The S-Class is Mercedes’ flagship vehicle—a luxury executive sedan with signature Benz performance. But Mercedes S550 suspension problems have been a noted issue among owners, causing many to spend thousands of dollars trying to fix them.
We’ll take a look at some of the common issues with the S550 suspension, what it typically costs to fix them, and what alternatives you might have. Keep reading to learn more.
Common S550 Suspension Problems
Beloved as they are, Mercedes aren’t known for their reliability. The S550 itself is, unfortunately, an expensive vehicle to maintain. According to RepairPal, owners of the vehicle can expect to spend around $1,249 per year in repairs and maintenance.
Issues with the vehicle’s AIRMATIC self-leveling suspension are among the more common problems. Some of these issues include:
- AIRMATIC suspension fails to inflate properly
- Ride height sensor failure
- Punctured or leaking air spring
- AIRMATIC compressor failure
- Suspension control module failure
How to Detect Mercedes-Benz S550 Suspension Problems
Suspension problems in your Benz can cause additional damage to other parts of your vehicle. Observing these issues and addressing them can help keep the rest of your Mercedes healthy. There are a few ways you can detect issues with your suspension.
Warning Light: AIRMATIC Visit Workshop
A light on your dash panel that tells you to visit the workshop indicates a minor issue in your AIRMATIC suspension. At this point, the problem you have is not preventing you from driving safely.
However, if you ignore this warning light, it can lead to severe problems soon. Issues with an air suspension compound as other components try to make up for a component that is failing.
Warning Light: AIRMATIC Stop, Car Too Low
The other suspension warning light in your S550 is much more urgent. This light comes on when your car has become unsafe to drive due to suspension failure. Driving it could result in damage to your vehicle and dangerous conditions.
Early Warning Signs of AIRMATIC Suspension Failure
There are ways to detect suspension problems even before a warning light comes on. The earlier you catch a problem, the cheaper it is to fix and the less you risk damage to your Mercedes.
Here are a few early warning signs of Mercedes S550 suspension failure:
- Bouncy ride: When your S550 suspension is working properly, you should have a smooth, comfortable ride. If you feel a lot of bounce from the road surface, something is wrong.
- Sagging: While this most commonly happens in the rear of the vehicle, if your Benz is sagging or leaning towards any side, the suspension is not supporting it properly.
- Sitting low: Your suspension’s job is to keep your car sitting at the proper ride height. If your car is sitting lower than it should, the suspension is likely to blame.
- Stopping long: If you know your brakes are in good shape but your car is still taking a longer time to stop than it should, the suspension might be the issue.
- Nose diving: When the front suspension in your Benz wears down, you might notice that it dips down in front when coming to a stop. This is sometimes referred to as “nose dive” and it indicates a suspension fault.
Cost to Fix Mercedes S550 Suspension
As high-tech, complex systems, repairs to any air suspension are costly. As any Mercedes owner can tell you, you can expect fixing your AIRMATIC suspension at the dealership is going to be a huge expense.
Here are some of the common costs for fixing components in a Mercedes Benz S550 AIRMATIC suspension, courtesy of RepairPal:
- Replace AIRMATIC air compressor: $1,157 - $1,197
- Replace active suspension control module: $628 - $654
- Replace active suspension struts: $4,042 - $5,080
These are just a few of the most common S550 air suspension repairs. As you can see, fixing your AIRMATIC issues at the dealership is extremely expensive.
Buying Aftermarket S550 Air Suspension Parts
Much of the expense of fixing your Benz’s suspension at the dealership comes from the cost of parts. Mercedes OEM parts are, indeed, very expensive. For example, out of the estimated $4,042 to $5,080 it costs to replace an S550 strut, between $3,716 and $4,669 is estimated to be from parts.
There are now many manufacturers that make aftermarket replacement air suspension parts for your Mercedes. And while many of these third-party replacements meet or even exceed the fit and performance of the OEM parts, many of them are cheaply-made and poorly-engineered.
In addition, you still have labor to worry about. Air suspensions require lots of time to fix. Even if you save money on parts, you’ll still have to pay for someone to take the time to install them. As you are probably very aware, Mercedes labor doesn’t come cheap.
Mercedes Benz S550 Suspension Kit
The best way to fix the AIRMATIC suspension problems in your Mercedes S550 is probably to just get rid of it altogether. You’ll still need a suspension, of course. That’s where Strutmasters comes in.
The engineers at Strutmasters have released a Mercedes Benz S550 suspension kit that allows you to fix your suspension problems for good for less than the cost of replacing one AIRMATIC strut.
How to Turn Off Air Suspension on a Mercedes S550
Once you have this S550 air suspension replacement kit, you’ll no longer need your air suspension. You can remove your air springs and tie off your pneumatic supply lines.
In doing so, you can turn off the air suspension on your Benz and replace it with something much simpler and much more dependable.
S550 Suspension Conversion Kit: What’s Included
Your Mercedes suspension replacement kit comes with everything you need to convert your S550 to a coilover suspension. Used in high-performance settings and in cars around the world, coilovers are the more durable solution.
Here’s what comes with each kit:
- Two pre-assembled front struts: Each front strut comes fully-assembled to make installation easy and error-free. Made of strong steel alloys, these assemblies are built to last.
- Two pre-assembled rear struts: The cold-wound coil springs on these strut assemblies are tuned and rated to match the original ride of your S550.
- Necessary hardware: Strutmasters insists that its mounting hardware be made to the same rigorous standards as the rest of the components in the kit. Each kit comes with everything that’s needed to install it.
- Detailed instructions: Every kit is packaged with a walkthrough guide to help if you want to do a DIY installation. It’s a relatively simple job for the reasonably handy person and can be done in about an hour per wheel with sturdy support and some basic tools.
Strutmasters engineers also developed these kits with installation in mind. Even if you choose to leave installation to the professionals, the design of the kits cuts down on the time it takes to install. That means a much cheaper bill at the shop, too.
Strutmasters Mercedes Benz S550 Suspension Kit: Quality You Can Count On
For more than 20 years, Strutmasters has been a leader in the suspension industry. With a reputation built on quality and expert customer service, the company stands behind all of its products.
Like all of our kits, each Mercedes Benz S550 conversion kit comes with a one-year guarantee. The coil springs themselves are backed by a limited lifetime warranty. We want you to trust our products as much as we do.
If you’re ready to order, use the links in this article. You can also call our Suspension Experts at 866-722-1707 if you’d like to order over the phone or need some assistance. Our chat support is available 24/7 to help as well.