W219 CLS Continued Suspension Frustration!

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Nov 4, 2016
This bloody car is doing my nut! 2009 CLS 320cdi. Bought with 44k on the clock. Handling is dreadful. Car rolls around on poor and uneven surfaces like it's on four spacehoppers. It's had four new springs fitted by MB and has four new Pirelli P7's too. MB have done full tracking and alignment - and it's still rubbish.

The car sits down substantially on the front end with around half and inch between to tyres and the top of the wheel arch. Conversely it's sits high at the rear with a four inch gap. I'm at my wits end with it. Wifey and I sit in the front and nod and shake our heads like one of those back window dogs and I'm constantly frightened of the car stepping out. It feels like it's on balbearings. Tyres are 18" btw.

MB were 'happy' that the car was okay when they handed it back but they just whizzed it up and down the motorway where it behaved okay.

I'm thinking failed shocks but haven't a clue where to start - front or back. Whatever it is it's making the ownership of a lovely car an absolute misery.

Any suspension gurus out there who can advise before I take it to the garage again? I'm starting to feel like a broken record on here and with the garage now I'm sure - they've been vg so far. To be honest I'd put my hand in my pocket if I thought that would be the last of it I just want to enjoy the bloody thing!

Thanks in advance any readers and responders and HNY!
Front is too low by at least 3/4" , i think mine is around 1 1/4" from the tyre to the arch.

Back is way to high by at least 2".

It is never going to feel right until it is sitting at the proper height.

Here is mine with the tank half full.


Cheers Kenny. Any idea what the cause is though?
Cheers Kenny. Any idea what the cause is though?

At the rear it must be the wrong springs as they are what dictates the height ,nothing else.

I am surprised that the rear geometry is within spec if it is sitting at the height you describe.

The spring seats at the front on the CLS are , i believe, are adjustable so maybe some has been messing with them before you got it. Failing that you are back to the springs again.

Is it airmatic or steel springs front or all round?. Have to say that I would be surprised if anything other than springs were to blame for the front ride height. If the spring perches aren't adjustable then it must be springs, and luckily they aren't too expensive to change. The rear ride height it very strange - if airmatic then level sensor could be faulty?.

Edit: just reread your post.. If MB replaced all four springs they need to get the ride height within tolerance. Rear it sitting way to high, so not surprised that it feels loose at the back.

With the weight distribution and roll centres being off the car will never handle properly.

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Having read http://www.mbclub.co.uk/forums/whee...nsion/216964-w219-cls320-cdi-209-twitchy.html
I'm guessing your suspension repair paid for by the jaguar dealer may have been of the bargain basement category. Were genuine MB parts used for example? Essential to get the shocker/ spring rate match and ride height correct. if the Mercedes dealer merely re-oriented the existing rear springs for example that might be your problem?
Repairs involving third parties are always difficult to resolve. You say that a full alignment was done. Rear suspension toe is crucial in rear suspension self centering action- get the ride height a nd toe wrong will give you a very twitchy rear end feel.
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Apologies for the pics orientation. They were fine when uploaded.

Steel suspension and MB insist they are the correct colour coded springs for the car and correctly installed. Could it be shocks?
Yes MB springs and they checked the Jag dealers work when they did the front and alignment.
If the shocks were toast then the car would effectively be suspended on its springs alone. Usually there are signs of fluid leakage if a shock is nearing its end of life. Have you tried the bounce/ body rock test? Vigorous manual rocking of the body should settle almost immediately if the shocks are doing their job continued movement may signal the shocks are past their best.
Just tried this. There's not much bounce at all on the front end - even with my substantial weight on the corner there's not much downward play and what there is bounces straight back up with no repeated bouncing. Front end just looks too low and stiff to me.
Have no way of getting the car up to check to be honest. Will the dots be visible behind the wheels? I can try sticking my phone there but there's hardly any room.
To be fair the rear looks fine , certainly not the 4" gap you mentioned in the original post. They do sit a bit a**e up nose down to start with.

The difference in height at the rear between a fully fueled and an empty CLS is around 1/2 - 3/4" as there is a fair weight in 100L of fuel.

From the pics the front looks way too low so i would be concentrating my attention there. If the springs are new and the correct ones then i would be looking at the spring seat position to see if it is adjustable.

There's a full tank of fuel in there when I took the pic just now. Was empty when I first guessed so that may account for a bit of an overestimate on my part. We've a good Indy local to me so I may just pop in there and get him to drive the car and give an opinion. I really don't want to hand this car back but it's unpredictable and therefore dangerous to drive as it stands. Also want to be fair to the original dealer who has funded the works so far and far in excess of any profit they would have made and I don't want to take the p*** or be seen as if I am trying to.
Having seen the pictures the rear is fine, the front isn't! No way is that right, looking at the pictures has it had a shock absorber on the front? One looks newer than the other and has a label on it, one shock set at the incorrect height (if adjustable like new Sachs items) it could be set up at an incorrect height throwing the car off balance and sitting the front end lower that it should be.
Took it to local Indy this morning. Agrees the car is too low at the front and doesn't handle or steer well after a drive. Booked in this Thursday for a look see and will report back. First instinct is that it has the wrong springs in the front. Should this be a surprise given an MB dealer did the work?
Indy is saying front springs are wrong for my spec of car. They are CLS springs but not rated high enough for my car. Sounds like witchcraft to me but I've told them to replace them and redo the alignment.

Fingers crossed...
Maybe they're ones designed for the lighter petrol engines

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