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Old 11-24-2008, 06:57 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Airmatic - Visit Workshop

FYI. Got this message today on my 2006 S500 4Matic with 30,000 miles. Message disappeared when vehicle was turned off and restarted. No noticeable lowering of the car. It's under warranty so I took it in. More news tomorrow.
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Old 11-26-2008, 01:23 PM   #2 (permalink)
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let us know my car does it too, and the ride gets very bumpy when message comes on
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Old 11-26-2008, 02:02 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Ramunsa, you have either a serious leak, an airmatic relay failure, or an airmatic pump failure, any of which require immediate attention.
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Old 11-26-2008, 02:15 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Airmatic Expertise Appreciated

OK. I've attached, as a pdf file, a copy of the service description (identifying information deleted) provided by the dealership when I picked up the car this morning.

On one hand, I have a 2006 S500 4Matic with 30,074 miles so I am surprised that I had Airmatic issues. From this board, I've gotten the sense that the 05s and 06s, in particular, had pretty reliable systems. A failure at 30,000 miles seems surprising. On the other hand, as you can see, all was covered by warranty so no out-of-pocket cost to me. That's why I bought a CPO.

My question is this - the dealer replaced the compressor, the relay and both upper front covers for the Airmatic system. Seems like I now have a new system. What other parts, if any, should I be concerned about? Obvisouly, I know there is a rear half to this system but I rarely hear about problems back there. Is that accurate and, if so, why?

Any other thoughts?

Thanks in advance!
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File Type: pdf 2006 S500 Airmatic Service.pdf (60.7 KB, 599 views)
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Old 11-27-2008, 04:53 AM   #5 (permalink)
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There are relatively few reports of problems with the rear struts.

Wow! You had a fuse burned out, a bad relay, a burned out pump, and leaks on the front struts! I don't know what the triggering event was, but I'd surely like to find out. I speculate (and it's only speculation) that the relay failed, causing the pump to run excessively and causing overpressures and leaks; and when the pump burned out, it seized, and that caused the fuse to go.

Essentially, you do have a new system.

Last edited by Skylaw; 03-28-2010 at 03:18 AM.
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Old 11-27-2008, 07:06 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks, Skylaw, for confirming my understanding. With the CPO warranty, I'm covered for another 70,000 miles or until March 2011 so I've got plenty of time to confirm all is well. Interestingly enough, although the car may have sat a bit lower than it now does (hard to say) it still was plenty high enough to avoid any problems with the tires/wheels.
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Old 11-28-2008, 08:42 AM   #7 (permalink)
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The dealer should have adjusted the ride height sensors as part of the repair work. That could account for the difference in what you see - though I did not see it noted on your service order. It is a standard part of the service, so perhaps the dealer did not think separate annotation was necessary.

I sent the following to another contributor in private mail just this past week; since we both have 4-Matics, I'll provide it here as well. It answers specific questions he asked, but some may be useful to you:

"After resting overnight in a chilly (50 degrees or so) garage, my car measured 14-3/4 inches from the center of the MB star in the wheel, to the rear wheel arch; and 15-1/4 inches in front. After I started it and let it reach full height, it measured 15 inches in the rear, 15-1/2 inches in front, an equal rise of 1/4". I believe the difference is attributed to differences in the the arches, but it is difficult to measure them against anything. Measuring them from the ground could still be affected by the ride height sensors.

"Watching my hood ornament 'Star' against a mark on the wall, I noted that after I started, the front rose first, then the rear caught up. The ornament, judged by the mark on the wall, seemed to rise about 1/2 inch, then lower again until it was about 1/4 inch or so above the starting point. In fact, that was simply the car leveling itself front to rear.

"Some rising is normal. So is a discharge of air after you shut off, and exit the car.

"If you are concerned about ride height, be aware that it can be checked and set by your dealer, with STAR diagnosis."

Last edited by Skylaw; 11-28-2008 at 08:45 AM.
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Old 11-28-2008, 09:07 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks again, Skylaw, for the useful data.
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Old 11-29-2008, 10:50 AM   #9 (permalink)
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^^Reports like these current models 2006-2008 of the airmatic failure is very scary to guys of earlier models. We all think that the airmatic problem is behind us, and we will be OK for next 100K once we pay our share of new struts or repair kit. But not that fast, hold on to your seat belt.
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Old 11-29-2008, 02:25 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skylaw View Post
Ramunsa, you have either a serious leak, an airmatic relay failure, or an airmatic pump failure, any of which require immediate attention.
if I lift the car with a button it goes up and down fast, so I would think relay and pump is ok. The leaks hmm.. car does not drop or at least does not look like it is lower, but I can see that upper strut covers have small cracks, but if I spry water no leaks visible. I got a spare relay in the car I could try to replace it.
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