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Old 03-27-2011, 11:08 AM   #1 (permalink)
BenzWorld Junior Member
Date registered: Nov 2009
Posts: 39
Air Suspension V280 ambiente (1999-638?)

Hi, wonder if anyone can help... I have looked at the various earlier threads on this matter but non seem to cove my problem.

Some weeks ago, the solonoid valve finally failed after months of intermitent problems. So the bellows on one side no longer inflatye.

Took it to my local merc dealer, ran a diagnostic, confirmed what I already knew and fitted a new valve and "checked" both bellows reported sound.

The morning after I collected my van I strongly suspected an air leak from the bellows as the rear of the van had evenly and substantially dropped over night. When turning over the engine, the compressor kicks in, ENR flashes and after an age the rear is at the right height and no flashing lights.

How do I prove the mrec garage is responsible?

Would removing the solonoid valve cause the air to escape, bellows to deflate under the weight of vehicle and become pinched and leak as a result?

Hope some one can help...

This is the second time i have had a repair and an associated fault occurs... previous to this I had the radiator replaced, was told I was luck as they did not need to remove the oil cooler radiator (saving me £100s of pounds). Two days later, I find an oil leak from the gear box oil cooler hoses... It wasnt us guv... and ahd to pay again for removal of new radiator and replacement of oil cooler radiator and hoses !!!!!!!
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Old 04-01-2011, 10:09 AM   #2 (permalink)
BenzWorld Junior Member
Date registered: Sep 2007
Vehicle: V280, Viano 3.5
Location: Tilehurst UK
Posts: 33
Leak Checking

If they replaced the solenoid then the most likely leak point is the solenoid itself unless the garage tugged the air pipes into the bellows.

The pipes are smooth round plastic which form a seal against an o-ring in the solenoid body. If there is dirt around or the o-ring has aged or the pipe isn't smooth then a leak will be the result. Often these pipes are disturbed and an old seal begins to leak.

You need to spray a dilute solution of soap and water all round it (while you are underneath) and see if bubbles form from the leak. If you can use a hand-sprayer (the plastic pistol type that used to contain window cleaning fluid etc.) then it makes it easier to apply and you may be able to do it without a hoist.

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Old 04-01-2011, 10:52 PM   #3 (permalink)
BenzWorld Junior Member
Date registered: Nov 2009
Posts: 39
Russ thanks for taking the time to reply... I suffer from arthritis so trying to get under the vehicle is difficult. But the air leak problem was getting progressively worse so had to get it to the dealership ASAP.

After investigation they tell me both bellows have a slow leak?! Dont know whether to believe them or not. Anyway, had to choice but to get the repair done.

The morning after the vehicle is nice and level but I notice the ENR light lit up slower than rest of lights on dash at strat up... Then at switch off the ENR stayed on for 3 secs which mean a fault in the air suspensionn system.

I complained to MB Milton Keynes and now waiting to hear from service manager at the dealership I use.

Has anyone experienced similar problems with dealerships... go in for a repair and vehicle comes back with a different but associated problem???

Hope to hear from you guys, just out of interest.
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Old 04-05-2011, 10:56 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Date registered: Dec 2008
Posts: 38
hi im a little bit lost to what your problem is ??? when you leave your van overnight and come out the van, has dropped evenly ?? or is it lobsided??
they are meant to drop over so many hours so they are not under pressure. so they have to refill in the morning.
regards greg
v230 project so far : 17" R class alloys, lowered 40mm front, earth strap engine upgrade, 3 Tv's, vented and grooved discs, full remote central locking and engine start and loads of other small mods like full engine rebuild! ive had loads of different mercs old n new but you just cant beat a classic one
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Old 04-05-2011, 09:08 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Date registered: Nov 2009
Posts: 39
greg, thank you for your post and sorry for the long winded reply.

Having had the vehicle for a couple of years gotten used to how it behaves (but one has to acknowledge it may have not been behaving properly in the first place).

Before solonoid replacement;
When i get home, cos my drive is a little uneven, it pumps up one side a little and lets the air out on the other side a little... but rear end is level.

As i occaisionally check the body work at this time... you never know when a half wit will ding your paitwork in the multistory car park... i know that the bottom bodywork edge of the rear wheel arch is normally a couple of inches above the tyre at this time.

In the mornings as soon as i get in, the ENR senses the change and starts the compressor, for about five seconds.

So thats whats “normal”, on my vehicle, until one of the solonoid valves stopped working.

After solonoid replacement:
Drive home, pull up and the vehicle goes thru the normal levelling on my drive.

Turn off the engine, ENR light come on for about 3 seconds... fault in the system! This didnt happen!! So i know MB garage have done something wrong!!!

Well, on the first morning back from garage i noticed when i get in the ENR does nothing, until i start the engine! Also, the ENR light is very slow to come on... previously it was instant, along with the other dashboard lights at switch on!

There was also the suspision the rear end had dropped over night, but at this point i could not be sure... the compressor kicks in and keeps going for longer than normal, but ENR light is off.

The second morning, i notice the rear end has dropped, big time, the rear wheel arches are barely above the tyers!

At start up, the compressor kicks in, ENR light flashes, the compressor keeps going for 25-30 seconds.

When i get home on the second evening, at switch off the ENR light comes on for 3 seconds.

And so on and so on...

It seems clear to me the MB garage have done something wrong.
Either the air hoses have not gone on properly or as i suspect they have damaged the bellows when removing the solonoid valves from the compresser... by not supporting the rear end and allowing the vehicles wieght to collapse and pinch the bellows??? cos removing the solonoid would allow all the air out of the system???

As i said earlier, i have arthritis so there are limits to what i can do. Things like changing the head light lens is fine but takes me longer than an abled bodied person... getting under the V280 with out a pit is almost impossible.

Thanks again.
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Old 04-06-2011, 12:59 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Date registered: Dec 2008
Posts: 38
hi farjer

ok i get you now
ill let you know what mine does and its supposed to be correct according to mb lol.
if you get in the van turn on ignition light is on, 2 seconds later pump kicks in if you start your ignition pump goes of for few seconds. then starts again light flashes till completely pumped up 20/30 second lifetime lol. occasonally will kick in for a few seconds while driving.
ok to reset level sensor > park on level ground key set to one, lights one press the level button (on main dash)for 10 seconds then pump kicks in and resets height and comp.

also check if you open the boot and step in that it kicks in (not started or pumped up)
might be the level sensor needs adjusting?
i think you need to reset the system. thats why its faulting .
also most people get so carried away with the air sus cos its like a toy.
when were the rear shockers last changed they normally get over looked totally.
also i think you have a level adjuster, ride adjust button on yours? have you tried it to see if its still working.
btw im the same as you arthritus doesnt help at all
let me know if ive helped
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Old 04-06-2011, 01:04 AM   #7 (permalink)
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btw mine is 1997 and has the original bellows and pump and has done
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Old 04-30-2011, 12:30 AM   #8 (permalink)
BenzWorld Junior Member
Date registered: Nov 2009
Posts: 39
Greg, thanks for this.

When I climb in the back and stay there it takes an age to sense change in level & pump up... Before MB garage had it all I had to do was open a sliding door and pump would kick in so there is merit to what you say about level sensor.

Before I try, will you please explain again about re-setting cos I dont full understand what you have written above... Do I...

a/Park on level ground; b/Turn key to position 1 in ignition; c/?Lights on?; d/ Press ENR button on dash for 10 secs; e/Air Sus should reset.

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Old 04-30-2011, 01:57 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Date registered: Dec 2008
Posts: 38
to re set the system there should a switch on the main dash a with a picture of
A van on it ( not ride hide, on on righthand side of steering wheel) hold button down turn keys so light on dash are on wait for light to flash and compressed to kick in then start van. Realease button you find that at takes a little longer and seem to go up left and right at a time. Then it should work ok.the button needs to be held in for at least 15 -20 secs Hope that helps
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