, what follows are hints and suggestions to maximize your enjoyment of this forum.
THE BASIC RULE: Play Nice, Keep it civil.
Do that, and much of what follows is not necessary. Most contributors here are trying to help. Feel free to disagree with another if you think necessary, but state your point, and do not attack the other member personally.
- You have already seen where the stickies are, because this is one of them. Stickies are threads with important or very popular information that are near the top of the first forum page, and do not move down the page as they age. Their title begins with "STICKY" and they have a symbol of a stick pin to the right of the title. The background of stickies is blue, to distinguish them from other posts. Before you plunge into the forum, it is a very good idea to read the stickies - especially this one and also the four “DIY & FAQs,” which may answer your questions without your having to look further. If the DIY and FAQs stickies don’t fully answer your concerns they may give you information that will help you ask better-focused questions and arrive at a solution sooner.
Hopefully Helpful Things To Do (Please):
These are intended to make the most of your experience here.
1) Complete your profile, via the "User CP" button toward the top of the page of any thread you are visiting. 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. The proper answer to your question can vary widely based on this information, since Mercedes equips cars differently and model years may vary based on their export destination.
2) Read the DIY & FAQs and use the search tool; the advanced search function 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 reminding you to search, and ending the response there.
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 a link, an attachment, or a post giving the whole answer was already in the middle of the thread because some kind soul put it there to avoid all the e-mail requests.
5) Private Messages: Be sure you have done the foregoing steps before you send someone an e-mail or a private message (PM) on a topic asking them for help. Use the search tool, and the DIY & FAQs!! It is frustrating when one of our more knowledgeable members has already done extensive research such as that found in the DIY & FAQs, only to have someone take up limited PM space with a question that is already thoroughly covered, and discoverable with only the slightest effort - Bad form. PM is proper for follow-up if something isn’t clear, but at least read what’s already there first. Sending a PM with a question that you have not first posted on the open forum is also bad practice. It denies other members the chance to see the answer, and it may delay your getting the answer you need.
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 one.
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. Avoid run-on, stream-of-consciousness, 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. Text message form (e.g., “u r” for “you are”) is in the same category. Such things may be perceived as rude. This is an international forum. 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 that they won’t bother with you.
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 be patient as well, so 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 manuals 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.
3) Abusing contributors’ time. If you don’t know where a fuse is, 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 without consulting your fuse diagram (yes, that has happened). Asking someone to scan an entire manual and to e-mail it is just inconsiderate of the time it would take. 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 will ultimately answer it went to bed, and he or she will get up to a full day's work before checking the forum again. Remember, the members don't work for you. On the other hand, if you don't get an answer for days, bump your question up, or consider whether it was asked in the best forum for the subject matter.
5) 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 or more to get to a dealer.
6) Advertising your business without registering as a supporting vendor: You can post an item for sale here, but only supporting vendors are allowed to advertise their businesses. If you are selling your own property as a member, not as a vendor, we follow the guidelines of the "For Sale" forum, https://www.benzworld.org/forums/sale...ing-rules.html
. You should not link your post to an item you have listed for sale on ebay, for example, or include a link to your business in your post or in your signature. If you post an item for sale in the W221 forum, it should be related to the W221. Note: This does not prohibit posting a link to a site that sells an item you recommend, as long as you have no business connection other than as a customer to the site to which you are linking.
7) 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.
8) 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. Similarly, we do not support "group buys" of intellectual property. Doing any of those things carries the potential of litigation for the site owners as well as for anyone participating in such. Don't ask.
9) Letting a harsh response get you down. Maybe you deserved it, maybe not. Perhaps the responder was just a jerk. Maybe you feel you're just not up to speed enough to participate. Rubbish. One thing we 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!
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 that member’s posts or the issue 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 an Off-Topic forum for that. Wear your cup.)
--Insulting our membership: Name-calling, taunting, or denigration of an individual or their ethnicity, the entire forum, or our cars. Comments such as “That’s so ghetto” will not fly. Criticism and disagreement are fine, but personal attacks or trashing everyone and everything, including the whole line of cars, is not acceptable.
It is perfectly OK to suggest that perhaps repairs may cost more than a car’s value – but a member making such a suggestion should consider that the owner may have a special attachment to a car, or simply want to fix it for educational reasons, or as a restoration project, so money is not a consideration. Word such statements carefully; you don’t want to be perceived as attacking someone’s financial status. Comments such as “You can’t afford a Mercedes; buy a used Kia” do not further the forum.
Those things said – Welcome to the W221 forum. Play nice, and have a great time!