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Air Suspension Settling - Normal??

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

Air Suspension Settling - Normal??

 
Old 02-23-2019, 08:15 PM
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Air Suspension Settling - Normal??

1) Every time (after a couple of hours parked) the gauge message "Vehicle Rising Please Wait" appears for about 20 seconds, until all the springs are pumped up.
2) Ever so often I get a vehicle rising "Malfunction" message. When this happens, I shut the car off and restart. Then back to 1).
3) A couple of times I have been impatient, driven off slowly and got the Red - "Vehicle Too Low" message.

Question - is this normal? Or am I going to end up with a burnt out compressor?

My independent mechanic says it is not necessarily the air springs ... could be a faulty air pressure control valve.

Probably will cost $1,000 or more to replace both rear springs at my independent mechanic. Don't know how much for an air pressure control valve.

He wants to read the message history & figures that any such repair should be covered under my Bumper to Bumper after market warranty.

PS - the active bolster leaks on my left side hisses away ... so I shut the dynamic seat off - to not stress the compressor.

Comments / advice?

Went into a store for 40 minutes today and came out to this ...



Left side does not settle as much

Right side settles the most
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Old 02-23-2019, 08:29 PM
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In a store for exactly 34 minutes & here the the right side sagging;

Just Parked

34 minutes later

Typical warning for 20 seconds
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Old 02-23-2019, 08:45 PM
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Same 34 minutes - just parked

34 minutes later ... not as much settled. This is probably normal??
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Old 02-23-2019, 08:53 PM
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Not normal. Eventually the air loss will happen quicker and the car will shut down the compressor to not burn it out. In the meantime, you are putting more wear on the compressor. You should get it checked out by a trusted mechanic since there are many possible points of failure. If the airbags are leaking (or even one side), best to replace the pair.
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Old 02-23-2019, 09:32 PM
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Definitely not normal , got a leak somewhere.
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Old 02-24-2019, 09:27 AM
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Just went through this with my 2011 E550. This was my process.

I started with intermittent leaking in the rear but, progressively was getting worse with the colder temps this winter. Took to dealer to diagnose the actual problem instead of just throwing parts at it. Dealer found that the valve block and compressor were not faulty but, not giving the correct readings. They found no external leaks. I was advised to start with the valve block. Ordered one from an OEM online MB parts supplier and replaced it. Not a big job at all but, made no difference.

Next ordered a compressor from FCP euro and installed that. A bigger job than the valve block but, very manageable in a heated garage with access to a lift. This also made no difference.

Call the guy at the dealer and updated my situation. He shared with the head mechanic and he told him that the rear airbags CAN leak intermittently. I appreciate their ability to help and not just blow me off. So, ordered two rear bags from FCP euro and installed them. Easiest job by far of the three repairs. The car has been inflated all week. Even over the course of a few days where I was out of town and not driving the car. (while knocking on wood) I think it is resolved.

Out of curiosity, I took apart the rear bags to see what I could see. They were whipped!! I have just over 120,000 miles on the car. The accordion booty was letting in all sorts of sand, dirt and up here salt. This all made a salty sand sandwich in between the folds of rubber wearing it away. I cut the rubber in half too and there were spots on the inside that were fatigued and worn to the belting material. My hunch is that it may have been leaking from the crimp rings though. They were very corroded and looked compromised.

Hope this helps. These are cool cars and I really love driving mine. I have also noticed a difference in the ride quality. Not huge and it is hard to quantify but, it seems to soak up some of the bumps better. Maybe just because my wallet is a little lighter. All three parts totaled about $1,200. That was just about the estimate to replace the rear bags at the dealer. I did end up "throwing" parts at it but, I wanted to do it systematically enough to where I could tell what was the fix.

Good luck!!
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Old 02-24-2019, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by 75gasgas View Post
Just went through this with my 2011 E550. This was my process.

I started with intermittent leaking in the rear but, progressively was getting worse with the colder temps this winter. Took to dealer to diagnose the actual problem instead of just throwing parts at it. Dealer found that the valve block and compressor were not faulty but, not giving the correct readings. They found no external leaks. I was advised to start with the valve block. Ordered one from an OEM online MB parts supplier and replaced it. Not a big job at all but, made no difference.

Next ordered a compressor from FCP euro and installed that. A bigger job than the valve block but, very manageable in a heated garage with access to a lift. This also made no difference.

Call the guy at the dealer and updated my situation. He shared with the head mechanic and he told him that the rear airbags CAN leak intermittently. I appreciate their ability to help and not just blow me off. So, ordered two rear bags from FCP euro and installed them. Easiest job by far of the three repairs. The car has been inflated all week. Even over the course of a few days where I was out of town and not driving the car. (while knocking on wood) I think it is resolved.

Out of curiosity, I took apart the rear bags to see what I could see. They were whipped!! I have just over 120,000 miles on the car. The accordion booty was letting in all sorts of sand, dirt and up here salt. This all made a salty sand sandwich in between the folds of rubber wearing it away. I cut the rubber in half too and there were spots on the inside that were fatigued and worn to the belting material. My hunch is that it may have been leaking from the crimp rings though. They were very corroded and looked compromised.

Hope this helps. These are cool cars and I really love driving mine. I have also noticed a difference in the ride quality. Not huge and it is hard to quantify but, it seems to soak up some of the bumps better. Maybe just because my wallet is a little lighter. All three parts totaled about $1,200. That was just about the estimate to replace the rear bags at the dealer. I did end up "throwing" parts at it but, I wanted to do it systematically enough to where I could tell what was the fix.

Good luck!!
Thanks for this extremely good explanation of events!
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Old 02-24-2019, 02:29 PM
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How much did dealer charge you to diagnose the problem??

In your case i probably would of started with air bags first. But its all good.
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Old 02-24-2019, 02:32 PM
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They charged $149.00 for the diagnostic.
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Old 03-05-2019, 12:04 AM
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The after market bumper to bumper warranty that we purchased last year when we bought the car - agreed with my mechanic today, to cover the cost of replacing both of the rear air springs and associated valves.

$ 300 deductible cost to me. I am very happy with the warranty program.
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Old 03-16-2019, 01:05 PM
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It has been 2 weeks now and no settlement of springs overnight. No dashboard Wait Vehicle Rising warnings. A real load off my mind.
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Old 03-16-2019, 02:38 PM
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Good to hear. Thanks for the update.
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Old 03-16-2019, 11:10 PM
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This is exactly what I'm going through and the dealer diagnosed it as a a bad valve block. After I ok'd them to replace it they say there's still a problem and they're trying to determine what it is. Makes me think the valve block was a guess and after replacing it they determined it wasn't the problem.

Is the valve block something that you just bolt on and fire up the car and the system adjusts for or its it more involved? The part itself is about $300 and I'm already into my repair for $900 which includes the $189 diagnostic. I would have done it all myself but I keep being told about this Star diagnostic tool that only the dealers have so I figured I should have my car checked out so I am not guessing.
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Old 03-17-2019, 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Paulcomi View Post
This is exactly what I'm going through and the dealer diagnosed it as a a bad valve ... Makes me think the valve block was a guess and after replacing it they determined it wasn't the problem.

Is the valve block something that you just bolt on and fire up the car and the system adjusts for or its it more involved? The part itself is about $300 and I'm already into my repair for $900 ....
There is a DYI Air spring replacement thread on the W212 forum ... one guy did the systematic approach - valves first, then something else, then the air springs. The leak in his case only went away after the springs were replaced. He said the springs were the easiest task.

My Mechanic said both valves & springs are eventually going to fail - so do both. He also said new springs are better built - so will likely never have to do this again.

After doing valves and springs - he had to replace one of the new valves - which had a factory defect.

The entire bill was $2,567 Cdn (say $1,940 US) ...

I had no option - I am not a handy DIY kind of guy.

Thang goodness that I bought the Bumper to Bumper, platinum extended warranty when buying the car used back in Oct 2018.

$ Premium - $ Generator motor - $ Air shock system ... I have broken even. About 4 years and 30,000 Km yet to go on coverage.

Last edited by ChrisB; 03-17-2019 at 04:21 PM.
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