2003 S-class airmatic suspension prblem

PeterInIndia

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Dear Mercedes Owners,

I have a problem with the airmatic suspension on a 2003 S-Class, petrol. The issue is that the car will drive okay and the suspension is at the correct height, however , if left over night, the suspension will gradually lower so that by morning, the front tires are sitting on the rims. The rear suspension remains at the correct height. When the engine is started, the front of the car will rise up, and can be driven. In addition, the SRS airbags and ABS brakes give a warning on the dashboard, and there is an issue with the central locking. These warnings disappear once the car is running. Are these related to a lack of air pressure, or am I dealing with separate issues?

To make the situation more complicated, I live in India, where decent mechanics and parts are very hard to find. I took the car to the only local, official Mercedes dealier, and was quoted 800,000 INR .... or nearly nine thousand pounds to repair the car, which I think might be just a tad overpriced, given that I am a foreigner.

Do I need to replace both front airmatic compressors?
Does the computer in the car need to be updated to reflect the replacement parts? (Someone suggested this)
Could this be caused by an air leak, rather than faulty compressors?

I don't know a great deal about Mercedes, so any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.

Regards,

Peter
 

V6Matty

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First thing I would do is get the car on a ramp and check for a leak on all the lines and airbags, use a soap water solution so it’s easier to see the bubbles. Then take it from there.
I wouldn’t think it’s the pumps it’s much mor likely a split in one of the pipes that feed both the front bags that’s failed.
 

malcolm210

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Welcome!

As the front of the car is dropping both sides I suspect you have an air leak either from the valve block or air lines so as said this needs inspecting and possible lines replacing, leaks can be very difficult to find on the pipes so replacement is a much better idea.

I suspect the price you were given from the MB garage would be for a complete rebuild of the airmatic system on the car including new compressor, struts (front and back) and valve block etc, seems a bit drastic...
 

LostKiwi

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There is only one air compressor as far as I'm aware so it won't be that.
As mentioned it will be an air leak in a line, valve block or bag.
 
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PeterInIndia

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Thank you all so much for your advice. i think a leaking hose or valve block is the most likely explanation. Would the lack of air pressure also explain the SRS and ABS warnings coming up on the dash?
 

LostKiwi

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Would the lack of air pressure also explain the SRS and ABS warnings coming up on the dash?
Not very likely as they are independent systems. Even SRS and ABS are independent of each other.
It sounds like 3 distinct faults unless there is a common power issue (which won't relate to your suspension doing down).
 

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