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Self Levelling air suspension problems

Discussion in 'Suspension, Steering & Brakes' started by Andymerc UFO, May 1, 2019.

  1. Andymerc UFO

    Andymerc UFO Member

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    Your Mercedes:
    E Class 270cdi Avantgarde Estate 2003
    Can anyone help me diagnose a problem with my self levelling suspension on my s211?
    The rear drivers side had dropped this evening and when i started and drove the car a short distance i could hear the compressor working away periodically. Then when i stopped the car to check ride height i could hear air escaping by the wheel and it was down but not fully. I took a chance and drove the car a couple of miles further to leave it at my in-laws for the night rather than the extra 5 miles home. When i checked the wheel again there was no air hissing and the wheel had stayed at the right ride height. I’ll check it again tomorrow when i go over but meanwhile i’m Trying to figure out what the problem could be.
    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. LostKiwi

    LostKiwi Senior Member

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    Almost certainly an airbag needing replacing.
     
  3. malcolm210

    malcolm210 Senior Member

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    ^+1 sounds very much like it loosing air at full pressure
     
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  4. OP
    Andymerc UFO

    Andymerc UFO Member

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    I’ve just looked at the car this morning and it stayed up! so no loss of air since stopping and parking the car. Malcolm210 it could be. Is there a sensor that tells the system to dump air if it thinks there’s too much in? It might explain why i heard the hissing sound by the back wheel but now it seems fine...
    It would be cheaper fix (hopefully) if that were the case.

    I could really do with a diagram of the self levelling air suspension. I’ve only been able to find info on the hydraulic version and also airmatic.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2019
  5. EmilysDad

    EmilysDad Senior Member

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    I wouldn't have thought there'd be much difference between the Airmatic and self levelling suspension. When the airbags at the back of my R Class failed, sometimes it'd drop .... other times it wouldn't.

    If it was a level switch/sensor, I'd expect both sides to drop, not just the driver's side
     
  6. malcolm210

    malcolm210 Senior Member

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    Like everything Andy the airbags gradually wear out and leak quite a few 211s are suffering now at 10+ years old and 100k+ miles. My 212 occasionally dumps air from the system to adjust the ride height
     
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  7. OP
    Andymerc UFO

    Andymerc UFO Member

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    I'll have to get the car home to my carpark and Jack it up. It's been an intermittent issue for a few months now but not as noticeable as yesterday. I changed the pump recently because the old one, although working, wouldn't raise the car. I even bought a compressor repair kit 1st but it was no use. The sagging has only been slight. Just to the top of tyres so I wondered if there was a leak that wasn't always in a position that allowed air to escape. If i had some plans or images I'd have a better understanding of the workings. Like i said though, it's easy to find info on airmatic (4wheels) but impossible to find anything on self levelling, which is odd since there must be plenty older motors out there with similar issues.
     
  8. V6Matty

    V6Matty Senior Member

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    the system is very simple, pump and reservoir in the front and then pipework to the rear axel area, then a T-piece that splits the line to each side.
    As you've noted the pump was work so it's likely been working overtime trying to keep the car level, You'll have a leak from on side or both or potentially from the pipe work.
    Easiest think to do it's get under the car and spray some gas leak detection fluid around to find the leak, that way you will know exactly what you need to replace.
     
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  9. malcolm210

    malcolm210 Senior Member

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    At that age of vehicle I’d seriously consider doing both sides
     
  10. LostKiwi

    LostKiwi Senior Member

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    It sounds like the bag(s) is (are) leaking to the point where they can self seal either through the hole only being present above a certain pressure or the bag folding slightly sealing the hole. As above, spray some leak detector or soapy water about and look for the leak.
    As Matty said, it's a simple system. The only bit he left off was the height sensor on the rear anti roll bar (only 1).
     
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  11. OP
    Andymerc UFO

    Andymerc UFO Member

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    Ok thanks for the input. I’ll have a look at the old girl first chance i get, prob on Monday. Will report back my findings.:)
     
  12. V6Matty

    V6Matty Senior Member

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    Daft question but your car wouldn’t happen to be an Avantguard in green/black would it, reg of LG53ONX
     
  13. OP
    Andymerc UFO

    Andymerc UFO Member

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    V6Matty, no its not. Curious why you ask though..
    I’ll pop the car pic up as my Avatar. It is an avantgarde but in silver.
     
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  14. V6Matty

    V6Matty Senior Member

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    My old 2003 270 was sold and brought back on the road recently in your area so I wondered if it happened to be the same one,
     
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  15. OP
    Andymerc UFO

    Andymerc UFO Member

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    V6Matty, ah i see. This old girl was originally from the north east I think. It was an impulse purchase last year when my Vito failed its mot. (Welding!) I thought i’d Be able to make use of the carry capacity and it also has 7 seats as a bonus.
     
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  16. Conor

    Conor Senior Member

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    Andy, I feel your frustration with only finding airmatic notes. It seems the interest is full of those documents but not the self levelling type for the estates.

    I have bought a "WIS" from ebay and if I manage to get it working I can send over some diagrams if they exist.

    I would also be curious to hear about the old compressor you have. Where did you get the repair kit? Was it Bag Piping Andy?

    I remember he said they were decent compressors.. Do you still have it? He might give you a few quid for it as he is always looking for stock to refurb, I believe.

    Ref: http://www.bagpipingandy.com (No affiliation)
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2019
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  17. OP
    Andymerc UFO

    Andymerc UFO Member

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    Conor, that would be good if you could manage it. As for the compressor repair kit, it could have been from bag Piping Andy but i cant remember for sure. It was only cheap anyway. Unfortunately the compressor was corroded inside so it was no good. Worth asking him if he wants it though. I’m not really bothered about getting anything for it. I’d only be binning it otherwise when i eventually get round to clearing away the scrap from various car repairs. :p #understandingwife
     
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  18. OP
    Andymerc UFO

    Andymerc UFO Member

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    I thought i’d Better post an update to keep this thread active.

    I haven’t had chance to look into the problem yet. I’m not able to at the moment due to injuring my back falling off a garden wall.:( (Not drunk either)
    I’m not really up to rolling around under a car just yet. As soon as I’m ok i’ll Get to it. I’ve got the leak detection spray ready to go.
    :)
     
  19. EmilysDad

    EmilysDad Senior Member

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    Oooops! Not too serious I hope :confused:
     
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  20. DaveC52

    DaveC52 Member

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    Sometimes if the leak is intermittent it can be the manifold that sits on top of the compressor with age they are known to leak on a T211 320 CDI the compressor is located behind the rear bumper and is accesible by removing the nearside plastic inner wheel arch just a few bolts worth checking that out comp.jpeg
    Compressor with manifold above
     
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