Stop Car Too Low.

Discussion in 'Wheels, Tyres, Brakes & Suspension' started by John, Apr 3, 2014.

  1. John

    John MB Club Veteran

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    I've had the 'raise car' periodically for the 3 years I've had it but yesterday and today I've been getting the above in red when the front OS takes load.

    I can clearly see the front OS is slightly lower so going to get it looked at - so I guess oil/air leak but because it is only one corner, I doubt the pump is the issue and the car does raise and lower.

    I just read a thread regarding Arnott Industries and the part being imported from Europe at a much cheaper price than MB.

    Is this really the only option now should it come to strut replacement time?
     
  2. Alps

    Alps MB Club Veteran

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    it may just be an air leak, get it on a ramp

    pumps go to, but you can recon yours, pistons are available on ebay

    MB also do recon struts now
     
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  3. OP
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    John

    John MB Club Veteran

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    OK, so false alarm. Codes reset and pump / sensors tested with no issues.

    I've cancelled the mortgage application.

    If it was an air leak - what would that entail to resolve?
     
  4. C240Sport97

    C240Sport97 MB Club Veteran

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    what is the mileage on your E55?
     
  5. ItalianTuneUp

    ItalianTuneUp Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    False alarm? What happened?

    Do you have airmatic or ABC?

    As airmatic issues can be expensive if you need to replace struts, best thing is to get an airmatic leak diagnosis for about £100 at MB dealership.
     
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  6. BlackC55

    BlackC55 Authorised Forum Sponsor Authorised Forum Sponsor

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    Leaky bellows on a 211 are very common too.
     
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  7. OP
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    John

    John MB Club Veteran

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    77k ish.

    Took it to my inde at lunchtime and got it on the diagnostics. Pump worked as it should (although I knew that) but sensors tested fine too.

    Reset the error codes and I gave it a good test on the way home with no repeat.

    This car has a long history of occasionally moaning about ride height and I have had to have one sensor replaced for spouting erroneous data before.

    I guess it is a 'characteristic' of this car.

    On a flat surface, the car is level.

    Mine has airmatic and I know potentially it could be expensive - I found a post from Paul (SavMan) stating something like £1245/£1345 for a strut.

    However, as Alps points out above, recon ones exist but hopefully not needed for now.
     
  8. ItalianTuneUp

    ItalianTuneUp Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    So it seems ok now then?

    A pair of new MB airmatic front struts costs about £1500 fitted, I don't know about a rear pair but probably similar.
     
  9. OP
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    John

    John MB Club Veteran

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    Yes cheers.

    I think I had one 'white' raise car message this morning (normal sometimes) but no repeat of the bright red rant of yesterday and Wednesday.

    Very odd.
     
  10. ItalianTuneUp

    ItalianTuneUp Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Hmmm.

    When my airmatic was dodgy, i.e. had leaks, when putting keys in ignition, I too saw 'body raising' messages.

    Now that the leaks have been fixed I never see the message, as the body never seems to sag overnight or even over a week etc, so I'm not sure you're out of the woods yet.

    If you want to fix this and move on, I would highly recommend getting an airmatic system diagnosis. My money is either on a leaking front offside airmatic strut, or the section of the valve block feeding that strut leaks. Has the offending strut got any visible cracks on the top of it?
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2014
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  11. ItalianTuneUp

    ItalianTuneUp Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    As extra info, when considering front strut replacement, I looked at the Arnott drop in replacement struts. They are not quite the same as the MB (bilstein?) ones.

    The MB struts have 3 different suspension settings, selectable from the dash button: comfort/convenience (smoothest ride), sports 1 & sports 2. The dash button cycles through these 3 modes.

    The Arnott struts only have one mode, which is the equivalent of the convenience (smoothest) mode of the MB struts. So the dash suspension button becomes redundant. This is from speaking to Arnott directly.

    In the end, due to not a vast price difference, wanting to retain standard functionality/behaviour/ride quality, resale value etc, I went with the MB struts.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2014
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  12. C240Sport97

    C240Sport97 MB Club Veteran

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    which struts have you replaced? at what mileage?
     
  13. ItalianTuneUp

    ItalianTuneUp Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Front airmatic struts at approx 105,000 miles, plus valve block.
     
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  14. OP
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    John

    John MB Club Veteran

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    I haven't examined them yet but I was going to take a shifty at all four on the weekend.

    Were you able to spot cracks in yours or was that not the case?

    Doesn't the S320CDI have ABC or have you got an E class as well?
     
  15. ItalianTuneUp

    ItalianTuneUp Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Yes, I could clearly see cracks in the front strut tops.

    AFAIK, all S320CDI models have airmatic. I thought that ABC is an option on things like S500, but if I'm wrong I expect someone will correct me.

    To save time I would concentrate on looking at the front offside strut top...give it a soapy water test: spray soapy/washing up water onto the top of the strut, press the 'raise body' button on the dash and then observe to see if tiny bubbles form on the strut top.

    If nothing appears then move on to the valve block behind the front offside headlamp and give it the soapy water test in the same way, focusing on the part of it that has the air line feeding the front offside strut. Bubbles indicate a leak. This should help you learn what's going on, if the problem lies in either of these two areas.

    Good luck and happy hunting! :thumb:
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2014
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  16. ItalianTuneUp

    ItalianTuneUp Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Did you find anything?
     
  17. OP
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    John

    John MB Club Veteran

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    I haven't looked yet - the wheels are in the way!

    I will be removing all four wheels Thursday so I intend to have a gander then.

    I've only had the white message a couple of times since so it is back to as it was before.

    Given it's done this for 3 years and 1 month since I've had it, I'd be surprised to find any leak at all i.e. surely it would have failed or got worse by now!

    Don't call me Shirley.
     
  18. ItalianTuneUp

    ItalianTuneUp Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Well it'll be interesting to see what you discover.
     
  19. OP
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    John

    John MB Club Veteran

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    I had a look and a test yesterday - bugger all leakage at all!

    My guess is this is an electrical issue given how long it has been going on.

    Would a failed shocker(s) really last 3 years and maintain the same rate of leakage?

    Maybe but I would expect it/them to fail...
     
  20. ItalianTuneUp

    ItalianTuneUp Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Your thoughts are probably right. I know when I had my car on STAR, the mechanic asked me which ride height I required, so it sounds like the ride height is programmable.

    I have no idea if this is possible, but perhaps the ride height parameter has been incorrectly set for the front offside strut? If so, presumably a parameter tweak using STAR might correct the issue?
     
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