Distronic Retrofit E400d W213

omega1

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Oh no, it's another retrofit post!

Firstly, would it be possible to kindly (and politely) request that anyone that's going to post "Don't bother, it's too expensive, just buy a different car, etc, etc..." please do not bother replying to the post? Thank you.

As a technically-minded person, I know that anything "can" be done, it would end up being a question of cost, so if we can park that to one side for a moment, I'd like to know what would be needed to do this if I chose to try it.

With that out of the way, I have a W213 (registered 2020, but MY16) E400d 4matic that I "thought" had Distronic fitted (there was some misunderstanding around the terminology 'Adaptive Cruise Control') and I would like to know what I would need to do to consider retrofitting Distronic to the car and would like to hear from anyone who knows what modules/parts are needed to do this. I'm also aware that software would likely need to be updated to enable any hardware connected.

Here are a bunch of 'high level' questions I have at the moment....

1) Has anyone actually been able to do this? I saw a thread on another forum and they go so far, but ended up with issues and then selling the car anyway, so it never completed.
2) Do some cars have the Distronic controls on specific stalk and some on the steering wheel, or are they all on the specific Distronic stalk? What is the difference, just the model?
3) Other than the radar unit (which I understand goes in the front behind the logo) and the stalk/wheel with correct buttons (and related harnesses), what other hardware is required? I wonder if the car already has the radar because in the 'Assistance' menu on the dash it can 'see' other cards getting closer. My previous E350d W213 had the 'Assistance' section, but couldn't 'see' any other vehicles, so this new model must have something to detect the proximity of vehicles in front. Does anyone know a good place to get a parts list for this?
4) Is it only main dealers that can enable any software related items in the system, or can an authorised Mercedes garages do it? (and would they do it?). I ask because I know if I go to Mercedes it will be a straight 'NO'!

Would appreciate any constructive feedback, comments and answers on this.

Thanks in advance.
 

Peter S

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At the risk of also getting confused by the terminology, and with reference to your second point above, my car (a 2019 e class cabriolet), has the drivers assistance pack which includes adaptive cruise control (distronic?). All of the controls for it are on the right hand ’spoke’ of the steering wheel; there is no distronic stalk.
 
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omega1

omega1

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At the risk of also getting confused by the terminology, and with reference to your second point above, my car (a 2019 e class cabriolet), has the drivers assistance pack which includes adaptive cruise control (distronic?). All of the controls for it are on the right hand ’spoke’ of the steering wheel; there is no distronic stalk.
Thanks for the info Peter S, much appreciated.
 

st13phil

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Just going on the basics of what the W212 system entailed, in addition to the central radar sensor, there are further sensors left and right at the front, and stereo cameras on the windscreen. Not sure if Distronic Plus is available on the W213 as an option on its own, or only as part of the Driver Assistance Package? If the latter, then there are further radar sensors required to each side of the rear bumper. Bound to be a whole host of other bits and bobs too. It would definitely need coding, and the radar sensors and stereo cameras all require specialist equipment for alignment.

If it’s doable, the guys at COMAND U.K. in Lightwater would be my first port of call.
 
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omega1

omega1

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Just going on the basics of what the W212 system entailed, in addition to the central radar sensor, there are further sensors left and right at the front, and stereo cameras on the windscreen. Not sure if Distronic Plus is available on the W213 as an option on its own, or only as part of the Driver Assistance Package? If the latter, then there are further radar sensors required to each side of the rear bumper. Bound to be a whole host of other bits and bobs too. It would definitely need coding, and the radar sensors and stereo cameras all require specialist equipment for alignment.

If it’s doable, the guys at COMAND U.K. in Lightwater would be my first port of call.
Thank you st13phil, appreciate you posting.

My understanding was that the stereo cameras were for lane assist, not for distronic, but I could be wrong as still trying to piece info together.

In terms of sensors, the car is full of them, front and rear... I'm not sure that Distronix uses those though? I though it only used the radar on the front grille.

Comand UK have popped up a few times now, I should probably contact them for some info and options.

Thanks again.
 

st13phil

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My understanding was that the stereo cameras were for lane assist, not for distronic, but I could be wrong as still trying to piece info together.
Yes, the stereo cameras are for lane assist, which is another reason why I questioned whether Distronic Plus was available as a stand-alone option or not. If it’s only available as part of the full package then you’d have to install everything.
In terms of sensors, the car is full of them, front and rear... I'm not sure that Distronix uses those though? I though it only used the radar on the front grille.
It uses the centre sensor for long-range, and additional sensors for close range and towards each side - on the W212 at least. It has to be able to “see” into adjacent lanes so that it can avoid overtaking on the inside, and also so it will accelerate into a clear space when you signal and swap lanes to your right. It’s actually a remarkably sophisticated system that uses lots of sensors!
 
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omega1

omega1

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Yes, the stereo cameras are for lane assist, which is another reason why I questioned whether Distronic Plus was available as a stand-alone option or not. If it’s only available as part of the full package then you’d have to install everything.

It uses the centre sensor for long-range, and additional sensors for close range and towards each side - on the W212 at least. It has to be able to “see” into adjacent lanes so that it can avoid overtaking on the inside, and also so it will accelerate into a clear space when you signal and swap lanes to your right. It’s actually a remarkably sophisticated system that uses lots of sensors!
Understood, thanks. I think replacing the screen (mine only has a single camera) would be a blocker for me doing this. I'll see what else I can piece together.
 

clk208

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I’ve just bought a 2017 W213 E220d estate with the full driving assistance plus package and can confirm that uses a stalk and also the buttons to the right between the steering wheel and air vent.

Rare as rocking horse in the UK on the estate- there’s usually only the odd E53 or above that has it for sale. So you may struggle to assemble the parts needed unless you buy them new.

Would be good if you can get it done though- following.
 

raspy

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At the risk of also getting confused by the terminology, and with reference to your second point above, my car (a 2019 e class cabriolet), has the drivers assistance pack which includes adaptive cruise control (distronic?). All of the controls for it are on the right hand ’spoke’ of the steering wheel; there is no distronic stalk.
@Peter S @omega1 There is a really interesting video on YouTube of a garage in Singapore retrofitting the Driver Assistance Package to a RHD 2019 W213 (the package includes the adaptive cruise control feature) - so it sounds like it can be done, but it looks expensive when I look at all the parts involved including a new steering wheel and a new windscreen to get the stereo camera!
 

raspy

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@omega1 Aha! I found a place called RJ Automotive in London that retrofits Distronic for just £504 (you can visit them or actually they can send you the bits out and help you install it remotely) without doing the entire Driver Assistance Package retrofit

The bad news is that it seems to apply to relatively recent models only according to their website;

A Class 2018+, CLA 2019+, C Class 2018+, GLC 2019+ GLA 2020+, E Class 2020+, GLE 2018+, EQC

They have a really interesting install video on their website

"Did you know that your Mercedes most likely has most of the hardware for adaptive/automatic/radar guided cruise control? All that needs changing is the cruise control buttons on your steering* which can be done by yourself quite easily in 15 minutes. See video guide above.

The price includes the supply of the buttons, the RemoteOBD dongle & the coding of the Adaptive cruise control."

I found this firm after reading about a chap in the UK on the A class forum this year that got Distronic retrofitted by RJ Automotive to his A250e. The entire thread is really fascinating to read because it seems there is a difference between this "cheaper" option of retrofit that gives regular adaptive cruise control vs the more advanced Distronic that's part of the expensive Driver Assistance Pack option from the factory that offers more functionality.

I suggest you call up RJ Automotive and just double check what they can do for your car.
 
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omega1

omega1

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@raspy many thanks for your posts and links, I will definitely contact them though it looks like my vehicle isn't covered in there offer/package and see what they can tell me. I had also seen the Singapore videos, but didn't see any website other than a WhatsApp contact number. I'll also contact Comand UK.

Thank you.
 

raspy

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@raspy many thanks for your posts and links, I will definitely contact them though it looks like my vehicle isn't covered in there offer/package and see what they can tell me. I had also seen the Singapore videos, but didn't see any website other than a WhatsApp contact number. I'll also contact Comand UK.

Thank you.
@omega1 You're welcome. Let us know how you get on. Regarding the Singapore folks, a lot of businesses in the East just seem to have a WhatsApp number only. It requires a certain degree of trust when dealing with them if they are genuine.
 

zenman63

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Having had my Gle bumpers off, the Distronic plus uses radar sensors in the bumpers two in the front and rear, plus the sensor behind the star.
You need to find a crashed car for parts and harness.
Bumper have Unique mounts that house the module each side.
You also need the stalk, coding etc.
 

Peter S

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You can just about see the buttons for controlling the adaptive cruise in this picture, taken when it was actually sunny! On the right spoke, in the lower section the small toggle on the left adjusts the distance to the car in front, the larger middle toggle is used to set / adjust the speed (though it reads road signs and will adjust itself to the limit for the road), and the small toggle on the right is the cancel / resume one. No other controls needed. Mines a late 2019, so probably a 2020 model year.

. 047F66FF-A377-448E-879A-543B6F4E8462.png
 
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omega1

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You can just about see the buttons for controlling the adaptive cruise in this picture, taken when it was actually sunny! On the right spoke, in the lower section the small toggle on the left adjusts the distance to the car in front, the larger middle toggle is used to set / adjust the speed (though it reads road signs and will adjust itself to the limit for the road), and the small toggle on the right is the cancel / resume one. No other controls needed. Mines a late 2019, so probably a 2020 model year.
Thanks Peter S. I just need to figure out if mine would have had stalk or buttons (I'm thinking buttons).
 

Peter S

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Based on this wheel on ebay ( MERCEDES 2020 STEERING WHEEL & AIRBAG AMG - C CLASS W205 W177 W213 W253 | eBay ) I suspect if you currently have a similar layout to mine but with the lower left toggle flipping between the LIM and Cruise function it’s a relatively easy swap… presumably the £500odd route mentioned above. If your wheel has the black inserts not the chrome/steel effect ( Mercedes W213 AMG steering wheel with Airbag - OEM | eBay ) then I think the cruise may well be on a separate lever, in which case the distronic retrofit sounds like it is much more involved (for which read expensive…)?
 
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omega1

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Based on this wheel on ebay ( MERCEDES 2020 STEERING WHEEL & AIRBAG AMG - C CLASS W205 W177 W213 W253 | eBay ) I suspect if you currently have a similar layout to mine but with the lower left toggle flipping between the LIM and Cruise function it’s a relatively easy swap… presumably the £500odd route mentioned above.
@Peter S Mine is indeed the same one as this. I contacted Comand and heard back, they told me it can't be done, seems to be mainly due to coding/programming. So even if I managed to get hold of the bits, I'd fail at the last hurdle of getting it all enabled...
 

whitenemesis

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Mercedes have put a stop to any retrofit that controls the speed or direction of the vehicle sadly. :-(
Presumably all linked with the "self-parking" options being disabled?
 

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