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4Matic suspension specs...Airmatic as well?

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E-Class (W212) 2010 - 2016: E 350, E 550

4Matic suspension specs...Airmatic as well?

 
Old 03-05-2010, 12:14 PM
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'01 E430 4Matic with 347k km on the odo
4Matic suspension specs...Airmatic as well?

I've been trying to find out whether or not 4Matic suspensions feature any type of air suspension, i.e. Airmatic. However, I wasn't able to come up with anything. Any insight would be greatly appreciated. I wanted to know whether or not I'd be dealing with any headaches if I were to buy an S550 4Matic or E550 4Matic.
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Old 03-05-2010, 03:05 PM
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2010 E550 with or without 4Matic has Airmatic suspension as standard.
Airmatic is not optional in the US for E350 spec vehicles.
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Old 03-05-2010, 03:28 PM
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'01 E430 4Matic with 347k km on the odo
Originally Posted by HiTach View Post
2010 E550 with or without 4Matic has Airmatic suspension as standard.
Airmatic is not optional in the US for E350 spec vehicles.
I've had so much trouble with ABC ('04 CL600) and I've heard similar stories with the AIRMATIC suspension as well. Nothing is built to last; I wanted to minimize my maintenance costs over a number of years if I decide to order a brand new 2011 E550 4Matic at the end of this year. With that said, I'll probably consider the E350 4Matic or E350 coupé for less headaches. I definitely don't want to be replacing any suspension other than traditional shocks. I have a 2001 E430 4Matic and it has NEVER given me ANY problems. If anything, regular maintenance has kept it in proper shape and has fooled everyone into thinking that it's *much* newer than it really is.
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Old 03-05-2010, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by ghaffar23 View Post
I wanted to minimize my maintenance costs over a number of years
Hello,
Isn't that what the warrentee is for?
Rick
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Old 03-05-2010, 05:00 PM
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fwiw, a warranty and time in the shop are two different things. I think the OP is just looking for the path of least resistance. The problem with Airmatic (warranty or not) is that a failure can leave you stranded and in need of a flatbed tow.

However, yes, warranties do cover them. And normally you get a slow leak as a warning before a complete failure.

Nonetheless, the choice is superior ride and an adjustable suspension system or simplicity and back to basics. It's the OP's choice which way to go. The system has been much improved in current cars, however. And MB is not the only manufacturer to use a pneumatic system.
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Old 03-05-2010, 09:56 PM
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Originally Posted by 220S View Post
fwiw, a warranty and time in the shop are two different things. I think the OP is just looking for the path of least resistance. The problem with Airmatic (warranty or not) is that a failure can leave you stranded and in need of a flatbed tow.

However, yes, warranties do cover them. And normally you get a slow leak as a warning before a complete failure.

Nonetheless, the choice is superior ride and an adjustable suspension system or simplicity and back to basics. It's the OP's choice which way to go. The system has been much improved in current cars, however. And MB is not the only manufacturer to use a pneumatic system.
If I'm looking to keep a car for, let's say, 7 years, the chances of a failure outside of warranty are much higher than for someone that is only going to keep a car for the length of the factory warranty and having to purchase an extended warranty.

If the air suspension system is much improved, kudos to MB. I do realize that several manufacturers do utlilize air techology in their suspension (Lexus, MB, RR, etc.), some more reliable than others. I'm just trying to minimize costly maintenance repairs down the road if I decide to keep a brand-new W212 for ten years.
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Old 03-06-2010, 10:48 PM
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Originally Posted by RickP330 View Post
Hello,
Isn't that what the warrentee is for?
Rick
Don't take this personally because I am using your post to launch a general rant.

This attitude is such BS. Mercedes by definition should be so reliable that warranty repairs should be the exception not a way of life.

I have come to the conclusion that if a Mercedes is so frightening to own out of warranty then as far as I am concerned that is equivalent to saying in effect they are pieces of junk and I want no part in continuing to own one.

When you pay the kind of money a Mercedes commands you should get a car with superior reliability. One where failures are totally unexpected. They used to be that way. Mercedes used to be a car that you bought because it was durable and reliable. I am hoping that Mercedes has returned to this attitude lately and based on what I have read they have improved their reliability.

I suspect that the newer airmatic systems are more reliable than the ones of past

Last edited by MBNUT1; 03-06-2010 at 10:50 PM.
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Old 03-07-2010, 02:05 AM
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Originally Posted by MBNUT1 View Post
Don't take this personally because I am using your post to launch a general rant.

This attitude is such BS. Mercedes by definition should be so reliable that warranty repairs should be the exception not a way of life.

I have come to the conclusion that if a Mercedes is so frightening to own out of warranty then as far as I am concerned that is equivalent to saying in effect they are pieces of junk and I want no part in continuing to own one.

When you pay the kind of money a Mercedes commands you should get a car with superior reliability. One where failures are totally unexpected. They used to be that way. Mercedes used to be a car that you bought because it was durable and reliable. I am hoping that Mercedes has returned to this attitude lately and based on what I have read they have improved their reliability.

I suspect that the newer airmatic systems are more reliable than the ones of past
I agree with what you're saying....... in theory. But the reality is that these cars are getting more and more sophisticated (and more and more reliant on sensors and computer systems.) Part of the big money one pays for in a MB (or BMW) is to have the latest in technology (air suspension, drive dynamics seats, advanced motors, Distronic Plus, complicated MCT transmissions, etc..) And there's much more to go wrong.

BMWs aren't immune. Go to the BMW forums and read the horror stories there. The 335i and 535i suffer from a notorious HTFP problem that will leave you stranded in the middle of a highway. BMW hasn't fixed it yet and it's been going on for over 2 years now. Owning a BMW out of warranty is equally risky.

We could say that Lexus and Infiniti don't suffer these issues. But they aren't completely immune either. I think one of the differences is that Japanese builders tend to copy existing technology and make it more efficient and simpler rather than designing and implementing brand new advanced technology (but even they can fail at that; e.g., Toyota's latest problems.) German builders tend to introduce sophisticated (and sometimes wacky) technology that has no (or at least much less) precedent.

These aren't simple appliances. And past MBs did seem to be more reliable. But I think they were much less loaded down with technology then they are today. However, even those older MBs still had weird issues with some of the unique technology they had. No German car that I know of was ever simple. They are all kind of quirky. But the ones with "less stuff" seemed to fair better.

Yes, you're right about the warranty mindset. As I said in my earlier post, a warranty doesn't keep the car from sitting at the dealer's getting fixed. Even if I'm not paying, I want to drive it and not watch it get repaired. And if parts weren't so expensive we'd all be not so nervous. Mfgs make good profit with parts supply.

Even with the latest and advanced technology, the cars do get better as the same tech is implemented over the years. The very first W211 is a far cry from the very last 2009 W211. If they would quit developing such advanced technology and just perfect what they already have, then they'd be a lot more reliable for certain. But they'd lose market share.

I'll be eventually looking for either a new BMW F10 or a new E63, but I'm definitely not going to buy the first or even second or third year model, that's for sure.
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Old 03-07-2010, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by ghaffar23 View Post
With that said, I'll probably consider the E350 4Matic or E350 coupé for less headaches.
FWIW - E550 coupe also has standard (non-AIRMATIC) suspension.
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Old 03-08-2010, 12:44 PM
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Right I noticed that :^_^: It's just impossible to find a problem-free car. The least we can do is minimize the amount of things that can go wrong. I'd opt for traditional suspension, IMHO.
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Old 03-08-2010, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by MBNUT1 View Post
Don't take this personally because I am using your post to launch a general rant.
Hey!
Thanks for the disclaimer, no offense taken. Well - whenever I have a problem, I just drive into the dealer and I'm out with my loaner in 15-20 min. The service is just awesome and I actually like going to the dealer. As such I expect it to be right, but it's not always the case is it?
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Old 03-08-2010, 04:29 PM
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'01 E430 4Matic with 347k km on the odo
Originally Posted by RickP330 View Post
Hey!
Thanks for the disclaimer, no offense taken. Well - whenever I have a problem, I just drive into the dealer and I'm out with my loaner in 15-20 min. The service is just awesome and I actually like going to the dealer. As such I expect it to be right, but it's not always the case is it?
Rick

Very correct. I've heard so many stories of dealers having horrible service, but mine, Foley-Sweitzer, has been very helpful and has always tried to make our cars 100%. Granted, the dealers are expensive, but with these guys, I know that my car is in the best of hands between St Louis and Memphis. The two technicians, Jim and Brad, are top notch, as well as Robert, my service advisor. Unfortunately, I've gotten to know them not because I like to hang out at the MB dealer; that CL600 has been in the shop so damn much lololol. Just don't want to repeat this with the ownership of a W221 or W212.

Last edited by ghaffar23; 03-08-2010 at 04:31 PM.
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Old 03-08-2010, 05:29 PM
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so what suspension does the e550coupe have? i thought i had airmatic
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Old 03-08-2010, 05:59 PM
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Originally Posted by highroller550 View Post
so what suspension does the e550coupe have? i thought i had airmatic
Nope... standard AGILITY CONTROL suspension with dynamic handling package
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Old 03-08-2010, 06:01 PM
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Originally Posted by YYZ-E55 View Post
Nope... standard AGILITY CONTROL suspension with dynamic handling package
well good to know.. whatever it is,, the car has excellent handling
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Old 03-08-2010, 07:49 PM
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Originally Posted by RickP330 View Post
Hello, Isn't that what the warrentee is for?
Rick
The difficulty is that Airmatic is not likely to fail until the warranty is over and
then it IS a very expensive maintenance item. The other issue is that these
days the warranty is often stacked so much against the customer that you
end up going for service umpteen times before you can prove that whatever is
wrong is NOT YOUR OWN FAULT fault, a result of your "driving style" or
is not a "product characteristic" And when you do get a loaner it is
a C class at best, regardless of what you brought in: a CL, S or E class.
I think ghaffar23 i right in worrying about this if he plans to keep his car more than 4 years.

AND I could rant in a harmonious duet with MBNUT1 - 100%:
even mentioning either of the Toyotas (Lexus) in the same paragraph as
Mercedes Benz - the self admitted (and professed) inventor of the
automobile - is an reflection of the depth to which our expectations have
sunk. Granted that the cars are so much more sophisticated and and
techadvanced. Granted that Distronic Plus is a milestone in automotive
safety. Good! - That is why we are STILL buying Mercedes - but now
reduced fare here for Mercedes: You pay First Class, you should expect more!

Unfortunately First Class like "luxury" 30 foot "estate construction lots" have
diluted the the PREMIUM so much that we no longer really know what real
excellence is. Now that was MY RANT!

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Old 03-08-2010, 11:24 PM
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Originally Posted by 220S View Post
the reality is that these cars are getting more and more sophisticated (and more and more reliant on sensors and computer systems.) Part of the big money one pays for in a MB (or BMW) is to have the latest in technology (air suspension, drive dynamics seats, advanced motors, Distronic Plus, complicated MCT transmissions, etc..) And there's much more to go wrong.

BMWs aren't immune. Go to the BMW forums and read the horror stories there. The 335i and 535i suffer from a notorious HTFP problem that will leave you stranded in the middle of a highway. BMW hasn't fixed it yet and it's been going on for over 2 years now. Owning a BMW out of warranty is equally risky.

We could say that Lexus and Infiniti don't suffer these issues. But they aren't completely immune either. I think one of the differences is that Japanese builders tend to copy existing technology and make it more efficient and simpler rather than designing and implementing brand new advanced technology (but even they can fail at that; e.g., Toyota's latest problems.) German builders tend to introduce sophisticated (and sometimes wacky) technology that has no (or at least much less) precedent.

These aren't simple appliances. And past MBs did seem to be more reliable. But I think they were much less loaded down with technology then they are today. However, even those older MBs still had weird issues with some of the unique technology they had. No German car that I know of was ever simple. They are all kind of quirky. But the ones with "less stuff" seemed to fair better.

Even with the latest and advanced technology, the cars do get better as the same tech is implemented over the years. The very first W211 is a far cry from the very last 2009 W211. If they would quit developing such advanced technology and just perfect what they already have, then they'd be a lot more reliable for certain. But they'd lose market share.

I'll be eventually looking for either a new BMW F10 or a new E63, but I'm definitely not going to buy the first or even second or third year model, that's for sure.
Your comments express much wisdom !

I agree completely with your decision to pass on the first two years (or three) for a new model such as the W212. Just taking a look at the large number of TSB's issued thus far for the W212 confirms your judgement for waiting and mine too.

I too wish that the ever increasing number of electronic systems and gadgets came to a halt, so that the manufacturer could perfect the current product before making it needlessly more and more complex.

As for BMW, the problem with the high pressure fuel pumps (HPFP) in the twin turbo 3 L gas engine (135, 335, 535, X5) began with MY 2007 and continues with MY 2010 !!! Some owners have reported having had as many as four replacement pumps installed in their cars. This is one reason why I drive the diesel version; thus far it has been a faultless engine, while its 425 lbs.ft. of torque is addicting !
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Old 03-09-2010, 12:41 AM
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Originally Posted by DerekACS View Post
Your comments express much wisdom !

I agree completely with your decision to pass on the first two years (or three) for a new model such as the W212. Just taking a look at the large number of TSB's issued thus far for the W212 confirms your judgement for waiting and mine too.

I too wish that the ever increasing number of electronic systems and gadgets came to a halt, so that the manufacturer could perfect the current product before making it needlessly more and more complex.

As for BMW, the problem with the high pressure fuel pumps (HPFP) in the twin turbo 3 L gas engine (135, 335, 535, X5) began with MY 2007 and continues with MY 2010 !!! Some owners have reported having had as many as four replacement pumps installed in their cars. This is one reason why I drive the diesel version; thus far it has been a faultless engine, while its 425 lbs.ft. of torque is addicting !
Yeah, I meant HPFP (typo on my part.) I think I'd probably even pick a 328 over a 335 just because of this issue. Or the oil burner like you have.

I can't understand why BMW hasn't yet corrected this. They blame US gasoline, but you'd think surely they could figure it out. It's obvious that it's cheaper to replace than to completely redesign the fuel delivery system. Although they've claimed they redesigned the pumps but they still are failing. There are already several class action suits being assembled. Some folks are trying to get NHSTA involved since a failed pump can shut down the car.

Actually the move to TT and DI by both BMW and Daimler makes me a bit nervous. I realize it's really because of emissions regulations and fuel efficiency. But the overall lifespan of the new motors will be something to keep an eye on. Esp with BMW's V8s with the snails in the valley. That's a lot of heat being generated. And carbon build up is already showing itself in new Porsche DI motors.
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Old 03-09-2010, 02:06 AM
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Just like old Turbo cars will lotsa mileage now, the move to DI by M-B and BMW will make these cars we ALREADY are fearful to own for the long haul, even that much more fear-inducing, and that much more expensive to keep on the road. That's my issue with DI. DI is the superior platform all in all, but my personal tastes usually go more toward N/A.
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Old 03-09-2010, 09:59 PM
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Originally Posted by RickP330 View Post
Hey!
Thanks for the disclaimer, no offense taken. Well - whenever I have a problem, I just drive into the dealer and I'm out with my loaner in 15-20 min. The service is just awesome and I actually like going to the dealer. As such I expect it to be right, but it's not always the case is it?
Rick
My dealers have been real pains. Like right now the rear shade rattles. They've dicked around twice with putting foam around the parcel shelf to get out doing what needs to be done namely replace the shade. I could go on. This just adds to the frustration of the lack of quality.
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Old 03-09-2010, 10:01 PM
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Originally Posted by highroller550 View Post
so what suspension does the e550coupe have? i thought i had airmatic
As it is fundamentally a C-Class it will not come with airmatic
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Old 03-09-2010, 10:12 PM
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Originally Posted by DerekACS View Post

I too wish that the ever increasing number of electronic systems and gadgets came to a halt, so that the manufacturer could perfect the current product before making it needlessly more and more complex.
This used to be Mercedes MO. Keep it simple in order to keep it reliable and durable. I remember my dad (who introduced me to the brand 50 years ago) pointing out how Jag rear ends were highly complicated relative to a Mercedes.

I would ten times rather buy a high quality behind the times in terms of gimicktry vehicle rather than the latest tech disposable deal.

Ok to be positive for a second Mercedes 4matic system is an example of Mercedes doing a good job. It is a simplified bulletproof version of an earlier system that anybody will tell you works extremely well (I also own an Audi quattro so i know what I speak).

Airmatic shouldn't be a big deal for Mercedes they have building cars with air suspensions for over 40 years.

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Old 03-10-2010, 08:54 PM
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Originally Posted by MBNUT1 View Post
This used to be Mercedes MO. Keep it simple in order to keep it reliable and durable ....
my dad .... pointing out how Jag rear ends were highly complicated relative
to a Mercedes. ... Mercedes 4matic system is an example of Mercedes doing
a good job. It is a simplified bulletproof version of an earlier system
that anybody will tell you works extremely well (I also own an Audi quattro so
i know what I speak).

Airmatic shouldn't be a big deal for Mercedes they have building cars with air suspensions for over 40 years.
I completely agree that tried and true is preferable to underdeveloped innovation, but would add the following:
The Jag you refer to was unnecessarily complicated and their reliability issues had a lot to do with bad workmanship,
ancient production methods and labor relations combined with non existent quality control.
The complicated multilink rear suspension MB introduced in W124, was a stoke of genius combined with
manufacturing excellence that lives to this day in Chrysler 300, in a considerably cheaper yet reasonably reliable rendition.

As for Airmatic, pneumatic suspensions are inherently prone to failure and and have limited longevity, now
and in 1972 the year my old 280 SEL was built, and it was a nightmare to maintain

.
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Old 03-10-2010, 09:00 PM
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Originally Posted by K-A View Post
Just like old Turbo cars will lotsa mileage now, the move to DI by M-B and BMW will make these cars we ALREADY are fearful to own for the long haul, even that much more fear-inducing, and that much more expensive to keep on the road. That's my issue with DI. DI is the superior platform all in all, but my personal tastes usually go more toward N/A.
Is DI inherently problematic / more expensive to maintain? or are you referring to the
Turbo induction? or to the potential for drive train component failure from
increased torque / power?

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Old 03-11-2010, 01:42 AM
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Originally Posted by MBStar View Post
Is DI inherently problematic / more expensive to maintain? or are you referring to the
Turbo induction? or to the potential for drive train component failure from
increased torque / power?

K-A was responding to my post about FI and DI. I think he might have misunderstood what I was saying(?) FI (i.e., the twin turbos) and DI (i.e., direct fuel injection) are two different things. You can have a n/a motor with DI (or a FI motor with DI.) MB, BMW and others are not only going with turbos, but also with DI.

DI is simply a fuel injection system that forces pressurized fuel directly into the cylinder chamber. DI is being used primarily due to ultra lean burn for better mpg and emissions levels. DI is pretty efficient and can be controlled easier with injection timings, etc..

But since the intake is not being washed with fuel, then carbon can build up. Apparently because the PCV allows for oil to come into contact with the valve heads and there's no fuel to clean it so it cakes on as baked carbon. This is been noted in recent Porsche and Audi motors (although DI isn't new; it was used back in the late 90s.) But who knows in the long run what will happen. Maybe it's no big deal after all.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hZgXq...eature=related
http://www.audizine.com/forum/showth...Carbon-Buildup

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