1st Generation Mercedes-Benz S Class Airmatic Problems

First released in 1972, the Mercedes-Benz S Class has since become the tip selling luxury sedan in the world, and has earned its place as the company’s flagship vehicle. The W220, released in 1999 and running until 2005, featured a slightly smaller exterior surface than its predecessor, and it simultaneously possessed a roomier interior, proving that nothing is impossible for the MB company. A common problem experienced by owners concerns the Airmatic system.

The Airmatic system is a highly efficient maintainer of the W220’s car height. Working via a system of pumps and lifts, the Airmatic compensates for extra weight put on the suspension, and you can see it most actively when a heavy load is placed in the car or when someone climbs into the passenger seat. When the Airmatic begins working incorrectly, the most obvious result is that its normally quiet operation becomes quite loud, and the car’s ability to level itself out to compensate for extra weight is noticeably lessened.

There are several different reasons why the Airmatic system might be malfunctioning. Firstly, it could be that there is an air leak on top of the front suspension. This is a common problem that MB designed a modification for. Secondly, the valve block that sits on top of the Airmatic’s compressor might have failed, requiring a new block to be installed. The third traditional problem with the Airmatic is that the valve on the rear suspension strut has ceased to work properly. This last problem is the least likely and the most severe, as it requires an entirely new strut in order to solve the issue.

Dealing with a malfunctioning Airmatic system quickly becomes frustrating. The best way to handle the situation is to take your W220 to a local Mercedes-Benz repair expert who can examine the entirety of your car and discern where the precise problem might be occurring.

Search for a local, independent Mercedes-Benz repair shop with Mercedes-Benz mechanics that have dealer-level expertise at a fraction of the expense.