Mercedes Benz is a reliable and classy car brand. But despite the reliability and classiness of this car brand, a few of its cars have been reported to have air suspension issues (or like Mercedes likes to call it—Airmatic System issues).
It is important to understand how to prevent the air suspension from damaging totally. To do this, you should learn to spot these issues before they get out of hand and cause serious problems.
If you suspect that your Mercedes has suspension issues but are not sure how to spot them, keep reading to find out the common problems your Mercedes vehicle may develop.
Mercedes Air Suspension Problems
1. Vehicle Too Low
This is the major sign that you can look out for in your Mercedes to know if the AirMatic system is developing any fault.
The suspension of a car is a system of smaller functioning parts that come together to function; the tires, air compressor, shock absorbers, air springs, and some other components come together to function as a unit.
If your car becomes too low to ride, this could be because of a failed air compressor. The air compressor works to inflate the air bellows.
The compressor can burn out or experience mechanical damage due to accidents or careless driving. And when this happens, there may not be requisite pressure applied by the compressor to get the vehicle off the ground enough to drive properly.
If you keep on driving your Mercedes with a failed compressor, the brushes inside may wear out and make driving increasingly uncomfortable.
There have been situations when the air compressor functions properly, but the air lines are the problem. These are the lines that supply air from the compressor to the air bags. If these lines leak, the compressor may notice the lack of pressure and try to compensate for it by pumping more air.
You can notice that something is wrong with the compressor when the compressor keeps on working and the car is still low.
Another reason your car may be hanging too low would be the automated AirMatic system. The Mercedes Benz AirMatic system is automated. This means that if there is a problem with the automated systems, the compressor and the other systems may malfunction.
There are relays installed to consistently communicate with the compressors, to start and stop them. If the relay is faulty, the compressor cannot function properly, and you can notice this with how balanced your car is.
If your compressor works without stopping and is over-engaged, the fuse can burn, and the compressor may get damaged. You can also notice that your compressor is faulty when you add more load to your car, and the car sinks lower than usual.
2. Vehicle Out of Balance
If one side of your vehicle sags, this could be because of strut damage.
The air struts can develop a leaking problem, especially on either side of the car. When this happens, the side where the leak developed will sag. You can notice this sagging when driving or even when the car is parked.
An air strut should last about 80,000 to 100,000 miles before developing faults. This also depends on how you drive the car, and the terrain.
Sometimes driving in this condition makes it difficult, especially when you want to turn your car along a sharp bend–the car will no longer feel balanced, and it would feel like all the weight of the car is on one side. Sometimes, you’d hear strains in the suspension as you turn. If you notice this, it is time to get your mechanic.
3. Airmatic Malfunction Signal on Dashboard
Because the Mercedes AirMatic system is automated, the system may alert you that your suspension system is faulty.
The sign is shown on your dashboard, and it read: Air suspension failure. When you see this sign, it is not safe to ignore it. The more you leave out that fault in the AirMatic system, the more other parts of your suspension may be damaged.
If the car hangs too low, you’d see the “Stop Vehicle Too Low” sign on the dashboard. If you do not respond to this warning, it could trigger the engine to shut down. These are all parts of safety measures built in to ensure you do not run into trouble due to the Airmatic system malfunction.
4. Difficulty in Driving and Steering
Driving your car in perfect condition makes it easy to notice when the car has faults.
One of the early signs would be when your car feels and behaves differently. When it becomes difficult to steer, or it makes strange noises as you turn around corners and bend.
The difficulty in steering and the weird noises made are a sign that your car needs to be checked as soon as possible.
How Much Does It Cost to Fix a Mercedes Airmatic System Failure?
There are almost no popular complaints with Mercedes AirMatic systems so far. The S-class W220 was the first Mercedes model to have AirMatic systems installed; then the C-class, the E-class W211, the GLE Coupe, CLS coupe, and the GLS SUV.
However, according to RepairPal, the average cost of repairing your air suspension system is between $795 and $838. But this price varies based on the car model, the type of problem, and the location.
Tips to Make Your Airmatic Lasts Longer
Your car should run for about 105,000-125,000 miles before the AirMatic system starts to give trouble.
The system is designed to last about 10-15 years, but if you do not take care of your suspension system, it may fail quickly.
Here are tips to take care of your AirMatic suspension:
- Always check for leakages. Since the suspension system works with air, there may be leakages.
- Regular servicing. If you want your AirMatic system to last, you want to take your car for regular servicing.
- Check your air springs. The ideal pressure for your air springs is 5psi (Although this is dependent on your car model, you can verify the ideal pressure for yours).
- Consistent cleaning of your car can remove debris that can affect your AirMatic system.
Because of the automated system that the Mercedes AirMatic uses, troubleshooting on your own can be difficult, because of the technicalities involved. It is advised to contact an expert mechanic to run a proper diagnosis, and then fix the issues that exist.