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Discussion Starter #1
As some of you read, I am about to replace the Airmatic pump on my 2002 S430. After I read everything ever written on the web about Airmatic, I am sure that this will be just a temporary fix. It will work, until the shocks fail (either the airbags inside them, or the top seals)

I like my S430. (I like it, like one would like the problem child!) I also plan to keep it for a VERY long time, and clock a lot of miles on it.

So I found out that Arnott makes a conversion kit, in which the Airmatic shocks are replaced with conventional ones, plus a module that fools the computer into thinking that everything is OK with the air shocks, so no warnings, no "Car too low" crap,.....no problems ever again! This sounds like a wet dream, to most Airmatic owners out there.

There is one 'small' problem. The adjustable ride that Airmatic offers, is one of the features I adore on this car! So what do we do about it? Well,.....logical step is to ask here, for I am sure someone on this forum has done the conversion, and can report back.

I would like to know how does the ride compare to Airmatic, once the Arnott kit is in the car? I know there will be no Sport #1 and Sport #2 settings any more, but which setting the car with Arnott kit mimics? As I said many times before, I like my S430 in the "normal' setting, I like it a little more in #1, and I ADORE the thing in Sport #2!! If the car only had "normal" setting, I would have not bought it.

I looked on the Arnott site, and they don't address this issue at all. I would return the stupid pump and not even bother with replacement, and order the conventional kit, IF it's as stiff as Airmatic shocks in #2.

Now,......I've been riding motorcycles my whole life (even raced in Superbike competition), and adjustable "conventional" shocks are available since the seventies. Of course it can not be done from the dashboard, but a crank with the wrench under the each fender (or under the hood!), would instantly stiffen the ride, if one would want to (not that 90% of the Benz drivers EVER get their hands dirty on their MBZs!!). But there are people in this world that drive and like MBZ, and don't mind turning the wrench, and most of them are here on the forums like this one.

So how about that Arnott? Why don't you offer an adjustable kit (with a preload adjustment), or at least three different spring loads to choose from? I would buy the stiffest one today!

And a note to Mercedes Benz,...:bowdown:.....you people used to make THE BEST cars in the world! What a hell happened!? You teamed up with Chrysler, ....:eek:...is that it? Think of thousands of your customers that your halfa$$ed Airmatic left stranded, and look at ANY motorcycle manufacturer out there. You see those little air nipples on the top of the front fork? Why don't you have these nipples on the top of your shocks, where a stranded client of yours can inflate some air with the hand pump in the emergency (slow leak in the shock, or fried pump), in order to get the car to the shop or home?

Is that so hard to "engineer" for you? Or did you "engineer" the substandard system like this on purpose, in order to maximize the profits on the "back end"?

Something tells me that the nation (my nation by coincidence!) that produced Herr von Braun, who designed Saturn 5 that put us on the Moon (not to mention ballistic missle technology, metalurgy, weapons manufacture, nuclear technology, autobahns, etc) IS capable of a MUCH better design and "engineering" than this abomination called Airmatic! So the back end profits are much more important than satissfied customers, and MBZ reputation, huh? Japanese manufacturers used to make crappy, cheap cars, and use to steal your cars, and reverse engineer them!! But they got WAY better, didn't they? Their quality is going up decade after decade, and yours is going DOWN.

My 560SEL had a sticker price of 75K in 1988 (I know, I bought it new)!! How do you manage to make 2002 S430 (fourteen years later!!) and sell it for about the same amount? I know,....a lot of plastic, cheap leather (and VERY little of it too), imitation wood, and mostly,......letting your customers do your R&D for you!! So get off of your imaginary throne, rethink the company direction, and start making MERCEDES again! so what if it costs twice as much? The quality work was never a part of mass production. Make fewer cars, charge a LOT more, but make them right! Let the riceburners massproduce.

So much from me. Sorry about the rant folks. Had to vent somewhere,.....my wife wouldn't listen this long. :eek:
 

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So I found out that Arnott makes a conversion kit, in which the Airmatic shocks are replaced with conventional ones, plus a module that fools the computer into thinking that everything is OK with the air shocks, so no warnings, no "Car too low" crap,.....no problems ever again! This sounds like a wet dream, to most Airmatic owners out there.

There is one 'small' problem. The adjustable ride that Airmatic offers, is one of the features I adore on this car! So what do we do about it? Well,.....logical step is to ask here, for I am sure someone on this forum has done the conversion, and can report back.

I would like to know how does the ride compare to Airmatic, once the Arnott kit is in the car? I know there will be no Sport #1 and Sport #2 settings any more, but which setting the car with Arnott kit mimics? As I said many times before, I like my S430 in the "normal' setting, I like it a little more in #1, and I ADORE the thing in Sport #2!! If the car only had "normal" setting, I would have not bought it.

I looked on the Arnott site, and they don't address this issue at all. I would return the stupid pump and not even bother with replacement, and order the conventional kit, IF it's as stiff as Airmatic shocks in #2.

Now,......I've been riding motorcycles my whole life (even raced in Superbike competition), and adjustable "conventional" shocks are available since the seventies. Of course it can not be done from the dashboard, but a crank with the wrench under the each fender (or under the hood!), would instantly stiffen the ride, if one would want to (not that 90% of the Benz drivers EVER get their hands dirty on their MBZs!!). But there are people in this world that drive and like MBZ, and don't mind turning the wrench, and most of them are here on the forums like this one.

So how about that Arnott? Why don't you offer an adjustable kit (with a preload adjustment), or at least three different spring loads to choose from? I would buy the stiffest one today!

And a note to Mercedes Benz,...:bowdown:.....you people used to make THE BEST cars in the world! What a hell happened!? You teamed up with Chrysler, ....:eek:...is that it? Think of thousands of your customers that your halfa$$ed Airmatic left stranded, and look at ANY motorcycle manufacturer out there. You see those little air nipples on the top of the front fork? Why don't you have these nipples on the top of your shocks, where a stranded client of yours can inflate some air with the hand pump in the emergency (slow leak in the shock, or fried pump), in order to get the car to the shop or home?

Is that so hard to "engineer" for you? Or did you "engineer" the substandard system like this on purpose, in order to maximize the profits on the "back end"?

Something tells me that the nation (my nation by coincidence!) that produced Herr von Braun, who designed Saturn 5 that put us on the Moon (not to mention ballistic missle technology, metalurgy, weapons manufacture, nuclear technology, autobahns, etc) IS capable of a MUCH better design and "engineering" than this abomination called Airmatic! So the back end profits are much more important than satissfied customers, and MBZ reputation, huh? Japanese manufacturers used to make crappy, cheap cars, and use to steal your cars, and reverse engineer them!! But they got WAY better, didn't they? Their quality is going up decade after decade, and yours is going DOWN.

My 560SEL had a sticker price of 75K in 1988 (I know, I bought it new)!! How do you manage to make 2002 S430 (fourteen years later!!) and sell it for about the same amount? I know,....a lot of plastic, cheap leather (and VERY little of it too), imitation wood, and mostly,......letting your customers do your R&D for you!! So get off of your imaginary throne, rethink the company direction, and start making MERCEDES again! so what if it costs twice as much? The quality work was never a part of mass production. Make fewer cars, charge a LOT more, but make them right! Let the riceburners massproduce.
You need to settle down.

1st. From what I've read, the coilovers are equivalent to a sport 1 setting. I wouldn't know personally cause I'd never buy them.

2. Are you mental? The market for coilover replacements is small to begin with. You think Arnott is going to WASTE the time to make multiple coil over packages for people who purchased the WRONG car and want the suspension race car stiff? why not throw 800lb springs on...that'll fix'er. I'd much rather arnott spend their time working on even better airmatic components.

3. Don't speak for the majority of airmatic owners. You've owned your car for the proverbial 15 minutes, you bought an early model which are known to have airmatic problems, probably with high mileage, and probably didn't do a PPI. I like my airmatic just fine and its given me no problems for the 4.5 years I've owned it.

4. The w220 was released in very late 1998 as a 1999 model. The chrysler merger didn't close until May 1998. The car design was already in the bag. There may have been some poor supplier choices, but that was rectified in later years. This is not a chrysler issue.

5. 220 drivers with even a hint of intelligence will bring their car to a dealer well before they ever become stranded. The car gives you plenty of warnings before it becomes a non-driveable event in almost every occasion. Are there freak failures, sure. Most people get "car too low" warnings well before a real failure, as well as obvious signs like the car dropping overnight.

6. I won't even address your asinine engineering or back end profit comments.

7. Trying to make a direct comparison of sales prices over a 15 year span are asinine (as with most of your statements). For one, the 560 was the top of the line s-class at the time, whereas your S430 was a base model. Second, manufacturing costs have dropped and technology has allowed the replacement of steel with composites, reduced need for handiwork, increased partsbin sharing among different lines, etc.

Also, what fake wood? Buying a stripper base model and complaining about the lack of leather? really? really?

8. You suggest that mercedes should cut production and double the cost huh? So a base s550 should cost $180k. What world do you live in? That car would be totally uncompetitive. Also interesting that you want a new mercedes to double in price, yet you are bargain hunting for 10 year old base models.

I'd love to know what a car that is "built right" would look like. Then again, I'm quickly realizing your knowledge of automobiles is sorely lacking.

Heres the bottom line chief. You bought an early model base model stripper with known problems. From your numerous posts about airmatic, it seems you purchased the car with a problem. Its time to quit whining, fix your car, add whatever silly suspension you want, or sell it and go buy a 126 if you like them so much. Your inane rants reflect a poor understanding of the global automotive environment at this point in time.
 

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I pretty much agree with Oliver, though my wording may have been a bit more subtle in some spots.

Comparing old to new - Frankly, every time I drive my '78 450SL - which can be fun, but is often an "adventure" - it makes me appreciate the fine points of my S500 that much more, even if the SL behaved nicely. Which, after an average of $5,000 per year in repairs for the 3 years I have owned it, it should! The S-Class costs less than 1/5 that in annual maintenance (including averaging costs of things like tires and engine mounts), and I drive it much more.

If you replace the airmatic suspension (or ABC, if you had it) with coilover springs, you might be happy with what you are driving - but you won't be driving an S-Class any more. It would be more like the lower end of the E-Class.

And yes - we had to replace the rear air suspension on my wife's Town Car a few years back - at a cost of around $2300. It simply comes with the turf in any pneumatic suspension. And my 450SL could use new shocks. They wear out too.

If your suspension does drop, the car is still driveable. You don't drive it hard, but MB did in fact design it so that one could get to a dealer for repairs. You have some things to learn about the car.

One more thing - where do you get the idea that the wood is fake? It isn't. It is a veneer; a thin one, but nonetheless, a real wood veneer. If you think veneer is cheap, check out the construction and price of some Louis XIV period furniture sometime.

And yes - the wood trim in the SL is a veneer, too.

The S-Class is available with a number of very fine leather seating options; you just didn't buy one of them.

I, for one, am very happy my S500 wasn't more expensive. In exactly 2 weeks and 2 days, it is PAID FOR, and its value to me increases dramatically because of it.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Way to go Ollie!! :bowdown:

You da man!

You really put me in my place. Someday when I grow up, I want to be just like you. Your knowledge in engineering is so vast (and the CoolAid intake apparently) that you are probably lecturing all neighboorhood kids over in NJ.

At least you answered my question,.....Arnott replacement struts equal #1 Sport! Thank you for that information.

My car is 2002 (three years after the introduction of the model), it has 73K original, and documented miles, serviced at the SoCal dealer all of it's life. It should not have problems. Not even the first year production from this maker, should have any problems (regular maintenance is not a "problem"). At least this is how it used to be, back when Mercedes was a Mercedes, but you wouldn't know anything about it. They did not let kindergarten kids drive them back then.

I see you are well educated by the modern society,....."take it to the dealer" the minute you see something flashing on your dash,.....boy, they love you over there at Prestige, don't they? You probably get a free cookie and a coffee too. I serviced my 560 in Manhattan for years, and they didn't have a play room with IPads back then. I'm sure you enjoy the play room at Prestige, don't you?

Well Ollie,.....I like you. As I said, I want to be like you someday. If you ever end up in CA (we have Disneyland here you know!?) look me up. I'd like to take you for a ride. :thumbsup:

P.S. I put the annimated smileys in these posts just for you. If you provide your address, I'll pay for your Nickelodeon subscription for a year! :D

P.P.S. Please don't hit the "quote" button, save the bandwidth, my assnine post is pretty self explanatory.

I love you man!
 

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I pretty much agree with Oliver, though my wording may have been a bit more subtle in some spots.

Comparing old to new - Frankly, every time I drive my '78 450SL - which can be fun, but is often an "adventure" - it makes me appreciate the fine points of my S500 that much more, even if the SL behaved nicely.

But one more thing - where do you get the idea that the wood is fake? It isn't. It is a veneer; a thin one, but nonetheless, a real wood veneer. If you think veneer is cheap, check out the construction and price of some Louis XIV period furniture sometime.

And yes - the wood trim in the SL is a veneer, too.

I, for one, am very happy my S500 wasn't more expensive. In exactly 2 weeks and 2 days, it is PAID FOR, and its value to me increases dramatically because of it.
subtly has never been my strong suit. I agree it was a bit harsh when re-reading, but on one hand to say you love the car, and then 2 seconds later to trash it for reasons that should have been known, well that grates me.
 

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Way to go Ollie!! :bowdown:

You da man!

You really put me in my place. Someday when I grow up, I want to be just like you. Your knowledge in engineering is so vast (and the CoolAid intake apparently) that you are probably lecturing all neighboorhood kids over in NJ.

At least you answered my question,.....Arnott replacement struts equal #1 Sport! Thank you for that information.

My car is 2002 (three years after the introduction of the model), it has 73K original, and documented miles, serviced at the SoCal dealer all of it's life. It should not have problems. Not even the first year production from this maker, should have any problems (regular maintenance is not a "problem"). At least this is how it used to be, back when Mercedes was a Mercedes, but you wouldn't know anything about it. They did not let kindergarten kids drive them back then.

I see you are well educated by the modern society,....."take it to the dealer" the minute you see something flashing on your dash,.....boy, they love you over there at Prestige, don't they? You probably get a free cookie and a coffee too. I serviced my 560 in Manhattan for years, and they didn't have a play room with IPads back then. I'm sure you enjoy the play room at Prestige, don't you?


P.P.S. Please don't hit the "quote" button, save the bandwidth, my assnine post is pretty self explanatory.
self explanatory it may be, correct it may not be.

1. I'm not an engineer, nor do I play one on the internet. But what i can understand from my experiences with a variety of cars is that comparing cars from the 1980s to those from today is silly. Just like comparing a tube tv to a modern LED tv is silly. Just like comparing a commodore to even the cheapest new laptop would be silly. Yes, all that steel is great, but its heavier, more prone to corrosion, and more expensive than a piece of plastic, which does the job just as well. Good engineering to me is creating the right part and material for the job. Why over engineer something when there is no benefit and serious downsides, especially in today's environment.

2. Your car is pre-face lift. Airmatic was not an issue for the most part on low mileage cars. Its not like airmatic failures are rampant on low mile cars. By the time your 2002 was produced (likely in 2001), there were probably not many airmatic issues. As cars aged and mileage increased, thats when the problems became more apparent and changes were made to improve reliability of the system, which worked. The 2005/2006 cars have very few airmatic problems relative to the older cars. Don't be so quick to judge the system because you have problems.

3. It should not have problems? First year cars shouldn't have problems? Are there candy canes sticking out of the ground when you walk out the door. Its a complex electromechanical device with hundreds of thousands of parts, many times firsts for mb and the industry in regular production cars. No amount of testing can eliminate problems...if you want perfection in a car...well I haven't found it yet and doubt i ever will.

4. Lol, now 80s mercedes didn't have any design problems. stop, I might hurt myself laughing.

5. Dealer may have been the wrong term. Perhaps independent mechanic would be more to your liking? Hell, if you want to DIY it, go right ahead. That said, i don't like prestige but rather used benzel busch while under factory and extended warranty. That said, I do plenty of diy work on my car, which you would have recognized had you perused the 220 encyclopedia that skylaw graciously maintains. Thats of course in addition to the engine rebuilds, tranny/rearend replacements, supercharger installs, turbo replacements, etc etc that I've done on other cars.

6. You references to age are ironically childish. I'm 29. Does that have some effect on my ability to either repair a car or discuss the engineering of vehicles?


Heres my ultimate question. Why in gods name would you buy a floaty cushy luxury car when you wanted a car with a STIFF suspension? Does that make sense to you? Hell, you even had ABC as an option, but instead you purchased a car with AIR suspension. why??????
 

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We can have disagreements. But we need to keep them somewhat gentlemanly.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Sonny, ......I like you, and you could be a son I never had (have a 37 year old, beautifull daughter instead!).

Please stop hitting "quote" button, huh?

I will answer your questions as courteously as my Momma taught me. "Why"....because my wife (the love of my life), LOVED the Designo Horizon Blue, and the AMG sport (appearance) package. That's why. I don't drive the car (unless we go someplace together, without our GSDs, when we have to take the X5)). She drives it to work every day (she works in the hospital about 5 miles down the mountain, and doesn't want to quit working!). The car gets driven 10-15 miles a day.

I am a retired soldier, and I drive the H1, or X5 when I go to the civilization. But I don't let anyone work on my vehicles. When I lived in the civilization, and didn't have time to work on them myself, I had other people work on them. Now I have plenty of time (as much as raising horses on my ranch allows!), and I don't trust too many people. So that answers it for you.

'Cars from the 80s'? I had 116 300SD and the ONLY thing I replaced on that car (aside from MAINTENANCE) was the alternator at 135K. I sold it with 185K on the clock, and bought 560. Went to the big war, and didn't want to leave the thing sitting, so I sold it with 73K on the clock. Never had a SINGLE problem in 73K miles.

So these two are the only experience I had with the brand up to this point. 258K miles in the seat of the Mrcedes (I would venture out to say,... it's a bit more than you have, right?), and ONE alternator replaced. Pretty crappy performance for the "cars of the 80s", according to you, right? My 116 I owned while living in Germany, and I drove the thing allover Europe, and as far south as Greece,....not one problem.

My wife finds this car at the local dealer, and she's raving about the color, and how much she misses her Benz that she lost in the last divorce (both of us were married MULTIPLE times before),....so I bought it for her. The car was fine (I know cars, bikes, and airplanes, fairly well.....have a reasonably high rank in USAF to attest to that)

Checked the car from top to bottom. Took it home, called the dealer to get the service history on it,.....they told me to bring it in for a "voltage regulator recall",.....two days later "Car Too Low",.....and the rest is history. She drove the car for three weeks after purchase with no warnings, and no issues. "Car too low" appeared TWO days after SOBs wrenched on it for 4,5 hours!! (to change the voltage regulator!?)

So no dealers for me any more. Arnott suspension (I'll take your word for it that it matches #1 sport), and we'll go from there. My wife even doesn't like to drive it in the "soft" setting. She likes the body style, color, space inside, and responsivness in #2.

My offer for a Disneyland ride still stands kid. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
C'mon Ollie! Don't be like that, I'd send you a lollie if I'd have your address.

Oh well, I was never known to make friends fast.

The summary:

I expressed some PERSONAL opinions, and disappointments on this forum. The kid jumpped down my throat, I had some fun with him, and now it's over. My apologies to the Moderator, and while we're at it, let's lock this thread before some other child runs crying to Momma.

Got my answer anyway,.....Arnott coil suspension equals sport #1 in Airmatic. Will have to ask on another forum though, or better yet, call Arnott. Can't take the kid's word for it.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The Airmatic saga is over! (for now anyway) :D

The compressor was purchased on Ebay, out of FLA. $325.- plus shipping. One hour under the car (not easy, don't have a hoist), bolt on replacement, connect it all, spray some soapy water on all air tubes (carefully! not to spray on electrical connectors), ...no leaks, car came right up, no warning messages (battery was not disconnected). Got the service records from the dealer a while ago, struts were replaced 15K miles ago (the car has 74K right now), so I should be good to go,....for now anyway.

I still think that the voltage regulator recall had something to do with this fiasco. I don't know why was the voltage regulator recalled, but something tells me that it was "weak". Well, if the new one sends more juice to the tired relay, relay will fry, and fry the compressor down the line. At least this is my reasoning. It would be interesting to know if other people that had this recall performed, had the same issue afterwards. I don't want to even talk to the dealer about it, ....I'd be just happy not to see them ever again.

If the struts develop the leak down the line (not "if", but "when"), I will go with Arnott coiled kit. Talked to the nice people at Arnott, and they told me that the current kit mimics the "comfort" suspension setting. They put me on the list of owners who called, and asked for the stiffer suspension. They said they are working on that as we speak, and will call when the "sport" kit is available (now that's a customer service!!).

While I was on the wrenching duty, my wifey said that she would like to have a wood steering wheel,......well, just to tell the people out there that are touing with the same idea. Called the company that sells them on Ebay, (they are local, in North Hollywood). Talked to them on the phone, and made a deal for $364 shipped to my door (didn't feel like driving to Hollywood). What a nice surprise! These wheels are built on the OEM core, with real leather and real wood. Leather AND the wood matches perfectly! Great compliment to the interior of the car.

It took me 20 min to swap the steering wheels (thanks to you guys, I knew the screws for the airbag are T30, otherwise it would've been a nightmare!). One thing I didn't find on this forum, is the TYPE of the nut holding the wheel to the shaft! It says in the ecyclopedia that it's 10mm (correct), but nobody said that it is an ALAN! Well,... a short trip to the store, and I had the 10mm alan. And BTW,....I know it's a good practice to disconnect the battery whenever you wrench on the vehicles,.....but I don't. Airbag can not miraculously explode into your face, if you touch it. As the matter of fact, when the key is out, and the car is not running, you can hit the car with a forklift, and the airbags WILL NOT deploy (don't ask how I know this!).

But don't do as I do. Keep safe. Without disconnecting the battery, the steering wheel was done in 20 min (not counting the trip to the store to buy the wrench. If you're thinking of the wood steering wheel, call the guys in Hollywood, they are cheap, and the result is stunning. I also had a "sticky, ugly switches" problem. Someone suggested to have them refinished. Called the company, and they told me to take them off, send them in, they will paint them, and put stickers on them! Stickers!? How will they illuminate? I asked. Well,...they won't, and they will paint them black. Black would be OK with me,...but "stickers"!? And they wanted 150 bucks to do this. Well,.....there is a dealer on the web (apparently not all of them are thieves!), that sells them brand new (color matched by the VIN) for $136!! bucks! If you let Google find it for you, it's well worth it. There is a set of black switches on Ebay right now, for a good price, and they look good (if someone needs them). I've got new ones for a little more.

And that's my story (a long one, but with few useful tidbits of information!).
 

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I bought the same wheel from the NOHO company.. it's built off the OEM wheel, so it looks great.. I have almost a year on mine and the other day there I looked down at it and there was nothing but black in between the cracks and I thought, it's either dirty or the leather is cheap and already wearing, well I put some of that good leather stuff that starts with a "L" Lyol or something.. anyway, it cleaned up to brand new again.. it was all dirt.. so that is a great wheel.. and yes, there are DIY's on the wheel around here or MBworld that actually say NOT to disconnect the battery when doing the wheel.. My buttons are sticky too, and I think I was quoted $200 and something for new ones, can you let me know the name to Google on those buttons? I was just thinking about that yesterday.. they all work but the voice control button which I use the most sticks so when I press it I have to pull up on it too to get it to return..
 

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Discussion Starter #14
We all have opinions, don't we? (like we all have something else!)

The outfit for the steering wheel is called "Express Auto Body Parts", and they are in North Hollywood, CA. They sell on Ebay, and want $350.- buy it now (or best offer) + shipping. I am in CA, so they want the tax too. I called them on the phone, and made a deal for $365.- shipped to my door, all included. WELL worth it!

Switches are available through Mercedes-Benz of Medford (I think PA, but not sure), phone number is 866-353-2369
These people are the cheapest in the country, great (friendly) service. Give them your VIN, and the switches will be the exact ones that came with the car. My local dealers wanted $208+tax, and these were $136.- shipped! That's almost a full tank of gas difference (I would also have to drive to my dealer 100 miles R/T, or pay exorbitant shipping.

Glad to be of help.
 

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We all have opinions, don't we? (like we all have something else!)

The outfit for the steering wheel is called "Express Auto Body Parts", and they are in North Hollywood, CA. They sell on Ebay, and want $350.- buy it now (or best offer) + shipping. I am in CA, so they want the tax too. I called them on the phone, and made a deal for $365.- shipped to my door, all included. WELL worth it!

Switches are available through Mercedes-Benz of Medford (I think PA, but not sure), phone number is 866-353-2369
These people are the cheapest in the country, great (friendly) service. Give them your VIN, and the switches will be the exact ones that came with the car. My local dealers wanted $208+tax, and these were $136.- shipped! That's almost a full tank of gas difference (I would also have to drive to my dealer 100 miles R/T, or pay exorbitant shipping.

Glad to be of help.
Yeah, they're a good place, I got a pretty good deal on my wheel but I picked it up.. I also bought the replacement lights for the turn signals in the mirror and about 6 months later they are getting yellow.. Also bought their "no error" led's for the license plate and guess what? Just the day before yesterday I am getting a license plate error half the time I turn the lights on.. looks like I have to buy another pair.. I wish I could spend more and get something other than junk..

Also, as for the buttons, I just so happened to have bought mine yesterday. They will be here tomorrow. I did see the ones you are talking about for $136, but have the 00 and they are different, so mine are $320, my MB mechanic's friend's cost is $216 so that's what I am paying.. I checked my part number on the website that sells your buttons for $136 and they wanted like $243 for mine..
 

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Registered
2002 S430 AMG wannabe
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115 Posts
Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
BACK AGAIN!!?

Well,....how long has it been since the Airmatic compressor replacement? Two weeks,... few days more? "Airmatic Car Too Low" is BACK! This morning, wifey called from the road, saying the dreaded message came on, and went off after a minute or so.

She likes to drive in #2 Sport setting, even on the side streets (she doesn't need to go on the freeway to get to work).

We have a new Hella relay, new compressor, no noticeable leaks on the struts (car stays up overnight, even after two-three days of not starting it). Drove couple of days ago on the unpaved road (1/4 mile at LOW speed-5mph or less), and raised the car to do so. Everything was behaving normal. And now this!

So where do we go from here? Airmatic valve? Something else (there IS NOTHING else!)?

I will "repo" the car from her, and drive it myself for few days, and see what happens. If it repeats itself, I'll go and replace the valve, if that doesn't produce the PERMANENT fix (I know there is nothing "permanent" when it comes to Airmatic!), I am going with Arnott coiled kit. Someone comented in another thread (I forgot who and where) that if one switches to coiled kit, one would not be driving the S class anymore. I disagree (respectfully). I owned two S class things before, and neither had this "cholo airbag system". They were MUCH better cars overall, and both had conventional suspension.

I like the car. I really do. I just don't want to pay attention to warning messages more than to my driving and/or scenery. The last "investment" I will put in this Airmatic crap, will be the new valve,.....after that, it's coils Baby!

Feel free to flame! :surrender:
 

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2006 Mercedes S55 AMG
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719 Posts
Could one of your sensors have gotten damaged or has a short in it? If the message goes on and then off.. I wonder if something is loose or not working for an instant?
 

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2002 S430 AMG wannabe
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115 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
That could be. This message came and went several times before, until the day when the car went down, and it wouldn't get up again. So I will drive it as is, until that happens (if it happens). Then I will replace the valve, and after that is Arnott coils. I will not go and replace all of the Airmatic components, (sensors, wiring,...etc) only to wait for the shocks to develop the leak. I'll yank all the Airmatic stuff out, reprogram the computer, and hopefully enjoy the car for few years, without annoying messages.
 
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