W221 s500 dropping to the ground

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AMR 777T

New Member
Feb 13, 2016
West London
2010 W221 S500L AMG Pack
Bought a W221 S500 AMG Sport Pack on 5th February. Up until now (16th Feb) possibly the WORST CAR i've ever bought. Kicking myself for getting rid of my beloved 7 Series, virtually poured my blood, sweat and tears in to that. :wallbash:
Sorry to any hardcore Mercedes enthusiast.

I'm sure this thread has been raised before, but apologies. Wasn't practical going through 470/80 pages.

Among the many issues I have discovered one of the more potentially high cost issues is the Airmatic suspension behaving irregularly. Over night all 4 corners drop unevenly. Rear not so bad, but front end is horrendously low, the driver side wheel arch lining is actually sitting on the tyre (view pic). If I park my car with front bumper hanging over a kerb, I think it would rip the front bumper off. However does rise up to correct ride height and is ok while driving. No error messages or any stored fault on computer.
when I went to view the car prior to purchase, I noticed the front bumper was detached from where it meets the wing/fender. I was arguing with first owner it's been in an accident, but he was adamant it hadn't. Now I understand why it was detached, the car sits so low if you start the car and don't wait for car to rise it will rip the bumper apart from the wing while turning right.


Also issues With Aircon
Seats/interior squeak, rattle and creek like just runover a cat or something
Harman/Kardon sound system playing up, sounded like someone replaced it with the speaker from my iphone.
Issues with massaging and dynamic seats.

However I'll post the above issues in the relevant sections of the forum.


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Front shock probably is gone
Had same with my w221 s320 on the rear - and guess what I had a 60 plate bmw 730d before
300 quid later all was back to normal.....apart of other issues
You can always deal with me :), thinking of selling my S8 v10....I like projects
if its uneven dropping, its more likely the manifold block, which, assuming its basically the same system as a w211, is small, cheap, and easily replaced. its just in front of the left front wheel. get it on a ramp, remove undertray, can of leak detector spray from a plumbers merchant if you are posh, washing up liquid and water if not, squirt the small box thing with loads of pipes. see bubbles. buy new manifold. replace.

dynamic seats (i have these too) is often leaky pipes under the seats. when mine work its a great gimmick. but pointless imho.

check hk amp in boot that all wires are attached. mates hk amp had some wires popped out. or the speakers are blown?
Thanks for the reply Borys.
Could it really be all 4 air shocks? As all 4 corners are dropping.
I don't get how you managed to fix with £300.
As far as I know an air shock from Mercedes is £1225 and £900ish at euro's. So either way I'd be looking at £4000 to £5000 + Labour.
Any access to Star?
It will help to locate the problem
As long as I remember right if one shock got leak rest of the car will try to level it
Thats why it drops on all corners
Assuming you got airmatic or is it ABC?
Will look in to the manifold block. Cheers.
I read about the HK AMP. Most say moisture getting in through rear lights or something. Removed all the boot lining. It's bone dry around the amp, no signs of water marks anywhere in the boot. Wires all seem ok to. Although the sounds only played up for a day, out of the 10 day I've owned the car and then fixed itself next morning.
Remarkable !!! Ive just gone into a s500 with all the toys from my BMW 740D

I actually prefer the Merc, however I've had exactly same problems as you within first 7 days of changing.

So, noise coming from front suspension is likely the front anti roll bar bushes. Cost me £360 all in from Mercedes Tamworth for replacement.

Mine also needed both front lower control arms replacing, also done at main dealer.

You need to urgently go and see if your passenger side carpet is damp, if it is it'll be because your scuttle drain is blocked and water has risen flowing back into car passing the heater motor. This (temporarily) stopped my heater working all together.

Luckily I caught mine in time, took it to main dealer and they removed a useless rubber grommet for free, as they prodded this and removed it, a ton of water released from under the car! ! Heater started working so I constantly had it on full blast directed to the footwell to dry the carpet (felt like a sauna!)

Car is now back with Tamworth to replace all 4 struts, valve block and sender units (5k all in) it's also getting a new MAF sensor as well.

Decided to invest after thinking same as you, get rid, but when I went to look at other cars they weren't as nice.

Anyhow, mines a 2006 so struts would have needed to be replaced regardless and MAF sensor is precaution to keep engine running optimally.
I'm not sure Borys. I think it's standard Airmatic.
I do have access to STAR at local specialist. ( I would like to give his garage a shout out on here, but not sure if allowed to. Please advise.)
He did plug it in. But no obvious errors come up on STAR.
Wow £5K is a lot of money to spend on just trying to fix suspension. My 7 Series was so Solid and had both front anti rollbars or lower links replaced, H&R lowering springs and front pads. Cost only £600 all in.
And your right I am getting knocking up front both sides though. Local specialist qouted £900 for genuine Mercedes lower and upper links + all bushes, nuts etc.
Thats before he gets trade discount so maybe £700 to £800.
Yes it is, but my thinking is that regardless of whether there's ano obvious problem, the normal lifetime of these parts is roughly 80k miles or 9- 10 years, so I know I'm not getting the best out of the car. That price is for for new struts (not reconditioned ones) new valve block and 2 front sender units and the single rear sender unit, plus labour and vat. Should drive like a dream after

Get your issues fixed and you'll start to love your car ;)
Check your carpet! You don't want a blocked drain with water coming into passenger side. There's lots of other electrics there other than the heater :/
Again it comes to S class is expensive to run
Don't understand how can you justify to spend 5000£ to fix suspension, its not that expensive!!!!

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And also compressor from them is 260£
It amaze me when reading horror stories rgds to w221-its just not true
I have a S8 v10 at the moment and again reading on the web, probably most would stay away from a car like it. Of its so untrue,
They are cheaper to run the most people think....but you need to think, be patience and do a proper research.
OP don't give up on the car, they are great machines!!!!!
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I definitely don't want to pay £1225 per air shock. But that's what MB charge. I'm not to sure about buying after market shocks. My cars on 63,000 mile atm. So if genuine MB shocks only last 60 to 70,000 miles, I can't see aftermarket lasting anywhere near that long.
I assume you have used aftermarket Borys. Any issues up until now? How many miles or how long have they been installed?
Thanks for all the insight and tips Mercedes-Benz. :thumb:

The quotes MB sent me for the extended warranty seem well worth it now.


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Just looked into that website Borys. Seems like it's not aftermarket, but refurbished genuine parts. Not to far from me. Probably worth a visit. Seems like they would buy old shocks from me and offer 2 year unlimited mileage warranty, which is same as MB. So might be a no brainier really.
I would never put aftermarket in my car either
I bought from then before, great
Good luck, your car will be fine I'm sure
I used to own the S500 w221. Can I be honest with you, just sell it and cut your losses. It was one of the worst cars I ever owned, I bet after you fix this problem something will happen to one of the valves and thats a big fix. I have said on this forum before and will say again riding over a bump, a hump or anything makes you worry a random error message will come on. Dont get me wrong its beautiful inside and has all the toys but is built like "Daniel Sturridge" from a suspension perspective.

I sold mine after 9 months I think. Best decision I ever made.
Obviously you had a dodgy example
Cannot discard the whole series ha ha
I had 60 plate bmw 730d and it was awful !!!!
But wouldn't mind a nicer example
I suppose the issue is, if you are going to be unlucky, you don't want to be in a W221 or any expensive car with air suspension etc.

I nearly pulled the trigger on a 2010 S500 with ABC but couldn't go through with it. Sure, it had a 1 year MB warranty but after that - I am at the mercy of the error lights!

Whilst I know not all W221s will be problematic, I would intend to keep it for a while and I just know the big bills will be coming my way and with the W221, they could potentially be BIG.

Depends how cynical you are I guess - but I am unfortunately.

...and as it didn't drive any more smoothly than my E55K, what would be the point anyway.
Maha I think I may have to take your advice. I'm not even 20 days in to ownership of this S500 and I think it's going to cost me triple what I've spent on my last 3 cars in repairs put together, which were all BMW's. I had a E92 320d, E92 335i (Best sports coupe in the world) & F01 730d. None of them never missed a beat and definitely didn't rattle squeak or creek like my S500 does.

Just yesterday I discovered another problem, amongst the already extremely long and expensive list. Done a motorway trip, was A bit windy yesterday and the noise coming from the panaromic roof was horrendous. It was so loud I couldn't hear my friends talk. Not even the music played loud could drown out the wind noise (which aslo keeps playing up, might be a new app needed). Opened the sunroof and closed it a couple of times. Made it 10x worse. So I thought there's obviously a gap somewhere, where the wind is whistling. Stopped at a service station, managed to get some duct tape and spent 15 minutes taping every joint and gap on the roof on my shiny flagship Mercedes S class (Exactly what I had pictured myself doing when thinking of buying one). Surprisingly didn't make the slightest difference. So I'm absolutely baffled to what is making the noise.

I'm absolutely sick of it. Never has a car made me feel like this.
You needed to come across really bad example as I did with mine FO1 - was rattling, squeaking, leather looked like eco cheap replica, hated it.....never had that in S class

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