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sitting on the fence with airmatic

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S-Class (W220) 1999-2006: S 320 CDI, S 320, S430, S 500, S 600

sitting on the fence with airmatic

 
Old 01-12-2019, 09:54 AM
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2004 S500
sitting on the fence with airmatic

Hello I'm David. I'm a 73 year old proud owner of a 2004 S class 220. Airmatic with 80,000 miles. I drive very little these days, maybe 4,000 miles a year and fixed income. I love my car but can't afford to have it turn into a money pit. The car is on the ground in the rear. So, my choices are: Take it to my mechanic for diagnosis and with i little luck just put on two air struts for I don't know how much. Or, have him install Arnott coil overs for $2,400 plus alignment. Or, go to my alignment guy and have him install Strutmaster coil overs. For about $1,500. Car is completely stock and almost worth nothing. But I love the ride and the way it sits.

I'm in Vegas and the only time it happens is in the coldest of temperatures. Any advice or comments would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 01-12-2019, 10:07 AM
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2003 S430
Does the car pump up reasonably quickly, and stay up during the day's driving?

If so, it sounds as if the problem might be a leaky valve or line, and that type of leak rarely gets worse or causes a sudden failure. One answer, then, is to drive the car and enjoy it.

Another answer is to do some reading and educate yourself on the Airmatic system, so that you know when a problem might get really serious and leave you stranded, and when a problem is just a minor annoyance. This would be a good place to start: https://w220.ee/Airmatic
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Old 01-12-2019, 07:06 PM
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Thanks Wally

Just went out to start my car and it's completely dead.
Yes it does come up quickly and stays up. Only in the low 30's does it drop down. This year it's been colder so I don't know it it's going to stay. Going to try and get my indie to troubles shoot and diagnose. Hate to lose the system really. Thanks for the link too. I've got a lot of reading to do.
David
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Old 01-13-2019, 09:43 AM
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2003 S430
One possible cause of your Airmatic problem could be moisture in the system. The air going into and out of the system goes from the compressor thru a shaped rubber hose that leads to an in-line fuel filter (yes, really) that fits up into a hole in the chassis to help prevent entry of dirt and water. Built into the air passages of the compressor is a dessicant dehydrator to remove incoming moisture. When the dry air inside the system is released, it flows thru the dessicant, helping to keep it functional.

It is not at all uncommon for the rubber hose to perish (usually where it can't be seen), allowing water to enter the incoming air stream. When the dessicant is overwhelmed, the air in the system gets wet. When the ambient temperature goes under freezing, the moisture can freeze, holding the valves open. The cure is to pull the compressor and replace the leaking inlet hose and the dessicant. Eventually, the new dessicant will dry all of the air in the system, and the problem will go away. There are several threads online giving more details.

https://www.benzworld.org/forums/w22...zy-design.html
https://www.benzworld.org/forums/w22...desiccant.html
https://www.benzworld.org/forums/w22...-question.html
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