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Discussion Starter #1
I've just taken delivery of a new 280 CDI Avantgarde estate which is listed as having headlamp cleaning as standard.

The demonstrator I borrowed has a button next to the lights selector to operate the washer but on my car it is missing! At first I thought that there was some major build error so I took the car back to the dealer and one of their engineers checked that the washers were physically there, which they are. They also operate correctly in automatic mode (i.e. if you squirt the windscreen five times the headlamps get cleaned). They suggested that this model must just work in automatic mode (the demonstrator, which has the button and is also new, is a 220 CDI) but driving back from the dealer I began to think that what has probably happened is that Mercedes have fitted the wrong switch cluster.

I don't think the dealer is being awkward, I have been pretty happy with the service so far, I just think with so many models and options they aren't sure what the car is supposed to have!

Any thoughts before I go back to the dealer and ask them to look into this further?

Thanks, Tom
 

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Your dealer should learn better the products they sell. MB changed from the button to this automatic mode from (about) MY 2008 onwards. I would hate the new set-up, don't know if the dealer could do anything for it (but this would be on your cost in any case).
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the reply.

The manual says it should work both ways, switch and automatic.

Excuse my ignorance but what does MY mean? They may well have changed the standard but the demonstrator that has it is only about 3 weeks newer than mine and it has the switch. I can't see why they would take away the option to operate it manually especially when they aren't making other changes to the model.

I've got a CD changer to retrofit today so while I'm at it I'm going to take the switch cluster out (assuming it isn't to difficult) and see if the wiring is present. If it is then at least I have the option of changing the switch cluster at my own expense if the dealer/Mercedes insist that that is the way it should be (although I'm not yet convinced!)
 

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Where do you read from the manual about both automatic and manual headlamp cleaning? This below is from the current manual.

Headlamp cleaning system*


The headlamps are cleaned automatically if the lights are on, the engine is running and you have wiped the windscreen with washer fluid five times. When you switch off the ignition, the automatic headlamp cleaning feature is reset and counting is resumed from 0.


Also the current manual does not show the headlamp cleaning button any more. Note that the button would not operate directly the cleaning system, the wiring might not even be sufficient if the SW at the car does not support the button.



PS. I was talking about Model Year, sorry for not being clear.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Mine came from the manual supplied with the car - the rear cover says "Edition RE 2007/03"

"Headlamp cleaining system

To clean the headlamps
-> Make sure that the key is in position 2 of the ignition lock or that the engine is running.
-> To switch on: briefly press button one"

It then goes on as you have posted, to talk about the automatic system. The picture is the same but shows the button to the right of the headlamp range thumbwheel.

I hear what you are saying about it not being possible to change back if MB have indeed changed the control and dropped the manual option. I suppose it isn't the end of the world if they have as I can force a clean by giving a quick 5 blasts on the wiper washer. Just seems odd to take the option away.

No problem about the abbreviations - I'm sure it's pretty standard, I just haven't spent any time on car forums before I got the MB and need to learn the terminology.
 

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Odd if your manual talks about both options. Also if it is a model year 2008 car, it should have a manual that talks about the features on a MY 2008 car, or at least makes clear that there are different options.

My pre-2008 car does not have any combined mode, it only washes headlights from the button, not automatically.

Actually I'm not sure about the W221, I don't think I've ever needed the washer 5 times on a single drive, should try it (it does have the button).
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I'm going to push the dealer to get a definitive answer from MB about this (and will update with what I get told).

I did have a look at the switch cluster but couldn't work out how to get it out - it looked like I had to remove the wood trim above it and there were screws underneath but I couldn't work out how to remove the wood trim.

Is there any way for me to get this sort of technical question answered directly by MB?
 
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