Ammstar Mercedes-Benz Blog

A quick guide to Mercedes-Benz computer systems

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If you own a recent-production Mercedes-Benz, you’ll no doubt have noticed that the German car manufacturer has recently moved to a digital dashboard.

Instead of the traditional speedo and gauges, Mercedes-Benz vehicles are now coming with multifunction screens that:

  • Assist with reverse parking
  • Control your in-car entertainment system
  • Double as GPS systems

Just another luxury feature that sets Mercedes-Benz apart from other car manufacturers!

However, this isn’t the only computer system in your Mercedes. Many modern cars (Mercedes-Benz included) are equal parts computer and car, using computerised systems to monitor their parts and perform essential engine processes.

Mercedes-Benz was one of the first car brands to computerise their vehicles, with the first computers popping up in Mercedes-Benz models of the 1970s.

Since then, each subsequent generation of Mercedes has added more lines of code and an ever-increasing amount of computer chips.

As a result, your Mercedes-Benz mechanic in Melbourne needs to be as much of a computer whiz as much as they are an expert on engines and transmissions!

Electronic Control Units- the brains behind your Mercedes

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If the heart of your Mercedes is the engine, then electronic control units(ECUs) are the brains.

Each of your Mercedes’ electronic systems from the electronic fuel injection (EFI) system, to the in-car entertainment, to the advanced safety features and sensors that keep you safe on the road are controlled by an electronic control unit (ECU).

ECUs receives data from dozens of sensors throughout your Mercedes-Benz. They then uses this information to perform calculations and regulate engine performance and operate electronic systems.

For example, electronic fuel injection is controlled by an ECU.

Using data such as temperature, engine speed and more, the ECU in your fuel injection system issues commands to the fuel injectors regarding ignition timing and the time a fuel injector should remain open in order to ensure optimal performance.

Needless to say, an issue with one (or several) of the ECUs in your Mercedes-Benz may lead to problems with the systems they’re responsible for controlling!

ECU problems? Get the diagnosis right the first time

ECUs are an item that is commonly misdiagnosed as the cause of a fault. The reason for this, is often because of the fault codes logged are misleading to an untrained technician.

A mechanic that has limited experience might interpret a fault code logged such as ‘no communication’ with an ECU to mean that the control unit is faulty. In fact the problem lies elsewhere, such as the power supply to that unit, or a failing sensor that causes the unit to appear faulty.

At Ammstar, because our Mercedes-Benz mechanics follow a structured diagnostic process, we reduce the chances of a misdiagnosis altogether.

We have the tools and skills to diagnose, replace, program and code almost every control unit fitted to your vehicle.

Other important computer systems in your Mercedes-Benz

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Mercedes-Benz Dynamic Select

Offered with many new production Mercedes-Benz vehicles, Dynamic Select allows you to customise your ride feels with the touch of a button.

The Dynamic Select system features a diverse range of preset modes that change key parameters in your engine, transmission, accelerator and suspension such as:

  • Throttle inputs
  • Gear changes
  • Suspension height and stiffness
  • Steering sharpness.

You’ll have the freedom to change your vehicle’s response depending on driving conditions (for example, if you’re driving off-road) or on personal preference.

Some of the modes available include:

  • Comfort (standard)
  • ECO (for long drives)
  • Sport
  • Off-road (for Mercedes SUVs)
  • Race (AMG models)

Some models even allow you to save custom settings, allowing you mix-and-match elements from different driving modes for a truly custom driving experience!

This system is controlled via your touchscreen display, and controlled using several computer systems.

If you notice that your Dynamic Control system is unresponsive or displaying a warning, you may need to get it serviced – ideally by a Mercedes-Benz specialist mechanic.

Mercedes-Benz COMAND

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GPS, audio, hands-free calling, in-car entertainment… the Cockpit Management and Data System (COMAND for short) is responsible for controlling all of these functions and more.

COMAND has come a long way since its first iteration – today’s COMAND systems are built into the dashboard, use touchscreens, integrate with your smartphone and can even be controlled using voice (your hands are occupied, after all!)

Using COMAND, you’ll be able to:

  • Make hands-free calls without any extra appliances
  • Navigate and save points of interest
  • Use your phone with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay

Just like your engine can run into issues, so too can Mercedes-Benz COMAND. And when this happens, you’ll need to take it in to get the issue rectified by a Mercedes-Benz mechanic in Melbourne.

Unlike common parts like piston rings and timing chains, there are very few aftermarket substitutes for COMAND systems!

Combine that with the proprietary hardware and coding that powers these systems, and few generalist mechanics are able to help you out if COMAND starts playing up.

Luckily for you, Ammstar doesn’t only look after the engine in your Mercedes-Benz!

Few general mechanics can fix issues with these systems

As proprietary Mercedes-Benz systems, very few generalist mechanics will know where to begin when it comes to fixing issues with COMAND or Dynamic Control systems.

It’s also highly unlikely that they’ll have appropriate replacement parts for these on-hand, or the connections with original parts manufacturers needed to order a replacement.

Luckily, you won’t have to worry about problems with either of these computer systems when you call Ammstar’s Mercedes-Benz specialists.

Whether it’s a software that needs patching, a faulty touchscreen or completely broken system, our Mercedes-Benz mechanics in Melbourne will be able to address the issue.

Unlike general mechanics, we deal exclusively in German brands like Mercedes-Benz. We know cars with the three-pointed star inside-out… and that includes computer systems like COMAND or Dynamic Control.

Service ASSYST doesn’t always get it right

Many car manufacturers will insist on annual services, “just in case”. During these services, they’ll go through the entire list of routine service tasks, and charge you full price for it.

Service ASSYST is a computer system installed on your Mercedes-Benz vehicle which keeps track of all the parts and systems in your Mercedes-Benz engine.

When it detects that certain parts are close to requiring a service, a warning will appear on your dashboard identifying what needs servicing and a corresponding Mercedes-Benz service package.

The idea is that with this information, you’ll enjoy a lower service cost when you take your vehicle in to a Mercedes-Benz mechanic in Melbourne.

What you may not know is that Service ASSYST only actively monitors a handful of components and systems – for everything else, it prescribes service based on either:

  1. Distance travelled since last service
  2. Time since last service

Your Mercedes-Benz might not always align with these milestones – maybe you’ve hit the time deadline, but the part itself is good for another year!

Our Mercedes-Benz mechanics in Melbourne know each part of your Mercedes inside-out. Using this knowledge, we can tell you whether you actually need a replacement or service, or if you can safely delay it until your next service.

And that translates to a more affordable Mercedes-Benz service!

Got a problem? Call a Mercedes-Benz mechanic in Melbourne?

We have smartphones, home assistants and even smart fridges – it’s little surprise that your Mercedes is fast becoming a “smart” device as well!

Mercedes-Benz vehicles are packed with multiple computers, controlling almost every aspect of the car. Many of these parts require programming and special initialisation.

Enter, our Mercedes-Benz mechanics in Melbourne.

We have access to special diagnostic tools that are designed with Mercedes-Benz vehicles in mind, as well as the type of hands-on knowledge that only comes with 20 years of specialising in German car brands like Mercedes-Benz.

Whether it’s a mechanical issue or a problem with one of the many electronic and computer systems in your Mercedes, our team can help!

Give us a call today:

Alternatively, click here to book online!

2019-11-14T02:01:04+00:00October 31st, 2019|News|