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I have a 2003 E320 sport and just noticed when I went to take it out that the front passenger side level has dropped very low. It was fine when I parked it last night. It is not driveable and there is a red message on the IP indicating that the car is too low. Any suggestions as to the problem and how to repair? Is there an air or fluid leak? I did have a message yesterday to visit the workshop but it was not red. Thanks in advance.
 

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I have a 2003 E320 sport and just noticed when I went to take it out that the front passenger side level has dropped very low. It was fine when I parked it last night. It is not driveable and there is a red message on the IP indicating that the car is too low. Any suggestions as to the problem and how to repair? Is there an air or fluid leak? I did have a message yesterday to visit the workshop but it was not red. Thanks in advance.
Since it is one wheel only, it is very likely that the protective rubber bellows is broken from your Airmatic strut and dirt penetrating the actual airmatic spring has made the strut fail. There is no fluid used for suspension levelling on this model.

A faint chance of one of the Airmatic valves causing the issue would exist but you should hear the leak if you switch on ignition/start the engine.
 

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Thanks for your response. However, my vehicle is equipped with the adaptive damping system which I beleive is hydraulic and I noticed some fluid leaked near that corner of the vehicle.
 

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Thanks for your response. However, my vehicle is equipped with the adaptive damping system which I beleive is hydraulic and I noticed some fluid leaked near that corner of the vehicle.
Shocks are always hydraulic, on Airmatic II the hydraulic shocks are tuned with electronic control signals but the levelling function is completely from the air springs, unlike some old hydraulic levelling shocks.
 

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Thanks again. I will check for a broken bellows, an air leak and also look for the source of the leaking fluid. Does this typically require a replacement of the strut?
 

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Thanks again. I will check for a broken bellows, an air leak and also look for the source of the leaking fluid. Does this typically require a replacement of the strut?
Some else recently reported some oil lead from the front suspension strut. I assume it would be from the shocks that are integrated into the front struts, not sure where else there could be oil and why.

If the rubber bellows is broken, the whole front strut would have to be replaced. There are no individual spare parts or kits.
 

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Some else recently reported some oil lead from the front suspension strut. I assume it would be from the shocks that are integrated into the front struts, not sure where else there could be oil and why.

If the rubber bellows is broken, the whole front strut would have to be replaced. There are no individual spare parts or kits.
Just pulled the tire and there is definitely fluid leaking from under the lower portion of the protective bellows boot. The boot is not torn and I am assuming the shock internal to the strut assembly is leaking fluid. Everything else looks fine and the other side (driver's) is dry. I guess I will have to have the strut assembly replaced. Probably expensive and will need a tow.
 

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Just pulled the tire and there is definitely fluid leaking from under the lower portion of the protective bellows boot. The boot is not torn and I am assuming the shock internal to the strut assembly is leaking fluid. Everything else looks fine and the other side (driver's) is dry. I guess I will have to have the strut assembly replaced. Probably expensive and will need a tow.
Did you try to start the car? Does the compressor run? Fluid leak alone would not make one corner low. But it does not matter too much what is faulty when the whole strut would be replaced anyway.

If you do a search, you can find several members who have done it.
 

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Did you try to start the car? Does the compressor run? Fluid leak alone would not make one corner low. But it does not matter too much what is faulty when the whole strut would be replaced anyway.

If you do a search, you can find several members who have done it.
Yes, I started the car several times and the other three corners are fine. Are you suggesting that there is an air leak in the sytem as well?
 

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a drop on one corner usually indicates that strut has failed or a line to the strut is leaking. to replace that strut is over $2000. hate to tell you that.
 

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Yes, I started the car several times and the other three corners are fine. Are you suggesting that there is an air leak in the sytem as well?
An air lead "as well"? You don't seem to believe that the oil leak does not make the corner go down. It is an air leak at the pipes/connectors or the strut unless a level control valve failed to let air pass to the strut (which I've never seen mentioned).

The pipe would have to have failed badly like disconnected from a connector, a leak on a connector would hardly be high enough to block completely one corner from raising. A leak typically shows up first as one corner dropping while the car is parked.

Again, even if you only had an issue with the shocks leaking or even if the shocks were OK but the air bellows broken, you would have the same fix. Streetglover here is a real expert, I would be surprised if his "diagnosis" was wrong.
 

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a drop on one corner usually indicates that strut has failed or a line to the strut is leaking. to replace that strut is over $2000. hate to tell you that.
Thanks for your help. Is this something that I can change on my own and then take to the dealer to have the ride level adjusted? If so, any idea where I can locate the part inexpensively?
 

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An air lead "as well"? You don't seem to believe that the oil leak does not make the corner go down. It is an air leak at the pipes/connectors or the strut unless a level control valve failed to let air pass to the strut (which I've never seen mentioned).

The pipe would have to have failed badly like disconnected from a connector, a leak on a connector would hardly be high enough to block completely one corner from raising. A leak typically shows up first as one corner dropping while the car is parked.

Again, even if you only had an issue with the shocks leaking or even if the shocks were OK but the air bellows broken, you would have the same fix. Streetglover here is a real expert, I would be surprised if his "diagnosis" was wrong.
The only reason that I keep referencing the fluid leak is because that is what I found under that corner of the car in my garage when I noticed the problem. I removed the tire and can not find an air leak or hose disconnected. Any other suggestions on diagnosing the problem would be helpful. Thanks
 

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The only reason that I keep referencing the fluid leak is because that is what I found under that corner of the car in my garage when I noticed the problem. I removed the tire and can not find an air leak or hose disconnected. Any other suggestions on diagnosing the problem would be helpful. Thanks
Yes I understand it is important to explain all details that may help diagnosing the issue.

I find it very strange if you do not find any major air leak from the hoses or from the strut. If one corner still stays down and does not even try to raise (and assuming there is no major leak) it sounds like a control issue (which again should be pretty unlikely).

I don't think there is a lot you could do without having the car connected to SDS for detailed diagnosis.
 

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Yes I understand it is important to explain all details that may help diagnosing the issue.

I find it very strange if you do not find any major air leak from the hoses or from the strut. If one corner still stays down and does not even try to raise (and assuming there is no major leak) it sounds like a control issue (which again should be pretty unlikely).

I don't think there is a lot you could do without having the car connected to SDS for detailed diagnosis.
Spoke to MB dealer and they indicated the same info as you did, in that there may be an air leak. Told me the suspension compressor may have gone bad and then the right strut may have leaked out some fluid. Could not find an air leak so I removed the lower front shield to check the suspension compressor while the car was running and can not tell if it is working. I would assume that it would vibrate or make a noise? I even checked it after pressing the height adjustment button on the console and still no noise or vibration. Shouldn't the compressor react in some way?
 

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Spoke to MB dealer and they indicated the same info as you did, in that there may be an air leak. Told me the suspension compressor may have gone bad and then the right strut may have leaked out some fluid. Could not find an air leak so I removed the lower front shield to check the suspension compressor while the car was running and can not tell if it is working. I would assume that it would vibrate or make a noise? I even checked it after pressing the height adjustment button on the console and still no noise or vibration. Shouldn't the compressor react in some way?
It should be easy to hear the compressor running but there is a pressure reservoir and the compressor does not need to start every time you control the suspension level. But if you change from low (Sports I/II) to raised level a few times, it should make the compressor fire.

What is your current status, do you still have one corner down? If the compressor does not run, you should not be able to raise the car (for other corners) more than a few times at most. Did you get any malfunction messages on the cluster? Did they read fault codes at the dealer?
 

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It should be easy to hear the compressor running but there is a pressure reservoir and the compressor does not need to start every time you control the suspension level. But if you change from low (Sports I/II) to raised level a few times, it should make the compressor fire.

What is your current status, do you still have one corner down? If the compressor does not run, you should not be able to raise the car (for other corners) more than a few times at most. Did you get any malfunction messages on the cluster? Did they read fault codes at the dealer?
Thanks for your help. Yes I still have the right passenger side down. I was out of town and the car has been garaged and not driven for over a week. The dash indicates a warning that the car is too low in red (a profile picture of a car with an arrow pointing up). I wanted to look for leaks as you had suggested and did not find any even after numerous tries with the sports I and II button. That is when I discovered that the compressor may not be working, because I could not feel it engage even with my hand resting on the unit while running and having someone switch the ride height. I am getting no height response from any corner when switching the sports I and II selector button. Therefore, I think it is the compressor which I wanted to change before changing the strut. My next step was to change the compressor and then look for air leaks to see if the compressor failed because it was pumping continuosly.
 

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Thanks for your help. Yes I still have the right passenger side down. I was out of town and the car has been garaged and not driven for over a week. The dash indicates a warning that the car is too low in red (a profile picture of a car with an arrow pointing up). I wanted to look for leaks as you had suggested and did not find any even after numerous tries with the sports I and II button. That is when I discovered that the compressor may not be working, because I could not feel it engage even with my hand resting on the unit while running and having someone switch the ride height. I am getting no height response from any corner when switching the sports I and II selector button. Therefore, I think it is the compressor which I wanted to change before changing the strut. My next step was to change the compressor and then look for air leaks to see if the compressor failed because it was pumping continuosly.
Actually I believe US cars do not change height between normal and Sports I/II when the car is stationary. I suggested you would include the raised position in your loop (from the other button).

But I started wondering if Airmatic actually stops lowering the car when there is this malfunction message.

In any case, if you cannot make the car change height at any corner, the Airmatic air pressure reservoir would not lose pressure and the compressor would not kick in. Until now I don't think you can conclude the compressor being faulty (it could be but only one corner being low would be an odd case for a compressor fault).

If you did not try the raised position switch, I'd suggest you to try that to make the car go up and down to lose air pressure. If you already did try that but the car does not change height because of the malfunction, perhaps you could try disconnecting the pressure line from the compressor and powering it manually, or trying to reduce pressure from the tank at the trunk. This may be even dangerous if you are not careful, I'd leave it for the MB dealer who can play with the Airmatic controls with SDS.
 
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