Mercedes-Benz Forum - View Single Post - 2003 S500 climate control bezel
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 01-14-2019, 05:22 PM
BenzWorld Elite
Date registered: May 2016
Vehicle: 2000 S430, 2003 S430, 2003 S600 TT, and 2005 E320 CDI
Location: USA
Posts: 3,973
Mentioned: 188 Post(s)
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Originally Posted by Dave2302 View Post
Hi John,

I wouldn't personally try getting the button off, it could well result in breakage, (although I've never needed to see whether this is possible).

It is very easy to change a CC Panel, just a few self tapping small torx screws and some wiring plugs to disconnect, been a while but there will be instructions in the Encyclopaedia A/C section

And yes SDS is as essential for W220 as it is for a W221, the difference being that the W221 has a few jobs that you can't do without a subscription to MB Server, and the W222 has even more !!
The W220 is one of the last platform of MB Cars that the Clone SDS will actually do just about everything

Basically now, the newer the Model of MB the less we can do, even I would struggle with a W222 on some jobs, and I can actually get Server Access on my newest SDS Machine via a 3rd Party if and when needed
@cowboyt will tell you how much buying SDS has saved him on his 4(?) MB's over the last few years, and he isn't exaggerating either

It's in the neighborhood of US $50,000 now. Dave's right, that's no exaggeration, either. If I had to take my cars to the shop for everything I've done to them, I'd be living out of one of them right now.

For M-B vehicles, I won't go beyond the 2006 model year, for reasons of maintenance "DIY" ability.

Originally Posted by Barmaley View Post
Hi John,

May I ask you to elaborate more on the subject? I am thinking on switching to w221 but so far S220 is doing the job. However, the style is getting old and I am getting a feeling of cheapo in the body.
Originally Posted by Jtc63701 View Post
HI Barmaley,

First I'm going to have to respectfully disagree that the W220 is looking "cheapo." "Classic," maybe? Otherwise I wouldn't have 2 of them. Grin. Honestly, I was really torn between the W220 and W221, mainly because I like them both very much in their own ways, so I considered a clean, low-mileage, 4Matic version of either/both. One of my consideration points was hearing again and again from trusted folks that the W220 is easier/more possible to work on oneself, and I am a DIY'er. Next time I'm ready for a different vehicle I'm sure I'll go with the W221 and invest in a dealer quality diagnostic/repair system.

Can you tell me a little more about your experience with W220? How long owned, mileage, repairs, do you DIY, etc.?

I'll add my voice to the DIY chorus. It's coming up now on 3 years that I've been working on W220's, starting with my Dad's, but really it's the project 2000 S500 and the 2003 S600 that have taught me the most. Yes, even the S600 TT is very DIY'able if you have SDS.

The reason I won't go beyond 2006 with M-B vehicles is due to the DIY issue. MB are deliberately making it harder for us DIY'ers to work on our own cars. See, with the W221, you start getting into some evil machination that MB came up called "SCN codes". Wanna replace a module on your car? Gotta have this "SCN code" with the newer Benzes, and those come only from MB's computer servers in Germany. Not good. My W220's don't have such an onerous requirement, thus easier to DIY. Also, the 7-speed (722.9) transmission is harder to DIY, apparently also by design, so I stick with the 5-speed (722.6). To me, lower-maintenance is a good thing, and the W220 + 722.6 gives me that.

Mileage of my various Benzes:

1.) 2000 S430 (Dad's car), 86,500 miles
2.) 2000 S500 (the project car, owned by my wife-to-be), 139,600 miles
3.) 2003 S430 (the "extra" W220), 153,000 miles
4.) 2003 S600 TT (the "sports car"), 173,000 miles
5.) 2005 E320 CDI (the luxo-econobox), 142,000 miles

All of them run beautifully. It's just a matter of getting them into good repair. You get a W220 in good repair, it's pretty easy to keep it that way. Both of the S430's are nearly Honda-like in their reliability. The S600 TT and S500 are pretty darn close as well. The S500, being the project car, is where I've done my experiments, hence the '03 S430, "the extra W220".

Which is my favourite one? First, Dad's car, because it's Dad's car, and as a major car guy, he kept it up exceedingly well. After that...well, the S600, of course! :-) Oh, what a wonderful car to drive!

Which one would I grab the keys first for a long trip? That's a toss-up between either the '05 E320 CDI and the '03 S430. Of the W220's, though, it'd be the '03 S430; Dad's car is reserved for special occasions, otherwise it'd be that car. Dad's car indeed was my daily driver for several months after his passing, after I finished the front suspension overhaul, and it is *so* comfy. The '03 S430 then became it for a while, and the fiance' also drove it a lot while the project S500 was undergoing its various experiments (she's back in the S500 now). I also frequently drive the S600, as you've likely guessed.

At this point, I would trust *any* of them, coast-to-coast, even without having a cell phone. That's my definition of "good repair".

As for the W220's looks...I agree with you; I would hardly call it "cheapo", though the rear end was clearly inspired by the 1994 USA-model Honda Accord. With that said, the car has sleek, modern, "smooth" styling without being ostentatious. I rather like it. The W221 hasn't quite grown on me, though the W222's styling does catch my fancy. But the W220 really does have a "classic" look. To me, it's like the European woman who knows how to be elegant and is confident in her womanhood. She doesn't need to shout it out ; it's simply there, sort like the difference between, say, Monica Bellucci or Sophie Marceau, vs. the more American styles of Miley Cyrus or Beyonce'. The W220's like the former two, simply projecting its sexiness and confidence in the most tasteful of manners.
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