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Discussion Starter · #201 ·
I hope you can find a solution to the problem. I had very similar issues with my 2004 S500. I also replaced all 4 struts and tires.

The mechanic eventually told me to basically just put up with it. In all fairness I think he was tired of looking at it.

I know for sure it was a real issue though. One day I was driving on the highway/motorway and I hit a small pot hole. All of a sudden the soft ride came back and the car felt amazing - so smooth. However, the next time I stopped/started the engine, the symptoms came back.

So I think the bump reset/re-seated something temporarily. I was always tempted to replace the cables that connect to the struts.

Like you and the others, I had the car hooked up to SDS multiple times - never any airmatic errors. It was a real mystery.

My Dad had a 2004 S320CDI back in England, and even with his larger 18" AMG wheels, his ride was so much softer than mine on the factory 17" wheels.

Thanks
Oliver
Greetings Oliver! :)

Thanks for tuning in to this long-running thread. It seems like an Epic at times :ROFLMAO:

Like you, I've had various Indies / Techies etc saying 'it rides ok (?) / live with it' etc but I suspect that they also didn't have the time / expertise / patience to get to the root of the problem. To be fair, these cars and the Airmatic / ADS set-up are pretty complex so I can understand that - to a degree.

Interesting to hear about your intermittent hard damping symptoms and likely cause. From the start on my 'S' I've wondered if I have a similar issue: i.e. 4 x SDS when stationary shows 'no Faults / codes'. The only difference is that my hard damping has been constant throughout.

From what you (and wallyp here) say, it does now sound like an electrical 'glitch' which throws the ADS in to Safe / Hard mode: but for some reason doesn't reveal itself on SDS. So it could-well be something as 'simple' (?!) as a corroded / shorted in the wiring harness or even a faulty 'Sport 1/2' switch? So... having eliminated 'bad' struts (at some cost!), more exploratory work on that side of things. (Check Supply Voltage to struts etc?).

Sincere thanks for your interest and input Oliver. It's good to be reassured that I'm not 'Losing the Plot' / Imagining things etc!

Best wishes from the UK and 'To be Continued'....;)

Mark B.
 

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I'm looking forward to updates, I am sure you'll figure it out.

The one time I did have an airmatic error, it was due to one of the strut connectors coming loose. We simply re-seated it and cleared the code and the message on the dash went away. That always made me think about replacing the wires.

Like in England, they use lots of salt on the roads over here in Canada and those connectors although sealed are still exposed. Although I still don't understand why it wouldn't throw a code if it was stuck in the hard damping mode.

I had a harsh ride from day one. The thing that made the most difference for me was replacing my 8 year old tires but you could still feel every small bump in the road.

When you figure it out you'll be a hero because I know issues like this have affected a few people!

Good luck

Thanks
Oliver
 

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Discussion Starter · #203 ·
I'm looking forward to updates, I am sure you'll figure it out.

The one time I did have an airmatic error, it was due to one of the strut connectors coming loose. We simply re-seated it and cleared the code and the message on the dash went away. That always made me think about replacing the wires.

Like in England, they use lots of salt on the roads over here in Canada and those connectors although sealed are still exposed. Although I still don't understand why it wouldn't throw a code if it was stuck in the hard damping mode.

I had a harsh ride from day one. The thing that made the most difference for me was replacing my 8 year old tires but you could still feel every small bump in the road.

When you figure it out you'll be a hero because I know issues like this have affected a few people!

Good luck

Thanks
Oliver
Thanks to you too Oliver.

Yes, I know about the strut connector issue: but I guess that was sorted when they replaced the (4) struts. And (like you) my tyres are all new OE Continentals on original rims, correct pressures, alignment ok, no suspension mods etc.

I agree: this 'Mystery' seems a common one on the forum. But I'm so grateful for the shared experiences and thoughts about how to solve it. It will be good to feedback to everyone with similar problems once it's sorted! :)
 

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Food for thought, if it is the ADS Switch, nothing would throw a code because Airmatic Module is simply seeing it that you have Sport II Selected ;)

Is there any Switch Data in Airmatic "Actual Values" to say what is selected, i.e. Standard, S1 or S2 ?????????

Forgive me if I've asked that before ;)

BTW I would change the whole Switch Panel behind the Wood Trim because I do believe it is the panel that sends the CAN Signals as opposed to the Switch itself ;)

Here's a thought, perhaps someone has swapped that Switch or even the Panel from an ABC Car at some time in the past resulting perhaps in wrong signal being received by the module, part number check would reveal that ??????????
 
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Discussion Starter · #205 ·
Food for thought, if it is the ADS Switch, nothing would throw a code because Airmatic Module is simply seeing it that you have Sport II Selected ;)

Is there any Switch Data in Airmatic "Actual Values" to say what is selected, i.e. Standard, S1 or S2 ?????????

Forgive me if I've asked that before ;)

BTW I would change the whole Switch Panel behind the Wood Trim because I do believe it is the panel that sends the CAN Signals as opposed to the Switch itself ;)

Here's a thought, perhaps someone has swapped that Switch or even the Panel from an ABC Car at some time in the past resulting perhaps in wrong signal being received by the module, part number check would reveal that ??????????
Hi Dave. I think we're on to something here (your first para especially). ;)

'Actual Values?': maybe not investigated and / or no codes shown in any of the previous SDS (x4)?

Switch panel (& wood trim) as new / correct switches which all light up / go off as appropriate, no signs of interference, no mention of any work on it by previous local garage (I checked 11 years of maintenance records). But... the car was stood-up for some months before I bought it + that brief burning smell in the cabin soon after + it needed a new battery too.

Just another (maybe un-related?) point: sometimes the Comand / Radio doesn't immediately wake up when I start the car. A CAN signal issue too?

This is getting interesting now - and maybe a cheap & simple fix after 4 years and all the other expensive stuff? Hey ho! :ROFLMAO:
 

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Yeah, I know it has no fault codes ;)

Actual values though can be very useful when no codes, and I don't recall if we tried looking for Switch state or anything to do with what the ADS thinks is selected ;)

Just worth a shot to see if there is any data ;)
 
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Discussion Starter · #207 ·
Yeah, I know it has no fault codes ;)

Actual values though can be very useful when no codes, and I don't recall if we tried looking for Switch state or anything to do with what the ADS thinks is selected ;)

Just worth a shot to see if there is any data ;)
Ta Dave. Would another session on SDS reveal / eliminate this (IF the Techie knows WHAT, exactly to look for!)? :sleep: :ROFLMAO:
 

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Hi Mark,

Sorry to hear that the replacement of the rear struts didn't fix your issue. I still strongly believe on a Ride Calibration! I went through all the steps that you did. Every single one. Including the front Struts, Pump and the Valve Block. One of the components has gone south and set the ride in firmness mode but SDS is not seeing. Or SDS thinks it is ok. I believe a reset of the whole Calibration would be the culprit here. I also think anything electrical would have definitely thrown a code. Even temporarily. I know we have said it in the past but you need someone that is good at using the SDS and go through all the steps/tests/Calibration. My friend/mechanic had enough of me and my car as well at the time lol. He was actually happier to just give me his SDS at that point then deal with it any longer. This is my opinion...
 

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Discussion Starter · #211 ·
Hi Mark,

Sorry to hear that the replacement of the rear struts didn't fix your issue. I still strongly believe on a Ride Calibration! I went through all the steps that you did. Every single one. Including the front Struts, Pump and the Valve Block. One of the components has gone south and set the ride in firmness mode but SDS is not seeing. Or SDS thinks it is ok. I believe a reset of the whole Calibration would be the culprit here. I also think anything electrical would have definitely thrown a code. Even temporarily. I know we have said it in the past but you need someone that is good at using the SDS and go through all the steps/tests/Calibration. My friend/mechanic had enough of me and my car as well at the time lol. He was actually happier to just give me his SDS at that point then deal with it any longer. This is my opinion...
Hi Sonny

Thanks for tuning in.. again (for the 123rd time I think?! :ROFLMAO:). Do you know: like you, I've always had a niggling feeling that previous Techies doing SDS either didn't know how to thoroughly research the source of the fault or simply lost interest. On the positive side: at least the car now has 4 brand new air struts (which it probably needed anyway at 130k miles?), so that possibility has been eliminated.

I think wallyp / Dave / Oliver / you are on to something here (i.e. ADS switch fault - but no codes as Dave suggested?): so next step either change the switch (easy / cheap) and / or ask a local Techie to do another SDS / calibrate it.. BUT with some guidance via you all. Just a pity Dave is 700 miles away or I'd be up to him like a shot!

Hope all's well with you and your family in the US. To be continued... (y)
 

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Hi Sonny

Thanks for tuning in.. again (for the 123rd time I think?! :ROFLMAO:). Do you know: like you, I've always had a niggling feeling that previous Techies doing SDS either didn't know how to thoroughly research the source of the fault or simply lost interest. On the positive side: at least the car now has 4 brand new air struts (which it probably needed anyway at 130k miles?), so that possibility has been eliminated.

I think wallyp / Dave / Oliver / you are on to something here (i.e. ADS switch fault - but no codes as Dave suggested?): so next step either change the switch (easy / cheap) and / or ask a local Techie to do another SDS / calibrate it.. BUT with some guidance via you all. Just a pity Dave is 700 miles away or I'd be up to him like a shot!

Hope all's well with you and your family in the US. To be continued... (y)
Thank you sir, we all doing ok so far. Hope you and your family doing good as well!!

One more question that I do not believe it has been asked so far. Has the car have had an alignment through out all this saga??
 

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Discussion Starter · #214 ·
Thank you sir, we all doing ok so far. Hope you and your family doing good as well!!

One more question that I do not believe it has been asked so far. Has the car have had an alignment through out all this saga??
All fine here thanks, I've had my second Covid jab, no symptoms, and I lead a quiet life anyway (avoid crowds, no business meetings & international travel nowadays). I spend my time between home in SW England (Weston-super Mare) and my retired sister's place doing home improvement projects / maintenance for her. Oh yes, and for my ex-wife and her elderly mother. What with 'family' and the car saga, it keeps me busy enough ;).

As for the alignment: well, about a year ago the car had a full front-end overhaul (wishbones, track control arms etc) new OE Continental tyres, front wheel alignment, and it drives perfectly straight / tyres are wearing evenly etc. So I'm guessing that alignment isn't an issue (unless it needs full alignment all round?).

I think the bottom line with the hard damping is either:

1. The fault hasn't been diagnosed properly on SDS (as we mentioned)
or..
2. Whatever the fault (and assuming it's electrical?) for some reason it doesn't throw a code (like wally & dave said - possibly something as simple as a faulty ADS Sport 1 / 2 dash switch - but which bypasses the system?).

But at least 'bad' struts are now eliminated, so I'm optimistic that the mystery will be solved soon. It will be good to get a result and share with others here who have similar problems.

Thanks Sonny, back later ;)
 

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All fine here thanks, I've had my second Covid jab, no symptoms, and I lead a quiet life anyway (avoid crowds, no business meetings & international travel nowadays). I spend my time between home in SW England (Weston-super Mare) and my retired sister's place doing home improvement projects / maintenance for her. Oh yes, and for my ex-wife and her elderly mother. What with 'family' and the car saga, it keeps me busy enough ;).

As for the alignment: well, about a year ago the car had a full front-end overhaul (wishbones, track control arms etc) new OE Continental tyres, front wheel alignment, and it drives perfectly straight / tyres are wearing evenly etc. So I'm guessing that alignment isn't an issue (unless it needs full alignment all round?).

I think the bottom line with the hard damping is either:

1. The fault hasn't been diagnosed properly on SDS (as we mentioned)
or..
2. Whatever the fault (and assuming it's electrical?) for some reason it doesn't throw a code (like wally & dave said - possibly something as simple as a faulty ADS Sport 1 / 2 dash switch - but which bypasses the system?).

But at least 'bad' struts are now eliminated, so I'm optimistic that the mystery will be solved soon. It will be good to get a result and share with others here who have similar problems.

Thanks Sonny, back later ;)

I hear you on the whole family saga. I do the same here bud :) Also add two young kids 11 and 15 into the mix and their different sports that they play, sometimes I wonder what is the point of even going to bed :D

Ok didn't know if any alignment was done to it since you have changed quiet a few components ...
 

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One of my posts from about six months ago:

I keep circling back to one thought...

One of the (perhaps lesser known?) functions of the W220 suspension system is that under certain circumstances (e. g., panic braking, severe skid, etc.) the system will instantly put the dampers into full-hard mode to help recover stability.

Is there some sensor that could be lying to the control system (without creating a fault code) that is causing the suspension to stay in the full-hard/emergency mode? Perhaps one of the acceleration sensors?


This would reinforce the desire to have someone who knows how to use DAS search for a faulty live reading.
 

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Discussion Starter · #217 · (Edited)
One of my posts from about six months ago:

I keep circling back to one thought...

One of the (perhaps lesser known?) functions of the W220 suspension system is that under certain circumstances (e. g., panic braking, severe skid, etc.) the system will instantly put the dampers into full-hard mode to help recover stability.

Is there some sensor that could be lying to the control system (without creating a fault code) that is causing the suspension to stay in the full-hard/emergency mode? Perhaps one of the acceleration sensors?


This would reinforce the desire to have someone who knows how to use DAS search for a faulty live reading.
Thanks for keeping up with it all wally - you, dave and doni deserve a medal for patience and endurance! 🥇;)

I agree with you. There's no question about the Adaptive Damping being 'stuck' in Full Hard / Safety mode. And ZERO difference - even after 4 new Mercedes Reman OE spec air struts!

As you say: it's a paradox, given no fault codes if it's an electrical glitch. I think your (& dave's) theory is correct: either some component (electrical or mechanical?) is failing but by-passing DAS (hence no fault codes). OR.. all 4 previous DAS (= SDS?) tests haven't been thorough enough for whatever reason. Hey ho..! Thanks for your input, and 'to be continued'...

Best wishes from the UK
 

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Don't know if this would ever aid someone but I was noting down some readings off of the Body Acceleration Sensors.
(This vehicle has perfect Airmatic. No codes. Cloud like flawless ride. Knock on Burlwood Walnut trim).

Blue/White - Sensor Reading - 2.46-2.51Volts
Yellow/Black - 5V Ref - ~5Volts
Continuity testing on Brown/White shows its a ground.

These readings are with OM648 W220 2005 on level ground, ignition on position.
EC477283-89DB-4CED-B2CC-1EE95F20CECF.jpeg
4777BC4F-D476-4D97-8E47-865532A5D4B8.jpeg
 

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Thanks for keeping up with it all wally - you, dave and doni deserve a medal for patience and endurance! 🥇;)

I agree with you. There's no question about the Adaptive Damping being 'stuck' in Full Hard / Safety mode. And ZERO difference - even after 4 new Mercedes Reman OE spec air struts!

As you say: it's a paradox, given no fault codes if it's an electrical glitch. I think your (& dave's) theory is correct: either some component (electrical or mechanical?) is failing but by-passing DAS (hence no fault codes). OR.. all 4 previous DAS (= SDS?) tests haven't been thorough enough for whatever reason. Hey ho..! Thanks for your input, and 'to be continued'...

Best wishes from the UK
Hey man, if there is anything, anything at all, you want me to read or get values of im here for you. And rooting for you as well. I dont have access to Star but a Bi-Directional Autel MaxiPro. Please let me know.
 

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Discussion Starter · #220 ·
Hey man, if there is anything, anything at all, you want me to read or get values of im here for you. And rooting for you as well. I dont have access to Star but a Bi-Directional Autel MaxiPro. Please let me know.
Thanks F4... I really appreciate the help and support from you guys. I just need to find a Techie local to me in the UK who is interested (and has the patience!) in diagnosing the problem - and with some of the info / suggestions you've given me. 👍
 
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