W205 (Pre-Facelift) CarPlay Activation

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dannycc

New Member
Joined
Jun 14, 2023
Messages
2
Location
North East
Car
C Class - W205 (Pre-Facelift)
Hi all, appreciate that this is a question that seems to be asked quite a lot but I have read a number of conflicting and contradictory opinions about it so I'm hoping for a bit of clarity. I have a pre-facelift (18 plate) W205 and whilst it has both the instructions for setting up Apple CarPlay in both the digital and physical owners manual and the 'CarPlay' USB port in the armrest, it doesn't actually have the option within the telephone menu to use CarPlay and connecting an iPhone to the 'CarPlay' port does nothing. I'm pretty sure that this means that my car is not equipped with CarPlay for some reason.

I have attempted to use a CarPlay activation OBD2 dongle with no joy (I was fairly sure it wouldn't work as pretty much every Mercedes model was listed as compatible with the exception of the C Class) and my options as I see it are:

  1. Activate CarPlay via coding
  2. Retrofit upgrade kit
  3. Android screen
Personally I love the look of the android screen but I have read (mainly here) some very bad opinions of them and whilst I would remove it and re-fit the OEM screen when I sell the car, I'm concerned about the longevity of them and reliability etc., then there would be the question of 'which one'.

My two remaining options would both be retaining the current OEM screen (I'd prefer not to but unless someone can convince me otherwise, I don't trust the Android screens enough). Since I'd be retaining the screen, I'd far rather have the factory CarPlay (accessed by the telephone menu) activated via coding rather than the aftermarket box accessed by the star/favourites button. I have reached out to three 'Mercedes coders' so far, one says that it is possible when done with a software upgrade, another says it can be done but hasn't went into details and the third says that it can technically be done but it involves a software downgrade which risks breaking the headunit so they don't offer it.

Has anyone had any experience of coding an activation of the factory CarPlay and can provide some clarity on this (and any risks) please? If so, a company recommendation would also be brilliant (preferably remotely as there are none that I know of close to me but I will travel if necessary). If anyone has any advice to offer or wisdom to provide then all help would be greatly appreciated.


FYI - a VIN Decoder shows code 522 - AUDIO 20 RADIO NAVIGATION CAPABLE NTG5 and my NTG version is 5Star1.

Thanks in advance.
 
I had CarPlay activated by Genenostics. Great service, was done remotely. Mine's a FL, but it sounds like yours might be a late enough build for activation too given the existence of the required "CarPlay-specific" USB port. Give them a shout.

I ummed and ahhed about having it done for a while, but when Merc wanted £120 annually for the Live Traffic service, it became a no-brainer. The system itself is absolutely superb, and I wouldn't be without it now.

 
Hi all, appreciate that this is a question that seems to be asked quite a lot but I have read a number of conflicting and contradictory opinions about it so I'm hoping for a bit of clarity. I have a pre-facelift (18 plate) W205 and whilst it has both the instructions for setting up Apple CarPlay in both the digital and physical owners manual and the 'CarPlay' USB port in the armrest, it doesn't actually have the option within the telephone menu to use CarPlay and connecting an iPhone to the 'CarPlay' port does nothing. I'm pretty sure that this means that my car is not equipped with CarPlay for some reason.

I have attempted to use a CarPlay activation OBD2 dongle with no joy (I was fairly sure it wouldn't work as pretty much every Mercedes model was listed as compatible with the exception of the C Class) and my options as I see it are:

  1. Activate CarPlay via coding
  2. Retrofit upgrade kit
  3. Android screen
Personally I love the look of the android screen but I have read (mainly here) some very bad opinions of them and whilst I would remove it and re-fit the OEM screen when I sell the car, I'm concerned about the longevity of them and reliability etc., then there would be the question of 'which one'.

My two remaining options would both be retaining the current OEM screen (I'd prefer not to but unless someone can convince me otherwise, I don't trust the Android screens enough). Since I'd be retaining the screen, I'd far rather have the factory CarPlay (accessed by the telephone menu) activated via coding rather than the aftermarket box accessed by the star/favourites button. I have reached out to three 'Mercedes coders' so far, one says that it is possible when done with a software upgrade, another says it can be done but hasn't went into details and the third says that it can technically be done but it involves a software downgrade which risks breaking the headunit so they don't offer it.

Has anyone had any experience of coding an activation of the factory CarPlay and can provide some clarity on this (and any risks) please? If so, a company recommendation would also be brilliant (preferably remotely as there are none that I know of close to me but I will travel if necessary). If anyone has any advice to offer or wisdom to provide then all help would be greatly appreciated.


FYI - a VIN Decoder shows code 522 - AUDIO 20 RADIO NAVIGATION CAPABLE NTG5 and my NTG version is 5Star1.

Thanks in advance.
Hi Did you find an Answer as im looking at hte same issue tia
 
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but your W205 non facelift will not accept a s/w update to activate CarPlay. You can add a box to deliver CarPlay thro the oem screen hth
 
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but your W205 non facelift will not accept a s/w update to activate CarPlay. You can add a box to deliver CarPlay thro the oem screen hth
thank you thats fine just looking at all the options, obviously the cheapest first to start, only had her 3 days
 
Hi all, apologies for not getting back to each of you at the time (sometimes life just gets in the way).

On Monday evening I reached out to GeneNostics (again) to query a software update activation and was told that it was possible and could be done remotely. I paid up front (which felt risky but the risk certainly paid off) and £2.50 extra for next day delivery of the OBD connector required which arrived today (Wednesday). Within the space of 5/10 minutes, Soul from GeneNostics had remotely connected to my laptop which in turn was connected to the OBD connected to the car, downloaded some software and activated the factory Apple CarPlay and Android Auto feature (from the Tel menu in the command system, where it would’ve been if Mercedes had included the feature) on my 2018 C-Class Saloon (W205 Pre-Facelift).

I can’t believe that it has taken me so long to decide to go ahead and do this but it was probably partly due to being told here, elsewhere, and, by my local Mercedes dealership that this was NOT possible without aftermarket equipment. It absolutely IS possible depending on the parts/hardware attached to your vehicle. From my understanding, if you have the correct/CarPlay USB Port within the armrest in the centre console, then you have the correct hardware and the factory features can be activated without the need for external hardware but I’d recommend checking with Soul at GeneNostics and I’d highly recommend him to anyone, very responsive, fast and efficient, I wish I’d have done this 2 years ago!!
 
Hi all, apologies for not getting back to each of you at the time (sometimes life just gets in the way).

On Monday evening I reached out to GeneNostics (again) to query a software update activation and was told that it was possible and could be done remotely. I paid up front (which felt risky but the risk certainly paid off) and £2.50 extra for next day delivery of the OBD connector required which arrived today (Wednesday). Within the space of 5/10 minutes, Soul from GeneNostics had remotely connected to my laptop which in turn was connected to the OBD connected to the car, downloaded some software and activated the factory Apple CarPlay and Android Auto feature (from the Tel menu in the command system, where it would’ve been if Mercedes had included the feature) on my 2018 C-Class Saloon (W205 Pre-Facelift).

I can’t believe that it has taken me so long to decide to go ahead and do this but it was probably partly due to being told here, elsewhere, and, by my local Mercedes dealership that this was NOT possible without aftermarket equipment. It absolutely IS possible depending on the parts/hardware attached to your vehicle. From my understanding, if you have the correct/CarPlay USB Port within the armrest in the centre console, then you have the correct hardware and the factory features can be activated without the need for external hardware but I’d recommend checking with Soul at GeneNostics and I’d highly recommend him to anyone, very responsive, fast and efficient, I wish I’d have done this 2 years ago!!

It is indeed impossible to add native support for Apple CarPlay on a pre-facelift W205 equipped with COMAND NTG5*2.

However, your car is equipped with Audio20 NTG5*2 - which is different to COMAND. I think that this was the source of the original confusion.

Also, keep in mind that the OBDII upload isn't an official MB solution. What it does, it uploads onto the infotainment system a hacked version of the firmware. This bypasses the need for proper SCN coding and updating of the MB Datacard (which can only be done using genuine MB STAR with valid subscription and live connection). The potential downside of this hack (apart for IPR issues) is that you should not try and update the infotainment system software, because it will overwrite the hacked firmware and Apple CarPlay will be lost. Having said that, this isn't really an issue for older cars, because they rarely see a dealer, and even if they do, the dealer is unlikely to initiate a firmware update on their accord, on a car that's not under warranty.

If you want to be sure, check the Datacard for option 16U SMARTPHONE INTEGRATION APPLE CARPLAY - my guess is that it won't be there.
 

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