Is Airmatic generally unreliable?

PJayUK

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Interested in hearing some opinions on this one .... I was chatting to a friend who is considering a W220. He has diligently been researching said subject and consulting seasoned Sclass veterans such as yours truly :shock: !

He raised an interesting point after a few evenings reading posts on a certain USA based forum relating to how negative our American cousins seem to be around the Airmatic suspension system on the SClass. Its true, a quick search for the word "Airmatic" returns a vast number of mainly negative comments and experiences with the air suspension on the W220 and W221

Admittedly the yanks seem to embark on much "pimpin of da Benz" lowering and adding 25inch low-profile spinnas etc which probably doesnt help! :lol:

My W220 has covered 121,000 miles. Its on its original pump I rarely ever hear it working (in fact I am not sure I would even know what it sounded like!!) Its never dropped more than an inch or two even when left for a long time and the ride is silky smooth like a conveyor.

In fact the only time I have seen it drop is when I had new tyres fitted and it quickly pumped itself up again like magic!

So am I the exception here? Should I expect the wrath of the god of Airmatic to rain upon me soon resulting in catastrophic failure?

What do we think?
 

television

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We have only ever had a few postings on faults, the relay and pump being the most common, and the odd leg has been replaced. I do not know if the average S class driver uses forums much, but it must be proportional to the E's .

SAM could answer this better
 
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PJayUK

PJayUK

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I have talked to Sam about this, It would be interesting to find out just how common Airmatic faults are. The pumps etc seem to have a finite life but what about the struts? I wonder what there average life expectancy would be?

I keep checking my car out of the window now to check its not dropped!

Hoping I have not spoken to soon by waxing lyrically about Airmatic reliability on my W220 :)
 

Cole@MBS

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The worst fault on the airmatic system is the pump over run time, this is caused by the relay mostly, or, a leaking valve body.

I dont know of anyone having to change a strut on a airmatic system as yet but im sure its been done,

There are silly air leaks and other small faults on the system which cause problems but most of the time its just new relay and pump needed!
 
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PJayUK

PJayUK

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Rump over run time???? :) :)

Are you saying my bum looks big in this SClass!
 

television

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I missed the fun :(:(
 
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PJayUK

PJayUK

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So on a W220 with say 110,000 miles on its unlikely that a strut is going to need to be replaced. A pump of valve block is possible but a relatively easy fix.

Sound about right?
 

Cole@MBS

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Hate to think how many pumps and relays i have fitted on peoples drive ways!

As i said, i have never known anyone to change one yet! (strut)
 
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PJayUK

PJayUK

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So do I!

Get you to check it sometime!
 
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PJayUK

PJayUK

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Yes I didnt want to pester though. Probably do it next month sometime when ever its convenient.
 

saniasamah

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sam unit we need you to open up here in the north newcastle upon tyne youd do really well up here :lol:
 

television

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sam unit we need you to open up here in the north newcastle upon tyne youd do really well up here :lol:

He would do well where ever he was based,,,he has the right outlook and attitude for fixing faults
 

eGuru

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Hate to think how many pumps and relays i have fitted on peoples drive ways!

As i said, i have never known anyone to change one yet! (strut)

Sam, I had the strut replaced on my W220 at just over 3 years old. Driving on a dual carriageway at 40 mph and heard a 'pop' sound, lucky to be able to pull over safely as the front wheel rubbed on the arches. Not a pleasant experience.
 

davsop

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Mines had a pump and rear strut and even a new valve on the pump 2 years later which also cost $$$$
Now its reached 165k miles I've decided to sell it.
Has always been heavy on suspension parts. Engine very few problems!
 

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