The Mercedes-Benz E Class W210, 1995-2003, was preceded by the W124. The new vehicle was noticed for both functional advancements, such as the “Touch Shift” feature and the navigational steering wheel controls, as well as its redesigned aesthetics, from grill to interior. Like any new vehicle, however, this E Class demonstrates a few common problems, such as repeat broken springs.
Some owners have reported a thumping sound when driving on even slightly rough roads. Frequently, this is due to both of the front springs breaking, and they usually snap a couple inches from the bottom. This problem, especially in repetition, seems to be most prevalent in high mileage vehicles. The springs might be faulty due to improper heat treatment, but rust also seems to exasperate the issue. Driving habits and patterns do not seem to be a factor.
This malfunction is oftentimes confused with faulty shocks, but in the event of such noises, the shocks need to be checked, too. They might also be in need of replacement and should not be ignored. This being said, this is not a do-it-yourself project for most owners. The entire hub assembly needs to be removed, and the axle shafts and steering knuckles need to be taken off. Unfortunately, this can result in high labor costs.
For affordable yet expert assistance, we recommend an independent German auto mechanic. These technicians will be able to tell you, for example, if you could save on labor costs by changing the shocks and springs at the same time. They’ll have the proper tools for and experience with your W210 in order to be quick yet accurate.
Search for a local, independent Mercedes-Benz repair shop with Mercedes-Benz mechanics that have dealer-level expertise at a fraction of the expense.