Date registered: Jun 2017
Vehicle: W210 E200K / S203 C220CDI / W169
Location: London, England.
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If your EC light won't go out that's because the system won't let the compressor run as rudeney mentioned. if you have no pressure in the system there's your answer. If I remember on the w203 if the system gets below the minimum of 22psi the compressor will be deactivated. All AC system lose pressure naturally over the years of somewhat around 10% +/- refrigerant per year. so if your system is slightly low that could be the cause if your A/C hasn't been serviced in a long time but if you have no pressure in the system then you got a leak, which would need to be rectified.
Once again as previously mentioned, even if you refill the system, the compressor wont activate which you can't tell on these like the conventional ones as the pulley always spins but a variable swash plate deflects the pistons inside... You could try a reset on your air con control panel? I seem to remember that on some w203 models but i forgot which ones, it can reset the low pressure fault stored. You have to hold the recirc and windscreen defrost buttons together and the system will do a self bite test and actuate all the vent flaps and bunch of other magic... the lights should stop flashing after 2-3 mins. if they don't then it means you have a permanent fault which needs to be read which mentioned in previous posts and it could even be something stupid like the temperature/pressure sensor.
If you have a leak, which sounds likely, theres many well documentated guides online to find and fix A/C leaks online across all forums, its pretty much generic and doesn't vary much for a Mercedes! its worth fixing yourself if you feel confident enough, as most places can quote you a price that may even be worth the value of you car.