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2000 s430
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18 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi, This is my first post, so please go easy on me!
Im in Melbourne Australia and I bought a S430 which was imported from Japan.
The car has been great for the 8 months I have owned it. I recently had a really bad squeak in the front left corner which sounded like a bad mattress. My mechanic thought it was a bad strut, but then thought it could be a ball joint.
We pumped the ball joint with grease. The squeak didnt stop.
Then today, with the engine off, I was sitting in the car and heard a big whoosh sound. It was like a compressed air cable was pulled off. It sounded like the front right side.
I drove the car to the supermarket and when parked it looked like the rear right was sagging a lot. When I start the car, there is no error message and the car ends up all balanced. There is no error message on the dash.
The air compressor is fairly noisy when pumping up the suspension.
I enquired at Brabus here about the cost of airmatic replacement and they quoted $4500 a corner. I know i can get all 4 corners in remanufactured struts for $1399 from San Diego.
Am I best to buy the new struts now? I have asked about repair kits to struts but mechanics here claim they are not available.
Even wreckers are asking $1500 a strut !!!
Any feedback is welcome.
 

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W221 & Audio Moderator
2013 S550
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10,978 Posts
Welcome to the forum, shirbenau.

First, find the leak. You can use soapy water to test for them. Considering that your Airmatic pump, valve block, and initial connections to each strut are where you heard the noise, I would check that before replacing any struts. A bad valve block, or a leak in a line to the struts can cause the problem - and failure to find and fix it can result in burning out your Airmatic pump.

Obviously you have discovered Arnott's as a source of replacement struts, if they are necessary. That's good.

You can read about many Airmatic problems and troubleshooting tips in the "W220 S-Class Encyclopedia - Start Here" sticky toward the top of the W220 forum main page. And it is a good idea to start there. It will save you time and possibly money throughout the ownership of your car.

The major differences between the Asian specification of your car and the U.S. models usually addressed in the Encyclopedia are in the COMAND units and possibly in the phone system.
 

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W209 CLK500 & W220 S430
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320 Posts

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Registered
2000 s430
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18 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
the outcome

OK I have read the encyclopedia and feel much more knowledgable on the workings of my car. Thanks Warren.

I went to my local independent mechanic who is a german guy who specialises in all things MB.

He confirmed my front left strut is leaking, you can hear air escaping just by grabbing the wheel arch and lifting it up. Sounds like compressed air.
He was happy for me to order an Arnott strut as the local price is thousands more. He will fit it once it arrives. He said it should be safe to drive on as the compressor isnt running full time and the strut stays up. It goes down overnight though.

My squeak is a front right lower ball joint. They are on order too. I have filled up the boot with lithium grease which quietened it down a lot.

My intermittent battery drain is definitely the Comand unit, as I disconnected it and havent had a dead battery since. I have an aftermarket touchscreen replacement ready to go in next week.

Thanks for your help.
 

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Registered
2000 s430
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18 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
OK I had the new Arnott strut installed today by a mechanic near my office, who isnt a MB expert. I rang all the local independents and they had 2 weeks plus wait for an install....especially since i sourced the part myself.

The new strut was a fairly easy install, but now im getting the BAS, Airmatic, ESC warning messages at startup and the steering is noticeably stiffer.

I have read the related messages in the encyclopedia, and Im guessing that the ABS sensor or speed sensor (is there a difference?) has not been reattached correctly.

I think the mechanic should fix it as he caused it after install, but he doesnt have experience with these cars. I just want to get a 2nd opinion that I am looking in the right direction in assuming its the speed sensor. If so, what do I tell him? I gather its the 2 wires behind the rotor? Is there anything else I need to do?

thanks
Ben
 

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W221 & Audio Moderator
2013 S550
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10,978 Posts
Try the reset procedure for those lights (see "Resets" in ther W220 S-Class Encyclopedia).

Yes, if that doesn't fix it, there could be a sensor that is not properly in position - including steering angle and wheel speed sensors. The Encyclopedia has information on those as well.

That's why it says "Start Here" in the title. You have been referred to it before.
 
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