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2004 E500 4Matic Black on Black, 2015 GLA250 Mountain Grey/Black Interior
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Car was fine on the drive down to my sisters in NJ from MA. No prior problems with air suspension. Got to NJ, parked the car and it settled and when I went drive it a few hours later I noticed Passenger Side front strut wasn't extending all the way up. It'd go up and when we watch it it seems to hover and recycle or something. The center dash goes red, says car is too low, and then when I push the suspension button it goes off and it says the car is rising.

I can hear the compressor behind and under the driver's side headlight area. It cycles fine, actually runs and then shuts down when it thinks there's enough air pressure in the system, but while the car goes up... its about 1/2" to 3/4" less than the drivers side.

We did a little googling on the topic, and one suggestion was to unplug the connector on the top of the strut and try to get the strut solenoid or sensor to reset itself. Unfortunately, the poster never mentioned whether you should unplug while the engine was on/off. I tried it with the ignition off and it did nothing. There's also a second plug about 2" forward of the center and I don't know what that one does or if I should pull both.

Needless to say, I will bring the car to my mechanic and see what he can figure out. One poster said that there's a short air hose that runs from the compressor to a block, about 10" long and it sometimes rubs on the fender liner and it wears through. The replacement hose from Mercedes supposedly comes with a padded shield so this doesn't happen again.

What is baffling is that all the cases we read about seem to happen on the passenger side front strut, not the rest. Why would the right front develop problems and the rest of the three struts be OK? My BIL said that you can buy a rebuilt front strut as he was surfing and looking while I was.

Any other "home remedies" that I can check would be greatly appreciated, but beyond the simple stuff... it'll go in the shop ASAP as I know something is screwed up. I was hoping I could find a manual override of some kind so I don't mess up anything on the ride home. It looks like We'll have to replace the passenger side strut and will probably use an Arnott unit which is $485 with a $200 core charge and a lifetime warranty (unlike the OEM which is around $1700 from what I gather and there's a limited warranty).

Mike
 

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I had the same exact thing happen to me... cost me 2100 dollars to fix. I dont know why its the right side but the car seemed to always attract bumps in the road on that side for some reason. I sold the car months later... too many issued followed after that
 

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2004 E500 4Matic Black on Black, 2015 GLA250 Mountain Grey/Black Interior
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Discussion Starter #3
Well... the car is in the shop, halfway apart with the new strut sitting there. Just spoke to the mechanic who is a Mercedes-Trained guy and 95% of his business is Mercedes. He said he's having problems getting the axle out and the strut does not have enough flex in its design to allow removal/replacement without taking out the axle which is supposedly held in by C-Clips. He's taking a break from it and has a call in to the "local" dealership which is in CT (we're in Western MA) to see if they've had stubborn ones before. Apparently there's a lot of aluminum in that differential case and he doesn't want to destroy it.

So we sit tight and wait. Did take over a week to get the replacement strut from Arnott, but thats OK as we have another car.

Mike
 

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It would work out alot cheaper for you to think about retrofitting coilovers... i know some people on the forums have done it and now they don't have to worry about the failing airmatic systems.
 

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2004 E500 4Matic Black on Black, 2015 GLA250 Mountain Grey/Black Interior
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Discussion Starter #5
Just an update... its been almost two years since the Arnott strut was installed, no major issues. One minor one which is baffling me and my mechanic. Every once in a while I get a pop up in the center display saying "Visit Workshop" with an arrow indicating its air suspension related. I've brought it back several times and had my guy put his Mercedes tool on it and do a diagnostic as well as physically look and measure both sides of the car. Nothing shows up, and measurements are almost dead nut identical. He's baffled and so am I. Of course, pushing the button on the steering wheel knocks it out and I won't see it again for as little as a day, or as long as 2-3 weeks. Go figure. I just wrote an email to Arnott asking them if the phenomena is unique or something they've dealt with.

But aside from the above "issue" everything is functioning just like the factory setup, car still rides like a dream, new Michelin Primacies on all 4 wheels, its become my DD as I sold my Mini Cooper S and the _new_ car is a Porsche Cayenne, mostly driven by my wife LOL. Drove it to the Jersey Shore vacation this summer loved it. My toy is still My SVT Lightning, 450 RWHP and 540 RWTQ keeps me happy.
 

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2004 Mercedes-Benz E500 4Matic Sedan
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Awesome that your car still drive like a dream! I have the exact same car with about 138,000 km on it. What is the mileage on your car?

Were you able to get fault code readings when your car was scanned? I used to get occasionally "Airmatic Visit Workshop" on my dash. It's been a while, I don't remember what my fault code was, it said pressure leak or something because my air compressor wasn't pumping enough PSI (I believe max is 14? It was just pumping 4-7 PSI before). So instead of replacing my air compressor to save $, I just replaced the piston ring and re-heat those silicone air dryer balls inside the air compressor. I have no malfunction since! I also replaced external filter for the air compressor as well. You can find that DIY on here.

Both of my rear are from Arnott's. I DIY'ed myself and it wasn't too bad. Which struts did you replace with Arnott?

Goodluck.
 

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Troubleshoot air suspension

I am looking at a 05 E500 to purchase from a friend. He actually pulled the car on the rack to service and now the car is sitting down on all 4 struts. Any suggestions?
 

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99 ML430, 00 ML320, 05 E500 4matic Wagon
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Read the codes with an MB scan tool and it will tell you what has failed.

There is no way all four air shocks/springs failed at the same time.
 
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