2003 S500 climate control bezel - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-12-2019, 02:30 PM Thread Starter
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2003 S500 climate control bezel

I picked up this car yesterday with a great low mileage of 65,000. The 4Matic system got a good test driving though Missouri’s huge snow and ice storm, too. I was really impressed and am looking forward to having this car and the AWD option.

The passenger temperature selector works just fine but it’s like the covering with the up and down arrows has peeled off.? I thought maybe I would buy a replacton Ebay and replace it. Is this an option? Is there a better way? Anything to watch out for?

Thanks

John

2012 E350 4Matic
2001 S430
2003 S500 4Matic
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-13-2019, 01:24 AM
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Hi,

Buying a used module off EBay is the cheapest way to do the job regarding most modules on the Car, ok if you get a dud one it is a slight pain, but you can at least return it for exchange or get a refund and get another, I give my Customers this choice all the time, more so on older Cars

Now there is one Caveat, and I'm not certain if this applies to W220 CC Panel, but it most likely does ..........................

Getting one with the same part number, (or a later revision p/n), is a given, but that doesn't mean you can just fit and forget

The reason is, most modules on MB have to be Version Coded to suit the many many many many "Option Variations" from one Car to another, and to do that, you need SDS , the Mercedes Dealer Level Diagnostic and Repair Kit.

Even if you fit it and the CC all works ok it doesn't mean the Coding is correct, things can be going on unseen, like for example, a Battery Drain, because it is coded for say Rear Climate, and if that isn't fitted on your Car it will keep the Comms Network, (CAN Bus) awake looking for something that is not there.................... You get the picture ?

As a new owner I strongly recommend you buy one, it will save you thousands upon thousands over the years and will pay for itself in short order.

A "Basic Kit" (clone), can be had for as little as 'from' £399 and there are many links to a good UK and USA Store that I have put up here on Benzworld.

Please do not get into the "I can buy an XYZ Diagnostic for less and that's all I need brigade" as SDS is much much more than a Code Reader / Re setter, it has all sorts of other functions like Version Coding Guided Diagnostic etc etc , also has Workshop Manual and Wiring Diagrams, and Parts Catalogues, and covers all makes of MB up to it's Software Date !!

Alternative is to pay an Indie $50 to $150 each time it is needed, which on our Cars is fairly often, because everything communicates with everything else like a rolling dual computer network

You press a light switch for example, it doesn't send +12V to the bulb, it sends a computer signal to another module(s), which then sends the power to the bulb, etc etc.
That is how the whole Car works

HTH,


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Last edited by Dave2302; 01-13-2019 at 01:28 AM.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-13-2019, 07:47 AM Thread Starter
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Hi, Dave, and thank you for the information. I was torn between getting a W221 S550 and a W220 S500. Obviously the S500 won out. I know for sure a dealer level diagnostic and repair kit is a requirement for a good DIY'er for a 221 and was fully prepared to get one. Didn't know if one was, or wasn't, needed for the 220, but I can make that purchase if it'll save me from costly dealer repairs.

I don't really want to replace anything more than I must to get rid of the "ugly" button since everything is functioning correctly....I wonder if I could "pop off" the disfigured button from and pop the replacement on without getting into anything electronic...??

Thanks again.
John
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-13-2019, 08:18 AM
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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

HTH,


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Last edited by Dave2302; 01-13-2019 at 08:22 AM.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-13-2019, 08:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jtc63701 View Post
I was torn between getting a W221 S550 and a W220 S500. Obviously the S500 won out.
John
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.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-13-2019, 09:29 AM Thread Starter
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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.?

John
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-14-2019, 05:22 PM
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Quote:
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

HTH,
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.

Quote:
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.
Quote:
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.?

John
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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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-14-2019, 05:26 PM
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As for your HVAC control buttons, do you have independently-controllable HVAC for the rear seats? I don't mean just the ability to direct the airflow or open/close the vents, rather I mean individual temperature controls for the rear seats on the back of the center console, like an S55 or S600 would have. Yep, some of these cars actually have separate temp control and on/off control for the rear seats as well! Reason I'm asking is because of Dave's point above about coding.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-14-2019, 06:03 PM
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Hi John,

I got my S500 4matic at 26Kmi from a local NJ crook several years ago. I think he took all new parts and replaced them with used ones since I replaces drive shaft, CV axle, fan blower and air pump all before car got 45K. However, I love my car and I got 107Kmi now, practically with out any maintenance but oil change and brake pads which I do myself. About a year ago I found several flows which I did not take care at the time and now I am starting fixing them. A dealer wanted $8000 to fix my both CV axles (since boots are ripped, however they still work well), all 4 of front control arms, rotors and pads and a rear airstrut. I was about to replace all my 4 airstrats because at cold temperatures car gets low but MikeKerr saved me $$$ explaining that is does not require immediate replacement. Instead of replacing rear airstrut I re-connected broke wires coming from the speed censor which is attached to the strut and it is working again. I am not sure what to do with the car - first option is to fix everything ( I expect about 2500-4000 DIY) for parts and put another 100Kmi or just sell it and upgrade to W221. I had a test driver in S550 2008 with 75Kmi on it and was not impressed. I would not say that the ride was any better than mine, so besides newer look and cooled seats I do not see any improvements. That was the reason I wanted your opinion on W200 VS W221. W220 became so dirt cheap ( you may get a car which need very minor repair like started etc) from craigslist for $1500 with about 130Kmi. One of an option is to buy a car for parts and keep mine.

I was told that I may need to try not-4matic since in a good weather it should provide better ride. I never got a chance to compare those yet, however, it does not make sense for me not to have 4 wheel drive if you shoot for a good car!
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-15-2019, 06:41 AM Thread Starter
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I know the controls you're talking about, but I don't have the HVAC controls for the back seat.
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