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Need help with a new to me 2011 E550

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

Need help with a new to me 2011 E550

 
Old 01-23-2019, 10:20 PM
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2011 E550, 1999 E320
Need help with a new to me 2011 E550

Just bought a 2011 E550 without 4Matic with 76k miles from the original owner and older gentleman who garages the car. I love the power and the details but have a couple things to tighten up and could use some help.

I susoect an air leak in one or both front airmatic struts/shocks. The car seems to drive OK but this morning after leaving the car n sport mode when we started it we got a message to wait for the car to rise. After letting it rise I switched the car to comf mode assuming thatís a higher setting and thinking I t takes longer to leak the air.

Assuming that im going to need to replace the air struts is Arnott the place people are going for them? If not, whatís the best place to get them from? Also is this a pretty simple replacement to do? I did the rear suspension in my E320 1999 including the knuckle bushings.

Also I seem to have an issue with with the dynamic seat control, the first button which is supposed to move the seat cushion front and back it does nothing but I think I hear a faint tap when I push one direction. Also the next selector pulls I. The bolsters in the back of the seat but when I release it doesnt stay inflated. Dynamic response setting seems to work as does the massage pulse. Thoughts? I checked the fuse number 60 in the trunk and it looks fine. Looks like the seat functions work from a pump but I donít know if the lateral seat movement works off a pump. Iím guessing that the bolsters are electric and which would explain why they work if another feature doesnít but I donít have another car to compare to.
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Old 01-24-2019, 12:57 AM
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Arnott seems to be a popular Air Suspension company for Mercedes, I have seen them advertised for Buicks Mercedes, and I think Fords, there may be others. Remember the Arnott system dies not replace the AIRMATEC suspension Air bags and struts. They Convert the AIR suspensions (Whatever trade name each manufacturer uses) from Air to traditional Coil Springs and regular shocks, struts. Basically what happens is the AIRMATC would be DISABLED, with at least the airbags, shocks and struts replaced. The Compressor may be removed or not but there is a electrical bypass connector to trick/disable the warning indicator on the instrument panel. Telling the indicator that the AIRMATIC suspension components are still activated when they are not.. AIRMATIC and other air suspension systems seem to get great reviews WHEN THEY WORK. When they don't it can be $$$$$$....O.K One more....$ to repair. I have heard stories of Mercedes removing and replacing ALL four corners even if only one airbag is the problem. Also replacing the compressor if Airbag gets punctured....as well as the punctured bag.

If you want to go down the Arnott road so be it but remember you will probably have to disclose that the AIRMATIC was disabled and converted. If you sell or trade and could take a hit on resale value. I won't make a recommendation either way just information to marinate on.
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Old 01-24-2019, 01:20 AM
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No I’m not interested in converting from AIRMATIC to coil spring I’m just starting to look at remanufactured OEM air struts that I can plug and play to fix one that is leaking and I don’t see a non-4matic version for my car.
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Old 01-24-2019, 01:23 AM
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That's why I was setting the scenario for you to help clarify. Glad you did. I won't say that Arnott DOESNT have replacement kits that ARE NOT Conversion to coil springs but I think their specialty is the conversions. It would be worth it to contact them and see if they might set you in the right direction.
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Old 01-24-2019, 01:38 AM
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I just found an outfit that does re-furbishing but you have to send them your course and they remanufactured them and send them back to you My car is a rear wheel drive and I was just hoping that there were some other rear wheel drive 550 owners who have been down this path before who can give me some advice on what they did and if they did it themselves because it doesn’t look very hard to do the rebuild process looks like it cost about $500 per straight through Rebuild Master Tech but if they’re a shady business I was hoping to steer clear.

do you have a 550 yourself? If so does your car lower at all when you park it overnight or is that the telltale sign of a car that has a slow leak ?
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Old 01-24-2019, 03:12 AM
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I am flattered that you think I at least sound smarter than I really am! I am slumming around in a NON AIRMATIC 2011 E350 sedan When I started the MB search a few months ago I read up on all classes and models C,E, S class and their various sub fleets. to narrow down and read good and bad about the AIRMATIC and various air suspension systems operations......Again a grant from the University of YouTube.
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Old 01-24-2019, 11:15 AM
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Originally Posted by 2011E350 View Post
Arnott seems to be a popular Air Suspension company for Mercedes, I have seen them advertised for Buicks Mercedes, and I think Fords, there may be others. Remember the Arnott system dies not replace the AIRMATEC suspension Air bags and struts. They Convert the AIR suspensions (Whatever trade name each manufacturer uses) from Air to traditional Coil Springs and regular shocks, struts. Basically what happens is the AIRMATC would be DISABLED, with at least the airbags, shocks and struts replaced. The Compressor may be removed or not but there is a electrical bypass connector to trick/disable the warning indicator on the instrument panel. Telling the indicator that the AIRMATIC suspension components are still activated when they are not.. AIRMATIC and other air suspension systems seem to get great reviews WHEN THEY WORK. When they don't it can be $$$$$$....O.K One more....$ to repair. I have heard stories of Mercedes removing and replacing ALL four corners even if only one airbag is the problem. Also replacing the compressor if Airbag gets punctured....as well as the punctured bag.

If you want to go down the Arnott road so be it but remember you will probably have to disclose that the AIRMATIC was disabled and converted. If you sell or trade and could take a hit on resale value. I won't make a recommendation either way just information to marinate on.
wrong. Where did this information come from?
Arnott rebuilds the air suspension shocks for your use in replacing failed units. There are some videos of W211 replacement online. W212 is similar and not difficult. Before you go down this road, get a diagnostic of The Airmatic performance in your car. There are so many issues that can cause the car to drop I cannot list them all.

Last edited by KEY08; 01-24-2019 at 11:20 AM.
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Old 01-24-2019, 11:18 AM
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Your seat issue is probably a blown bladder(s). This is very common and not a cheap or easy fix. Sorry
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Old 01-24-2019, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by KEY08 View Post

wrong. Where did this information come from?
Arnott rebuilds the air suspension shocks for your use in replacing failed units. There are some videos of W211 replacement online. W212 is similar and not difficult. Before you go down this road, get a diagnostic of The Airmatic performance in your car. There are so many issues that can cause the car to drop I cannot list them all.
Thatís good advice about getting a diagnostic. Sounds like a dealer only option right?

fwiw I spoke to someone at Arnott industries today in technical support about the car and about the suspension in general. He told me that at this time they donít do the airmatic struts for the rear wheel drive W212 but they plan to release and expand their product line a lot this year so I am on their newsletter.
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Old 01-24-2019, 02:27 PM
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There was another very recent thread that included replacing air suspension, I think another company was noted for non-OEM or rebuilt units, but I really thought Arnott made them for W212. I saw the horror of replacing them on W211 and decided I would avoid airmatic when purchasing my W212. I also saw some DIY write up for W212 and I remember it being much simpler than W211 where you have to drop the whole exhaust and rear sub-frame. Fronts are not nearly as bad to do from what I remember. Diagnostic sounds like money well spent. There could be a leaky fitting or something at the pump that could resolve the issue without doing the air struts.
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Old 01-24-2019, 10:49 PM
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As far as the seat it turns out it’s just a small inflation on the front edge of the seat I wasn’t expecting that and I could barely feel it but it does work I was expecting the horse seat to shift back and forward.

I’m now thinking that I do not have a leak in my aromatic system. When I bought the car two front tires were bad and the previous owner also replaced only one of the rear tires so he must’ve gotten a flat and didn’t want to put any money into it so we only replaced one. Now that I have two tires that are equal on the back and two brand new tires in the front everything seems to drive really well. The air Maddock system there’s a different feel than driving a car like my E3 20 which was a lot more mushy and especially when the car is cold the suspension feels pretty stiff so it’s just a different feeling ride for sure.
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Old 01-25-2019, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Paulcomi View Post


Thatís good advice about getting a diagnostic. Sounds like a dealer only option right?

fwiw I spoke to someone at Arnott industries today in technical support about the car and about the suspension in general. He told me that at this time they donít do the airmatic struts for the rear wheel drive W212 but they plan to release and expand their product line a lot this year so I am on their newsletter.
they dont have those because they out of stock?? If so ebay has those for the same price almost and also has a waranty.
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Old 01-25-2019, 12:45 PM
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When suspension bags shouldn't leak at 7 years of age, it might get close and I would not ignore the message you already had.
Point is that airmatic is covering up small leaks and will not notify the driver till the issue becomes catastrophic.
Get a scanner who can read airmatic (several of them starting $150) and check pressure holding.
If you drive like that, you are putting the compressor on overtime, so at the end you will have to replace bags AND compressor.
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Old 01-25-2019, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Paulcomi View Post
As far as the seat it turns out itís just a small inflation on the front edge of the seat I wasnít expecting that and I could barely feel it but it does work I was expecting the horse seat to shift back and forward.

Iím now thinking that I do not have a leak in my aromatic system. When I bought the car two front tires were bad and the previous owner also replaced only one of the rear tires so he mustíve gotten a flat and didnít want to put any money into it so we only replaced one. Now that I have two tires that are equal on the back and two brand new tires in the front everything seems to drive really well. The air Maddock system thereís a different feel than driving a car like my E3 20 which was a lot more mushy and especially when the car is cold the suspension feels pretty stiff so itís just a different feeling ride for sure.
So, it sounds like you rushed into the Emergency Room, when you could have gone to the ready clinic. LOL
Give the car and you some time to get acquainted before getting too excited about potential problems.
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