HELP! Command System Reset - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-18-2019, 09:14 AM Thread Starter
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HELP! Command System Reset

Hi Guys.

Since reporting my good fortune of buying a super clean 2000 S500 from a client of mine about a month ago, for an unbelievably good price, Iíve been wanting to update you all on how things have been going.

Doubtful that you will remember the details of my first post, but suffice to say Iíve been tackling the items on my punch list of repairs to really bring this S500 in to top condition. Aside from the obvious air/oil filter, fluid changes, I replaced the drivers side air strut and also the air compressor. I bought everything from FCP Euro and did the work myself. The air ride suspension works flawlessly now.

So on to my next project, after having the battery disconnected to replace those items I noticed that my clock and date had reset. I thought thought that perhaps that the Command system had a small lithium battery to help keep the time and date for such as reason as this.

Well I didnít think too much more about it so I simply entered the date and correct time. Everything was fine until I parked the car and the next time I returned the date had reset to 8-1-1999. Numerous attempts have been made to correct the date, but each time it resets back to 8-1-1999 after having the ignition switched off for more than a couple hours at a time. I have no issues while the car is running or if turned off for short periods like when running errands, but any other time it resets.

Any ideas what might be going on? Is there a small battery that needs to be replaced that could be causing this issue?


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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-18-2019, 09:34 AM
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This is the car you and your daughter are fixing up for her, right? Sounds like things are going pretty well.

Hmm...sounds like maybe one of the electrical contacts in the connectors might have a little oxidation on 'em. I'd go ahead and pull each connector out and plug it back in a few times just to exercise the contacts a bit. Also, does the dash clock also show 8-1-1999 as well as the head unit?

In most USA W220's, I'd expect COMAND to sync time up via GPS, if it has the navigation system. In pre-facelift cars, the entire head unit assembly has either two or three modules; the nav unit is the bottom one (the third one). Does yours have the nav module? If so, it'll sync up at startup, though you may need to insert a Navigation Disc to get it to do so.

However, you might want to consider going with an Android device like @Dave2302 and I have done in our S500's. It's very sweet, indeed. Now that we know the wiring and how to sort all that out, it's not at all difficult. Your daughter would love it, since she probably knows Android very well already. And either the head unit can do 4G/Wifi, or alternately her phone can be a WiFi hot-spot, so either way, she can do nav (Waze, Google Maps, whatever) on the car and keep her eyes on the road where they belong!
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2000 S430 (Dad's car, used for special occasions)
2000 S500 (wife's DD: my first W220 project car)
2003 S600 ("sex on wheels"--second w220 project car)
2003 S430 (one of two current DD's--third W220 project car)
2005 E320 CDI (the other current DD--first W211 project car)

Last edited by cowboyt; 03-18-2019 at 09:51 AM.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-18-2019, 10:21 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by cowboyt View Post
This is the car you and your daughter are fixing up for her, right? Sounds like things are going pretty well.

Hmm...sounds like maybe one of the electrical contacts in the connectors might have a little oxidation on 'em. I'd go ahead and pull each one out and plug it back in a few times just to exercise the contacts a bit. Also, does the dash clock also show 8-1-1999 as well as the head unit?

In most USA W220's, I'd expect COMAND to sync time up via GPS, if it has the navigation system. In pre-facelift cars, the entire head unit assembly has either two or three modules; the nav unit is the bottom one (the third one). Does yours have the nav module? If so, it'll sync up at startup, though you may need to insert a Navigation Disc to get it to do so.

However, you might want to consider going with an Android device like @Dave2302 and I have done in our S500's. It's very sweet, indeed. Now that we know the wiring and how to sort all that out, it's not at all difficult. Your daughter would love it, since she probably knows Android very well already. And either the head unit can do 4G/Wifi, or alternately her phone can be a WiFi hot-spot, so either way, she can do nav (Waze, Google Maps, whatever) on the car and keep her eyes on the road where they belong!


Cowboy-

You have a have an excellent memory! Yes, youíre correct I bought the car for my daughter. Although admittedly, I must say in spite of the age of the car, it just looks, feels and drives so nice, itís going to be difficult handing the keys to a 16 year old, fearing what might happen to it. Hoping and praying for the best!

Anyway...yes, I do have the nav and with the cd inserted. I was initially having trouble with the time which was also incorrect and whenever I tried to change it the system would only let me adjust the minutes. The date and the hour were greyed out preventing me from making any changes. I read up on this forum and determined that I needed to turn off the ignition, wait a few minutes, then try again immediately after turning on to ignition. I read that you must do this before the satellite syncs up with the car. Well...that worked. The car is adjusted for Pacific time with DST and is now keeping perfect time. Last night when going to bed I thought that I had solved both the date and the time issue. I was saddened to realize this morning when I got up to take the kids to school that only the clock is keeping time and as far as Command is concerned, today is 8-1-1999.

As to your other question, the dash clock mirrors the time in the head unit so they appear to be in sync. My dash clock only displays the time however, not the date. I assume you made a typo and Ďtimeí is what you were meaning?

Insomuch as the Android units go, I must confess Iím curious about them. My only reluctance would be having to ditch the fiber optic and pull new cable, install a new amplifier and possibly lose some of the functionality like the dash clock and steering wheel controls. Iím arriving a bit late to the W220 party, so Iím sure you guys have probably figured out solutions to just about everything.

I donít dislike my Command system, yes, itís very outdated but to be honest, Iíd be content if I could just get the date to remain set and install some kind of Bluetooth kit. That would be all I need. Donít laugh, but I actually see the Navi in the car. Still works. Admittedly, it is about as sophisticated as the original arcade game Pong, but it works!!

If there was a way to retain my factory amplifier and fiber optic setup, Iíd be inclined to upgrade to a newer Command system like on the later year W220ís. I know Mbz ditched fiber optic at some point so some units are not compatible, Iím just not knowledge enough to know what years will work and what wonít.


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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-18-2019, 01:34 PM
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The android units they are talking about are specifically made to be plug and play with the Mercedes amp
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-18-2019, 01:49 PM Thread Starter
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The android units they are talking about are specifically made to be plug and play with the Mercedes amp


Ok. Thank you. Thatís very good to know. If I canít find a workable solution to my Command system, that may be the direction I decide to go.


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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-18-2019, 02:38 PM
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Originally Posted by tusabes View Post
The android units they are talking about are specifically made to be plug and play with the Mercedes amp
Actually, that's not quite true. They're made to completely bypass the Mercedes factory amp. The fiber-optic doesn't even get used anymore, and indeed, I've pulled my factory amp out. The Android unit itself powers the speakers directly, and yes, it does require pulling a cable harness for that.

As for the date/time, you're right, I meant time. My lysdexia apparently strikes again.

I'd exercise the electrical contacts, then. If navigation is actually working and is telling you where you are according to the map, then we can assume that we're sync'ing up to the GPS satellites. That's good news. In such a case, I'd figure that COMAND would be getting its date information from the same place, since GPS time includes date information.
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2000 S430 (Dad's car, used for special occasions)
2000 S500 (wife's DD: my first W220 project car)
2003 S600 ("sex on wheels"--second w220 project car)
2003 S430 (one of two current DD's--third W220 project car)
2005 E320 CDI (the other current DD--first W211 project car)
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-18-2019, 02:58 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by cowboyt View Post
Actually, that's not quite true. They're made to completely bypass the Mercedes factory amp. The fiber-optic doesn't even get used anymore, and indeed, I've pulled my factory amp out. The Android unit itself powers the speakers directly, and yes, it does require pulling a cable harness for that.



As for the date/time, you're right, I meant time. My lysdexia apparently strikes again.



I'd exercise the electrical contacts, then. If navigation is actually working and is telling you where you are according to the map, then we can assume that we're sync'ing up to the GPS satellites. That's good news. In such a case, I'd figure that COMAND would be getting its date information from the same place, since GPS time includes date information.


Cowboy, is it true that a 2003 Command would be plug n play? That would give me a more updated look without losing the functionality of my steering wheel controls, factory amp, etc. Correct?


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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-18-2019, 03:20 PM
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Actually, yes, it is. I have tried it in the project 2000 S500 with a 2003 head unit, and it played just fine. The only question I have is about navigation; I think the nav module is done a bit differently in the '03's. But if you don't need nav--or, say, you have a Garmin Nuvi like my S600 TT's previous owner had--then no worries; just plug and go.

2000 S430 (Dad's car, used for special occasions)
2000 S500 (wife's DD: my first W220 project car)
2003 S600 ("sex on wheels"--second w220 project car)
2003 S430 (one of two current DD's--third W220 project car)
2005 E320 CDI (the other current DD--first W211 project car)
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-18-2019, 03:50 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Benz Man View Post
Cowboy, is it true that a 2003 Command would be plug n play? That would give me a more updated look without losing the functionality of my steering wheel controls, factory amp, etc. Correct?


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Also...just to continue that thought from what Iíve read the 2000-2003 use the same fiber optic cable, whereas 2004-2006 does not. Iím just a novice on the subject being a new w220 owner myself. I defer to your expertise since this ainít your first rodeo.


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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-18-2019, 09:38 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by cowboyt View Post
Actually, yes, it is. I have tried it in the project 2000 S500 with a 2003 head unit, and it played just fine. The only question I have is about navigation; I think the nav module is done a bit differently in the '03's. But if you don't need nav--or, say, you have a Garmin Nuvi like my S600 TT's previous owner had--then no worries; just plug and go.


Hmmm....Iím wondering if I were to go that route and if assuming the 2003 Command system I bought had Navi and the disk or sd card (whichever it uses), shouldnít the Navi function work just the same as if it were installed in the same model year car? Is there some other compatibility issue that would prevent an Ď03 head unit from working in my Ď00 which Iím not understanding?


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