, what follows is offered as hints and suggestions to maximize your enjoyment of this forum, and minimize criticism that may catch you off guard. In contrast to the TOU, these additions aren't rigid “rules” – but after several years of observations, and having made new guy mistakes myself, here are my two cents.
First: What does this forum encompass?
The audio portion is simple: Anything attached to your car's audio system
, including COMAND and AudioXX head units, CD changers, telephone systems, USB and smartcard readers, amplifiers, Tel-Aid and MBRACE systems, Sirius receivers, and of course, navigation systems - including 3rd party, if we can help. It encompasses Telematics
- that is, telecommunications, sensors, instrumentation, wireless communications, etc., and computer science (multimedia, Internet, etc.) applicable to our cars as they relate to road or vehicular safety.
It does NOT encompass a malfunctioning item that just happens to be electrical
- i.e., a window switch, dashboard switch, blown fuse, the electronic control units for a particular subsystem (e.g., door control unit, ECU, ABC, Airmatic controls). Those questions are better suited to the forum for the specific kind of vehicle, where more members may be directly familiar with such issues.
Second: What are "Stickies"?
Occasionally you may be referred to something called a "sticky." You are reading one now! They are threads located in the blue background at the top of each forum page; their title begins with "STICKY
:" To the right of the thread title there is a blue "stick pin" symbol. Stickies do not move down the page as the age, because they contain information that is important to your successful use of the forum, or because they contain information that has been of frequent and recurring interest to members.
Good things to do (Please):
1) Complete your profile. You will help contributors to answer your questions. Please provide the year and model of your car, and at least the continent you live on. If you have several Benzes in your profile, specify which one you’re talking about. The proper answer to your question can vary widely based on this information.
2) Use the search tool; the advanced search is especially helpful. You are probably not the first person to experience the problem, and some true experts may already have answered it – sometimes, they have answered many times. Plus, if the answer is already there, you have it sooner!
3) If you have searched, but not found the answer, it helps if you say so. That keeps curmudgeons like me from saying “Welcome to the forum; the search tool is your friend,” and ending the response there. Even worse, it may avoid someone telling you to "STFF."
4) If you find a thread that seems to deal with your problem, read all of it. It is astounding how many people will simply see someone say “please e-mail me (item XYZ),” then skip to the end of the thread and say “please e-mail it to me too” – when the answer was already in the middle of the thread because some kind soul wrote the whole answer out to avoid all the e-mail requests.
5) Be sure to research an issue before you send someone an e-mail or a private message (PM) on a topic. I must confess frustration when I or another member have poured days into writing some fairly extensive posts such as the How-To Guide on Cell Phones (a sticky right at the top of this forum), only to have someone take up limited PM space with “I just bought a (model, year) Mercedes – how do I put Bluetooth in it?” - Bad form. Sure, if the post not clear, or you have a particularly difficult problem, PM is proper. But at least read what’s already there, first. Even worse is putting up a post and immediately sending someone a private message with the same question; and worse yet, sending a PM with a question that hasn't been posted on the open forum at all. Give the members a little time to respond on the open forum (where others who may have the problem can also see the answer).
6) Instead of re-opening a 3 year old thread that hasn’t had activity for 2 years, you’ll have better luck starting a new thread.
7) This won’t apply to most, but it will apply to some, especially in the U.S.: Use good English, and make an effort at proper punctuation. This is an international forum. Avoid run-on, stream-of-thought, unpunctuated garbage. Avoid “street talk” or some takeoff on what you believe is spoken in the "‘hood" somewhere – you may think it’s cool, but it’s not. It’s just rude. For an example of this, see https://www.benzworld.org/forums/audi...-no-radio.html
. Some of our best and most knowledgeable contributors do not live in the U.S. – you may miss an excellent response because you did not make yourself understood, or because you showed so little respect for the language they won’t bother with you. Neither will I. Most folks who can afford a Mercedes in the U.S. are reasonably well educated. Best to show it.
8) Item 7 above is not directed at folks for whom English is not a primary language. Keep your questions coming, and try to be patient with us. We’ll keep trying until we understand.
Things to avoid:
1) Multiple posts of the same question!! All that does is fragment answers. It denies members the chance to see if the question has already been answered by someone else, and also denies them the chance to elaborate on an already good response. It makes things more difficult for you, as the original poster (OP), to sort out uncoordinated replies.
2) Asking someone to do something you can easily do yourself. If something is in your owner’s manual or your COMAND manual, you shouldn’t have to ask here. If you don’t have your manuals, please say you don’t have them - we can often tell you where to get them electronically, or where to order a printed set. We'll probably also then answer your specific question. But please don't abuse it - that will avoid answers like “It’s in your owner’s manual; try reading it.”
The same is true of sending someone a PM asking a question, without bothering first to do your own search. It basically says "I'm too important (or lazy), you look it up for me." It is rude. We don't always have all the answers off the top of our head, and may have to search for it just as you should have. If you have searched, and posted on the open forum without getting the answer, PM is fine - but let the recipient of the PM know you have done your homework. If you are referring to a post or an issue in the open forum, provide a link to it in your PM. Don't assume we have seen your post, especially if it is buried in a thread.
3) Abusing contributors’ time. If you don’t know whether “Left” and “Right” with respect to fuse boxes in the engine compartment means facing the car from the front, or sitting in it facing forward, don’t ask someone to go out and look at the boxes for you, just so you can find a particular fuse on the first try. There few fuse boxes, and they aren’t hard to open – go look for yourself. By the way, it’s also covered in some owners manuals. That’s just one recent example. Asking someone to scan an entire manual and to e-mail it is just inconsiderate of the time it would take. If you’re just plain lazy and demand that someone do your work for you – remember, you’re not paying contributors to respond to your questions, and they owe you nothing. You can always take it to a dealer and pay him for his time.
4) Complaining about not getting an answer within an hour or so - or even a day or so. Again, it's an international forum. Your question may have been posted just as the expert who is going to answer it went to bed, and he will get up to a full day's work before checking the forum again. Remember, he doesn't work for you. On the other hand, if you don't get an answer for days, bump your question up, or just rephrase it in a new post in the same thread. Also consider whether it was asked in the best forum for the subject matter.
5) Asking for radio codes!!! Providing them on the forum only aids thieves, and identifies the forum itself as an easy source to bypass the anti-theft features of our head units; this hurts not only owners whose cars become easier targets for theft, but the forum as well. There are many posts on this forum that tell you where and how to get the radio codes legitimately. We're happy to help with problems entering the code once you have it.
6) Criticizing a contributor for not doing something you could do easily in your part of the world, without considering the contributor’s circumstances. Some of us can just run by the dealer after work, to pick something up; folks in some parts of the world have to drive 500 miles to get to a dealer.
7) Posting items for sale: You can post an item for sale here, but only supporting vendors are allowed to advertise their businesses. You should not link your post to an item you have listed for sale on ebay, or include a link to your business in your post or in your signature. We follow the guidelines for the "For Sale" forum, at https://www.benzworld.org/forums/sale...ing-rules.html
This does not prohibit posting a link to a site that has an item you recommend, as long as you have no business connection to the site to which you are linking.
8) Responding to someone who has “tweaked” you a bit for committing a gaffe, such as those mentioned here, with “I thought the purpose of the forum was to share knowledge.” It is – but we must share knowledge responsibly. Defeating anti-theft measures, posting copyrighted material, and bypassing copyright protection are just some examples of irresponsible “sharing.” Some of those steps can get the forum into legal trouble, not to mention the violator.
9) Letting a harsh response get you down. Maybe you deserved it. Maybe the responder was just a jerk. Maybe you feel you're just not up to speed enough to participate. Rubbish. One thing I have seen time and again is the change in a new guy, first asking nothing but questions, but then beginning to answer others' questions, and then becoming very strong contributors themselves. It's a pleasure to see. Stay at it!
10) Engaging in software piracy. We will not assist uploading or downloading such things as navigation maps, head unit operating software, or similar items to or from Torrent or other sites. Doing so carries the potential of litigation for the site owners as well as for anyone participating in such. Don't ask.
Some Things That Just Won't Be Tolerated:
Stalking, trolling, and insulting our membership; it will result in a ban.
Stalking: Following a particular member or issue around the forum, repeatedly commenting adversely to other members' comments at each appearance.
Trolling: Starting arguments or upsetting people by posting inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages with the deliberate intent of provoking members or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion. (Note: If you feel like mixing it up, there is a Off-Topic forum for that. Wear your cup.)
Insulting our membership: Name-calling, taunting, or denigration of an individual or the entire forum, or our cars. Criticism and disagreement are fine, but personal attacks or trashing everyone and everything won't fly.
Those things said – Welcome to the BenzWorld Audio & Telematics forum, and have a great time!