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W210 1996 E280 I6 manual
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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

I'm looking for a diagnostics system with maximum functionality, for the least price.

From what I've gathered, the 38pin connector has to be used together with a multiplexer and a compatible handheld/dongle and software.

So far I found:
AUTEL MaxiDAS DS808
Foxwell NT530

Unfortunately, both of them seem to be for model years "As of 03/97" while my W210 is an E 280 (210.053), 01/96 - 06/97 with Date of production / Model Year: 1996-04.

Were there changes to this model in 03/97? Or why would it not be compatible?

Are there alternative systems?

Thank you.
 

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Premium Member
1998 E320 base sedan @ 160kmiles
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6,187 Posts
It is best if you look at the comparability specifications from their websites. They list the vehicle model and model year, and also list what equipment at what level can be provided in terms of fault codes, live data access, actuation, etc. The above scanners can access some of the common modules with the later year model, but it may not access modules you want. You can also email the vendors. The sure one is the MB Star clone from China. But it is a hassle to set it up and learn to use it effectively.
 

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W210 1996 E280 I6 manual
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Discussion Starter #3
Well, you gave me the same answer the support gave me :p ("look on the website")
I still wonder if a W210 from before 03/97 would be supported.

Nevermind, I found MaxiEcu and will give it a try. It seems to support the W210 from 1995 on.
Website: Passenger cars
 

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w163 02 ML500 W210 97 E50Amg w202 99 C230K w124 - need more space, time to build again
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2,192 Posts
Well, you gave me the same answer the support gave me :p ("look on the website")
I still wonder if a W210 from before 03/97 would be supported.

Nevermind, I found MaxiEcu and will give it a try. It seems to support the W210 from 1995 on.
Website: Passenger cars
Make sure it provides support or provides an 38pin adapter (optional in majority of cases) for the obd2 (standard) connection, for your 38pin under the hood.
 

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1998 E320 base sedan @ 160kmiles
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6,187 Posts
Well, you gave me the same answer the support gave me :p ("look on the website")
I still wonder if a W210 from before 03/97 would be supported.

Nevermind, I found MaxiEcu and will give it a try. It seems to support the W210 from 1995 on.
Website: Passenger cars
You must realize that some of the items listed as supported is just wishful thinking :).

Look at MaxiECU, 1995 E class (W210). Look at the modules it supports. SAM ? LCP ? Door Control Modules ? These modules were not even deployed before 1998 :).

Suspension : PSE : Air suspension ????? Give me a break :). I believe whoever wrote this, made stuff up as he went along :).

Do not believe anything you read. That is why you need to contact the technical support and confirm that the specific items you want to diagnose are actually covered. Or you need to post here, and hopefully someone has tested what you need with some test equipment and got it working.

Also you would need a 38 pin connector adapter to go with it. And if your car is an earlier model, the test access is analog (pulse counting with LED). I do not think the MaxiECU will support it, but try it out and let us know. There is difference between what is "possible" and what is "actual".

Further, looking at the 38-pin adapter that MaxiECU sells for 19 Euros, if the information they posted is correct, you will only access the ECU with this. Nothing else. This may be another mistake onsite that you can check with the vendor.

MaxiEcu
 

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E320/E250 Bluetec Ford F350 6.7l
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MaxiEcu not only makes scanner designated for W210, but they list each supported module on their website.
When that takes time to read, you can learn what exactly you are buying.
When I was buying iCarsoft, I email the manufacturer if it will support W212 diesel.
The answer was "it will work"
it did not.
 

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2002 E320
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26 Posts
Like just about everyone else on this forum, would love to get my hands on a PC based system that provides a functional level of support for all the modules on my E320, at a price most individual car owners would consider reasonable. For now have done well with my Actron tool but it is "engine only." I appreciate members who are willing to evaluate tools like MaxiECU. No doubt the developers invested both time and expense in this product but from the material I have read, can't determine if this provides the level of diagnostic and maintenance support we need. An independent video using the actual software to demonstrate the functional capability would be a good starting point.
 

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'02 E430 4Matic, '14 MB E350 Sport 4Matic, '01 BMW 740i, '16 Golf R, '17 Audi Q7, '10 Chevy Suburban
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356 Posts
I've been holding out but will eventually have to break down and buy an MB Star clone off of Ebay at some point.. I've procrastinated as I haven't had a real need as of yet, in hopes that an alternative decent (and comprehensive) solution might be offered someday. I doubt that'll ever be the case as the MB enthusiasts that get mechanically intimate with their vehicles is limited compared to other brands, and DIY types seem to be a dying breed. For example, if anyone is familiar with BMW or VAG offerings, you know there are some intensive diagnotic tools out there that are free or under $300 to purchase and will do 98% of what anyone could possibly want to do.
With an aging '02 W210 and an out-of-warranty W212 (< the one that scares me in this regard!) I'll need MB Star clone if I'm keeping those cars. There's a bunch of options and sellers out there with the MB Star clones.. has anyone recently purchased a kit they are happy with and can recommend?
 

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W210 1996 E280 I6 manual
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Discussion Starter #9
Tried the MaxiECU and most of the available modules, only a few worked (Climate Control, Restraint, Engine), the others failed to connect or took forever to read empty data eventually.
I'm in contact with support to see what they say.

I understand that some of the seemingly available modules are not even inside my car BUT it has Xenon lights so it should have the Headlight module for the height adjustment sensors, but I couldn't connect to it. Too bad because I wanted to repair it.
 

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w163 02 ML500 W210 97 E50Amg w202 99 C230K w124 - need more space, time to build again
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2,192 Posts
Tried the MaxiECU and most of the available modules, only a few worked (Climate Control, Restraint, Engine), the others failed to connect or took forever to read empty data eventually.
I'm in contact with support to see what they say.

I understand that some of the seemingly available modules are not even inside my car BUT it has Xenon lights so it should have the Headlight module for the height adjustment sensors, but I couldn't connect to it. Too bad because I wanted to repair it.
Please update your user CP info with make model and year of your vehicle.

Xenon Headlights? Do you have headlight washers?
You are attempting to adjust your xenon headlights thru your scanner?
 

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E320/E250 Bluetec Ford F350 6.7l
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With an aging '02 W210 and an out-of-warranty W212 (< the one that scares me in this regard!) I'll need MB Star clone if I'm keeping those cars. There's a bunch of options and sellers out there with the MB Star clones.. has anyone recently purchased a kit they are happy with and can recommend?
What years is your W212 ?
Starting in 2014 MB incorporated SCN coding into their electronics, so only shops with Frankfurt's subscription can make them working.
One of the professionals on other forum come with the opinion that when vehicles are becoming more and more reliable, manufacturers are pushing for making DIY impossible. Per his vision cars will have hoods sealed and only factory technician will have key for it.
Suppose John Deere already did it on their 1/2 million combains.
 

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1998 E320 base sedan @ 160kmiles
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6,187 Posts
Tried the MaxiECU and most of the available modules, only a few worked (Climate Control, Restraint, Engine), the others failed to connect or took forever to read empty data eventually.
I'm in contact with support to see what they say.

I understand that some of the seemingly available modules are not even inside my car BUT it has Xenon lights so it should have the Headlight module for the height adjustment sensors, but I couldn't connect to it. Too bad because I wanted to repair it.
I would love to see the displays of the output. Does the scanner access the live data from the ECU (Engine computer) ? Attached is the list of modules that can be accessed from the 38 pin connector (the ones on the right hand side column, marked with HHT, hand held tester, precursor to MB SDS system). It appears that the headlight range module SHOULD be accessible, as well as the ICM (Instrument Control Panel), and CCM (Combination Control Module), the traction system, etc. It the scanner is not able to do that, you might as well use a $20 scanner with a 38 pin adapter cable.
 

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W210 1996 E280 I6 manual
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12 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Xenon Headlights? Do you have headlight washers?
You are attempting to adjust your xenon headlights thru your scanner?
Yep, I do. European version.
I'm attempting to read the sensor values, or some error codes since the auto-adjustment doesn't seem to work and there's also no movement of the lamps up and down at ignition / switching on of the lights.
I checked the sensors on the underbody. The rear sensor lever was loose, I fixed it tho but nothing changed.


I would love to see the displays of the output. Does the scanner access the live data from the ECU (Engine computer) ? Attached is the list of modules that can be accessed from the 38 pin connector (the ones on the right hand side column, marked with HHT, hand held tester, precursor to MB SDS system). It appears that the headlight range module SHOULD be accessible, as well as the ICM (Instrument Control Panel), and CCM (Combination Control Module), the traction system, etc. It the scanner is not able to do that, you might as well use a $20 scanner with a 38 pin adapter cable.
On their website you can see how the software looks like: Passenger cars
It indeed can access live data it seems. I didn't get that far yet tho, it was freezing cold and it took me more than half an hour to try to connect to all the modules without success.
 

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Premium Member
1998 E320 base sedan @ 160kmiles
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6,187 Posts
Yep, I do. European version.
I'm attempting to read the sensor values, or some error codes since the auto-adjustment doesn't seem to work and there's also no movement of the lamps up and down at ignition / switching on of the lights.
I checked the sensors on the underbody. The rear sensor lever was loose, I fixed it tho but nothing changed.




On their website you can see how the software looks like: Passenger cars
It indeed can access live data it seems. I didn't get that far yet tho, it was freezing cold and it took me more than half an hour to try to connect to all the modules without success.
Yeah, I know the generic interface as posted. I wanted to see the specific displays to your car. For example, the DTC code, is it current, or stored or both ? Also how much live data it can access, etc. Does it have actuation features ? like turn the aux fans on / off from the a/c controller, etc.
 

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W210 1996 E280 I6 manual
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Discussion Starter #15
Not sure if it's stored or current but in another thread I was told that codes above 65 are stored.

I would like to test it more thoroughly but currently I have no garage and the process is quite slow (takes 5 minutes to tell me it couldn't connect to a module), paired with a quite unintuitive user interface where the buttons on the top change randomly.

It does have actuation features. I switched on the climate control blower fan for example.

2618340
 

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Premium Member
1998 E320 base sedan @ 160kmiles
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6,187 Posts
I'm attempting to read the sensor values, or some error codes since the auto-adjustment doesn't seem to work and there's also no movement of the lamps up and down at ignition / switching on of the lights.
I checked the sensors on the underbody. The rear sensor lever was loose, I fixed it tho but nothing changed.
Have you checked the controller's fuse ? Fuse 15 at the fusepanel 1 (driver's side under hood). Make sure it has power when the key is in position 2. Also check the module ground to ensure that it is properly grounded. If the module has no power, no scanner will be able to read it.
 

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W210 1996 E280 I6 manual
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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks, gonna try that asap.
I remember the module is under the rear seat, right?
 

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E320/E250 Bluetec Ford F350 6.7l
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Not sure if it's stored or current but in another thread I was told that codes above 65 are stored.

I would like to test it more thoroughly but currently I have no garage and the process is quite slow (takes 5 minutes to tell me it couldn't connect to a module), paired with a quite unintuitive user interface where the buttons on the top change randomly.

It does have actuation features. I switched on the climate control blower fan for example.

View attachment 2618340
Speaking both languages, I often switch to Polish to compare code explanation.
Wozniak's per several emails I exchanged with them still struggle with English, so some descriptions can be lost in translation.
Switch the language and let me know what it says in Polish, so maybe that will give better explanation.
 

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1998 E320 base sedan @ 160kmiles
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6,187 Posts
This is not translated. It is directly from Baum tools manual (company that made the original MB scanner). It does not exactly match with Startek code definition though.
 

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