W221 S350 - should suspension drop whilst parked?

DSK

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I’ve had this car a few days and all has seemed normal and well.

I came home today and I can swear the front of the car looks a bit lower than I’ve seen it. I understand it’s got air suspension. Is this normal for the front to lower a little when parked? If not then I have a problem and still waiting for the local MB specialists to open so they can check it over. I do not not know what normal behaviour is for air suspension.

I’ll drop the supplier garage an email anyway as a heads up.


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malcolm210

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The suspension shouldn’t drop at all - how old is the car?
 
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DSK

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2011, 50,000 miles


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malcolm210

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Did you buy from a MB franchise or specialist (which helps) or the trade either way it needs to go back new air struts are ££££ each from MB
 
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DSK

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I could get 1 finger in as the car was parked since yesterday.

I started it and the car quietly and unassumingly raised its front end, I can now get 2 fingers in and it’s not raised any more.


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DSK

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It was from a dealer, 4.5 star reviews on google, lichfield street motor company. Got a 12 month warranty on it provided either by AA/Warrantywise.

I have just sent them an email raising the issue and plan to get it to MercServe or MB centre as soon as they are open for an analysis.


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malcolm210

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Might be time for a nomenclature check:

Dealer = MB
Independent = MB Specialist
everything else = Trader

Good idea to take it to a MB specialist for advice then approach the trader for a resolution. It will be interesting to hear what they say
 

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Roger and Nate at Mercserve, cant praise them enough!

Depending in the struts, sometimes the bags can just be replaced which is alot cheaper than replacing the entire strut.
 
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DSK

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I went to the car minutes ago this morning and I can still get 2 fingers in so at least its not dropping as soon as the engine is switched off.
Just waiting until 9am and then will see if either of the 2 specialists are open.
 

malcolm210

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The air loss will be small but enough to lower the car overnight it could be the valve block or struts might be time for a soapy water test at those connections
 
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DSK

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I did a bit of YouTube and Googling last night. I am not put off by the cost or complexity of the Airmatic system as I am sure the indy's should have enough knowledge to know what to check to correctly diagnose and repair.
 
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DSK

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Both are closed until the other side of the new year but, MercServe are still answering calls so I explained the issue.
They were not overly concerned about it and said its not uncommon for it to release a bit of air and sit a little lower, then return to its normal height upon starting. As its only done it the once, it could be that but, they are happy to get me in early into the new year.
 

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if its airmatic (not the better optional ABC - that's even bigger money to repair / service and less reliable) they breath up and down based on atmospheric conditions when parked

(when working correctly) if its stable temperature and atmos pressure the car remains 100% the same height each corner and can stay without the compressor running like this for 6 months of driving

however if there's substantial temp and atmos pressure change it can breath by up to 20mm overnight. Sometimes its seems more but should never be more than 30mm and usually around 10mm is more common in winter. Mine can be flat for a week in winter, then one especially cold night it can drop 20mm, the next day if it warms up it can creep back up

the other outstandingly mad idea that I never believed was real - but it is... (and is either for photo ops / chauffeuring, or to just wear the car out) as you come to rest and or park on uneven surfaces - the car attempts to level itself. So if you park up a kerb, one side will collapse and the other raise, each side seeming to do up to 40mm of movement - this often gives the impression its gone saggy on you
 
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Botus

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you also need to replace all three level sensor link rods (one each on the front and a hidden one on the back), they like to seize and snap off - they should be treated as a service item 4 years and 30k miles swap them out

my rear snapped off, beaching the car, on the work bench playing - it has the plastic socket so seized to the steel ball that even with two pairs of grips its impossible to get it to move at all - so it just flexes the mounting bracket (which is fine for normal use - but if you put two big rugby players in without it running it'll just snap) quite how much development they needed to put in to get this failure mode certainly warrants a special achievement award

the fronts are a DIY 30 mins a side job for £30 each, the rear is a particularly special job you can even get to see / or check - figure 5 hours if you can find a garage that even want to take on the job - In hindsight disconnection of the whole rear antiroll bar would be the best approach, then there is a potential chance to attach the mounting bracket
 
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DSK

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When changing suspension modes, it does say 'airmatic' followed by sport/comfort to the best of my memory. The change is also immediate, silent and very tangible. I think only the S65 and S600 had the ABC based on the research I did (as I did consider the S600 if the S350 turned not be adequate enough).

@Botus - The drops of 20-30mm as per your comments, on the front end, were exactly what I experienced when I posted originally. There may be nothing wrong but, as this is my first experience of Air suspension, seeing suspension move if its not live on the road just seems wrong.

As with everyone else in the UK we have gone from bitter cold to mild almost daily. When the car is started, if it needs to rise, it does so quietly and within 15 seconds or so, and its only needed to do it the once when I originally posted. Even at the dealer's the car was in the same spot since test drive/collection and looked bang on. Its been parked for 2 days now and hasn't dropped at all and I can still get 2 fingers in between the top of the tyre and arch, so this is inline with what Mercserve advised over the phone.
 
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Wighty

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When changing suspension modes, it does say 'airmatic' followed by sport/comfort to the best of my memory. The change is also immediate, silent and very tangible. I think only the S65 and S600 had the ABC based on the research I did (as I did consider the S600 if the S350 turned not be adequate enough).

@Botus - The drops of 20-30mm as per your comments, on the front end, were exactly what I experienced when I posted originally. There may be nothing wrong but, as this is my first experience of Air suspension, seeing suspension move if its not live on the road just seems wrong.

As with everyone else in the UK we have gone from bitter cold to mild almost daily. When the car is started, if it needs to rise, it does so quietly and within 15 seconds or so, and its only needed to do it the once when I originally posted. Even at the dealer's the car was in the same spot since test drive/collection and looked bang on. Its been parked for 2 days now and hasn't dropped at all and I can still get 2 fingers in between the top of the tyre and arch, so this is inline with what Mercserve advised over the phone.
We have temperature of nearly 16 degrees this afternoon , might be a good time to do some measuring because it drops again in a day or two .
 
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Botus

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I have some experience of setting the levels - that's a wild ride, 3 garages, 7 attempts, over 5 years none ever managed it - but I did it correctly this year, once I had the tools, took 6 hours though !!! there is a procedure to follow so the car ACTUALLY stores the adjustment - but no one knows that !!!!! (otherwise you can do all the work believing you did it to perfection and saved it all - but as soon as you drive off it always reverts to the original settings)

in C its roughly each corner is 750mm from the floor to the centre top of each wheel arch of the wings - MUST be 100% flat ground, engine running in neutral, park brake off - Drive it for a few miles first, to warm the dampers and the air and to get it functioning normally.

note stationary S doesn't do reduced ride height - it's only in motion above 60 and here there's a whole load of silly conditions at various speeds where it goes up and down or doesn't come down unless...

without squashing your arm !!!! raise using the button beside comand screen, place a jack under the sill and lube / wobble the level sensor link rods at the front (look in above the top of the tyre to the top wishbone), you can't see or reach the rear. but it ends up worse than the fronts !!!
 
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DSK

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Just an update on this.

I contacted the local two MB centres and they don't so Saturday's (must be making too much money obviously). I'm just arranging some time this week with work and plan to get the car into the MB Indy within 2 weeks. I will report back accordingly on the findings.
 

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