The Mercedes Benz AirMatic system helps create the ultimate driving experience. This intricate system enables drivers to perfectly tailor their suspension to the road and the purpose, such as comfort or sport. Because of the AirMatic system, drivers have never been more intune with their Mercedes. The line between driver and car is harmoniously blurred. However, the incredible AirMatic system will need fine-tuning and care during its life span, and as with any key part of your Mercedes, you will need to be knowledgeable in diagnosing failures in the AirMatic system which can greatly impact your overall driving experience. Let’s take a closer look.
The AirMatic System
Mercedes vehicles with AirMatic have an air suspension which is controlled by the N51 unit, or Air Suspension Control Unit. With this system, the driver is able to pick their driving mode, such as sport mode, and the air suspension will respond accordingly. The air suspension constantly moves and adjusts, adapting to changes in road surface while driving, expertly creating a consistently smooth ride.
There are two main warning signs connected to AirMatic failure which will appear on your instrument cluster. The first denotes a more generic AirMatic failure. This warning is the “AirMatic Visit Workshop” notification. The second is more serious and likely displayed in red: “AirMatic Stop Vehicle Too Low.” Let’s take a look at both of these warning signs more closely for the causes behind each.
Indicator: AirMatic Visit Workshop
This warning sign most commonly indicates an electrical fault somewhere within the AirMatic system. To pinpoint the location of this problem, you will need to use an OBD-II scanner, which is a diagnostic tool able to translate the fault codes sent out by your Mercedes’ onboard computer.
When using the scanner, some common fault codes you may discover include C1324-001 or C1325-001, which denote a communication fault between the solenoid valves inside the rear axle damping valve unit. These codes can also signify and a discontinuity problem with any one of the air suspension components.
When faced with this warning message, you can still drive your Mercedes, but you’ll need to have the issue diagnosed and repaired as soon as possible to prevent further more serious damage.
Indicator: AirMatic Stop Vehicle Too Low
This type of warning is displayed in red. It can cause drivers to panic, but it is important to stay calm. When faced with this warning, you will likely notice that your Mercedes isn’t driveable due to a collapsed air suspension. Unless you’re skilled with air suspension repair, you’ll likely need to call for a recovery vehicle to take it to a trusted Mercedes Benz repair shop.
Troubleshooting the AirMatic System
In general, troubleshooting isn’t advised unless you are confident in what you are doing and have some understanding of the AirMatic system. Put simply, if it doubt, call on the professionals, as you don’t want to cause more damage accidentally. However, if you have some experience, some of the methods listed below can be useful to troubleshoot your issue:
Faulty Relay/Blown Fuse for Compressor
- Inspect the AirMatic relay in the engine compartment’s main fuel box.
- Inspect the fuse for the air suspension compressor.
- If fuse regularly blows, purchase and install a new relay.
Testing the Function of the Air Compressor
- A failed compression will cause the car to lower and not rise.
- Press the ‘raise’ button and check for a response.
- If no response, check the voltage at the air compressor.
- Check the air compressor has power.
- If low voltage, check the relay and the fuse.
- Use OBD-II scanner to check for fault codes of the Air Suspension Control Unit.
- Respond to fault codes and reset them.
- If compressor still doesn’t work, replace the part.
Air Strut Failure
- Air strut failure will cause the vehicle to dip on one corner.
- Check if you have an air leak by spraying water and soap on the mastic at the top of the strut. If bubbles form, then you’ve located an air leak.
- Replace or repair the strut.
Peace of Mind With Professional Repairs
While having a go at diagnosing problems can be a great way to save money and also learn more about your car, when it comes to fixing the problem, for complete peace of mind you should turn to your local Mercedes repair experts. Bavarian Auto is your Mercedes specialist for the communities of Ootelwah, Hixson, and Chattanooga, TN. Our team of friendly technicians have top-level industry knowledge of the AirMatic system and are able to pinpoint issues swiftly and make affordable repairs, meaning you can get back on the road quickly and affordably. Call us today.