The Mercedes S-Class is an iconic luxury car known for its comfort and sophistication. One of the defining features of this vehicle is its air suspension system, which provides a smooth and stable ride even on uneven roads.
Unfortunately, numerous owners have reported notable Mercedes S-class air suspension problems, resulting in costly repairs and even safety concerns. Commonly reported problems include Airmatic relay faults, compressor malfunction, valve blockages, and squeaking.
Has any of these issues crept into your mind? Don’t worry; we will explore some of the most common Mercedes S-class air suspension problems and their causes. We will also discuss how to diagnose these issues and what solutions are available to fix them.
Whether you are a Mercedes owner or willing to bring a brand new Mercedes S-Class into your garage, this article aims to provide valuable insights into maintaining the quality of your car’s air suspension system.
What is Mercedes Bench Airmatic Suspension?
In order to comprehend the significance of promptly addressing air suspension issues, it is crucial to have a clear understanding of the air suspension system’s function. This comprehension will enable one to recognize the rationale and gravity behind resolving any problems.
It is worth noting that any malfunction in the air suspension can present a formidable obstacle, but Mercedes has innovated an impressive air suspension system to complement their new shocks. Mercedes named it the “Airmatic suspension.”
This system was engineered to mitigate the challenges that various models faced with overly rigid suspension or inadequate resistance while navigating uneven terrain.
The air suspension control unit regulates this particular suspension type, employing airbags to inflate and deflate in response to the suspension’s requirements. This feature ensures a remarkably smooth ride for you and your passengers while enhancing fuel efficiency and reducing road noise in the cabin.
Read also: Can Bad Leaf Springs Cause Vibration?
Symptoms of Mercedes S-Class Air Suspension Problems
The air suspension system in the Mercedes S-Class is equipped with a set of indicator lights that are designed to notify drivers of any potential issues. These lights are programmed to appear in various situations and often come with straightforward instructions.
For instance, one warning message may read “Stop Vehicle-Vehicle Too Low,” which typically means that the system has detected rough terrain and needs a moment to adjust accordingly.
However, there are other symptoms that may indicate a problem with the air suspension system, even if no warning light is displayed. Therefore, it is recommended that drivers inspect their suspension system if they notice any of the following symptoms.
To determine if your air struts require replacement, observe if your Mercedes Benz S Class is sagging more than usual. This can be noticed when one corner sinks down more than the others while parked or if there is a feeling of unevenness while driving, which typically occurs in the front end of the vehicle.
The sagging indicates potential problems with your struts, which can lead to rapid tire wear and costly replacements. It’s crucial to address this issue promptly to avoid unnecessary expenses and maintain the optimal performance of your S-Class.
Loss of Ride Smoothness
If you’re experiencing a heightened sensitivity to bumps on the road, it’s highly likely that your struts are worn out and in need of replacement. Struts play a critical role in absorbing the roughness of the road, and when they malfunction, your tires are left to bear the brunt of the impact. This often results in an irritating clanking sound caused by metal-on-metal friction.
It’s imperative that you replace your struts as soon as possible to avoid not only discomfort during drives but also the potential danger of losing control of your vehicle. Without properly functioning struts, your car is unable to effectively absorb any unevenness on the road, creating a hazardous situation that should be avoided at all costs.
Major or Minor Leaks
Air leaks can occur as a result of damaged or worn-out struts, often due to weakened seals. These leaks can cause your compressor to run continuously during your drives, leading to potential motor burnout if left unchecked. It is crucial to address this issue promptly to avoid costly repairs.
Identifying an air leak can be challenging, but in severe cases, you may hear a hissing sound around the wheel area. Alternatively, you can apply soap and water to the adhesive layering atop your strut and look for the development of bubbles, indicating an air leak. Therefore, it is advisable to replace your struts promptly if you notice any signs of air leaks.
Inability to Adjust Ride Height
If you find yourself unsuccessful in adjusting the height of your Mercedes, it is plausible that an electrical malfunction may be hindering the inflation of the air springs.
Additionally, it should be taken into consideration that an incorrect height may result from malfunctioning sensors responsible for signaling the air springs to cease inflating. In any case, this serves as a significant indication that there is an issue at hand.
Common Mercedes S-class Air Suspension Problems
The Airmatic suspension system is highly intricate, leaving room for a multitude of potential malfunctions. Nevertheless, Mercedes S-class drivers frequently disclose specific concerns. The following are among the most prevalent problems reported.
Failed Air Compressor
The primary function of the air suspension compressor is to produce compressed air, which is then used to fill all the air struts. Unfortunately, this component is not immune to failure. It may fail to generate the necessary pressure, seize up, or experience wear and tear on its internal brushes.
In instances where the air suspension compressor malfunctions, it is common for the vehicle to lower and remain unable to elevate. Attempts to raise the car using the designated button may prove ineffective.
Conversely, if the air suspension compressor operates as intended, one can expect to hear its activation and operation for a brief period. The air compressor unit may sustain damage due to faulty wiring, a damaged piston ring, or natural wear and tear with time.
Irrespective of the nature of the damage, the overall performance of the system will be adversely affected until proper repair or replacement is carried out. Luckily, in most cases, a simple $5 faulty relay could also be responsible for preventing the compressor from functioning correctly.
The proper functioning of the air suspension system in your Mercedes S-Class is contingent upon accurate air pressure distribution, which is determined by multiple sensors within the network.
Although the air compressor plays a central role in this process, the air must travel through a sequence of valves and compressed air lines before reaching the reservoirs that fill the springs.
Any obstruction encountered along this route will activate an indicator light on your display. In such an event, it is crucial to seek assistance from a qualified mechanic to prevent any harm to the compressor.
Leaked Air Struts
It is a common issue for air struts to develop leaks at the mastic located at the top of the strut. These struts are comprised of rubber or a similarly durable and flexible material that can accommodate the expansion and contraction of airflow from the valves. A leak typically develops at the mastic located at the top of the strut, resulting in a loss of isolation due to degraded seals.
In cases where a significant leak has occurred, a hissing sound may be audible from the wheel housing area. Moreover, even when only one strut is defective, the entire front or rear of the vehicle will drop down. Typically, the side with the leaking air strut will experience a greater drop.
If a spring sustains a tear or puncture, it may result in an air leak that can usually be remedied with ease. However, detecting air leaks can be quite a challenge, particularly when utilizing the soap and water technique. This involves spraying the lines and various components and keeping an eye out for air bubbles.
To simplify this arduous process, we suggest utilizing a specialized solution designed to aid in detecting air leaks. Additionally, it is crucial to avoid overloading your vehicle beyond its maximum capacity as this could lead to damage to the springs.
Blown Fuse or Malfunctioning Relay
The air suspension compressor relay has a tendency to malfunction, resulting in either failure to engage the compressor or prolonged engagement beyond necessary. Prolonged engagement can result in damage to the relay, while blown fuses may also occur.
Although replacing the fuse with a new one is an option, persistent blowing of the fuse may indicate a problem with the air compressor pump motor.
As an illustration, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class W220 is equipped with an air compressor relay and fuse 32 located on the passenger side of the engine compartment’s fuse box. One option to consider is acquiring a new relay, which would effectively remove the possibility of the relay being the source of any major issue.
To effectively deal with Mercedes S-class air suspension problems, the most recommended approach is to proactively prevent the issue through regular maintenance and servicing.
Keeping up with maintenance checks is crucial in maintaining the optimal health and performance of your vehicle, allowing you to maximize your Mercedes’ capabilities.
Additionally, regular maintenance enables early detection and resolution of potential problems, ultimately reducing costs. Ultimately, prioritizing maintenance guarantees a superb driving experience while also saving you money.