The estimator I used referred to the Airmatic system as the, "Shocks" and did not have any of the control units or the pump.
Even when I use this estimator it is still a rough shot, especially on the newest cars. There are so many electronica controls that it could just be a relay. I do not see the entire system at fault.
If the tires do not rub and the car is driveable, take it to a repair shop and have them run a trouble code diagnostic.
The estimate I got was to replace all suspension components, it came to; $2296.71.
I have a feeling you are probably having an electrical issue since all 4 shocks are on the ground. After getting a trouble code, replacement of an electronic control or pump will be substantially less.
November, 5, 2011 AT 5:42 PM
I own mercedes Benz's; 87 300D; LongWB 96-S320; now currently own: 2001 S430; 2002 S500 and 2007 S550 awesome automobiles, but at their prices, failures should be more minimal in my opinion. Been driving benz's since 1992 and know allot about them since I change my own breaks and lots of miner repairs. I know this about your suspension: There is an air pump that sits in front of your front-passenger side front wheel behind a cover which snaps off to access the pump which raises and lowers your vehicle; it will last about 3-5 years on average. It use to cost about $800 bucks from the Dealer but you can get it for about $250-$260 depending on where you live these days. To replace it only takes 45mins to an hour (I've watched mine get done-I could have don it myself) and about 30mins to resink the system. Labor wise, they might hit you with 3hours; what ever their rate is which varies depending on where you live. I live in Maryland but most dealers in the MD, VA and DC area charge about $140 per hour. So $260+ $420 ($140x3)=$680. To know more than $750-$1K max. Chumley might say you'll need this or that to beef up the price but tell them you want the air-pump replaced-end of story. Let them know you know a little and they'll be a a little more apprehensive in trying to blow smoke up your. There are seperate mechanisums to the Air supension system; they all do NOT go bad at the same time reagrless of what "chumley" at the dealer try's to tell you. If one of your air struts ever goes bad, contact Arnott, they are online and will sell you a remand (lifetime)strutt that they will replace if it ever fails, with a $100 core charge for your old one (that they will reman anyway) for about $399 after core chare back to your account you'll pay about $300 as appossed to $1350 the dealers charge. That doesn't include installation. I hope I have helped you. The Dealers are crooks and I don't trust them as far as I can spit on them and that ain't far. Good luck. Respectively, an associate MBZ ownerPS By the way, the guy at Arnott told me they remanufacture the struts for mercedes anyway; mercedes then MARKS them up 300%!
November, 8, 2011 AT 7:36 PM
I actually moved from Rockville, MD to Alabama last year and I am moving back in a month or two. So, I know that the Dealerships are very high priced. I wish I could remember tha name of a small garage in Rockville/Silver Spring that specialized in Mercedes and BMWs. They do great work and don't charge an arm and a leg. My mom has a 5-Series and the sun-roof got stuck open when she spicked it up from VOB BMW after being serviced. They could not get it closed and of course could only offer to ripp the headliner out, keep it for at least a week and could not give her a price on repair. She took it to this smaller shop that I am thinking of and that got it closed in 5 minutes and did not charge her at all.
I will try to find out the name.
When doing estimates I use a programmed database that pulls from averages, manufacturer labor hours and sometimes the parts are not all that accurate in price as the program tries to find the best part at the best price while keeping it an OEM part or a high end re-manufacturer.
The good thing about the estimator is getting how many labor hours you should get charged at a dealership for the job. But, as you stated, that can get tough as there is not a category for the repair you have. There could be extra hours from subsytems and other work, or sometimes the job could take less time depending on the parts that have failed. This is usually not much of a problem until you get into the High-End highly automated and electronically controlled cars. Then the estimates are only as good as the program and it does pretty well for the information we can give each other over text communication.
As far as finding the Mecredes air pump for less than $800, the best way to go is a dealership that does phone orders. These are usually in smaller towns and need the extra business so they advertise on the internet and do phone orders. You can save a bundle doing parts orders this way. The problem you run into is getting a dealership or repair shop to use these parts in the repair as they make a good bit of their money of the parts for the job.
As far as the struts go, yes they are re-mans and the axles/CVs are probably the same case. Acura does the same thing and will charge you $300 for a re-manufatured axle that you can get a high performance new replacement instead for the same price with comparable machine tolerances. That is one thing that I do not find to be, "Good Business".
Thanks for the information on, "Arnott", That is one of those places that do professional work and give advice and information that is priceless.
It is the kind of place I can throw into estimates as an option and there are not a lot of options in the Mercedes parts world.