These are no ordinary springs…
So as the owner of a Mercedes-Benz E class with air suspension you will know that things have moved on from the old days. No more do we find a coiled up piece of heavy steel wire holding our car at a fixed height with no compensation for heavy loads. If you own an E class estate then this is even more so the case with the air suspension system auto levelling and compensating both ride height and comfort to match your vehicle load. Have a look at the original Bilstein solution below in contrast to the air spring module in your car.
Old versus New – Conventional Coil Spring beside a new Bilstein B3 Air Spring unit
Things used to be a little simpler with coil spring based rear suspension and in fairness to Mercedes-Benz and Bilstein their innovations in partnership developing suspensions systems are unrivalled, these systems have simply set the standard for decades. The pervasive use of microprocessors in our modern vehicles set the path for auto levelling air suspension and of course this partnership between Bilstein and Mercedes-Benz is at the cutting edge again but you know this already.
Bilstein B3 air spring & accumulator as found in Mercedes-Benz S211 E Class Estate
What we get as a result is a super refined spring and damper solution that provides the comfort you have come to expect from your E class. Like anything in life however if you use a big enough hammer you will break it! Not literally of course but the driving regime in Irish and UK roads is harsh, a combination of hot and cold but mostly wet thanks to our temperate climate. Add to this the abrasive contamination from mud and grit and a dose of salt to thaw winter roads, rough pavements and yeah, this is the harsh environment these springs must survive. Like it or not these springs, as with any component of your car despite some of the best engineering on the planet have a finite life and must be serviced from time to time.
Proceed with care!
A word of caution however; these are very complex systems and are radically different to a steel spring installatioin. Replacing an air spring on your E class is not a job for the kerbside on a Saturday morning. No, this is a procedure that requires knowledge of modern suspension systems, diagnostic systems, some special service tools and plenty of guidance. At OTTO we have observed empirically a radical difference in predictable lifespan in certain car parts between original factory assembly and when replaced in the after market. Front and centre in this list of clutches, flywheels, brake systems and some emissions components is the air spring. Our advice to you is to have these replaced by a specialist with the tools and equipment for the job. The pit-falls are grave as any issue normally results in the total and catastrophic failure of the replacement spring, read: costly!
As is our wont in OTTO we present our extensive experience and technical knowledge alongside the best OE components your money can buy. Here we have assembled some written guidance and a video to explain the change out process. This is our gift to you as distinct from any kind of guarantee as ultimately an in depth understanding of the spring’s mechanical, pneumatic and electronic characteristics added to much experience in suspension service and reassembly is a prerequisite to any work.
Pay careful attention to the procedure and equipment required for this job!
Click on the images (below) to open installation instructions in a new window
Call or visit any of our OTTO branches nationwide to check Bilstein B3 air spring suitability for your E class, details available for each branch by clicking on the Branch Locator button below.