The relay which turns the airmatic suspension pump on may fail causing the pump to run continuously. This can result in failure of the pump motor or a dead battery as the pump motor will continue to run after the car is turned off. Also, Worn airmatic pump mount bushings can causes noises in the front axle while driving on bumpy roads or a buzzing noise while the pump is running.
Car problem reports
Problem with your car? See what our experts say or submit your own.
Most reported 2003 Mercedes-Benz S430 problems
CD changers, command units, voice control units, PSE units, and Tele Aid units are prone to failure, especially in early models.
The crankshaft position sensor may fail. Symptoms of this are: The engine will crank—but not start—especially when the engine is warm. The car may start again if it is left to cool off, but it may run roughly or have poor performance.
The door for the vanity mirror (or the frame for the door) can break; due to a redesign, the mirror "cassette" will need replacement.
The center console armrest can break. Replacement is commonly the recommended repair.
A door control module/actuator may fail. Our technicians recommend finding an expert to repair them. Taking the door trim panels off requires expert knowledge because they can break and the pieces are very expensive.
The electrical connector at the automatic transmission may leak fluid. Over time leaking fluid could migrate through the wiring harness and damage the transmission control module. If that happens a new harness and control module may be necessary to correct the problem.
The ESP and BAS warning lights may illuminate due to a failed brake light switch. Replacement of the failed switch should correct this concern.
An engine oil leak may develop from the oil level sensor. Replacement of the leaking sensor will commonly correct this concern.
Front thrust arm and control arm bushings can crack and sometimes tear completely. If this is not repaired quickly, damage to the front subframe unit will occur, which is very expensive to repair. Updated control arms (that prevent damage to the subframe when the bushings wear out) are available.
The active body control system can leak fluid from numerous areas, including the tandem pump, hydraulic lines, struts, and/or seals. If it is not repaired, the vehicle ride height could drop too low and cause damage to the undercarriage.
Analog Tele Aid units are no longer supported and must be updated to digital, preferably at a dealership or a well-equipped independent shop. The update and all related factors should be completed at the same time.