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Airmatic pump/sensor and car is tilting

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Airmatic pump/sensor and car is tilting

 
Old 04-30-2014, 09:57 PM
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Airmatic pump/sensor and car is tilting

Hi, I have a 2008 E550 and am getting "Airmatic Malfunction" and the little car rising picture on the display. As I can recall, last weekend when I came back home and shut off the car, I heard something loud running at the front driver side, like an air compressor.

I didn't know at the time so just let it go, and then the error message came the next day. How do I make sure if the compressor is shot or still working. It's been three days, every time before I drove off, I walked around the car to make sure the car was not lowered.

But today I used an OBD scanner trying to get some code, it won't read when the car is off (keyfob at ON position), showing "connection error". When I started the car, it connected but didn't get any code. (I am not sure if the scanner is too basic to read Airmatic system).

Also I measured the ground clearances of the wheel well. The car is tilting to the right for sure (front-left: 27-1/2, front-right: 26-3/4, rear-left: 26-3/4, and rear-right: 26). I don't know if it is progressively getting worse, but will keep an eye on it.

Could someone help me out: 1. if the compressor still working; 2. How do I test the level sensor; 3. should I used the spraying soapy water method on all air struts, or just the right side to detect leaks?

Thank you very much.
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Old 05-01-2014, 09:19 AM
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airbag leak in the folds at the bottom of the bags don't show when they are just beginning to leak because the sag will close up the leak.
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Old 05-01-2014, 09:32 AM
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Thanks. This morning when I got to work, I measured again and it's like this:

(front-left: 27-1/4, front-right: 27, rear-left: 27, and rear-right: 26)

Don't know if driving and tire pressure will change the height. But I kind of want to first confirm the compressor is still working or not. Could you give some suggestion.

Also, when I push the "Raise" button next to the comfort/sport I/sport II button, the light on the button will come on, but I don't feel the car was rising or lowering. Should the rise/lowering be noticeable?

Thanks.


Originally Posted by vettdvr View Post
airbag leak in the folds at the bottom of the bags don't show when they are just beginning to leak because the sag will close up the leak.
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Old 05-15-2014, 06:43 AM
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Here is the update and your input/suggestions are greatly apprciated:
  1. Dropped off the car at dealership for diagnosis, and was told the compressor was out (I was suspecting it).
  2. Got a new compressor at Arnott, fuse and relay at dealership
  3. Changed the compressor and fuse. There is only one big orange fuse in the fuse box in engine compartment, right?
  4. Had a hard time to find the relay. There is a relay in that fuse box, far inside (close to firewall), hanging loose. Pull it out and it has 5 legs (the same as the replacement I got). Couldn't see "S" anywhere, but that was the only slot that fits a 5-leg relay.
  5. Reconnected battey. Hear the compressor ran for 5 sec.
  6. Put everything back together and drove it, the error message was still there!!!!
  7. The right rear side is still low!!!!

This is frustrating. I am thinking could it be the rear level sensor. But as there is only one sensor, the rear should be up and down together, right?

Also if the rear right is linking, The car's front driver side was on jack for the who week without a compressor. Wouldn't the rear leak cause it drops to ground due to the extra pressure/weight?

I am totally confused.

Help please !!!
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Old 05-15-2014, 08:48 AM
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Originally Posted by macosx View Post
Here is the update and your input/suggestions are greatly apprciated:


This is frustrating. I am thinking could it be the rear level sensor. But as there is only one sensor, the rear should be up and down together, right?

Also if the rear right is linking, The car's front driver side was on jack for the who week without a compressor. Wouldn't the rear leak cause it drops to ground due to the extra pressure/weight?

I am totally confused.

Help please !!!
You have a leak on the rear that is low as I pointed out in my 1st reply. There are valves on each airbag that close. Power off they retain air pressure unless it leaks. One side will leak down and put extra stress on the other side to hold the car up. This means you have one leaking and one that will fail if nothing is done.

You "might" find a leak with soapy water and a squirt gun if you could get to the bags. I also covered the fold in the bag at the bottom is a typical leak and with the strut compressed weight on sometimes slows the leak.

My assessment is still you have a leak. "I reserve the right to be wrong and as the legal depts. would say your results may be different."
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Old 05-15-2014, 10:54 AM
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Vettdvrs advice is given as-is with no warranty expressed or replied.
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Old 05-15-2014, 12:34 PM
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Thanks very much. I'll try to spray and search. Although a question I always have: wouldn't the rear right side be pumped up while the engine is running, or it's already leaked the the extend the compressor is not able to keep up with it?

Will the compressor still run without engine running? I couldn't hear it while the car is in garage.

One last question, the slot S for the airmatic relay, is it in the fuse box in the engine compartment, far back close to the firewall, sitting on a base supported by two wires. That's the only relay I could find the fits.

Thanks again.

Originally Posted by vettdvr View Post
You have a leak on the rear that is low as I pointed out in my 1st reply. There are valves on each airbag that close. Power off they retain air pressure unless it leaks. One side will leak down and put extra stress on the other side to hold the car up. This means you have one leaking and one that will fail if nothing is done.

You "might" find a leak with soapy water and a squirt gun if you could get to the bags. I also covered the fold in the bag at the bottom is a typical leak and with the strut compressed weight on sometimes slows the leak.

My assessment is still you have a leak. "I reserve the right to be wrong and as the legal depts. would say your results may be different."
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Old 05-15-2014, 09:07 PM
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Crap! Someone else with the same issue I had. I had dealership fix mine tho.
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Old 05-15-2014, 10:53 PM
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So do you remember exactly what they did? About how much it cost you? Thanks.


Originally Posted by Coldwater Benz View Post
Crap! Someone else with the same issue I had. I had dealership fix mine tho.
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Old 05-16-2014, 12:51 AM
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Look at Arnott shocks. They are less expensive than the Mercedes shocks. It looks like you have a leaking compressor connection or an air suspension unit is about to go bad. DO not ignore this or you might end up in a situation where you can't drive the car because it is too low. Take the car to a good Mercedes independent shop or dealer and have them diagnose and fix this.
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Old 05-16-2014, 06:02 AM
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Took it to dealership two weeks ago for diagnosis. $120 later, was told the compressor went bad.

Ordered one from Arnott and relay and fuse (40A) from dealer. Put them on and still the same situation.

The relay I switched out was in the very inside (close to the firewall) of the fuse box under the hood, but it's not green. It's a gray one made by Tyco. The base of that relay is white, separate from the may body, doesn't have a "S" on it. But it's the only one there can take a 5 legged relay.

The orange fuse is at the other end of the fuse box (very front side).

Just want to make sure I am doing the right thing because the compressor is not coming on when I open the door or put the key in, or whatever. Can't imagine a brand new compressor is failed.



Originally Posted by WEBSRFR View Post
Look at Arnott shocks. They are less expensive than the Mercedes shocks. It looks like you have a leaking compressor connection or an air suspension unit is about to go bad. DO not ignore this or you might end up in a situation where you can't drive the car because it is too low. Take the car to a good Mercedes independent shop or dealer and have them diagnose and fix this.
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Old 05-16-2014, 09:09 PM
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Originally Posted by macosx View Post
So do you remember exactly what they did? About how much it cost you? Thanks.
They charge me below, but I had other issue along with that.

Airmatic Compressor and Airmatic System Relay needed replaced: $638.40
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Old 05-18-2014, 11:14 AM
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Thanks very much. That's what I change too. But still I don't hear the compressor kicks on with the rear right being low.

Today I tried to put 12V input to the old compressor and it didn't do anything (+ to red/white wire, and - to the brown wire).

When doing the same thing to the new one (which is installed under the car), the compressor comes on, but not in the way I would expect.

I thought it would be running continuously like a "compressor", but instead it was running like disruptively/intermittently, like every stroke in half second (maybe shorter, but definitely not continuously).

For your guys who paid attention what the sound was, could you describe it. Was it a low humming sound, or something else?

I am trying to figure out why the pump won't come on. The connector with two thin wires, the rubber on the white wire got rubbed off, and the metal wires are exposed, but not disconnect. Don't know if that actually causes any problem.

By the way, what is that connector for? Doesn't anyone have a wiring diagram of the compressor itself?

Thanks a lot.


QUOTE=Coldwater Benz;6044600]They charge me below, but I had other issue along with that.

Airmatic Compressor and Airmatic System Relay needed replaced: $638.40[/QUOTE]
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Old 05-20-2014, 09:16 AM
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If you have a leak and don't repair it the compressor will run to keep it inflated, exceed the duty cycle overheat and can fail.
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Old 05-20-2014, 10:23 AM
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But the problem I am having right now is the compressor doesn't run at all.

What exactly the compressor should sound like?


Originally Posted by vettdvr View Post
If you have a leak and don't repair it the compressor will run to keep it inflated, exceed the duty cycle overheat and can fail.

Last edited by macosx; 05-20-2014 at 10:46 AM.
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Old 05-20-2014, 10:53 PM
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lower left rear

I noticed the left rear of my R350 was lower than the right rear of the vehicle. After starting, the ground clearance increased. However, after a while and the engine off, the vehicle height drops again. Will bring the car to the dealer and see what is hgoing on and how much it will cost to fix the problem. Will post the result hoping it will be of helsp. Thanks, macosx, for including the amount charged.
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Old 05-20-2014, 11:24 PM
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I can imagine your left rear spring is leaking, and the compressor is working. For my case, the height doesn't increase, and the compressor won't come on. Still a mystery for me.

Pleaase keep us posted.

Thanks.


Originally Posted by tomsantos View Post
I noticed the left rear of my R350 was lower than the right rear of the vehicle. After starting, the ground clearance increased. However, after a while and the engine off, the vehicle height drops again. Will bring the car to the dealer and see what is hgoing on and how much it will cost to fix the problem. Will post the result hoping it will be of helsp. Thanks, macosx, for including the amount charged.
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Old 05-22-2014, 01:06 PM
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back to normal

Brought the car to an indy mb repair shop yesterday. Today, talked to mechanic and told me he couldn't find anything wrong. He drove the car for 40 miles and let it sit in the garage overnight. Everything looks normal. Can't give me an explanation. Paid $150.00 for diagnostics. Keeping my fingers crossed. I can only guess the computer/sensor reset itself after being dRiven a couple of miles. Advised not to take to the mb stealership until the problem returns. Sorry, I think it's not much help. Will update post if something comes up.
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Old 05-22-2014, 04:50 PM
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Originally Posted by vettdvr View Post
airbag leak in the folds at the bottom of the bags don't show when they are just beginning to leak because the sag will close up the leak.
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Old 05-22-2014, 07:33 PM
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If the compressor doesn't work, then it will need to be replaced.
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