Advice for New Members
, what follows are hints and suggestions to maximize your enjoyment of this forum, and minimize criticism that may catch you off guard. In contrast to the TOU, these additions aren't rigid “rules” – but after several years of observations, and having made new guy mistakes myself, here are my two cents.
- You have already seen where the stickies are, because this is one of them. Stickies are threads with important or very popular information that do not move down the page as the 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 W220 S-Class Encyclopedia. You will find the Encyclopedia provides a good starting point regarding many of the problems experienced by owners, and the solutions; and if it doesn't fully answer your concerns it will give you information that will help you ask better-focused questions and arrive at a solution sooner.
Good things to do (Please)
1) Complete your profile. 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. If you have several Benzes in your profile, specify which one you’re talking about. The proper answer to your question can vary widely based on this information.
2) Use the search tool;
the advanced search 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! In this forum, use the W220 S-Class Encyclopedia
, right here in the stickies section. It is a compendium of the best contributions by our members, answering a myriad of problems.
3) If you have searched, but not found the answer, it helps if you say so. That keeps curmudgeons like me from saying “Welcome to the forum; the search tool is your friend,” and ending the response there. Even worse, it may avoid someone telling you to "STFF."
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 the answer was already in the middle of the thread because some kind soul wrote the whole answer out to avoid all the e-mail requests.
5) Be sure to research an issue 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 Encyclopedia!! I must confess frustration when I or one of our more knowledgeable members have poured days into writing some fairly extensive posts such as those found in the W220 S-Class Encyclopedia (right at the top of this forum) or the How-To Guide on Cell Phones (a sticky right at the top of the audio and electronics forum), only to have someone take up limited PM space with a question that is already thoroughy covered, and discoverable with only the slightest effort - Bad form. Sure, if the post is not clear, or you have a particularly difficult problem, PM is proper. But at least read what’s already there, first. Even worse is putting up a post and immediately sending someone a private message with the same question; and worse yet, sending a PM with a question that hasn't been posted on the open forum at all. All you are doing is asking the recipient to do the research you can do yourself, and many will view this as rude. Give the members a little time to respond on the open forum (where others who may have the problem can also see the answer), and do your own searches.
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. This is an international forum. Avoid run-on, stream-of-thought, 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. It’s just rude. For an example of this, see http://www.benzworld.org/forums/audio-telematics-forum/1390960-help-no-radio.html
. 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 they won’t bother with you. Neither will I. Most folks who can afford a Mercedes in the U.S. are reasonably well educated. Best to show it.
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 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 manual or your COMAND manual, 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. We'll probably also then answer your specific question. But please don't abuse it - that will avoid answers like “It’s in your owner’s manual; try reading it.”
3) Abusing contributors’ time. If you don’t know whether “Left” and “Right” with respect to fuse boxes means facing the car from the front, or sitting in it facing forward, 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. There are only two boxes in the engine compartment and one under the back seat, and they aren’t hard to open – go look for yourself. By the way, it’s also covered in some owners manuals. That’s just one recent example. Asking someone to scan an entire manual and to e-mail it is just inconsiderate of the time it would take. If you’re just plain lazy and demand that someone do your work for you – 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.
And to belabor the point a bit, because it has become a problem lately: DO NOT send a PM to a member regarding a problem that you have not researched yourself, using the search tool and the W220 S-Class Encyclopedia resources. All that does is request the recipient to do for you what you should have done yourself, and it shows a rude disregard for their time. The open forum is the proper place for requesting help initially. The responses let our membership learn. Solutions in PM help only one member. If a problem cannot be resolved through a search of the resources, and does not get an answer on the open forum, then PM is proper. Let the recipient know you have done your homework, and provide a link to your unanswered question in the open forum in the PM.
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 is going to answer it went to bed, and he will get up to a full day's work before checking the forum again. Remember, he doesn'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) Asking for radio codes!!! Providing them on the forum only aids thieves, and identifies the forum itself as an easy source to bypass the anti-theft features of our head units; this hurts not only owners whose cars become easier targets for theft, but the forum as well. There are many posts on this forum that tell you where and how to get the radio codes legitimately. We're happy to help with problems entering the code once you have it.
6) 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 to get to a dealer.
7) Posting items for sale: You can post an item for sale here, but only supporting vendors are allowed to advertise their businesses. You should not link your post to an item you have listed for sale on ebay, or include a link to your business in your post or in your signature. If you post an item for sale in the W220 forum, it should be related to the W220. We follow the guidelines for the "For Sale" forum, at http://www.benzworld.org/forums/sal...ead-before-posting-section-posting-rules.html
This does not prohibit posting a link to a site that has an item you recommend, as long as you have no business connection to the site to which you are linking.
8) 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.
9) Letting a harsh response get you down. Maybe you deserved it. Maybe the responder was just a jerk. Maybe you feel you're just not up to speed enough to participate. Rubbish. One thing I 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!
10) 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. Doing so carries the potential of litigation for the site owners as well as for anyone participating in such. Don't ask.
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 other members' comments 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 a Off-Topic forum for that. Wear your cup.)
Insulting our membership: Name-calling, taunting, or denigration of an individual or the entire forum, *or our cars.*
Some members are very sensitive about their Cars. Criticism and disagreement are fine, but personal attacks or trashing everyone and everything won't fly.
*It is perfectly OK to suggest that perhaps repairs may cost more than a cars value. 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 / project / determination purposes, so money is not a consideration. Word such statements carefully. Values of vehicles is a complex subject, best avoided. Sometimes a car can sell for far more than it's "book value", remember it's always worth what someone else is willing to pay*
Those things said – Welcome to the W220 forum, and have a great time!