1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Airmatic - Car too low, stop car

Discussion in 'Suspension, Steering & Brakes' started by yogi_akshar, Dec 1, 2012.

  1. yogi_akshar

    yogi_akshar New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2012
    Location:
    london
    Your Mercedes:
    w220 s320cdi
    I bought the car privately a few months ago, and found out that it needed a new turbo, as there was was no power and kick-down.

    After spending over a £1000 ( a mechanic I have known for over 12 years ), there was still no kick down. But recently, a message has been displayed, "Airmatic - Visit Workshop".

    Took the car back to the mechanic. They said that they "reprogrammed" the car and it should all be o.k. They said they have checked the pump, relay, and leaks. All was o.k.

    After driving for a day, same message came up "Airmatic, Visit Workshop".

    After driving for a week, a new message is displayed "Airmatic Stop, Car Too Low". The car is now too low with the front wheels inside the wheel arches.

    The car was made in the year 2003, with 87,000 miles on the clock.

    The build quality of this model is worst than a 50 year old wheel barrow. After spending over a thousand pounds on the turbo, I now have a possible major problem with the suspension. I think the airmatic crap was designed by MB chimpanzees. There are many people on this forum with airmatic problems.

    This will be the last time I buy a MB car with a crapmatic suspension. I will stick to the reliable spring suspension.

    Any help in diagnosing this problem will be appreciated as I dont have any money to spend on this wheel barrow.
     
  2. Corned

    Corned Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,470
    Likes Received:
    5
    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2012
    Location:
    East Midlands
    Your Mercedes:
    2005 S211 E320CDI Avantgarde
    Welcome to Mercedes-Benz 'quality'...
     
  3. Frontstep

    Frontstep Senior Member

    Messages:
    7,397
    Likes Received:
    1,279
    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2007
    Your Mercedes:
    T210 320cdi
    It just needs some one who knows them preferably with Star.
     
  4. andy@pcd-ltd

    andy@pcd-ltd Guest

    As above needs to go on star to check

    I would hazard a guess that the pump has failed for the suspension
     
  5. range rover

    range rover Senior Member

    Messages:
    578
    Likes Received:
    65
    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    Location:
    Northern Ireland
    Your Mercedes:
    E Class Blue EFFICIENCY 250 CDI Sport 2013
    airmatic too low stop car

    I saw on another forum (US) where the airmatic could be discarded in favour of springs, I haven't had any trouble, but I'm saying nothing only to say that mine was one of the last of the line, so hopefully there have been improvements along the line
     
  6. LTD

    LTD Senior Member

    Messages:
    326
    Likes Received:
    4
    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2010
    Your Mercedes:
    2013 E220 CDi Coupe Sport
    Porous valve block.
     
  7. OP
    yogi_akshar

    yogi_akshar New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2012
    Location:
    london
    Your Mercedes:
    w220 s320cdi
    Thanks for the advice - will tow it back to the mechanic to re-check for leaks, test the pump, and the valve....
     
  8. RobWheatley

    RobWheatley Senior Member

    Messages:
    330
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2010
    Location:
    Chatham, Kent. UK
    Your Mercedes:
    2002 S320CDi Auto with Toys...
    Look at the top of the front struts for cracks in the resin, use a water/washing up liquid and look for bubbles, I had the same, mine was the compressor AND the struts.........
     
  9. OP
    yogi_akshar

    yogi_akshar New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2012
    Location:
    london
    Your Mercedes:
    w220 s320cdi
    Hi Rob, how much did the struts and pump cost you, parts + labour? Thnks...
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2012
  10. RobWheatley

    RobWheatley Senior Member

    Messages:
    330
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2010
    Location:
    Chatham, Kent. UK
    Your Mercedes:
    2002 S320CDi Auto with Toys...
    Struts were £450 each (reconditioned) from Dronsfield Mercedes and the compressor I bought from Ebay (used from a 2006 E class)
    Did all the work myself, but the struts were not really hard, it was just the two grub screws in the bottom that were difficult, you WILL need a good quality allen key for them.
     
  11. OP
    yogi_akshar

    yogi_akshar New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2012
    Location:
    london
    Your Mercedes:
    w220 s320cdi
    Cheers, thnks, will keep you posted.....
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2012
  12. LTD

    LTD Senior Member

    Messages:
    326
    Likes Received:
    4
    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2010
    Your Mercedes:
    2013 E220 CDi Coupe Sport
    Have you had it tested yet ?

    Don't spend big money until you have found the root cause of the problem. It's not always the struts - especially as it is both front sides that are down.
     
  13. television

    television Always remembered RIP

    Messages:
    164,074
    Likes Received:
    310
    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2005
    Location:
    Daventry
    Your Mercedes:
    2002 SL500, 216 CL500, all fully loaded
    A very good point there, so more like valve block
     
  14. LTD

    LTD Senior Member

    Messages:
    326
    Likes Received:
    4
    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2010
    Your Mercedes:
    2013 E220 CDi Coupe Sport
    Agreed. My car is a 2003 @ 136k miles.

    Pump failed due to a porous block. Struts were fine.
     
  15. OP
    yogi_akshar

    yogi_akshar New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2012
    Location:
    london
    Your Mercedes:
    w220 s320cdi
    The mechanic tested the pump again & found that it works if he hits it with a spanner but then stops working.

    Struts are not leaking.

    Mechanic will change the pump & relay today. I looked on ebay and internet but there is no cheap pumps. It will cost me about £400 for parts and labour.

    Cheers....
     
  16. LTD

    LTD Senior Member

    Messages:
    326
    Likes Received:
    4
    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2010
    Your Mercedes:
    2013 E220 CDi Coupe Sport
    Thought the pump was checked ?
     
  17. 47p2

    47p2 Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,582
    Likes Received:
    4
    Joined:
    May 3, 2006
    Location:
    Scotland
    Your Mercedes:
    Slk
    I have a good used airmatic pump from a 2001 W220 for sale
     
  18. OP
    yogi_akshar

    yogi_akshar New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2012
    Location:
    london
    Your Mercedes:
    w220 s320cdi
    Pump & relay now changed and the car seems to be o.k. Won't be going to that mechanic again though. Very important to find the right mechanic for these cars.

    When I bought the car the seller took me for a drive instead of me test driving it. This was my first mistake. Also, this car does not have any service history. Second mistake. I did not know much about S class models, and their problems, which was the third mistake.

    After spending £1600 repair bills on a crap S class "wheel barrow", I have to now to sell the car which I bought 4 months ago as there is still a problem - no kick-down function, ( it could be the pedal switch, or the sensor, or something else tracing the fault from the pedal to the engine ) and I cannot afford to pay waste any money on this s class crap. I have learned a very costly lesson! I thought that a merecedes lasts a life time and the engine runs for 100s of thousands of miles, especially the s class. How wrong was I?

    Before buying an S class :

    1. Always do your research on the car and all it's problems, including repair costs. This includes common faults like instrument panel, airmatic, turbo, kick down. Then decide whether you want to buy an S class designed by highly trained chimps at mercedes headquarters or instead buy a decent Lexus.

    2. Always buy an S-class that has full mercedes service history, no matter how cheap the car is. This is absolutely imperative.

    3. If you do decide to buy one, test the car fully for :
    a) turbo function - accelerate hard and make sure that the turbo is working
    b) kick-down - floor the accelerator pedal and the car should take off. If there a fault, a message should come up on the panel something like " EPC Control Visit Workshop" and kick down will not work.
    c) air conditioning - check that the light goes out when you press the a/c button. If it does not go out, there is a problem.
    d) suspension - check that the pump is working properly by pressing the button that raises the suspension.
    e) fault codes - if you can afford it, call out a mobile engineer that can plug in a unit to read all the codes. The unit needs to read mercedes codes. They normally charges between £35 to £100. The unit will give you all the fault codes including airmatic problems.
    f) Obviously check for other things like tyres, brakes, bodywork, documents, etc.
    g) finally, rely on your instinct - is the seller trying to get rid of the car and hiding something or is there a genuine reason. I had a feeling that the seller was indeed trying to get rid of the car riddled with problems but still bought it and regreted it!

    Thanks all for your advice.......
     
  19. LTD

    LTD Senior Member

    Messages:
    326
    Likes Received:
    4
    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2010
    Your Mercedes:
    2013 E220 CDi Coupe Sport
    I'm surprised that your 'wheel-barrow', as you describe the W220 made it to 87k miles.

    In fact, I am absolutely startled that mine has travelled 50k more.

    They are expensive cars with lots of inbuilt technology. Things do go wrong and, being an expensive car, bills can be hefty - especially if you do not have a local independent with good knowledge about the model. You can't run a £60k car on beer money.

    Maybe you should have listened to your own alarm bells going off before purchase ...

    The W220 is a wonderful car. Like many other vehicles, a bad one is one to avoid.
     
  20. OP
    yogi_akshar

    yogi_akshar New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2012
    Location:
    london
    Your Mercedes:
    w220 s320cdi
    I call it a wheel-barrow, but in terms of reliability, the s class is worst than a wheel barrow. I actually have a rusty wheel barrow in my garden, and it has never let me down. A £60k car for the last 4 months has either been parked on my drive way awaiting fixing or being fixed at a garage. This kind of quality is totally unacceptable, especially if it cost £60k new. The car is not even 10 years old with less than 100k miles.

    Yours has done 150k miles, which is good, but to be honest with you, I advise you to sell it before you have major problems. I bet any money on it after reading the forums with all the problems with mercs.

    About the beer money, I think what you are saying is " you can't expect to fix a £60k s-class crap with beer money". Maybe you have got the luckiest s-class in the world and I have the worst in the world. But, I would not call it a "wonderful" car. To call the AA first thing in the morning to tow the car away because of airmatic failure ( outside a school where everybody is watching ) after just spending £1k on a new turbo was the last insult! Sorry......
     

Share This Page