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MB Paul
MB Paul, Mercedes Technician
Category: Mercedes
Satisfied Customers: 4317
Experience:  Mercedes Benz Qualified Diagnostic Technician
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May2009 ML320 CDi sport with airmatic. Not long after driving

Customer Question

May2009 ML320 CDi sport with airmatic. Not long after driving off, maybe 10-20 minutes, there is a "malfunction" message in the display with the picture of the car and an arrow, additionally the "sport/normal/comfort" settings cannot be changed nor the ride height altered. Switching car off and restarting fixes the problem for a short time, then the fault returns. HELP !
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Mercedes
Expert:  MB Paul replied 4 years ago.

Hi,

 

There are many possibilities for this problem and in the first instance the car should be checked on a diagnostic tool to see what codes have been stored in the Airmatic system.

 

Common problems are either leaks in the system (often the air bellows) or the pump failing and not producing enough pressure.

 

We also see level sensor problems from time to time.

 

Once the fault code is read it will be easier to pinpoint the problem - there is also a full pneumatic test on Mercedes STAR diagnostic tool to check for leaks in the system and to ensure the pump is producing the required pressure - these tests will need carrying out if low pressure fault codes are stored.

 

Best regards, Paul

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Paul - thanks - as you can appreciate that does not give me too much to go on, interms of expectations/potential cost, etc. but it does sound like I need to book it in. there is no problem with the operation of the airmatic system as far as I can tell, doesn't affect ride height etc. I'll get it checked in to see what the diagnosis provides. Jeremy

Expert:  MB Paul replied 4 years ago.

Hi Jeremy,

 

at this stage with just the information you have provided it is very difficult to give any real costs that may be involved.

 

The diagnostic check should reveal what is going on and if needed I can help further once we have the codes stored but at this stage it would purely be a guess!

 

let me know if you need any further help

 

Best regards, Paul

Customer: replied 4 years ago.


I have the car booked in to Mercedes Solihull (Cranmore workshop) tomorrow so will see what their results say. Let me know if I should ask for anything specific...STAR etc...

Expert:  MB Paul replied 4 years ago.

Hi - I would ask for the results of the STAR diagnostic check.

 

specifically for the faults stored in the Airmatic system. If low pressure faults or critical ride height faults are stored then a pneumatic test should be carried out next to check the compressor output using STAR.

 

Let me know how you get on

 

Best regards, Paul

Customer: replied 4 years ago.


Last night I noticed that the offside front and rear suspension seemed to be at its fullest height whilst the nearside seemed to be at its lowest. I started the car and pressed the "raise" button but the nearside was struggling to go up and eventually the pump seemed to stop with a "compressor cooling down" message ??? Taking it to garage now - any ideas ?

Expert:  MB Paul replied 4 years ago.

Hi,

 

yes - it does sound likely that as in my original answer there is a leak in the system on that side and/or the compressor is weak & not able to output enough pressure based on what you have told me.

 

obviously a diagnostic check should reveal more specific information

 

If the vehicle is right down on that 1 strut I would recommend recovery - if your last service was carried out by a dealer then you will be entitled to Mobilo - Mercedes free breakdown service & would suggest calling these.

 

Best regards, Paul

Customer: replied 4 years ago.


Paul - I had a call from the garage - they said the front nearside suspension airbag had a hole in it (which for some reason make the offside rear appear high) and they can get a MB supplied reconditioned one and fit it for £380. Does that sound feasible/realistic ?

Expert:  MB Paul replied 4 years ago.

Hi,

 

yes - as in my first answer:

"Common problems are either leaks in the system (often the air bellows) or the pump failing and not producing enough pressure."

 

I would say it is a very likely cause & if a leak has been found then this will need to be rectified before anything else is carried out.

 

Best regards, Paul

Customer: replied 4 years ago.


Thanks Paul - you didn't comment on my question about the price; Do you think that was reasonable ? And why would this fail at this age of a vehicle ?

Expert:  MB Paul replied 4 years ago.
Hi,

sorry - yes, the price sounds very reasonable for an air strut.

we do see failures of air struts at any age of vehicles I'm afraid

Best regards, Paul

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