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Pete
Pete, Mercedes Mechanic
Category: Mercedes
Satisfied Customers: 24668
Experience:  Over 15 years experience as a Mercedes dealer technician
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2008 550S says "stop, car is too low." I drove it ,

Customer Question

2008 550S says "stop, car is too low." I drove it for awhile, now front is too low to drive to a dealer. Any way to diagnose conponent problem?
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Mercedes
Expert:  Pete replied 10 months ago.
Hi my name is ***** ***** I will be happy to assist with this today.In some cases I may need more info to assist better.I apologize for any delay. There are two main components that can fail and cause this here.First is one of the front shocks leaks and causes this needing replaced or there is a fault with the compressor/pump itself.The vehicle should not be driven as you risk tearing up a tire and damaging the rim and fender like this here.Unfortunately when this occurs and it is to low to drive it usually has to be towed to a dealer or authorized repair center.What will need to be done from here is to have the fault codes read out of the suspension computer to see what codes are set.There should be at least one code set that will help diagnose and locate the fault here.Once this is done the code is then diagnosed to locate and repair this fault.Most common is usually a leaking shock needing replaced but I have seen some of the pumps fail as well.Usually when the pump fails though the rear starts to drop as well as the vehicle sits and is unable to be pumped back up.This is about the only way to locate the fault is to have the codes read out to see what codes are set and then from there diagnosed and repaired.If this model uses the hydraulic suspension and not the air suspension (as most are hydraulic for this model) you can inspect each shock and hydraulic line to the shocks to see if any leaks are found.If any hydraulic fluid is found leaking at a component this component usually requires replacement. If more help is needed, use the reply tab to continue our conversation. If no further assistance is needed, kindly rate my service.You can rate at any time and we can continue to work on your question as this will not close out your question.Keep in mind in some cases it can be difficult to fully diagnose or help repair your vehicle without seeing it and I work on delivering the best possible answer from what I see to work with.Thanks Pete
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

How do I tell if I have an airmatic or ABC leveling system ? Or are both installed? Where is the air pump and can I hear it leaking? there are white small plastic tubes going into the top of each shock. I raised the ride and I think the car is driveable now. I came up enough to turn the wheel without scraping but is still low and the indication is still on.

Expert:  Pete replied 10 months ago.
O.k.,if you have the small white tubes you have the air suspension.If it was the hydraulic suspension you would have had hydraulic hoses at each shock and in this case you have air lines.The compressor is located at the front passenger side of the vehicle behind the inner fender liner in between it and the front bumper as seen herehttps://www.dropbox.com/s/qvzp40g4zgt19jf/comp-01-24.gif?dl=0In some cases you can hear it leaking but not all of the time as it may be a small leak.You can try and spray soapy water around all air lines and connections at the shocks and the compressor to see if it bubbles up as this would indicate a leak needing replaced or repaired.Most common is one of the front air shocks at fault needing replaced to correct this issue here.If the vehicle is raised up you can drive it as long as it stays raised but if it drops to low you will need to stop driving it.I would only drive it to a dealer or repair center so they can pinpoint and repair the fault here. Let me know if you need anything else and feel free to rate my help here as this is how I receive credit for my time. Thanks Pete
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

If it is one of the two front shocks (the rear seems normal, do they have the air leveling system?) would I see a difference in the height of each side? can I assume that since it definately came up when I switched to rough road, that it is a shock other than the compressor? Car has 65k miles

Expert:  Pete replied 10 months ago.
Since it did occur when on a rough road I would almost bet it is one front leaking.What I have done in allot of cases (of course this was using a dealers sds machine plugged into the vehicle to do this) is if you can find a way to lift the vehicle in the front then measure the bottom of the fender to the ground on each side and let the vehicle sit then check it every 30 minutes and see which side is dropping first by re measuring.If one side is found to drop first or drop faster this is the side that needs to have the air shock replaced.Of course it is best to submerge the air shocks in a container of water to pinpoint the leak but it can be checked this way as well. Thanks Pete

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