No central No locking/unlocking at distance and bad radio reception

KettleDrum

New Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2014
Messages
2
Car
2005 C-Class Coupe (W203)
Hi Guys,

My first post on here, just trying to get some insight from someone in the know.

I have a 2005 C-Class C220 CDI Coupe (W203). Car runs great and its a pleasure to drive (especially over longer distances) but I've had tons of minor issues with it over the last month or two (perhaps it's just the age showing).

The latest is the following: a few days ago I noticed the the car won't lock/unlock at a distance with the fob. At the same time I've noticed that I have virtually no radio reception. After trawling the forums I figured it's an issue with the RF Aerial Amplifier. I double checked fuse #8 and this is fine. I also replaced batteries in both fobs (tested both primary and spare) just in case. The car also locks/unlocks from inside using the button on the dash.

I've taken the car in to an independent MB garage and they confirmed that the Antenna Amplifier needs to be replaced. So far so good, however my issues are the following:

1 - Assuming it's an antenna amp fault, the IR locking/unlocking method (in the driver-side door handle) should be working, correct? The problem is it's intermittent - I have to try quite a few times to get it to work. I mentioned this to my mechanic and he mentioned that this is "part of the same system" and this is why it doesn't work. Is this correct? Why have a secondary system (IR) if it still relies on the RF antenna amp? Could someone please confirm that this should work and is independent? If so what could be the reason for the intermittent locking/unlocking? A faulty (or failing) IR sensor? Worn wiring in the door?

2 - The cost the mechanic has quoted me on the repair seems ridiculously high - upwards of £700 broken down as:
£330 for parts (I'm assuming for the amp and 2 seals needed)
eek.gif
Does anyone know the part numbers for the amp and 2 seals?
£225 for labour
£150 for the "specialist" company to remove the back window from the car
This doesn't cover the cost of the back window should it need to be replaced if it gets broken during the removal (apparently this happens
confused.gif
), which is £180
To all the experts on here, do these prices seem normal to you? Potentially almost £1000 to fix a "nice to have" feature on a car worth £6000? Seems ridiculous.

I'm based in London but am willing to travel some ways to get it repaired for a reasonable price (at least the IR element, if not the entire thing).

If anyone can provide any help or advice on the above, I'd be extremely grateful!

Thanks in advance!
 

PCnerd59

New Member
Joined
Sep 24, 2008
Messages
20
Location
Kent
Car
C220 CDi W203 Saloon
Go for aerial amplifier 1st after checking volts at the amp and continuity of aerial inner core of the co-ax.
Aerial connection in rear window rarely fails.
 

Dec

MB Enthusiast
Joined
Jul 28, 2004
Messages
4,475
Car
C180,A.
Test your alarm, see below link, it’s for a W202, yours should be similar.
http://www.mbclub.co.uk/forums/electronics/169666-w202-how-test-car-alarm.html

Do the test in a busy area with plenty of people around, that way no one will take any notice of you.
Allow the alarm siren to sound for a full 30 seconds to see if it shuts itself off and wait a further 3 minutes to see if the hazards keep flashing for a full 3 minutes before the alarm resets itself.



Dec
 
OP
OP
K

KettleDrum

New Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2014
Messages
2
Car
2005 C-Class Coupe (W203)
Thanks for the replies guys!

I've figured out the IR issue. In order to lock/unlock via IR you need to hold the fob right up against the IR receiver in the driver-side door handle, and then hold the lock/unlock button for a second or two, as opposed to the quick button presses to lock/unlock when using RF.

Dec, I've tested the alarm and it's all good, which I assume means that it is in fact the RF Antenna Amp which is at fault?

I'm pretty sure this is in fact the issue but now that I can lock/unlock via IR, it doesn't really bother me. The radio reception is a bit of a pain, but I mainly listen to CDs anyway, so it's no biggie.

My main question now I suppose, is should it cost almost £1000 to replace the RF aerial amplifier. I just want to know if my mechanic is ripping me off or if that's the going rate - if it is there's no way I'm doing it.

Thanks again for the help!
 

AndyPCD

Registered User
Joined
Jul 19, 2009
Messages
1,067
Location
Watford
Car
C250 cdi amg sport plus
Just had a look and the rear screen does have to come out to fit it. But i think the labour to fit it is a bit steep as once the screen is out it just sticks to the glass.

Has the amp been checked to see if it is still stuck to the screen. Have seen them become detached and cause this problem.
 

Fifi01

New Member
Joined
Aug 17, 2017
Messages
6
Car
mercedes c220 coupe 2008
I am in the same boat. However the only way to lock/ unlock is manually with the key. Can't engage the alarm and hence can't test it. Fuses have been checked and all are ok. I have ordered an amplifier and should receive it soon.
Just wonder how difficult is it to replace it? Can it be replaced without messing with the rear windscreen?
Any idea how much a garage will charge me?
Since I had the car not been to a garage, so 1st need to find a decent MB specialist ( North London), don't mind to travel a bit for reasonable price.

Many thanx in advance.
 

exvolvoman

Active Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2017
Messages
259
Location
Mid Wales
Car
2004 C180k Estate & Volvo V70 T5
Recently repaired the IR sensor in the door handle on my c180, there are plenty of posts here about doing it, you'll need a soldering iron, but relatively easy job.
I have hardly any AM radio reception, although FM works as does the remote locking so may decide to replace aerial amp soon. Apparently on the estate version this is located inside the tailgate.
Personally I wouldn't have thought the aerial in the rear screen was at fault, these can get damaged due to rough cleaning etc. but I would be more inclined to check connections.
 

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