BMW X5 Level Control System Malfunction (Here Is How To Fix It)

x5 level control system malfunction

The Level Control System Malfunction is a common issue that BMW owners may encounter, especially in high-mileage vehicles equipped with air springs or self-leveling systems.

This problem can lead to an uneven ride, poor handling, and potential tire wear.

Here are the 5 most common reasons for BMW X5 level control malfunction, which includes:

1. Faulty Rear Height Level Sensor

2. Leaking Air Springs

3. Defective Air Suspension Compressor

4. Faulty FRM Module

5. Software Issues

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the causes, symptoms, and solutions to the BMW Level Control System Malfunction.

Understanding the Level Control System

The Level Control System in BMW vehicles plays a crucial role in maintaining the vehicle’s height and stability, regardless of the load condition.

It consists of various components, including rear height level sensors, air springs, air suspension compressors, control modules, and the FRM module.

These components work together to ensure a smooth and balanced ride.

Causes of the BMW Level Control System Malfunction

There are several potential causes for the Level Control System Malfunction in BMW vehicles. Let’s explore the most common ones:

1. Faulty Rear Height Level Sensor

One of the primary causes of the Level Control System Malfunction is a faulty rear height level sensor. This sensor collects data about the vehicle’s height and communicates it to the control module.

If the sensor fails or provides incorrect data, it can trigger the warning message.

2. Leaking Air Springs

Leaking air springs can also lead to a Level Control System Malfunction. The air springs support the vehicle’s weight and adjust the suspension according to the load.

When an air spring leaks, it disrupts the balance of the suspension system, causing an imbalance and triggering the warning message.

3. Defective Air Suspension Compressor

The air suspension compressor supplies pressurized air to the air springs or suspension system. If the compressor becomes faulty or fails to generate enough pressure, it can result in a Level Control System Malfunction. Insufficient air pressure can lead to a lowered suspension and an uneven ride.

4. Faulty FRM Module

The FRM module, also known as the footwell module, controls various electrical functions in the BMW, including the headlights, signals, and interior lights.

A malfunctioning FRM module can indirectly trigger a Level Control System Malfunction by providing incorrect data to other modules involved in the suspension system.

5. Software Issues

Software issues or glitches within the control modules can also cause a Level Control System Malfunction. The electronic control unit (ECU) interprets data from various sensors and systems.

If there is a software bug or glitch, it can misinterpret the data, leading to an erroneous warning message.

Read also >> BMW Cruise Control Malfunction (Failure Step by Step Solved)

Symptoms of a Level Control System Malfunction

BMW owners may experience several symptoms when the Level Control System Malfunction occurs. These symptoms can vary depending on the specific issue but commonly include:

  • Appearance of a warning message indicating a Level Control System Malfunction.
  • Hissing sound coming from the air springs.
  • Imbalance in the vehicle’s height, with the rear suspension sagging.
  • Failure of the air suspension compressor to engage.
  • Prolonged operation of the air compressor.
  • Rough and bouncy ride quality.
  • Additional warning messages related to chassis stabilization or reduced ground clearance.

Diagnosing and Fixing the Level Control System Malfunction

To diagnose and fix the Level Control System Malfunction, follow these steps:

1. Conduct a Diagnostic Scan

Connect a BMW scanner to the OBD II port and perform a diagnostic scan of the vehicle. Look for error codes related to the level control system or suspension modules.

These codes can provide valuable information about the specific component causing the malfunction.

2. Inspect the Control Units

Inspect the control units, including the FRM module and other relevant modules, for any signs of damage or corrosion.

Faulty control units can disrupt communication between components and trigger the warning message. Replace any damaged control units if necessary.

3. Check the Rear Height Level Sensor

Inspect the rear height level sensor, which is typically located on the wheel wells or struts. Ensure that the sensor is securely connected and functioning correctly.

If there are any signs of damage or malfunction, replace the sensor to restore proper functionality.

4. Address Leaking Air Springs

Inspect the air springs for any leaks or damage. Leaking air springs can cause the vehicle to sag and trigger the Level Control System Malfunction.

If a leak is detected, replace the affected air spring to restore the proper suspension height and balance.

5. Verify the Air Suspension Compressor

Check the air suspension compressor for any signs of damage or malfunction. If the compressor fails to generate sufficient air pressure or shows other signs of failure, replace it with a new one.

A properly functioning compressor is essential for maintaining the proper suspension height.

6. Perform Software Updates

If software issues are suspected, perform software updates for the relevant control modules. These updates can address any bugs or glitches that may be causing the Level Control System Malfunction. Consult with a professional mechanic or BMW dealer to ensure the correct software updates are applied.

Resetting the BMW Self-Leveling Suspension

If you need to reset the BMW self-leveling suspension, follow these general steps:

  1. Park the vehicle on a flat surface and turn off the engine.
  2. Connect a diagnostic tool to the BMW OBD II port.
  3. Access the vehicle’s onboard diagnostic system using the diagnostic tool.
  4. Navigate to the chassis or suspension menu within the diagnostic tool.
  5. Select the ride height or self-leveling suspension calibration option.
  6. Follow the prompts to initiate the reset procedure.
  7. Wait for the reset procedure to complete.
  8. Start the engine and verify that the suspension is functioning correctly.

Please note that the specific steps for resetting the self-leveling suspension may vary depending on the BMW model and year. Consult the vehicle’s owner’s manual or seek professional assistance for model-specific instructions.


The BMW Level Control System Malfunction can be a frustrating issue for BMW owners, but it is essential to address it promptly to ensure a safe and comfortable driving experience.

By understanding the causes, symptoms, and solutions outlined in this guide, you can diagnose and resolve the Level Control System Malfunction effectively.

If you are unsure or unfamiliar with diagnostic tools and repair procedures, it is recommended to consult a professional mechanic or BMW dealer for assistance.

Steve P.

Steve is an automotive technician, technical writer, and Managing Editor. He has held a lifelong passion for cars, with a particular interest in cars like the Buick Riviera. Steve is based in Boise, Idaho.

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