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w220 dreaded suspension

Discussion in 'Suspension, Steering & Brakes' started by bobby.sharma, Jan 30, 2015.

  1. bobby.sharma

    bobby.sharma New Member

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    hi all

    I am running a 2003 w220 320cdi. I have had this for the best part of ten year and all is (was) good so I wasn't really thinking of getting rid off it.

    Unfortunately I have noticed that the ride has started to get very hard. when riding over bumps the whole car shakes and judders like there is no suspension at all. Furthermore it seems like the car is wallowing over bumps.

    I've had it checked at a stealership who told me there were no error codes. I've had it checked at an Indy who told me that it was stuck in sport II mode and that they had reset it. I am not convinced! I have changed the relay as per advice on these forums. I have also checked that the struts aren't leaking - they aren't and also confirmed that the car is not losing height. Left it for a month at one point and it was fine. As far as turning the airmatic on - the car quickly adjusts to the raised the position.

    The problem I have is that the car isn't worth much now and doesn't justify having thousands spent on it but obviously if I can get the magic carpet ride back I would happily keep the car for another 5 years or so. So I'm stuck.

    Can anyone recommend an airmatic specialist? around greater London, Bucks or Berks? I'm not just talking about just any old indy but someone who has fixed your airmatic issue. Everything is pointing towards a faulty sensor somewhere or the valve control block but I'm not in a position to throw silly money at this. (blame the ex wife .. everything's her fault :))

    Many Thanks
    Bobby
     
  2. television

    television Always remembered RIP

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    Location:
    Daventry
    Your Mercedes:
    2002 SL500, 216 CL500, all fully loaded
    Bobby have a word with Star Motors in Caversham, they are a very good indie, and very honest and knowledgeable. It could be the spheres due for replacement.
     
  3. OP
    bobby.sharma

    bobby.sharma New Member

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    Finally got round to booking the car in - is going in this Thursday - Am seriously hoping that I get my super smooth ride back. In the meantime here's some interesting reading..

    http://w220.ee/Airmatic
     
  4. AdamG

    AdamG Senior Member

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    Location:
    Bromley, Kent
    Your Mercedes:
    S320CDI (2003)
    If you can get access to a Star machine it would be worth checking the body acceleration sensors. There are two at the front near the top of the struts and one at the rear under the rear seat I think.

    My w220 started acting like it was on setting two but it was the fail-safe mode of the suspension when there is a fault. One of the front acceleration sensors was not giving the right voltage feedback which was due to the connector to the sensor having some corrosion on it. I reseated it and spayed some contact cleaner on it and it has been fine ever since.

    Adam
     
  5. OP
    bobby.sharma

    bobby.sharma New Member

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    OK, So I've just spoken to the guys at Star. It would appear that the pressure in the front tyres was too high and that there is no fault showing in the Airmatic. That's quite a relief as you can imagine.

    I haven't driven the car yet so can't comment on the difference made but it does strike me that the air pressure in the tyres was the last thing I would have checked as the front tyres were last replaced by a household name tyre place. Goes to show just because they're a big company doesn't mean they know what they are doing!!

    Cheers
    Bobby
     
  6. television

    television Always remembered RIP

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    Your Mercedes:
    2002 SL500, 216 CL500, all fully loaded
    Pleased to see that Star motors came up trumps, thank you Ian again.
     
  7. Oarsman

    Oarsman Senior Member

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    Location:
    Norfolk
    Your Mercedes:
    W221 S350L CDI Bluetec, Range Rover Vogue SE 4.4 TDI, 1963 Triumph TR4
    Just a thought, but do you not check the tyre pressures on a regular basis.:rolleyes:
    They are the only thing connecting you to the road, so a weekly 5 minute check of condition and pressure seems prudent.
     
  8. OP
    bobby.sharma

    bobby.sharma New Member

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    it was too good to be true!

    Picked up the car and found after a few miles that the car was riding higher on the passenger side than on the drivers side. I initially thought that the tracking was out as some ball joint work was done while the car was in and I was compensating with the steering. When I flicked the switch to raise the car the difference between the two sides was massive. The diagnostic printout had mentioned a problem with the front right sensor and also something about the rear axle being at critical level (i'm at work so don't have the sheet to hand).

    Anyway, the car is going back to the lovely guys at Star tomorrow, hopefully with the problem being so clearly visible we should be able to get to the bottom of it. Only thing to note is that prior to the garage trip the only symptom I had was a hard uncomfortable ride - never had a visible difference in ride height

    The attached pics were at the train station this morning so you get an idea of just how big the difference is ..

    cheers
    Bobby
     

    Attached Files:

  9. Hardaker

    Hardaker Active Member

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    Location:
    Bampton, Oxon
    Your Mercedes:
    S320 CDi 2005 W220
    Adding something here in the hope of reply.
    The W220 I now have (my 2nd W220) has noisy suspension; lots of clonking sounds from all of them. Does anybody have experience of the units being sold on eBay? £600, aprox, for all four. They claim to be OEM - really? 3 months warranty is stated but what do you do if they prove to be no good? One is supposed to be UK based. One wonders about that as well. I have had nightmares with supposedly refurbished units in the past.
    As mentioned the car is not worth much.
    Regards to you all.
     
    mr_w140 likes this.
  10. moj91

    moj91 Senior Member

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    Northamptonshire
    Your Mercedes:
    '09 W204 C-Class 250 CDi, '05 W220 S-Class 320CDI (AMG Kit), '03 W168 A-Class 170CDI LWB Elegance...
    Sure it is the Airmatic struts and not bad joints/bushes/ engine and exhaust mounts?

    Our W220 '05 (with the revised airmatic) is still going strong at 250k, albeit with a new pump at around 100k. Although it is getting slow to respond to height changes.
     
  11. mr_w140

    mr_w140 Senior Member

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    I am thinking of buying a W220 and have also seen on eBay the struts going for £ 600 for all 4. OEM quality, so naturally I am interested to know from forum members on their thoughts....The suspension issue is the big worry but of it could be resolved (if it went pear shaped in the future) for a reasonable cost then it is well worth considering buying the W220...

    Thanks
     

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