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Marty, Mercedes Technician
Category: Mercedes
Satisfied Customers: 53979
Experience:  Bosch Certified Master Tech. Over 35 years experience.
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C230 Kompressor Sedan: I have purchased a very-low mileage

Customer Question

I have purchased a very-low mileage 2000 Mercedes C230 Kompressor sedan and have noticed 2 problems with it since I bought it: The range for the remote keyless entry system is ridiculously short - I have to be within 5-7 feet of the car to unlock and lock the doors. Furthermore, my FM reception is horrible as well. While researching this problem online I came to learn that a faulty Antenna Amplifier will cause both of these symptoms.
So, I am writing to confirm the above and - more importantly - to try to find out how to locate the existing Antenna Amplifier which, so far, I have been unsuccessful in doing. According to the diagrams I've seen online - the antenna amplifier is located somewhere in the driver's side "C" pillar - but from the way the diagram looks, I can't quite tell if it's accessible from inside the trunk or if I have to remove the "C" pillar interior trim piece. I've removed both that interior trim piece as well as the driver's side interior trim of the trunk - and so far I am still unable to locate it.
So - 2 questions here: 1) First, do you concur that my 2 symptoms (reduced keyfob range and poor FM reception) could be caused by a faulty antenna booster and 2) Where is this booster located and how do get to it?
Mark DiRollo
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mercedes
Expert:  Marty replied 2 years ago.
Hi Mark, welcome to Just Answer. My name is***** you please post the last 8 digits of the vin number so I can look up the wiring diagram of your system?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Marty,
I should have thought to provide you with my VIN - sorry for the oversight. Here are the last 8 digits of the VIN as you requested: YA814496Mark
Expert:  Marty replied 2 years ago.
Hi Mark, sorry for the wait I got backed up with cars here at work and couldn't reply.
I think you have two separate problems. Your remote control signal is received by the antenna in the front dome lamp. Your FM signal is received by the antenna in the rear window glass. If there is window tint on the front and rear window it can disrupt the antenna signal. There is an amplifier for the rear window antenna but it's behind the passenger side C-pillar not the driver's side. If you haven't replaced the batteries in your key yet I would do that first. Next I would have to suspect a fault with the antenna in the front dome lamp or with the wiring to the lamp. The antenna lead for the front antenna runs down behind the passenger side A-pillar.
Let me know if you have any questions.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks for the info but, unfortunately, your response yields more questions for me than it answers...
I find it odd that there is so much documented on the internet about both problems being indicative of one failing - that specifically being the failing of the antenna amplifier. But if what you're saying is correct - what then, if anything, can be done about the antenna in the front dome lamp?I will need to dismantle the interior C pillar trim to get to the antenna amplifier to see if replacing that corrects my problem with the FM signal - I'll also be curious to see if it has any effect on the range of my remote transmitters. By the way, I have long since tried replacing the batteries on both remote transmitters and it hasn't had any effect (one way or another) on the range.Is there any advice you can give me about removing the passenger side "C" pillar interior trim piece? And also what, if anything, can I do to troubleshoot and/or replace the antenna in the front dome light?Thanks,
Expert:  Marty replied 2 years ago.
Hi Mark, you have a W202 chassis. I suspect that everything you read on the internet pertains to the W203 chassis. The W203 chassis uses the same antenna for the radio and the remote. For the dome lamp you will need to substitute another lamp. You need to remove the rear seat backrest in order to remove the C-pillar trim. The trim unclips at the front edge and then pulls forward.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks for the reply. I am aware of the difference between the W202 and W203 chassis - and am fairly certain that the comments I've read on the internet were posted for the W202 - though I will re-check this as I am not absolutely certain. In the meantime, I will go ahead and remove the dome light (first) as the reduced range of the remote keyless entry system is more of a concern to me at this point.
Last question: Any advice as to how I would go about removing that unit? I would suspect that I would start by removing one or both lenses (as if I was going to change the bulb within) which should give me access to the mounting screws. Am I correct? Also, if I replace the dome lamp (and the built-in antenna as well as a result) - if that doesn't remedy my problem, then where should I go from there?
Expert:  Marty replied 2 years ago.
Hi Mike, just remove the two lenses by prying them down at the back and sides then press in on the metal clips to release the lamp. If replacing the lamp doesn't help I'd have to inspect the harness from the lamp down through the passenger side A pillar.
Expert:  Marty replied 2 years ago.
Hi Mark, I'm just following up with you on the Mercedes. Do you still need help with this? Please let me know.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
My apologies for taking so long to get back to you - I have had an emergency that sidetracked me from my usual activities...
I have not had the chance to take anything apart yet and, as such, I haven't be able to verify what you've told me - though I am sure it's all accurate. Unfortunately I won't have the chance to do the disassembling of the lamp or the rear "C" pillar for several days (due to the emergency dealing with). So, in short, I am not really in a position to rank your service until I've had a chance to verify the information you've given me.
Sound fair?Mark
Expert:  Marty replied 2 years ago.
Hi Mark, it's no problem at all. Just reply back if you need further assistance.