Mercedes has produced some of the world’s most luxurious and dependable automobiles for over a century. The Mercedes-Benz AirMatic suspension system is a unique system that’s available for selected models. This luxury feature can read the road and adjust the suspension accordingly. It can be programmed to have a soft and comfortable ride or a more firm and sporty feel, but even with regular maintenance, your AirMatic system may fail.
The AirMatic System
The AirMatic system in your Mercedes-Benz is a suspension system that uses compressed air to adjust the height of the vehicle. The system also controls shock absorption, which provides a smooth and comfortable ride for drivers and passengers, whether you are going around the town or taking a cross-country road trip.
Unfortunately, this system can sometimes fail, leaving you with a bumpy ride. The air suspension system on your Mercedes-Benz E-Class is a real technological marvel, but it can also be quite costly to maintain.
Causes of AirMatic System Failure
The malfunctioning of this system can be caused by a few different factors, and the more you know about them, the better equipped you’ll be to get it fixed. Here are the five most common causes of AirMatic System Failure in Mercedes:
- Low Air Pressure: The most common cause of failure is the low air pressure in the suspension. This is due to a leak in either the compressor or one of the shock absorbers. The problem is easy to detect if you have an air gauge installed on your dashboard or a code reader tool connected to the onboard computer. You may also notice problems as they arise if you’re paying attention to how well your car rides and handles throughout your driving experience. When you notice that your car starts riding rough, it’s time to check the pressure and fill up if necessary.
- Leaking Valve Block: A leaking valve block will cause problems with your AirMatic suspension because it prevents pressurized air from entering the shocks properly. A valve block leak can be detected by checking for bubbles
- Damaged Air Suspension Compressor: When the level control module detects that the car’s body is too low, it sends a signal to the airmatic control module and the air compressor turns on. This compressor is responsible for maintaining proper vehicle height by pumping air into your suspension struts. If it fails to turn on, however, or only works intermittently, it could cause premature AirMatic System failure.
- Excessive Leakage: If your vehicle has been sagging low on one side for months, then you likely have an excessive leakage problem that needs to be addressed right away. Make sure to check all four corners of your vehicle for any leaking air springs or rubber bellows.
- Faulty Relay Valve: The relay valve is responsible for controlling airflow to all four air struts (air springs). This valve is located on the passenger side front fender wall, up near the firewall area. A faulty relay valve can cause inconsistent operation of the suspension; as well as a complete failure if not properly diagnosed and repaired.
Signs Your AirMatic System is Failing
Here are some warning signs that your AirMatic system needs attention:
- The car sits lower than normal on one side (or both sides).
- The car sways excessively from side to side when you drive over bumps or around turns at high speed.
- The car pulls to one side when braking at higher speeds.
- When accelerating from a stop, you hear a loud thump (like someone hitting the bottom of the car with a hammer) as the rear end comes up to level with the front end.
- When driving at higher speeds, especially on bumpy roads, you feel like you’re riding in a boat or a roller coaster car.
Paladin Automotive for Your Mercedes Needs
For years, Paladin Automotive has provided drivers in Spring Valley, Summerlin, and Las Vegas, NV with a reliable and affordable service center specializing in luxury vehicles. Our mechanics offer full services for popular brands including Your Mercedes.
Our fully-stocked service center houses state-of-the-art tools and equipment designed to deliver dealership quality service and repair work without the high costs and frustrating aspects of going to the dealership. Please call us today at 702-368-2886 or visit our facility to schedule service for your car or to speak with one of our mechanics further regarding maintenance programs for your vehicle.
* Mercedes Car image credit goes to: teddyleung.