CAR TOO LOW TO DRIVE on 2000 Mercedes-Benz S430

VEHICLE IS TOO LOW AND WILL NOT RISE UP WHEN STARTED. RED WARING LIGHT ON DASH; STATES: CAR TOO LOW TO DRIVE

by in Victorville, CA on June 30, 2010
4 answers 5 comments
ANSWER by on August 02, 2010
sounds like the seals on your airmatic shocks have broken, which they do over time. You need to have these repaired by a certified M-B shop. The pumps, there are two, that control the suspension may have gone as well. This is a very expensive repair with the pumps. There is an alternative, search the web for the conversion kit to standard shocks. Maybe some one can chime in on these, as I have zero experience with them.
ANSWER by on August 04, 2010
Most likely a strut failed (leak). The airmatic struts are $1300 from Mercedes and about 4-5 hours labor. So you're looking at $1700 plus tax. I just replaced my both front struts. One failed, had replaced. Then 3 weeks later, the other failed. Since then, I've discovered you can buy rebuilt struts from Arnott Industries for $399 (+ $100 core charge). You can also find Bilsteins for $795. Of course, this means you do the work yourself (never done this myself), or you find an independent shop willing to do so.
ANSWER by on August 27, 2010
My car did this one time on a trip 500 miles from home after driving it all day in heavy rain. rented another car and let it sit over the weekend. Came back and it raised up again, drove it back home, no problems EVER again (almost 2 years ago). Took it to Mercedes, they told me I had an autozone battery and I still do. I sure don't take it to Mercedes anymore. I think they let the carwash boy work on it that time. So its never happened again. I thought it was the airmatic pump (failure) but no. Just a fluke. Not very encouraging. Had the car since showroom new. No rough treatment ever just a non mercedes battery. It shows that the MB Dealers can't even fix their own cars.
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COMMENT by on August 28, 2010
my car does this off and on. It always pumps back up. Had 2 sensors replacd on front but it still does it. does anyone know what this could be
ANSWER by on November 20, 2010
I had the same problem. The dealer replaced the airmatic pressure pump.
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COMMENT by on January 22, 2011
how much was the replacement cost?
COMMENT by on February 17, 2011
If the car is too low and will not pump up, most likely the Airmatic Pump has failed. You can check the pump's 40 amp fuse first, however. Its orange and located under the hood on the passenger side within the fuse panel. If a new fuse doesn't fix it, you can buy a new Airmatic Pump for aprox $350 at AutoPartsWarehouse on the Internet. The pump is very easy to replace and is located behind the passenger side headlight area up inside the fender. Simply remove the plastic protective covers just behind the front bumper on the passenger side (under the car), and you will see the Airmatic Pump. You will need a new rubber air intake hose because the new hose connection is on the opposite end compared to the original pump. It's less than $3.00 at AutoZone. I would replace the relay also. It's located next to the orange 40 amp fuse. It's less than $40 at AutoPartsWarehouse.
COMMENT by on September 09, 2012
I have the same problem and appreciate the info. Thanks
COMMENT by on March 12, 2013
Thanks for the info. Invaluable information
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