What started out as a potential OUCH!!! that could/would develop into substantial sums of money developed into a reasonable repair.
As you can see from the photo the car has air springs (bellows) that hold up the car in the rear, in addition to shock absorbers. Needless to tell you that the air springs are in the same price range as the shock absorbers...it takes your breath away.
Notice the hose going from the bellow to the aluminum tank, we had a leak were the hose connects to the tank (red arrow), this tank is under the car, the clamp is at the lowest point, its a 10 year old car...something will corrode and start leaking.
Fortunately the clamp/fitting is easily accessible from under the car.
In hindsight it had probably been leaking for some time until it deteriorated to the point of the bellows no longer holding air, and the car becoming a low rider.
A word about our friendly mechanic, when we bring the car to his shop, we never ask for an estimate, its always a case of fix the car and tell me how much after its done. We have known each other for enough years, and we both know how much it costs to service and repair these cars.
Back in the day of old school mechanics when cars were repaired with initiative and imagination, parts were repaired if possible and not simply replaced. In this instance the joints (hose to tank) were repaired/resealed, although it would have been easy to turn it into a make work project quickly escalating into 4 figures.
In our case we do not have time to do searches, review forums to see what is probably wrong with the car, we have our own knowledge base, while relying on our friendly mechanic. Our priority is to have the car repaired, we have absolutely no patience for a car that does not perform as it should, and as we expect it to perform.
We were anticipating an ouch accompanied by a bruising, it turned into a minor irritant. The intricacies of the suspension on the E500.
The left outside rear view mirror was replaced (finally), and we had the oil changed did not need an oil changed, but fresh oil attenuates the lifters noise (remember the lifters?) especially in winter.
The video provides a "hands on" view of the bellows, the aluminum tanks, the hose from the bellow to the tank, the hose clamped to the tank, how it all fits together, the amount of labor that is involved, and the DAS to tell the car to refill the bellows.
We will continue...during the year