S320 New Purchase, Airmatic Visit Workshop?

Discussion in 'Wheels, Tyres, Brakes & Suspension' started by Bladerunner2125, May 25, 2016.

  1. Bladerunner2125

    Bladerunner2125 Active Member

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    A couple of days ago I went to collect a 2002 W220 S320 with a genuine 54k on the clock, intention is to convert to LPG and use for Private Hire work, doing around 20k per year, I had driven just 15 miles from the Traders showroom when I got the (Airmatic visit workshop) warning on the dashboard, turned around and went back to the Trader, he put the car on his Diagnostics computer and tested the rising and falling of all the struts, he didn't have Star Diagnostics in his workshop, said it might just be a sensor glitch but didn't think it was anything serious? so off I drove again this time I drove around 3 miles before the warning sign reappeared, took it back and left it with them, they say they have taken it to a specialist who has the Star Diagnostics, the trader called me today to tell me they are still trying to find a cause for the Airmatic warning sign? I am starting to think that the previous owner of this vehicle which was brought in as a part exchange on a newer vehicle may well have been aware of an Airmatic fault hence the exchange? or am I worrying unduly? the thing is I cannot fit an LPG system to this vehicle unless I know its not going to become a money pit? what would you guys do in this situation?
     
  2. ChrisEdu

    ChrisEdu Active Member

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    Hmm.... I think you might well be right. Did you get somebody trusted to inspect the car before purchase?
     
  3. DrFeelgood

    DrFeelgood MB Enthusiast

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    It's a 14 year old S Class from the days when MB were reportedly poor quality.

    It's where the phrase 'money pit' comes from.

    Having said that I ran one from 30k to 145k miles, not without issues but very comfortable and relaxing to drive.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2016
  4. AMGeed

    AMGeed Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Could be the pump leaking/failing, an airbag leaking, a valve leaking.
    Really needs correct diagnosis from someone who knows the system.

    Hopefully the trader is honest and has the car repaired without argument.
     
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  5. bozmandb9

    bozmandb9 Active Member

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    I've just had airmatic issues on my W211, 2003. Mine was a front strut, and cost I guess around £500 all in. Since my car has already had the other strut, compressor, and control unit replaced, I'm now pretty relaxed about it.

    I guess it depends how long you're planning to keep the car, and what the history is like. I'd say mileage is pretty irrelevant on a 14 year old car, going to be more about condition and servicing. 10 years will be the service life of most components regardless of mileage, a car like mine with high mileage is much more likely to have had lots of compenents already replaced.
     
  6. OP
    OP
    Bladerunner2125

    Bladerunner2125 Active Member

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    No Chris just went off the service record and dealer being trustworthy, vehicle drives really nice, although I think the 18" rims effect the performance of the Airmatic not exactly like riding on a cushion of air? or could this indicate a possible problem? dealer said it was the 18" Rims.
     
  7. AMGeed

    AMGeed Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    ^ The bigger the wheels the harsher the ride in general.

    You could put 16" wheels on the car with higher profile tyres. It would improve the ride, but at the expense of buying rims and tyres. It wouldn't solve your current fault

    unfortunately.


    Edit.Don't be fooled by the trader saying its the rims causing the error message. You have an airmatic fault that needs investigating by an MB tech.
     
  8. zipdip

    zipdip MB Enthusiast

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    This will possibly be the air pump,the garage needs to put a Star on it because it has the test programme in it,this sets the pump a series of tests,and it will pinpoint the problem,you may well find it is the pump failing the computer allows the pump about 6 seconds to refill the air tank if it takes longer it puts up your fault,now you can get repair kits and as you have just bought it I suspect the garage will want to repair it,as a pump is around £400 plus fitting.
     
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  9. AMGeed

    AMGeed Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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  10. OP
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    Bladerunner2125

    Bladerunner2125 Active Member

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    Bozmandb9, The vehicle has full history 6 stamps 3 of them Mercedes Benz, 5th service was in June 2011 at 47577, last stamp was the dealer I purchased off, had Oil service and new front discs and pads, car has travelled just 6600 miles in the last 5 years, and not a spot of rust anywhere, immaculate inside and out, hard to find a 2002 W220 in this condition with this mileage, I usually keep my vehicles for 2 to 3 years, although my last one an BMW E39 525i M Sport on LPG , was written off 6 weeks ago, this S320 is the replacement for that.
     
  11. OP
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    Bladerunner2125

    Bladerunner2125 Active Member

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    AMGeed that's really cheap for an Airmatic compressor, anyone fitted one of these pumps what is the quality like?
     
  12. OP
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    Bladerunner2125

    Bladerunner2125 Active Member

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    Zipdip, Dealer tells me that he has taken the car to a specialist to have them investigate the cause of the Airmatic error? can't see them not having Star Diagnosis so should be able to pinpoint the problem? may have to get an Independent diagnosis if fault not found, just cannot put an LPG system on a car with what might be an expensive repair further down the line, have a 2 month warranty from the trader so obviously need to be sure everything is working properly before I spend more money on an LPG conversion, was looking forward to using this vehicle for work, but looks like this will now have to wait?
     
  13. OP
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    Bladerunner2125

    Bladerunner2125 Active Member

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    AMGeed, the Trader isn't saying its the 18" Rims causing the (Airmatic Visit Workshop) error, I mentioned to him that the suspension felt a bit hard at times and I asked if this could point to the reason for the Airmatic error? he said that the 18" Rims are the reason I could feel the road imperfections more often not that it was indicating an Airmatic fault, said 16" rims would feel a lot better, something to think about for the future if things work out with this vehicle, may sell the 5 x 18" Rims with good tyres and replace with 16"?
     
  14. AMGeed

    AMGeed Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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  15. AMGeed

    AMGeed Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Sorry, I misread your post. Yes the dealer is right. 16" with higher profile tyres would give a much more compliant ride.

    Lots of OEM wheels on the bay of fleas. Just make sure you replace with S class fitment.

    I'm sure your car will be fine once this glitch is solved.
     
  16. OP
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    Bladerunner2125

    Bladerunner2125 Active Member

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    AMGeed, those compressor repair kits are really inexpensive, I think if you know for certain that the pump has never been previously replaced then for what the kit costs it would be sensible to just fit the repair kit as a matter of preventative maintenance.
     
  17. AMGeed

    AMGeed Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Yes they are. I think I'd take my indi's advice depending on what he found.
    Sure I've read members have successfully repaired their pumps using these kits.
     
  18. Borys

    Borys MB Enthusiast

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    18" wheels are very comfy to have on S class, up to 19's your fine. It is S class drive should be perfect, doesn't matter the set up.
    Had few S classes, different wheel set ups, on all they were smooth. My 221 on 17's drove horrible actually when swapped to 20's was much better
    Anyways try airdominance.co.uk for airmatic parts - cheap
     
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  19. m2287

    m2287 MB Enthusiast

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    My Indy repairs the pumps instead of buying new
     
  20. OP
    OP
    Bladerunner2125

    Bladerunner2125 Active Member

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    (Latest update) The trader told me today that the specialist is fitting a new Air Pump to the vehicle so hopefully this will fix the Airmatic issue?
     

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