Hard ride, what to do?

DSM10000

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The only thing really bugging me at present (minor suspension groans aside and soon to be sorted) is the very poor and hard ride.

I regularly drive over the New Foret and country roads and whilst on well surfaced A roads and motorways it is acceptable the ride comfort on other typical B surfaces is not good. This to the point where I am actively considering getting rid of the car although I have had it less than 3 weeks and just paid nearly £300 for a service and a few bits and pieces.

Having driiven over those same roads in my partners A4 saloon the difference is very marked. The Audi is firm but compliant and deals with changes in road surface and potholes etc well including the long and bumpy tracks to her house. The Mercedes is at best poor and often downright uncomfortable.

I know the Avantgarde trim is supposedly more sporting but other W203 models I have been in had a much better ride. Is there anyway I can check to see if it has sports suspension fitted and is there a way of cost effectively making it better or do I just cut my losses and move it on?

Hopefully it would sell for a reasonable sum as it has full service history (last one a weel ago) , 4 good tyres (1 new!)and a 2 year warranty that can be transferred. I also found out that at the service before (02/10) it had new plugs, air filters. brake and transmission fluid changed.

I do like it performance and handling wise so any suggestions?​
 
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DSM10000

DSM10000

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Hi, standard 16" with 205/55 tyres.
 
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There must be something wrong with your suspension then.

I don't think I've heard anyone ever say that an Audi is more comfortable than their Mercedes.

What's the mileage/year?
 
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DSM10000

DSM10000

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94,000 miles and 2003. Rear dampers were replaced at 74,000. It is certainly not underdamped in fact on fast roads the body control is very good it is just bump absorption that is poor.
 
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are the dampers non original, not from dealer ?

No idea what make the dampers are but it was only the rear dampers that were changed, is it not the springs that primarily determine ride comfort , the dampers control rebound etc?

Body control front or rear is good, just that bump absorption is poor as in you feel every ridge and bit of broken tarmac of which we have a lot around Wiltshire and Hampshire!
 

grober

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Check the front tyre pressures- could be too hard? Otherwise its possible the last owner put on heavy duty/uprated springs- merc springs are usually black with 3/4 colour flashes.If they are rusty they will possibly be original if they look recent they may be after-market and have the wrong rating??
 
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DSM10000

DSM10000

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Check the front tyre pressures- could be too hard? Otherwise its possible the last owner put on heavy duty/uprated springs- merc springs are usually black with 3/4 colour flashes.If they are rusty they will possibly be original if they look recent they may be after-market and have the wrong rating??

Good point re springs, I am planning to get the wheels off next week and give the wheel arches a thorough cleaning and a coating of Dynax 50 anti-corrosion wax as they are all in good order and if I keep the car will hope to keep them that way. I have already sprayed inside the doors, boot lid and bonnet. Once the wheels are off i will check out the springs.
 

kth286

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the wrong shocks will have a significant negative affect on ride quality.

the springs and shocks are matched at the factory for a compliant ride.

it's all done via the valves within the shocks.
 
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DSM10000

DSM10000

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the wrong shocks will have a significant negative affect on ride quality.

the springs and shocks are matched at the factory for a compliant ride.

it's all done via the valves within the shocks.

Well to a degree yes but the valves within the dampers (they are dampers not shock absorbers) will affect the rebound rates and give better body control over bumps etc but the springs are the shock absorbers and they more than anything determine ride quality. Many lowered suspension set ups can still have good bump absorption and a compliant ride if progressive rate springs are used.
 

Mercy1

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Easy solution - stay off those lumpy roads in the New Forest! From the day I moved to that area, I could not understand why my car was being tossed all over the place. Now I'm convinced it's not the car that's crap - it's the roads!! :doh:
 
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DSM10000

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Easy solution - stay off those lumpy roads in the New Forest! From the day I moved to that area, I could not understand why my car was being tossed all over the place. Now I'm convinced it's not the car that's crap - it's the roads!! :doh:

Hmm good point but frankly nearly all of the major roads around here in appaling condition and getting worse:dk:

My previous Saab was so much better at absorbing the bumps but also so much worse inany other area that counts, handling, steering, engine refinement etc.
 

jimbob35

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My W203 is very sensitive to tire pressure. After a recent service the tires were left at 34 ish all around and the ride was terrible. I reduced to 29 front and 32 back and things are much nicer. 1 PSI under manufacturers recommendation (30/33) hopefully wont cause too many problems...
edit: Mine has sports suspension and low profile tires, they hardly help matters either.
 
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DSM10000

DSM10000

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My W203 is very sensitive to tire pressure. After a recent service the tires were left at 34 ish all around and the ride was terrible. I reduced to 29 front and 32 back and things are much nicer. 1 PSI under manufacturers recommendation (30/33) hopefully wont cause too many problems...
edit: Mine has sports suspension and low profile tires, they hardly help matters either.

I checked the tyre pressures, 3 at 38 and 1 at 35, I had not checked them myself as my local tyre fitter had done so when putting a new osf tyre on and he said the were all OK. :rolleyes:

Having lowered them all to 31psi it is noticeably better but the Audi is still much smoother over the same roads. My car has Pirelli P6000 fitted, I know they have a reputation for being hard wearing, does this stem from a harder compund / stiffer construction that also gives poorer ride comfort?
 

Mercy1

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My W203 is very sensitive to tire pressure. After a recent service the tires were left at 34 ish all around and the ride was terrible. I reduced to 29 front and 32 back and things are much nicer. 1 PSI under manufacturers recommendation (30/33) hopefully wont cause too many problems...
edit: Mine has sports suspension and low profile tires, they hardly help matters either.

The next challenge of course is to find a pressure gauge that will give you that accurate reading you seek. I have a Michelin and two other types and they all give different readings. Garages are notoriously unreliable and even my local tyre fitter doubted if his gauge was spot on.:wallbash:!!
Any good recommendations for gauges?
 

grober

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Igor S320 CDI

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Hi guys. I also have a bumpy ride on my S class 2003 wich is not normal for this cars. What to do?
 

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