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DIY Paddle shift install W204 Facelift

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DIY Paddle shift install W204 Facelift

Old 07-27-2017, 03:19 PM
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DIY Paddle shift install W204 Facelift

Hey guys,

I recently installed paddle shifters on my 2013 C350 Coupe 4 matic. I never seen a DIY for that so I thought I would do one myself.

It was a hard and long install but I'm happy I did it!

I bought the paddles on ebay for $200CAD.

So, you need these tools to remove the steering wheel:
  • Torx key to remove the airbag
  • 10mm hex impact bit socket
  • A set of torx key to remove the steering wheel ground
  • A pair of plyers to remove the airbag connector and the steering wheel connector

And these tool to for the paddles install:
  • A drill to make the hole for the paddles bolts and for the wires
  • A dremel to make the holes to insert the paddle into
  • A set of torx key to remove the silver trim on the steering wheel
  • 2 bolts (under 20mm long)

I won't do a detailed DIY to remove the steering wheel since there's plenty of them online and on youtube. Basically, disconnect the battery and wait 30 minutes to ensure that there's no power left in the car.

Then, unlatch the airbag by pushing in the two openings on each side of the wheel. With the airbag detached, remove the connector with a pair of plyers and do the same for the steering wheel plug. Unscrew the steering ground with a torx key and then attack the big bolt with the impact hex socket. I was able to unscrew it without too much force with a ratchet but I had my impact ready.

With the steering wheel removed from the car, remove the silver trim by unscrewing 4 torx screw. 2 in the back of the steering wheel and 2 in the front behind the steering controls. (the black screws on the pic holding the silver part to the wheel)



Then disconnect the 2 connectors behind the steering controls.

With the silver trim remove, you gotta make 2 holes on each side of the wheel for both paddles. One to run the wire and the other to screw the paddle to the wheel. You got to make the hole where there's a round bump, right in the middle. The paddle is gonna be attached there. Next to it, make another hole for the wire.



Now to the hard part. Insert the paddle into the hole you made and mark around it to know where to cut with the dremel. I simply used a pen. And then, cut carefully inside the line with the dremel. Then, you gotta dig in the material with a dremel sand tool. You gotta do this process until you hit the steel.

Sand tool attachment I used:


The final result should look like this:


Then insert the paddle into the hole and screw it on. I messed up badly this part. The bolts I purchased were too long and I ended up breaking the downshift paddle green board inside it… so be careful about that. I ended up cutting the bolts with my dremel. I had to buy a new paddle at the dealer with the part number two days later and then remove the airbag and change the paddle again. (a $140CAD mistake)

So back to the install, with the paddle wire through the hole and the paddle bolted to the wheel run the wire with the other wires in the little clips.



At this steps, the connectors on the paddles I purchased were not fitting in my wheel. I had to cut the clip and some part on the connector to make it fit. It’s still really solid as the pins are long and I had trouble removing them after for my downshift paddle reinstall, so no worries for that.



Plug the paddles, reinstall the trim and reconnect the steering wheels modules. Screw the trim on the wheel and then reinstall the wheel and the airbag!



The result looks OEM to me. Here’s some pic.





It’s my first DIY, hope it helps some people!
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Old 07-27-2017, 03:47 PM
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NICE! And a bit *****'y!

But I'm a bit confused. Which trim / option combination where you don't have the steering wheel paddle shifters? I have a 2013 C350 4matic coupe, and it came with the steering paddles.
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Old 07-27-2017, 04:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Flarearrow View Post
NICE! And a bit *****'y!

But I'm a bit confused. Which trim / option combination where you don't have the steering wheel paddle shifters? I have a 2013 C350 4matic coupe, and it came with the steering paddles.
Mostly only the Sports Plus packages have them. It's quite rare on the C-Class.

OP, it looks like you did the newer style paddles too. Those are the ones usually found on the W205. I have a nice set of big aluminum replacement levers but they only fit those switches.

I still have my old wheel from when I swapped out for shifters. Perhaps I could do this mod and try for the newer paddles so I can finally use my levers.

Now that you have these it will be easier to drive in D6+Sport mode. It actually makes the car driveable. Another nice one is a short hold on the downshift. It will give you max power without the car having to think about it for an eternity. No manual mode though unless coded.
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Old 07-27-2017, 04:39 PM
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Originally Posted by michail71 View Post
Mostly only the Sports Plus packages have them. It's quite rare on the C-Class.

OP, it looks like you did the newer style paddles too. Those are the ones usually found on the W205. I have a nice set of big aluminum replacement levers but they only fit those switches.

I still have my old wheel from when I swapped out for shifters. Perhaps I could do this mod and try for the newer paddles so I can finally use my levers.

Now that you have these it will be easier to drive in D6+Sport mode. It actually makes the car driveable. Another nice one is a short hold on the downshift. It will give you max power without the car having to think about it for an eternity. No manual mode though unless coded.
Yeah that explains why the connectors didn't fit! I love the look of these paddles. They really looks well with the silver trim of the steering wheel.

Thanks for the tips and yeah I will have it coded after my extended warranty expires in 1 year!
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Old 07-27-2017, 05:11 PM
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These are the levers I got. But sadly they don't fit the switches standard to our model years.
Attached Thumbnails DIY Paddle shift install W204 Facelift-20160909_085858.jpg  
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Old 07-28-2017, 09:55 AM
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Lol I was supposed to do this DYI like a year ago, but I'm lazy. I guess I'll do it eventually since I got tons of pics and I did the AMG paddles. Good job.
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Old 07-28-2017, 10:45 AM
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I should do this as well. I wasn't able to sell my original wheel for $100 so it's just sitting in storage now.

I couldn't find any good listings on ebay for switches. But anything with some slight modifications should work.
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Old 07-28-2017, 10:53 AM
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Originally Posted by mykthex View Post
Yeah that explains why the connectors didn't fit! I love the look of these paddles. They really looks well with the silver trim of the steering wheel.

Thanks for the tips and yeah I will have it coded after my extended warranty expires in 1 year!
Where did you get the switches from and how much were they? I can't find much on ebay at the moment. I paid $80 for those levers so it would be nice if I could put them to use.
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Old 03-12-2018, 11:43 PM
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Originally Posted by mykthex View Post
Hey guys,

I recently installed paddle shifters on my 2013 C350 Coupe 4 matic. I never seen a DIY for that so I thought I would do one myself.

It was a hard and long install but I'm happy I did it!

I bought the paddles on ebay for $200CAD.

So, you need these tools to remove the steering wheel:
  • Torx key to remove the airbag
  • 10mm hex impact bit socket
  • A set of torx key to remove the steering wheel ground
  • A pair of plyers to remove the airbag connector and the steering wheel connector

And these tool to for the paddles install:
  • A drill to make the hole for the paddles bolts and for the wires
  • A dremel to make the holes to insert the paddle into
  • A set of torx key to remove the silver trim on the steering wheel
  • 2 bolts (under 20mm long)

I won't do a detailed DIY to remove the steering wheel since there's plenty of them online and on youtube. Basically, disconnect the battery and wait 30 minutes to ensure that there's no power left in the car.

Then, unlatch the airbag by pushing in the two openings on each side of the wheel. With the airbag detached, remove the connector with a pair of plyers and do the same for the steering wheel plug. Unscrew the steering ground with a torx key and then attack the big bolt with the impact hex socket. I was able to unscrew it without too much force with a ratchet but I had my impact ready.

With the steering wheel removed from the car, remove the silver trim by unscrewing 4 torx screw. 2 in the back of the steering wheel and 2 in the front behind the steering controls. (the black screws on the pic holding the silver part to the wheel)



Then disconnect the 2 connectors behind the steering controls.

With the silver trim remove, you gotta make 2 holes on each side of the wheel for both paddles. One to run the wire and the other to screw the paddle to the wheel. You got to make the hole where there's a round bump, right in the middle. The paddle is gonna be attached there. Next to it, make another hole for the wire.



Now to the hard part. Insert the paddle into the hole you made and mark around it to know where to cut with the dremel. I simply used a pen. And then, cut carefully inside the line with the dremel. Then, you gotta dig in the material with a dremel sand tool. You gotta do this process until you hit the steel.

Sand tool attachment I used:


The final result should look like this:


Then insert the paddle into the hole and screw it on. I messed up badly this part. The bolts I purchased were too long and I ended up breaking the downshift paddle green board inside it… so be careful about that. I ended up cutting the bolts with my dremel. I had to buy a new paddle at the dealer with the part number two days later and then remove the airbag and change the paddle again. (a $140CAD mistake)

So back to the install, with the paddle wire through the hole and the paddle bolted to the wheel run the wire with the other wires in the little clips.



At this steps, the connectors on the paddles I purchased were not fitting in my wheel. I had to cut the clip and some part on the connector to make it fit. It’s still really solid as the pins are long and I had trouble removing them after for my downshift paddle reinstall, so no worries for that.



Plug the paddles, reinstall the trim and reconnect the steering wheels modules. Screw the trim on the wheel and then reinstall the wheel and the airbag!



The result looks OEM to me. Here’s some pic.





It’s my first DIY, hope it helps some people!
how did you get the paddle shifters to work? i heard that if your car doesn't come with them to begin with, then you have to go to the dealership and have your car programmed to get the shifters to work with the transmission?
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Old 03-13-2018, 01:31 AM
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Looks great, lucky you they worked right off the bat, I wasnt so lucky, 3 different dealerships weren't able to code my paddles..My last hope is to go see this mercedes specialist that isn't too far. Like the dealer said, I need a "hacker" ... ffs.
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Old 03-13-2018, 07:43 PM
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Originally Posted by mykthex View Post
Yeah that explains why the connectors didn't fit! I love the look of these paddles. They really looks well with the silver trim of the steering wheel.

Thanks for the tips and yeah I will have it coded after my extended warranty expires in 1 year!
Where/how do you get the manual shift mode coded into your transmission? I have the 2014 C350 Coupe with sports plus package and shift paddles but no manual mode! I hate the automatic downshifts! Do you know any service that can do it online or not in person? Unfortunately here in Vancouver, BC, there isn't much aftermarket tuning options for these cars.
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Old 03-14-2018, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by bowenxue98 View Post
Where/how do you get the manual shift mode coded into your transmission? I have the 2014 C350 Coupe with sports plus package and shift paddles but no manual mode! I hate the automatic downshifts! Do you know any service that can do it online or not in person? Unfortunately here in Vancouver, BC, there isn't much aftermarket tuning options for these cars.
My warranty is still active so I did not get the manual shift mode coded. The paddles did work out of the box. I feel you for the automatic downshift, it's ridiculous.

Indeed, there is no aftermarket options for these cars .. even worse for mine (C350 Coupe 4matic). I'm also located in Canada.
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Old 03-14-2018, 04:16 PM
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I read somewhere that for facelift cars (2012-2014), if the car has the Sport trim, the paddle shifters will work right away without any need for programming. Only the manual mode will require the programming.
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Old 03-14-2018, 04:20 PM
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Originally Posted by xsever View Post
I read somewhere that for facelift cars (2012-2014), if the car has the Sport trim, the paddle shifters will work right away without any need for programming. Only the manual mode will require the programming.
I have the Sport trim indeed and they worked right away.
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Old 03-15-2018, 06:47 AM
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Sorry to intrude on your thread, but is it easy to remove the paddles from a steering wheel and cover up the holes they leave?
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Old 03-15-2018, 09:54 AM
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Removing the paddles is easy, but covering the holes is impossible. As you can see on the picture, he holes are pretty big, I have no idea how you would cover those.
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Old 03-15-2018, 10:13 AM
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Originally Posted by mykthex View Post
Removing the paddles is easy, but covering the holes is impossible. As you can see on the picture, he holes are pretty big, I have no idea how you would cover those.
Yeah, I dont mean to make them invisible. But maybe there is some plastic covers or something like that.
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Old 03-15-2018, 10:04 PM
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What was the part number for the paddles?
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Old 03-18-2018, 10:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Silver_Arrows View Post
What was the part number for the paddles?
I think that these are the right ones

https://www.ebay.com/itm/MERCEDES-BE...BYbnWK&vxp=mtr
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Old 12-19-2018, 04:04 AM
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Originally Posted by mykthex View Post
Removing the paddles is easy, but covering the holes is impossible. As you can see on the picture, he holes are pretty big, I have no idea how you would cover those.
Just to confirm, the hole for the screw had to go through the aluminum structure of the steering wheel right? So you used a drill and a bit to create the hole?
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Old 12-19-2018, 09:50 AM
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Originally Posted by xsever View Post
Just to confirm, the hole for the screw had to go through the aluminum structure of the steering wheel right? So you used a drill and a bit to create the hole?
Actually, the hole was already there in the aluminum. That's how you know where the paddle go, all you have to do is drill the plastic in the hole.
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Old 12-19-2018, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by mykthex View Post
Actually, the hole was already there in the aluminum. That's how you know where the paddle go, all you have to do is drill the plastic in the hole.
Ok I see. So if the whole is there, why did you have to empty out some of the steering wheel material with the dremel? Was that so the paddles rest flush with the steering wheel surface? I am asking because another user on the forum said that he only used a soldering iron to make the holes and that's it. He didn't have to hollow out the space for the paddles with a dremel.

Can you please shed some more light on that? Thanks.
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Old 12-19-2018, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by xsever View Post
Ok I see. So if the whole is there, why did you have to empty out some of the steering wheel material with the dremel? Was that so the paddles rest flush with the steering wheel surface? I am asking because another user on the forum said that he only used a soldering iron to make the holes and that's it. He didn't have to hollow out the space for the paddles with a dremel.

Can you please shed some more light on that? Thanks.
The hole for the screw is alreay there, but there's not hole for the paddle structure. The paddle itself is embedded into the steering wheel.
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Old 12-19-2018, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by mykthex View Post
The hole for the screw is alreay there, but there's not hole for the paddle structure. The paddle itself is embedded into the steering wheel.
So screwing the paddle to the steering wheel via the drilled hole without using the dremel to make room for it will result in what? The paddle not being flush with the steering wheel surface?
I just want to know what will happen if I don't do the dremel part.
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Old 12-19-2018, 10:30 AM
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Originally Posted by xsever View Post
So screwing the paddle to the steering wheel via the drilled hole without using the dremel to make room for it will result in what? The paddle not being flush with the steering wheel surface?
I just want to know what will happen if I don't do the dremel part.
It won't be flush indeed, and probably will move/rotate a lot since there's only one screw in the center.
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