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January 5, 2022

Owning a Mercedes is enjoyable, but it’s a whole different experience to drive W220 Airmatic. It’s hard to describe the comfort with words – you certainly have to sit in the car and feel everything yourself. If you’re lucky to own W220 and you’re worried that it doesn’t have the air suspension, I have good news, my friend, the chances are it comes with an Airmatic.

But we can’t play a guessing game – we need to know whether your car has W220 Airlift suspension or not. You can figure that out yourself – you just have to grasp where to search for that information.

Today you’ll learn what is the Airmatic, why do people rave about it, and what you can do to check if your W220 has this system.

What is the W220 Airmatic system?

W220 air matic suspension is the system that regulates the height of the vehicle via air pumps that are located near each wheel.

If you’re not familiar with automotive terminology, it can be slightly hard to understand the peculiarities of this system. But I’ll still do my best to explain it in the simplest way possible.

As mentioned, W220 Pneumatic suspension utilizes the air to lower or lift the vehicle. The air is trapped in the air compressor that releases and locks the flow whenever needed. The valve distribution unit is responsible for transferring the air from the compressor to the actual air struts.

Since the car needs some space to store the necessary air, it usually has a specific reservoir that contains the necessary amount of air.

So, how does the airmatic system work? The Airmatic is a computerized system that automatically regulates the height and angle of the vehicle with the help of a sensor or two. If you’re on a bumpy road and you don’t want every rock stuck in the internal system of your vehicle, the Airmatic will lift the body and prevent damage.

Of course, it wouldn’t be possible to regulate the height automatically without a control unit involved in the business. Here we have the Level Control Valve Unit, responsible for main tasks connected with leveling. It supplies the front and rear air bags with the necessary air and takes care of suspension adjustment.

Since Airmatic is a large system, it’s usually located at the bottom of the vehicle. Unlike the good ol’ spring suspension, the Airmatic is way smoother and offers a more enjoyable ride.

Air suspension seems pretty cool, doesn’t it? – well, it certainly is. It’s not perfect but it does outperform other suspension types available on the market currently

The advantages of W220 Air suspension

Everything about w220 Airmatic suspension

The advantages of the Mercedes Airmatic are what makes it so innovative and desirable to this day. The first models were developed in the early 2000s, but the manufacturers have done their best to improve the suspension even more.

The perks of air suspension include:

  • Automatic regulation on bumpy roads to prevent damage;
  • Great location of the center of gravity to avoid rollover;
  • Indicator lights that notify you if the vehicle is too low;
  • The ability to customize the suspension to a certain extent (you can choose the damping level depending on your driving habits);
  • Enables you to drive at higher speeds safely.

These are just some of the main benefits of owning a car with an air suspension system. However, it’s an expensive treat. Not only is the whole Airmatic pricey, but the repairs are quite costly as well. God forbid one of the valves breaks down or the Level Control Valve Unit stops doing its job.

You’ll have to pay serious money to repair the damage. Therefore, if you own the W220 air ride suspension, take really good care of it.
Some parts are more susceptible to damage (it depends on the model of your car as well) than others, but either way, you have to remain cautious.

Airmatic VS ABC suspension

Figuring out whether your W220 has the Airmatic is a bit tricky. The reason is simple – all the W220 models have Airmatic but certain makes come with optional ABC (Active Body Control) suspension.

These two are quite different from one another. As you know, Airmatic relies solely on air to regulate the height of the vehicle. The ABC, on the other hand, is a hydraulic suspension system. It is controlled by a computer.

The hydraulic suspension means that we have four individual dampers that are filled with hydraulic liquid. It applies pressure to these dampers to lift and lower the vehicle. With the assistance of ABC, computer controls the whole system.

If we compare the reliability of the Airmatic and ABC systems, we’ll notice that the latter is slightly more advanced. However, it’s quite rare and is included only with specific W220 models.

How to figure it out if Mercedes W220 has Airmatic?

Does w220 have Airmatic?

There are a couple of ways to figure out whether your W220 has the Airmatic or ABC suspension. In the majority of cases, you can find that information in the car itself.

  1. Before you start scrutinizing the parts under the hood, it’s more reasonable to check the button on the center console. If you notice a diagram displaying a spring with arrows, then your car has the W220 Airmatic. In case a vehicle has ABC, then the button will say ABC Sport.
  2. If you can’t get the necessary information from the previous step, you can lift the hood and examine the interior. Take a close look at the shock absorber. If you see separate air lines coming from this unit, then your vehicle has Airmatic. With ABC, you’ll generally notice black electrical plugs. They are connected with the shock absorber.
  3. ABC is a bit rare on S-Class models, but it was included in the majority of S600, S55, S63, and S65 models.

These three steps should be enough to verify that your car has W220 Airlift Suspension.

Other models that have an Airmatic system

If you don’t have W220 and you’re planning on getting a Mercedes, it will be a great idea to invest in a model that comes with the Airmatic system. If you can afford it, it’s certainly worth the money.

The Airmatic is included in the modern C-Class models, as well as S-Class, S-Class Maybach, and GLS SUV. No matter what type of car you prefer, you certainly have options.

W220 air matic suspension is certainly quite convenient and if you already own this car, you probably know what I’m talking about. As a rule, people who experience the perks of the Airmatic have a hard time coming back to other suspension systems.

How to improve the performance of W220 Pneumatic suspension?

W220 Air suspension is great, but it’s not perfect. You can improve its performance even more with a specific tool. It will make the whole experience even more customizable and, thus, tailor the height of the car to your preferences.

I’m talking about the Mercedes lowering device which can easily lift or lower the chassis of your vehicle. Even though the Airmatic itself enables you to change the settings, it’s not that flexible.

With this module, you get the chance to choose between three options: Factory, Low, and Custom. Once you select the desired setting, you’ll see the results immediately.

Mercedes lowering module makes the level calibration easy. You won’t have to take apart the whole vehicle to modify the suspension. All you’ll need to do is connect the tool via OBD or universal OBD II system.

After installation, you can reset the factory settings and choose the custom mode, or you could select the Low mode from the beginning. This device gives you a lot of options and makes it easy to tailor your car to your needs and preferences.

If you love to drive at higher speeds, the Mercedes lowering module will certainly help you maintain lower suspension and avoid rollover. Once you add the flexibility of this tool to the reliability of the Airmatic, you end up with a vehicle that is really hard to compete with.


W220 Air ride suspension is an innovative system that delivers a different, more pleasurable experience. Even though it’s not cheap, it is certainly worth the money. Anyone who has driven this car or other models with air suspension will agree with me without hesitation.

The fact that you can improve the performance of this system with the lowering module is yet another advantage. Airmatic is all about the pleasure and convenience of the driver. Enjoy!

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