Date registered: Jul 2012
Vehicle: 2004 S430 4Matic & 2001 SLK320
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OK, just in case anyone else has this issue. You can buy a new OEM regulator from autohausaz.com for about $120.00 The mechanic had told me that the replacement regulator was different from the existing blower and the entire blower would need replaced as well. He said he was going off of Mercedes Benz notices for this model. This turns out to be blatantly incorrect. A replacement OEM regulator works just fine with the existing blower.
Getting to the regulator is a bit difficult. It is located in the passenger front footwell below the glove box. You first need to remove the upper molding from below the glove box, then the lower molding. There are two 8MM bolts and one Phillips screw holding this in place. Once this is removed, it takes some acrobatics to see up under there. I found pushing the seat all the way back, and reclining the seat all of the way down allowed me to lie on my back and look directly up at where I needed to be.
Once looking up, forget about the two rectangular boxes on the 1/2 nearest the transmission you do not need to touch these, although they look tantalizingly like you should. Focus on other half nearest the outside of the car. Although it does not look like it, that is a lid held in place by five torx screws. Remove the five torx screws, and pop the little lid down. Once you have done this, you are looking directly up at both the regulator and the blower.
I only replaced the regulator, but it is a piece of cake to get out. Once again, a torx screw driver is needed. A short one will be needed on the screw nearest the firewall as the slope of the footwell prevents a long torx screw driver to work. Thus, I had to buy a shorty at the hardware store. Once it is out, you can easily remove the two plugs, I assume you could remove the plugs first if you wanted to, but I did not want this thing to hit me in the face so I used the wires to prevent it from dropping.
To put it back in, reverse the procedure. Took me about four hours, but in reality an hour and half were wasted going back and forth to a hardware store for the torx, and a good 45 minutes was wasted just figuring out where things were. I am confident I could do it know in less than hour.
The mechanic, quoted me 1400. He wanted something 350 for the regulator which I got online for 1/3 of that, 800 for the blower which I did not need and labor was the remainder. You won't need the blower, and the labor should only really be an hour or less.
So if this helps anyone, there you are.