I just bought a 2008 E550 4Matic from a "dealership." My car is leaning to the left. Specifically the drivers front corner. How did this happen 2 days after buying it?

Asked by Sep 07, 2015 at 04:03 PM about the 2008 Mercedes-Benz E-Class E 550 4MATIC

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I test drove the car on Wednesday,
then went back on Friday, test drove
it again then purchased it. I drove the
car around town on Friday (approx
15-20mi) and then 40mi one way.
The car sat until Sunday then drove
40mi home. The car sat for about an
hour. I walked outside and noticed
the car leaning to the left
dramatically. When I start the car the
display says to "wait car raising,"
then it clears to normal display. I
drove the car a few miles today and
it seems to level out but then as I
was pulling in to parking space it
gave me the red display "car too low,
stop." I got back into car, said to wait
again, then I drove a few miles home.
I understand it could be a leaking
strut or hose, a leveling sensor, need
calibrating or a couple other things. I
bought the car "as is" and they gave
me a 50/50 powertrain warranty
which means they'll cover 50% and I
cover 50%. I love the car and would
be ok with keeping it if it's a minor
fix. I guess technically I haven't
finished buying it cuz my wife is the
main person on the loan and she
hasn't signed anything yet. If it's a
major fix then I will fight to return it.
Also, is this something the dealer
could have hidden long enough to
sell?

6 Answers

232,115

All of the above. No way of telling if they "hid" the problem or not. You have an issue with the air suspension and one air spring can run around $600. So not a minor repair. Have the "dealership" replace it before you take it off the lot if your committed to it.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

That's what I thought but I was hoping someone might have some insight if I gave some good details. Thank you for taking the time to respond. I'm taking in to my mechanic in the morning to have him diagnose the problem. Depending on what he says, I'll decide what to do from there.

8,555

Tom is correct in his diagnosis. However, people assume that when you buy a car "as-is" you essentially have no warranty. That is not correct in certain circumstances. There is Federal Law that covers you if a vehicle is sold with a defect that "affects the safety and handling of the vehicle". The legal term is "implied suitability". It would be simple to have a mechanic or MB service department to sign a letter to that effect. You can assume the dealer is well of aware of this and may try to wiggle out of it - maybe ask you to pay 50% of the repair bill. Stick to your guns (figuratively) and demand full repair at their expense. This is the case in all states. I once had a nearly exact situation in one of my car purchase from a private owner wherein he had removed the dash light bulb that warns of a suspension failure. Could not afford an attorney so I just filed in small claims court. Of course I won and got the repair plus all my expenses, etc. As for hiding the suspension failure - you will likely not be able to prove it. But it is quite possible they started the car every morning to get the air pump working so everything would appear normal to a prospective buyer.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

I took it to my mechanic this morning and confirmed it was the air strut and the compressor was almost rusted out. He said it would be $1000-$4000 to repair, depending on what he found. What worried me was that the bad reviews I read about them all had to do with repairs after the purchase. I prepared myself for war and called the dealership. To my surprise they said no problem, this wasn't my fault! They told me to bring it in and they will cover 100% of the cost to fix it no matter what it is or how much it costs. They even put dealer plates on one of their cars and said we can drive it until the Benz is fixed. I was totally shocked. They have the car now and hopefully I'll be getting it back all repaired. Thanks Tom and bobkat for all your help!

8,555

I would propose that you go onto DealerRater.com and give them a very good rating. Then call them and let them know that you did this. A good reputable dealer, such as you have apparently found, very much appreciate when someone takes the time to rate them favorably. MANY dealers are on the dealer rater site.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

I BOUGHT A USED CAR FROM THE DEALER AND HAD THE SAME PROBLEM. IN MY CASE THE SPRINGS WERE BROKEN ON ONE SIDE. THE DEALER HAD JACKED THE CAR UP AND SET THE BROKEN SPRINGS ON EACH OTHER AND THE CAR APPEARED TO BE LEVEL. EITHER A POTHOLE OR DURING THE NIGHT THEY SLID BACK TO WHERE THEY WERE. I'M GUESSING THEY DID THE SAME THING TO YOU! I SPENT $1100 ON A $1500 CAR BUYING 4 NEW STRUT SPRINGS!

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