Tips on Maintaining Your Mercedes Benz R500’s Air Ride Suspension
At first glance, many would think that the Mercedes Benz R500 is a minivan or a crossover SUV. It's actually a class of its own. For Mercedes, it's a "grand-class" touring vehicle, which deserves the prestigious MB badge. Its unique body lines and exquisite interior make it the ideal vehicle for trips around the city or to a favorite weekend getaway. Aside from its sleek exterior and Carlton Ritz-inspired interiors, its air ride suspension is also one of its unique features. With a push of a button, its air suspension turns this regular people-mover into an expert all-weather road warrior. Given its distinct suspension system, here are some useful tips on maintaining your vehicle's air ride suspension.
The first step in maintaining your car's air ride suspension is to check it for leaks. Check the air lines for possible leaks. These lines are responsible for distributing the air to its airbags, and they're also connected to the suspension systems mounting studs, upper bead plate, and pistons. To check for possible leaks in the system's air lines, mix a quart of water and dishwashing liquid in a spray bottle. Shake the bottle well and spray it over the lines. If bubbles appear, it's a clear indication of a leak. Some leaks may be difficult to detect, and you may need a special gauge to check them. Leaking parts such as fittings, air lines, or springs should be replaced immediately.
- Check the shock absorber's components.
Your car's shock absorbers are designed to work with the air ride suspension. Broken end connectors and leaking hydraulic oil may cause equipment failure. This could lead to a fatal road accident if you don't maintain them properly. Faulty shock absorbers can limit the vehicle's bounce and cause its chassis to hit the road. Worn-out and leaking shocks should be replaced immediately. Their mountings and height control valves must also be included during the inspection. These help the air spring work properly. Replace these parts if necessary.
- Maintain your vehicle's ride height.
All vehicles, including yours, maintain a correct ride height to ensure safety while on the road. Your vehicle owner's service manual specifies the recommended ride height, and it should be always at least ¼-inches from the road. It can be checked while the vehicle is either empty or loaded with passengers and cargo. If it's lower than the recommended height, have a professional check it for you. The air suspension's parts may need immediate replacement.
- Keep the air springs and other component clean at all times.
Keeping your vehicle clean also means cleaning the air ride suspension's air springs and other components. While inspecting the system for possible leaks or worn-out parts, don't forget to clean the system with an alcohol solution or soapy water. Cleaning these springs helps uncover exsiting problems, which aren't visible during a visual inspection. Isopropyl, ethyl, methyl alcohol, and a mixture of soap and water are the best solutions to clean these parts. Avoid using pressurized steam cleaners, abrasive, and organic solvents because they can damage their rubber parts. Clean these components at least once a year.
A comprehensive air ride suspension maintenance program is what your Mercedes Benz R500 needs. It will save you money on expensive repair bills and let you enjoy it for years to come.