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How to Affordably Fix a GMC Envoy's Failed Rear End Air Suspension


Tawnya is a freelance writer and mom of a tiny gymnast. When it comes to buying gymnastics-related gear, I'm an industry pro.

My GMC Envoy looked like when the rear air suspension failed.

My GMC Envoy looked like when the rear air suspension failed.

Fix your GMC Envoy's Rear Air Suspension Affordably

My husband took my Envoy for a spin and when he came back something was wrong with the rear end of my car. I thought it might have something to do with the 60lbs. of Lake Erie perch in the hatch. But after careful inspection, there was only one conclusion...my rear air suspension system had failed. As soon as I heard the diagnosis, I began to see dollar signs. My Envoy had 115,000 miles on it and is ten years old, I was afraid this repair meant it was time to retire it for good. Luckily, my brother made a few taps on his smartphone and ensured me this was a quick and easy repair. Instead of fixing the failed air suspension system in the Envoy, my husband decided to replace the air suspension system with a coil suspension conversion kit.

The photos were taken before, during, and after the coil conversion kit on my 2005 Envoy.

Rear Air Suspension Coil Spring Conversion Kit Choices

When you are shopping for a coil spring conversion kit, it is important to consider all your choices. Below are several options I found when shopping for my coil spring conversion kit. I opted to order the conversion kit and shocks bundle from Strutmasters.com.

Important Reasons to Consider a Conversion Kit Rather Than a Replacement Air Suspension System

When my Envoy's air suspension first failed, I went online to find out if this is a common problem. Unfortunately, it is. In one forum, a mechanic stated it wasn't a matter of "if" your Envoy's rear end air suspension failed, but a matter of "when" the system failed. This is one of the most common failures that the Envoy is known for. With this in mind, it doesn't make sense to even bother with a replacement air suspension system. With a replacement system, you aren't eliminating the problems with the Envoy's design. Instead, you are setting yourself up for another eventual failure. Not to mention the replacement parts replace the air suspension system are more expensive and take a bit more effort to install. A coil spring conversion kit permanently fixes the air suspension problem on a GMC Envoy. In my opinion, the coil spring conversion kit has made my SUV easier to handle and has made taking corners much smoother as well. As a bonus, a coil spring conversion kit can be purchased at a fraction of the cost and installs easier.

Choose your Conversion Coil Spring Kit Wisely


Choosing Your Envoy Real End Replacement Parts

After my husband decided the coil spring conversion kit was the right choice for my Envoy, it was time to find affordable parts. After careful consideration, I chose to buy a rear air suspension kit from Strutmasters. Strutmasters' has an excellent reputation and the parts are American-made. Additionally, we choose a bundle pack that offered coil springs and shocks. We wanted to buy the shocks at the same time because it would be easy to replace them when the coil springs were added. Since the car is ten years old, it was a wise choice.


Installing a Coil Spring Replacement Kit on a GMC Envoy is Easy

Replacement Time took about 20 Minutes

I'm grateful and lucky my husband can complete most car repair jobs themselves, which saves me lots of money. The installation of the GMC coil spring replacement kit requires nothing but the parts and requires no modification to the car. Iit took two men 20 minutes to install the coil spring replacement kit and new shocks. To see how easy this installation is, check out the YouTube videos featured below.

Rear Air Ride Suspension Conversion Kit Installation Videos

In these videos, you can see coil spring conversion kits from many different manufacturers being installed on various vehicles. As you watch the videos, you will find that converting an air ride suspension vehicle to coil spring suspension is easy and a cost-effective.


Coil Spring Replacement Conversion Kit Delivers a Smooth, Reliable Ride

I was anxious to drive my GMC Envoy after the coil spring replacement kit was installed. As soon as my husband pulled the car in, I was ready to try it out. I'm happy to report that the conversion kit was a huge success. Not only has my SUV returned to factory height, but it also rides extremely smooth as well. If your GMC Envoy's air suspension system has failed, I would recommend a coil spring conversion kit rather than a replacement. Not only are you going to receive a better ride, but you can also save yourself money and frustration.

GMC Envoy Spring Coil Replacement - 6 Months Later

It's been six months since my rear-end suspension failed on my 2005 GMC Envoy, and I had a Strutmasters coil spring conversion kit installed. All in all, I'm happy with the ride. When we opted for a coil spring conversion rather than spending a ton of cash to repair the Envoy's air suspension system, I was skeptical. A little over six months after the conversion kit was put in place, my Envoy is still riding smooth. The only thing I've noticed is that my SUV is a bit noisy. Every once in a while, it will get squeaky, but it isn't anything that would hold me back from doing it again.

1 1/2 Years Later and Envoy is Still Going Strong

I'm happy to report that it's been over 1 1/2 years since my husband and BIL repaired the failed air suspension on my Envoy by replacing it with a spring coil conversion kit and the SUV is still going strong. The only thing I have noticed since the coil conversion kit has been installed is that my car is a bit squeaky at times. The squeaking doesn't bother me. But sometimes a passenger will mention it, which reminds me that it is there. With the money I saved by opting for a conversion kit, I'm happy to accept the squeaking.

GMC Envoy Rear Air Suspension Failure Poll - Apparently, this failure is a "Nature of the Beast"

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

Thanks for Stopping By! - Please leave a comment below.

G Brice on August 14, 2020:

Air ride failed at 175000 miles. Converted to springs today and was a piece of cake to replace.

Gerald Albertson on October 22, 2019:

2005 Envoy 150,000 miles

The suspension failed a couple of years ago.

The dealer fix was expensive and now it is failing again. I love the vehicle and will definitely be doing a conversion kit like the Strutmaster offering. If you like the Envoy, as I do, this common suspension problem should keep the used market very affordable. I would welcome a nice $7K Envoy over a $65K Acadia, any day!! I know, because I have both.

V.J. on October 11, 2018:

No more GMC products for me . Hundreds of dollars and down time and rescheduling and money lost due to work loss . New air bags , compressor , electronics , sensors . Now doing exactly what it was doing six months ago which started the bank draw and financing of GMC from my bank account . Twice , not once but twice stating after previous work being done that the same new parts were bad . . . . . first the air springs . Tech never looked at it as the same leaves when I parked the vehicle were still under the same tires when I stopped in to check progress. . . . . After ' researching ' they said it was a filing error . . . .Then it was a bad compressor . . . . they replaced it . Now the compressor will not run with the key to raise the suspension . Rear switch will run the compressor . . . . Told it needs a new compressor . Then after many hundreds of dollars I'm told as a recommendation there is a coil spring replacement kit . . . . . . . .I say no how about a class action suit against GMC and this poll confirms my opinion .

Patricia Swan on September 15, 2018:

Watched the video on the battery. For the Envoy. I have a 2003 GMC Envoy. I replaced the battery. Thats when the air suspension didn't work. Doe the Envoy take a special battery. The battery that was in it. Was a interstate Mega tron battery. I replaced it with a different battery. Would that make a difference.? By changing the battery. Would it have to be recalibrated?

Brad Carter on September 07, 2018:

My 06 GMC Envoy's air ride system went out found this sight and got the conversion kit in today after making the order 4 days ago. Amazing crazy fast shipping. My son that is 7 years old helped me and we were out on a test ride an hour and a half later. It was really not hard at all it was kind of easy and now I have my 4x4 back not a low rider.

Jerry Jackson on June 06, 2018:

First time here! Sounds like a lot of people share their issues, and you don't make people feel stupid!

Their is no such thing as a stupid question!

I'm a service mechinic, heating, refrigeration, and A/C !

I'm disabled and need to replace rear air suspension!

Converting to springs as well as shocks!

Do to air struts, really come out as easy as it looks?

And the new springs are held in place, by tention and weight of vehicle?

And the shock helps keep it in place?

Are there any top and bottom caps?

Or it locks it self in place by being in the correct spot?

Ok thanks! Oh can I jack one side up at a time? Or does the vehicle rear need to be jacked up so vehicle level?

As always, be safe and go in peace! Thank you!

Luc on May 05, 2018:

Thank you for the information. It il il very well done and crystal clear... Bravo

Gary Mcg on December 04, 2017:

Have 07 and replaced air system, new coils and shocks. Seems like the vehicle is bouncing around going slowly over rough roads. Any torsion bar type setup available . Thanks for your help.

robert c on October 12, 2017:

Have a 2007 envoy and my airride system failed as well. As I googled it to my surprise its a major problem. Yes this should be a recall. Just to say. This is my last GMC EVER. ...... AND I THOUGHT FORD SUCKED. NEVER GMC AGAIN.

Ronald Owen on March 10, 2017:

Should be recalled ! Will GM do they right thing ,no. That's another vote for European vehicles .

Tawnya (author) from NE Ohio on July 22, 2016:

It is shameful of them!

Tawnya (author) from NE Ohio on July 22, 2016:

Hi Libbie! So sorry this is so late. The suspension light never came on in the Envoy. It's still running today and I've never seen that light up. Good Luck!

Rob Wheeler on April 19, 2016:

This is such a common problem shame on GM for not recalling or having a "proper" fix for this issue. I had an 02 envoy for 12 years with 326000 KM on it never had a major repair only wear related replacements unfortunately my son wrote it off so I got an 04 which has the air suspension and sure enough it slowly lowers itself to the mud flaps in about 3 days when its warm 1 day when its cold huge problem in Canada. There are several reports on UTube about the seals on the air hoses being no good and after market seals that are less than a dollar will solve the leaky connections but the labour to do so is prohibiitve if you're not handy or have a lot of tools. Come on GM man up and recall these air suspension equipped models!!!

Libbie B. on February 10, 2016:

After you had installed the replacement parts to convert from the air suspension did you find that the suspension light came on in the instrument panel? If so how was that dealt with? Did you override it?

Thank you! :)

Rick on January 15, 2015:

Awesome Post. Thanks. I bought a used Envoy 05 and everything has gone on it all in around a month so I am pinching pennies to keep it on the road because Im the only fool that would buy.a now 10 yr old Envoy. One word RESEARCH!

Tawnya (author) from NE Ohio on September 04, 2014:

Thanks, Merrci. You wouldn't believe how many GMC Envoys on the road have this issue. Once I realized it was a "nature of the beast" I wanted to share what I had learned with other people to make fixing the issue affordable.

Merry Citarella from Oregon's Southern Coast on September 04, 2014:

I'm impressed you wrote about this! What a great resource for people who may have that problem. Any time we have car trouble, there is much wringing of hands and gulping. How cool to be able to do it yourself (or with family members!).

Dancing Cowgirl Design from Texas on July 28, 2014:

So cool that you wrote this page. It will really help out people with figuring out how to fix their vehicle.

Tawnya (author) from NE Ohio on July 06, 2014:

@Lorelei Cohen: Thanks, Lorelei! Some people have families full of doctors or teachers, I'm grateful mine is full of mechanics and handymen! :)

Tawnya (author) from NE Ohio on July 06, 2014:

@Brite-Ideas: Google definitely helped me make my decision, so hopefully this article will help others make the right decision for their vehicles and their budget too. Thanks, Brite-Ideas!

Barbara Tremblay Cipak from Toronto, Canada on July 06, 2014:

This page will help a lot of people I'm sure of it! we google car repair matters a lot! and often we find the answers online

Lorelei Cohen on July 05, 2014:

Anything mechanical on a vehicle is frighteningly expense. Just walking into a garage seems like the till starts ringing upward. You are very lucky to have some qualified people in the family indeed.

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