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Old 28th May 2010, 13:52   #1
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Default S320 Air Suspension strut leakage, advice needed!

Hey there!

My s320 CDI (2007 approx 26000 km) has been giving me serious problems lately. 2 months ago a malfunction warning appeared on the dashboard, with warning messages of "car too low" appearing. Finally after a while the car basically stood at a tilt. I sent it into the garage (metro motors autohangar) my cars front right strut had apparently started leaking.

The service center said i had to replace the entire air suspension strut (for about a lakh twenty !) (the car is out of warranty) I obviously did not agree to this, as the car was an S class etc etc, so finally Mercedes in Pune decided to give me a 50% discount on the part.

Now, two months later i get the same error message, and the car is tilting towards the other side. after observing it for a day Metro motors initially says it most probably is a calibration issue but they have to keep it overnight for observation after re- calibrating it. The next day they inform me that the left air suspension strut is leaking and needs to be replaced! This is going to cost me another lakh and twenty thousand, this is afcourse not including the cost of labour, calibration etc.

I think its quite shocking, considering the supposed quality of the brand and especially in their flagship model. Its been driven well, has low mileage, it's very well cared for (the car is sent to the garage for a check up even if i suspect there is the slightest thing wrong with it like an unlikely sound or soft rattle, which most people wouldnt even notice)

Has anybody been experiencing these problems with this model? I want to know if this is just peculiar to my car or if there are more like me.

Any advice or comments would be welcome.Thanks
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Old 29th May 2010, 02:31   #2
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Normally! Good ideas is to change both the suspension in a single go.

I still doubt a single strut can be that expensive.
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Old 29th May 2010, 03:49   #3
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Originally Posted by SirAlec View Post
Normally! Good ideas is to change both the suspension in a single go.

I still doubt a single strut can be that expensive.
True that. But wouldn't they have checked the entire suspension? It has to have been t the end of it's life 2 months back, right?
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Old 29th May 2010, 04:07   #4
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Well you are not alone. Many a VVIP has been stranded on the side of the road with a tilted S-class. (much to the delight of Audi, BMW and Lexus)

It was a huge problem all over the world with the W220 but I am surprised to learn that it hasn't been fixed on the W221.

Its clearly MB's fault and ask them to take care of it for free. Start talking directly with MBIL and not the dealer.

For reference: http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/indian...z-india-9.html (My problems with the Mercedes C180. And Mercedes Benz India.)

Last edited by Mpower : 29th May 2010 at 17:38.
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Old 23rd June 2010, 15:58   #5
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Thanks for your replies guys, much appreciated. I took it up with MB in Pune directly and they finally gave a 50% reduction in costs, i.e. they absorbed 50% of the cost of the airmatic suspension. They couldnt do it for free as they said that the car was out of warranty and gave the usual spiel of harsh driving conditions etc. I couldnt be bothered to argue with them any more and accepted the deal, so i ended up paying 65000 rs for one front airmatic suspension.

What i did ask them, and got no reply for was that, weren't these cars supposed to be road tested and callibrated for indian conditions? So their excuse of road conditions being harsh is quite silly. Then they should sell all their cars with a disclaimer saying that parts in Mercedes cars will begin to malfunction in India after a few years due to road conditions but we will sell them to you anyways! Anyways maybe it's just me being a little pissed off.

Another very important comment i would like to make is about the dealers, metro motors autohangar. They are extremely unprofessional and totally not becoming of a Mercedes dealership. I normally would send the car to Sanghi motors but since they lost the dealership and my problem was serious i had to send it to metro motors.

When i went to collect my car i noticed a dent on the side of my car. I asked them about this and told them that they had banged it, they started to deny this and said that the car came in like that. Luckily i had the presence of mind to ask for the job card that was made when the car was given to them (they check the car for dents/ scratches etc before taking it in) and there was no dent on it.

They then finally agreed to repair it and admitted their mistake. And took 5 days to repair the dent. If i had driven out and then discovered this and tried returning the car saying they had dented it i am pretty sure that there would be no chance of them owning up to it and i would have to pay a heavy sum repairing it.

Obviously the company is either run very unprofessionally and there is no system whereby the car is checked every time one of their test drivers returns from a test drive or they just thought they could abstain from the responsibility of admitting their fault to the owner and rectifying it.

Just a warning to all you fellow car owners, beware.
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Old 24th June 2010, 10:40   #6
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Sorry to hear about your experience, but the airmatic suspensions are an acknowledged weak spot with the S Class (W220 and W221 generations). Merc should just ditch it and revert to a more conventional (mechanical) unit. After all, the E Class performs just as well, doesn't it?

1. Make sure to replace your relay with a "Hella" manufactured unit. This is HIGHLY recommended by W220 owners (OEM brand is lousy).

2. Related Team-BHP Thread ('S-Class' with suspension problem??)

3. Excellent post on Airmatic problems

4. Excellent thread on benzworld

5. W220 Owner's encyclopedia

I was once contemplating on the W220 (pre-owned prices were tempting), but backed out due to the car's complicated nature. The 5 points I listed above are from notes that I'd made over my pre purchase research.
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Old 24th June 2010, 12:22   #7
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Since your car is out of warranty , why dont you try some aftermarket Airmatic kits or coilover struts conversion ?

There are quite a few airmatic aftermarket kits out there which are reliable and cheap
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Old 28th June 2010, 11:09   #8
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Default Thanks for the advice

Thanks a lot for the info, i had actually come across some of those articles earlier while looking for some kind of solution. I did not think of getting them replaced by a manufacturer other than the OEM's . Not that it's that important now as i have already got them changed my Mercedes Benz and hopefully my rear struts don't get busted, but do you know of any garages in Mumbai by any chance who could install these for me? (hella for instance?) . Also do we have any proof that the OEM manufacturer's Air suspension is actually worse than other manufacturers? Thanks once again
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Old 8th July 2015, 12:30   #9
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Default Re: S320 Air Suspension strut leakage, advice needed!

Guys there is a conversion kit from Airmatic to Coil for S class. Below is the link. Fab reviews. What do you think? Although getting this shipped from the US might be a pain..its 70 pounds.

Are there any conversion kits like these available in India?


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