-suspension fault. Their conclusion was that the NSF airspring needs replacing as it has a leak, and they can't proceed further until that's done. Fair enough, except that as the car was jammed on L4 until 3 days ago, and only came down because I opened the pipe with a spanner; I'm thus pretty confident that the airspring damage occured whilst driving 30 miles down the motorway to them, ah well. And it's cost me £120 to get this!!!

If I have to replace the NSF airspring, as I now do, then I'm not going to pay the Audi main-dealer £800 to supply and fit a standard spring, with limited warranty, when £575 gets me a pair of the Arnott Gen 2 springs (including UPS Express carriage), with lifetime warranty. From what I've read elsewhere, airsprings aren't that hard to fit? Unfortunately the Audi main-dealer refuses to fit them for me as "we only fit genuine Audi parts" (fair enough).

So I need to get my car back, now more broken than it was 48 hours ago, and get somebody else who understands Audi air suspension to diagnose and fix the fault. All investigation so far points to a fault with the valve block, but as they're £200 even from a breaker (the dealer has twice failed to quote me the new parts price, so I rang a breaker!) I'd prefer to get an independent specialist (who's prepared to fit non-Audi parts when asked!) to investigate and fix. But I'm not going to pay an hourly rate for somebody to learn air-suspension whilst swapping expensive components by trial and error - I can do that myself - so I want somebody who is already familiar with Audi air suspension.

So can anybody recommend an independent Audi/air-suspension specialist in East Berks / Surrey / Hants who can fix my car's suspension? Alternatively, if it's somebody further away who offers a mobile service, they're welcome to work on the car in my (large, private & securely gated) yard, or trailer it to somewhere else if they prefer.

Any recommendations for a good specialist?

Or maybe I'll just fit the Arnott springs myself, and then get the Audi main-dealer to trailer the car back to their workshop and continue the suspension diagnosis & rectification work?
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I might be up for a chalenge ! I am by no means a air specialist but i know how to use spanners and VCDS...
Mudplugger did you have any luck? I'm in an identical quandary. Ta Auditor

That was a long time ago, since when I:
- replaced the NSF airspring myself;
- still had a problem;
- bought a new valve block (£250 from main dealer - don't waste your time or money on breakers);
- still had a problem;
- took car to different main dealer.

It arrived at that main dealer with NSF collapsed again. This shark charged me £250 to tell me that "your NSF sping is non-standard so we can't investigate further." I could have told them that myself on the phone if they'd asked!

By chance I then got an introduction to an independent that looks after a mate's Golf GTI for him. As it was only a mile from the main dealer I took my car straight from theiving sharks to that independent.

He eventually diagnosed the fault to be that main-dealer had (some weeks earlier) supplied me with a faulty valve block and, after replacing it again, everything worked great.

As an independent he's comfortable with non-genuine parts and recently fitted my Arnott OSF air-spring for me too (I'd bought a pair two years back) after correctly diagnosing the fault on that corner to be an air leak through the OSF damper (not spring)...

And as he was Audi Master-Tech before setting up on his own I get a far better mechanic that the YTS-trainee the main dealer puts on my elderly high-mileage car, for a fraction of the price :icon_thumright: What's not to like?

The only thing he can't seem to sort is my EGR / emissions warning light which, he suspects, is on because of an ECU fault as all components check out OK. As my fuel consumption is fine (36mpg average on a 450 mile run yesterday) and he's restored my performance (with a simple blanking plate he made) I'm just living with the light.

The man in question is Mark Wright, the company is Approved Autos, phone number 01276 28102 website Approved Autos Ltd

Highly recommended for great skills and top service at a sensible price.
Thanks Mudplugger
woohoo! my allroad is back in business. I took your advice and went for Approved Auto Ltd - they were excellent. I was given a clear quote and kept up to date, on the day, with texts. I was late back from London and they stayed open to accommodate - who needs a main dealers frothy coffee and audi branded carpets when you can get this sort of service.

Costs: I sourced a pair of Arnott Gen 2 front air springs (£650 ebay xelixtrading-uk (free 2 day delivery)), Mark charged £240 inc vat to fit them. Approved Auto supplied the replacement audi compressor and fitted it for £1194.55.

So still not cheap, but very sensible and way better than audi asking £800 for one suspension strut (that's the part before labour). I didn't ask about the compressor at audi. I had to wait about week to get a slot, but I took that as a measure of the garage's popularity.

I had a decent chat with Mark, and he clearly knows his audis from his elbow, I know where I'll be getting all future work done. The gen 2's feel a bit different, springier, but not in a bad way - car goes up n down in record time so I'm very pleased.

Thanks again


Thanks Again

I'm glad it worked out for you with Mark. The whole company is great - top mechanics and top service - without stupid prices to pay for frivolities that simply aren't needed. And yes, if Mark doesn't know it about an Audi it's probably not worth knowing.

My wife now takes her Citroen C4 there too, and again the service is top-notch...

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