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MB Coding Possible?

 
Old 01-29-2019, 05:21 PM
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Red face MB Coding Possible?

Hello All!!
I am new to the world of Mercedes- Benz as I have owned (and still do) own several BMWs.

I have been able to program various features that are utherwise not available in the US or was not sold as apart of the inital package for the BMWs. As well as update the software for the brain of the vehicle and improving various functions - kinda like bug fixes if you will.

I have been searching trying to find similar guidance for the same type of thing for the MB but to no avail, why is that exactly? Can someone either point me in the right direction or explain why it is not possible.

Thanks!
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Old 01-29-2019, 07:12 PM
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For year/model - on the Performance Side there are ECU tunes and "Piggy-Back" tuners that can be available - best to start with RennTech to research and go from there - and Function Side by year/model there can be certain added function or settings that can be modified with a OBD 3rd party module - and eBay is a good place to start with that with the best OBD module guy on eBay is Vladimir from Belarus
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Old 01-29-2019, 08:21 PM
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Hi Avi8tor, I am in the same boat as you. The MB world is a lot different than BMW. I use to do my own coding as well. For MB, it seems you need their Star control box to connect to the car instead of a simple OBD2 cable. The chinese star boxes are the most affordable but still pricey. I was estimating like $600 to get started. Then there is not a lot of support on here to help you through it. It seems there are a few that know how to do it, but they would rather charge ridiculous prices than pass it along to everyone. The ebay stuff is an option, but to me is a risk and still pricey. they want like $140 to activate video in motion (something I did on my BMW for the price of the $7 cable). Good luck, and let me know if you find anything different.
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Old 01-30-2019, 02:24 AM
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Frankly the "tech" on new Gen MB's is a bit more sophisticated the past-Gen BMW - and you will be disappointed if you gear-up with hacked-Star-system - you won't find the "hidden features" you would like to think that are there....

On accessory feature activation - the well designed OBD plug-in's correctly modify the car coding - again Vladimir is the got-to on eBay - with your VIN he will be able to tell you what is-and-is-not possible in this realm for your MB..
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Old 01-30-2019, 07:05 AM
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Originally Posted by fabbrisd1 View Post
Frankly the "tech" on new Gen MB's is a bit more sophisticated the past-Gen BMW - and you will be disappointed if you gear-up with hacked-Star-system - you won't find the "hidden features" you would like to think that are there....

On accessory feature activation - the well designed OBD plug-in's correctly modify the car coding - again Vladimir is the got-to on eBay - with your VIN he will be able to tell you what is-and-is-not possible in this realm for your MB..
The infotainment system in the mercedes is no where near the same level as the BMW. Though I hear they improved it in the new models. I'm not referring to past-gen BMW's, the availability to code is on all generations, and there are unlimited options to code unlike the 4 options offered by these ebay modules...
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Old 01-31-2019, 04:33 PM
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Thanks guys. I have done more digging and I am quite disappointed with what I had found.

It would appear that the scope is rather limited in what can be done and the cost of entry just simply does not justify it.

I had assumed that the level of control (if you will) of the on board computer was at the same level of a BMW but apparently not quite yet.

kapkanimd knows what I am speaking of and understands with the BMW'S system how code refinement and subsequent OS updates improves or even adds feature sets to the Bavarian Machine.

Sadly for the most part this is not the case with MB.

Thanks everyone for your help!

Last edited by Avi8tor; 01-31-2019 at 05:00 PM.
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Old 01-31-2019, 04:54 PM
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MB tries to keep messing with car computers in house...
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Old 01-31-2019, 04:58 PM
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Originally Posted by ygmn View Post
MB tries to keep messing with car computers in house...
So does BMW.
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Old 01-31-2019, 06:22 PM
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In the '90's the Mercedes wiring harness for a year/model was the same for all vehicles built that year - so later you wanted to "add" a options you didn't have - it was quite possible you could get the hardware and plug in. Now - the wiring harness for a particular MB is made specific to the features that specific MB will have - yes, adding "options" later doesn't work like it did in the '90's

Operating systems are now moving forward to being "linked" to that specific VIN# - in a similar fashion - so in essence there isn't anything "extra" pre-coded and waiting in there for someone to fuss with.

This even has affected dealers more so - and in this emerging system environment - what used to be menu coded/reprogrammed from Star/Xentry - lets says Climate Control coding has become corrupted - thru the cloud often now that can only be redone by requesting specific unlock code for that VIN for that feature - or increasingly can only be done by online-from-MB for that car - and usually the "cloud" stuff tends to be dead slow for the update.

The good news - the next generation is being designed so that cloud stuff can be done remote - direct with your MB - so at-home-or-office updates to your MB will be done.

There are coders - specifically the E-Euro guys seem to be best so far - that can offer OBD coding modules that can "add" or "modify" certain features (depending on yr/model)... we will see what we will see
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Old 02-01-2019, 08:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Avi8tor View Post


So does BMW.
Guess MB does better job?
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Old 02-04-2019, 09:12 PM
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That clears up a lot. Thanks for explaining this to me!!
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Old 02-11-2019, 10:47 AM
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yes, the only way to "code" your Mercedes is with a mb oem or clone MUX (SDS system), with laptop running xentry or a few other programs. Yes it costs money to setup because it costs money to get. People don't give it out for free because they have to pay for it. So they want to try to make money back to at least cover their expense. That is what I did.

I run a coding business for Mercedes in the Domestic USA. Most items generally come standard on Mercedes already. for items you want to add, generally hardware and more knowledge is needed than just a plug and play solution.


you can buy a clone sds for around $400 but then you need to add a dedicated laptop. so yes cost of entry is larger, but this also gives you even more access than BMW if you know what you are doing. it takes years of learning to be able to modify things safely. that is why people charge. but its worthwhile if you want to learn. I can help you if wanted, but certain things will always cost money especially since Mercedes server access is required for a lot of things now.
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Old 02-11-2019, 09:00 PM
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Star4life thank you for filling in some of the blanks. This matches up with what I was told by a MB/BMW Master Tech a few days ago. The long and short of it was that he felt the BMW system was far superior than MB's and way less cumbersome. He said the MB server access etc was a pain and was prone to causing way more system bricking require new parts than BMW'S. He also cautioned against the chinese star boxes for the same reason.

I now understand the differences in both machines and appreciate the higher cost of entry to code a MB and deeper knowledge required.

Thanks again all for helping me appreciate the difference.
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Old 02-11-2019, 11:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Avi8tor View Post
Star4life thank you for filling in some of the blanks. This matches up with what I was told by a MB/BMW Master Tech a few days ago. The long and short of it was that he felt the BMW system was far superior than MB's and way less cumbersome. He said the MB server access etc was a pain and was prone to causing way more system bricking require new parts than BMW'S. He also cautioned against the chinese star boxes for the same reason.

I now understand the differences in both machines and appreciate the higher cost of entry to code a MB and deeper knowledge required.

Thanks again all for helping me appreciate the difference.
i wouldn't be scared away from clones. as long as you get a good one and test it a while before performing any software updates chances of bricking modules is low.

i can get you an oem unit if you prefer but will set you back a few thousand. or you can use the new vci which is same price range. depends on how much coding you want done, but it may be cheaper jsut to pay someone such as myself, who has one and who has the experience as the learning curve is large.
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Old 02-19-2019, 05:44 PM
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I'd like to get a better idea and appreciation for what kind of options can be coded on the W205. On BMW's, the options are quite readily laid out by model on sites like Bimmercode, for example. For the cost of about $75 (OBD adapter and cost of phone app), I've been able to customize a number of options on my own that, on the whole, have made it more than worth it.
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Old 02-19-2019, 05:58 PM
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Mercedes cls 250 W218

My local mechanic has Star/Xentry and I had him update the software for my 2013 CLS 250 CDI. He charges per update though so I only done the engine. MPG has improved slightly. Considering Command and Gearbox updates also. Shame it's per update would like to just update everything. He showed me the system and he had to enter the reason for the update and it all goes back to Merc HQ.
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