Sometimes, people are just not content with what they have. That can be a good attitude as the world has benefited from many top upgrades and other inventions. However, not all inventions prove the claims true and do not work according to the hype.
One of the most common problems owners of the Roadmaster Active Suspension report is the noise level. The source for this and the vibration problem is that the suspension system’s nuts and bolts, etc., simply wore out.
To learn more about these problems and the positive side of this suspension system, just continue to read our article. It explores these problems to let you know the full story so you can make a good purchase decision.
The application of this system is quite simple. When installed on your rear axle, you are getting an additional set of springs that work with your current leaf springs.
This addition provides a corrective counter assistance to those leaf springs and is supposed to reduce sag and bottoming out. The end result of this installation is that you are supposed to get a smoother ride with more control over your vehicle.
But do not think that this Active Suspension system will increase your payload capacity. It does not and it has nothing to do with that part of owning a truck. This suspension system is supposed to provide you with a more comfortable ride when your truck is carrying heavy loads.
The claim is that this suspension system is supposed to provide the same or almost the same benefits as air bags, helper springs, sway bars, and traction bars combined.
This may be so but the upcoming common problems may not agree with that claim and produce a different result when they are on your vehicle. The other claim is that this Active Suspension System is supposed to improve your suspension by 25 to 40%.
You will know that is true if you buy and install this system on your vehicle.
As with all products, the Roadmaster Active Suspension has its good and its bad points. Both of these categories may include what you have experienced or not. The following lists are just to give you an idea of the potential this system has:
The last two cons are what most people are complaining about. There may be some noise issues as well as vibration problems. But those issues usually take place because a nut or some other piece of hardware wore out, worked its way loose, and had bad installation.
The company did try but it cannot avoid the product curse. No matter what is made in this world, there will always be something that was overlooked which in turn creates a lot of problems for owners.
Here are the 4 most common problems you may experience when you buy and install this suspension system:
1. Inferior installation-
This one may be a bit hard to believe after all, there are installation videos, owner’s manuals, and instructions from the company to make installation simple.
Yet, with all that help, mechanics, and DIY installers tend to fail to install this product correctly. With a bad installation, the system will not work as well and parts may wear out sooner.
If you are just using jacks and jack stands, installation may be more difficult than if you had a lift or an engine pit to use. In addition to all the help above, Roadmaster does have a support system ready to help walk you through the installation process.
2. Maximum weight capacity-
While some people will claim that installing this system will upgrade the tongue weight capacity, that remains to be seen. Like anything else when towing a trailer, you have to watch out for weight capacity.
The Roadmaster Active Suspension system does have a maximum weight allowance and you should not go over that for any reason. It will not improve your payload capacity so adding in extra cargo or passengers is not to be done after installation.
3. System failure-
No matter how good a product is and how great it is in upgrading your suspension, there are factors out of your control. One of those factors is system failure.
You can install the suspension system correctly but things break no matter what you do. This could be the fault of the construction materials used to build the system, a bad bump, or even moisture that brings rust.
You do get a 2-year warranty so hopefully, this suspension system will break during that time and not after the warranty has expired.
4. Misc. Common problems-
This list of problems is to as major as the above three but they are important enough to list so you are aware of the fact these items can fail and ruin your Active Suspension benefits.
- Noise & vibrations- usually due to faulty bushings, loose nuts and bolts, or other parts not working correctly. Tighten or replace failing parts
- Leaking dampers- this takes place when the seals wear out or there is another problem with the seals. Replace the seals to stop this problem
- Faulty sensors- it happens more often than not and the sign the sensors are bad is when the system acts inconsistently. Replacement is your only option.
- Faulty electronics- this too can happen and it could be the result of frayed, broken, or loose wires. When this happens the system will not work correctly. Check all wires, connections, and electronic parts and repair or replace those that are faulty.
5. Indirect common problems-
There are other parts of the original suspension system that can affect the Roadmaster Active Suspension System and its performance. You may have a leak in your shocks which will damper any performance of those shocks and make the Roadmaster system ineffective.
Changing the seals in those shocks or replacing them with better ones will be your solution here. Also, another indirect common problem that affects this suspension system will be a broken leaf spring.
A broken leaf spring will certainly undermine any performance you were expecting from this system. Your lack of performance may not be due to the Roadmaster installation but to your vehicle’s original equipment.
While the list of problems seems to be overwhelming, those are to be expected. The reason we say that is because we know that anything mechanical will come with possible problems, even the more expensive options.
Taking the problems in stride, this system seems to be the answer to many truck owner’s driving issues. It may spare them spending lots more money on sway bars, traction bars, and so on.
It is a good concept and seems to work well for many people who have bought it. In fact, out of 113-star ratings at Amazon, 86% of the people voting gave this system 4 or 5 stars. That is saying a lot about this system, even if it is on Amazon.
The system seems to be easy to install and what helps build installation confidence is the numerous sources one can go to to get help when there is a problem. This company seems to take an interest in its customers and does not leave them to do everything on their own.
Of course, no system will be perfect and this system is also vulnerable to the human factor. Roadmaster cannot impact or influence how people drive or what roads they take. Nor can they stop people from overloading their vehicles.
Sometimes the human factor will ruin the system and owners do not get what they paid for but that is not Roadmaster’s fault.
For the most part, the reviews are a bit mixed in some discussion forums. One owner initially gave the system a rave review. But changed it after 6 years and 90,000 miles and claims it is not as great as he once thought.
But after all that wear and tear, it is unrealistic to expect the Active Suspensions system to be in top shape. There is no telling how he treated the system so the changed review is a bit off.
Others said that the system did not provide a smoother ride, the better handling, and advised people not to buy it. While that is a possibility, the lack of performance could be the result of any one of the problems listed above.
Then at least one owner gave the system a mixed review. They liked the concept behind the design but they also did not get the performance they expected. Another owner found out that they needed to make adjustments to the system before they got better results.
That is one of the items we came across in our research. People may not know this but after 200 miles for the break-in period, you should adjust this system to get better performance.
Of course, the overwhelming remarks about this system were in the positive. The owners were very satisfied with their performance and felt the money was well spent. They also liked the ease of installation among other positive points.
We checked the Roadmaster website and it seems that they did not place any written installation instructions there. But we did find out that they increased their warranty coverage to 5 years.
The company website said it should take about an hour to install their system and complete instructions, with pictures, are included in the box. If they did not arrive with the box or you are buying used, we will provide a link to a website that posted all the instructions.
It is a 7-page document that cannot be reproduced here. But first, we want to highlight a very important instruction that is in bold print on the instruction form. We do that just to make sure you do not miss it:
“The Roadmaster Active Suspension kit must never be fitted while the vehicle is standing with the rear wheels on the ground. In this position, the rear leaf springs will be under load and the Roadmaster coil spring settings cannot be
achieved, resulting in the Roadmaster not working correctly. Always install with the rear axle and leaf springs hanging free.”
You can view the complete instructions, including pictures, at this link. While the system comes pre-assembled, there is a parts list in those instructions so you can double-check to see that no parts are missing.
Make sure to read all bold print sections so you do not miss out on any important information.
New inventions are designed to make life and driving a little easier. Sometimes that works out like it does in the case of the Roadmaster Active Suspension system.
This looks like a very good addition to your vehicle as long as you follow all installation instructions, make adjustments, and do not overload your vehicle. The human factor is often the source of many problems you may experience with this system, so be careful when you spend your money and install this suspension support system.