Comand-APS (NTG2) w203 faults

Gonzoribbons

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Jan 14, 2013
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Lincolnshire
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C-Class w203 C220CDi Avantgarde Estate 2006
I have the Comand-APS (NTG2) in a 2006 w203 c-class estate. A week after returning from the garage for a replacement steering rack, the Comand system started to play-up.

Initially it was the occasional unexpected shut-off, but the frequency of the system losing power has now gone up, and it powers down for the majority of the time. When it works, everything works fine. I even tried a fibre-optic loop to eliminate the CD changer in case that was the cause. It still worked occasionally, but still cut-out as if there was a power failure.

I requested a quote from an online repair service, and in their opinion is was a possible microprocessosr fault - £695+VAT exchange unit!!!! The car is only worth about £4k.

I'd like to have a go at fault-finding myself, as I have a degree in electronics, and some test gear, but I can't for the life of me find any information on how to get to the main PCB, and I don't just want to take all the screws out in case I can't get it back together again.

Anyone have any how-to information, even if it's just how to get the case off to see the main PCB for inspection/test.

Still hoping it's a dry joint or unseated connector/component or ribbon cable.

I've got the unit out of the dash, but can't see a way to get the case off!

Thanks in anticipation

Gonzo:fail
 

skiingnick

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Birmingham
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2005 E55 Estate
The top half of the case hinges back if you remove two screws on the top, just at the back of the screen surround and three screws on the back (two in the middle of the back and one under the fakra connection. Stick a screw driver in each side and lever the top half up and it hinges back. Be careful with the ribbon cable between the dvd drive and the board though as it's shortish.

Good luck.
 
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Gonzoribbons

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C-Class w203 C220CDi Avantgarde Estate 2006
I'll give it a try

Thanks for your advice, I'll give it a go over the weekend :)
 

KP090

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Oct 31, 2012
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Mercedes 06 CLK 280 Sport
Hi,

I'm having the same issue with my comand unit too, I've got a w209 clk 2006 but I believe it's the same ntg2 unit..

Can't figure what the issue with it is, star diagnostic said a stuck button but it's not that.. I think you spoke to braybrooks? They quoted me 695+vat. They said it was a common fault with the processor.. Surely if it's a common fault mercedes should offer cheaper repairs out of goodwill.. The system is rubbish and costs so much! u could get a brand new pioneer system for that much
 

richard

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Where did you do the fibre loop ?

You probably should start by putting the loop on the back of the COMAND (in the quadlock) thus optically removing all the fibre in the car before you decide the COMAND is faulty - you may well have done that already.

COMAND unit failures are not common. Most of the time it is something else on the fibre optic network.

The system was designed in about 1999. It first came out as NTG1 in 2002, then "cost reduced" to produce NTG2 first released in 2004. It was a £2K+ option. So that may explain why its so different to this years Pioneer/Alpine/etc models that were designed last year...

Cheers

Richard
 

KP090

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Mercedes 06 CLK 280 Sport
Hi Richard,

Sorry I tried to private message you but didn't have the rights to do so... Thought it will be an easier way to communicate. Apologies for the long message below and also to the person who posted the original message if it seems I'm taking over your thread.. Hopefully it will help you too

I see that your the own of the comand online and always get recommended to go to you guys with my issue...

I've got a 2006 clk280 with ntg2 comand which seems to be failing.

The unit constantly turns on and off and then after say 20 minutes it seems to be fine.. If it's not turning on and off the system stays on but doesn't respond to any buttons but will do through the steering wheel functions.. After a while the system starts to respond again and works perfectly.

I think I may have contacted you guys via the we sure but not sure? I also spoke to braybrooks who were the people who said that it's a common fault with the processor which is hard to repair and so the option they provided was to send unit back to Germany at Becker for replacement or they can replace the whole back of the unit in an exchange.

The only remedy I've tried is getting a star diagnostic which showed a button being stuck or pressed for 2 minutes (code d200 if I remember correct). The eject button was pointed out but when tested works fine.
I've also tried taking the fuse out for the comand, cd changer and audio gateway and put back one by one but didn't seem to do anything.

Do you have any possible solutions as I'm trying to keep costs to bare minimum as I want to sell the car very soon.

Thank you

Kunal
 
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Gonzoribbons

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C-Class w203 C220CDi Avantgarde Estate 2006
Tried the loop-back on the fibre-optic cable, to no avail, no change. Removed the lid, all connectors seated correctly, ribbon cables in-tact with no sign of damage. Main PCB seems damage-free and no sign of water ingress.

Still convinced this may be a power supply issue.

Does anyone have a pin-out of this model, or a technical service guide?

Thanks in anticipation
 

KP090

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Any luck fixing your problem with the system?
 

richard

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Hi
There are no service guides for this device. The power pins are the standard power pins on a quad lock so the unit can be powered up on the bench - you will need to loop the fibre if the unit is configured for a car with components on the fibre optic network.

It is possible this is a software issue. We have service update to clear the flash memory on the unit, and the navigation & head-unit firmware is on the map disk - so a reasonably new map disk is sensible ...

Richard
 
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Gonzoribbons

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Internal fan failure, main board overheated and cooked processor. Unit pretty much dead. Can anyone recommend a 3rd party replacement, or is it just easier to get an original replacement from salvage or dismantler?
 

richard

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Internal fan failure, main board overheated and cooked processor. Unit pretty much dead. Can anyone recommend a 3rd party replacement, or is it just easier to get an original replacement from salvage or dismantler?

Oops. Choices are.
A) identical replacement (ebay, etc). Easy
B) put ntg2.5 from the last of the c classe w203 clc. Much nicer unit, retains all steering wheel controls, displays etc, minimal wiring changes
C) if you do not have Harmon kardon sound system, any aftermarket unit with a set of adapters and a steering wheel control interface. Advantage, latest features, disadvantage not integrated with instrument cluster, doesn't look like it was original

We tend to like fitting Alpine units in mercs because they look,calm and work well, and we can give a 2 year warranty when we supply and fit. We also like Kenwood, more flashy but great features and reliability

R
 
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Gonzoribbons

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Further update

After further inspection, looks like plastic housing on fan is broken, confirming why fan was starting to fail. Looks like the support arms have fractured, and eventually snapped, allowing the fan to foul the rest of the housing.

The Overheat issue looks not to be quite terminal, as very occasionally it will turn on for about 30secs. Suspect that substandard lead-free solder was used during manufacture, and thermal creep has led to dry joints and connection fractures with the surface mount components. When unit is cold, these work for a very short time, then as the unit heats up, the cracks expand bringing the unit down.

I had an identical problem with a Dell laptop. The fix is to re-bake the circuit board under controlled lab conditions which re-flows it, and fixes the problem. Not sure if this would work for the Mercedes unit, but certainly worked for the expensive laptop. This was done professionally, not risked by myself, despite me having a degree in microelectronics.

Does anyone offer this service for the NTG2 unit? Would just need the board removing, the low-temp components taking off, re-flow, and re-build. Otherwise I'm looking at over £300 even on ebay for a replacement, with some asking £1200! Bit much for a 2006 car radio.
 

aliharry

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Jul 24, 2020
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Location
surrey
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Mercedes W202 C230k
Oops. Choices are.
A) identical replacement (ebay, etc). Easy
B) put ntg2.5 from the last of the c classe w203 clc. Much nicer unit, retains all steering wheel controls, displays etc, minimal wiring changes
C) if you do not have Harmon kardon sound system, any aftermarket unit with a set of adapters and a steering wheel control interface. Advantage, latest features, disadvantage not integrated with instrument cluster, doesn't look like it was original

We tend to like fitting Alpine units in mercs because they look,calm and work well, and we can give a 2 year warranty when we supply and fit. We also like Kenwood, more flashy but great features and reliability

R
What models do you recommend from alpine or kenwood ?
 

aliharry

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Alpine ILX-702d or pioneer SPH-da250 are our favourites, but chip shortage is causing all sorts of supply problems …
If I purchase a pioneer unit I’m thinking of getting the son 120 or son 160 due to being on a budget, what fascia kit/ cabling do I need?
 

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