Front suspension shot, need diagnostic help
I'm cross posting this in hopes of maximizing the odds of a solution:
1. allroad (2001, 6MT, SolarSR, ColdWeather, Premium, 115K, 3rd owner) has sagged somewhat on the left for at least a year, but levels were operable, and the car didn't noticeably settle overnight.
2. Except in winter (7100' New Mexico mountains), I keep the car at level 2, but daily highway stints take it to level 1. Two or three weeks ago, it never recovered from level 1 after I left the highway and would not go higher, but was drivable.
3. I've read nearly every post on the web regarding allroad suspension problems.
4. I have an appointment with my indie shop on August 31st.
5. I don't have Vag-Com.
6. After reading everything I could get my hands on, I decided to try the slime. After locking the suspension, I administered 12 oz to each front bladder via syringe.
7. I removed the wheels to do this and started with the left. When I removed the air line on the left, the wheel and suspension did not retract upward as some had reported it would. I don't have a floor jack, so was doing one side at a time.
8. When I let the left side down, it went all the way to the bump stop, with distorted camber.
9. When I removed the right side air line, the wheel and suspension retracted upward about five inches (unlike the left).
10. Now that the car is off the jacks, rear end is level and at a reasonable height. Front end is level and bottomed out -- undrivable.
11. Unlocked the suspension. Green light between the height adjustments blinks continuously. Pressing the up button gets no response. If I hold it for a few seconds it prompts the yellow lock light without pressing the down button. Don't know if that's supposed to happen.
12. I have been assuming that the loud vacuum cleaner sound upon starting the car cold was the compressor, but that sound clearly comes from the front of the car. After learning that the compressor is just forward and to the left of the spare tire, I believe I have never heard the compressor.
13. I had planned to try 10 oz. of oil down the air intake of the compressor (via removal of the air filter next to the spare) in hopes of momentarily reviving compressor function while it was running (as suggested as a successful ploy by one post), but I have never heard anything from the area of the compressor -- just the vacuum cleaner sound from the front. In frustration, I squirted the oil in anyway.
14. So, my car is grounded, and other than towing, I don't know how I'll get it to or from the shop which is 35 miles and 2500' lower than my garage. I'd like to do this work myself, if possible, but I'm stuck at diagnosis.
I'm a newbie at working on the allroad, but I love the car, so I'm highly motivated. I bought it knowing that it would be expensive to continually maintain, but I didn't plan on the recession. I'd really appreciate some perspective and suggestions if anyone is still reading...
Thanks for your expertise and wisdom!