Super MB Star C3 “Mysql database connection exception occurs”

Here is the working solution to Benz Star diagnosis C3 Platinum Edition software “Mysql database connection exception occurs” error.

Q: I bought the Super MB Star C3 Platinum Edition hard drive. When I do ESP special function in DAS, software prompt me to run an upgrade. But when i update the super mb star software on official website, it gave me error “Mysql database connection exception occurs”.

super-mb-star-c3-special-function-1 super-mb-star-c3-special-function-2

OBD2TOOL engineer solution:

If updater ask to enter password, enter any key to login.
Change network server, do not select Europe server to update, select other region.

Make sure network connection is good enough.

How to update MB Star Platinum Edition software for Super MB Star C3/SD Connect C4?

1. Browse to Super MB Star official website: http://www.supermbstar.com/, click Login

update-super-mb-star-1 update-super-mb-star-2

2. Login with Serial Number and Password.

update-super-mb-star-3

NOTE:

Super MB Star comes with a password letter with unique ID and Serial Number. ID format SUP2013U07MR, serial number format 2014-0123-4567-6789.

For serial number, input the ID SUP2013U07MR, for password, it is the last 8 numbers for serial number, input 45676789 as the password

update-super-mb-star5

3. Click “Update Online” option, then you will find the software list, download the latest software to update your tool

update-super-mb-star-4
4. Download the Super MB STAR Updater V 3.0 to your laptop, then install it as the prompt:

1) fill in your email address

2) Click “register” button. Official website will send you a code

3) Fill the code in the blank

4) Click “Link”

update-super-mb-star-5

5. Then you will enter this interface:

When new software download, click the update tool icon you have installed, then you will see this interface, click “Download” button,  then latest software will download and install automatically.

update-super-mb-star-6

6. Software update procedure completed.

DAS Developer mode add Cruice control to Vito viano W639

For adding cruise control on vito viano w639
It is not my discovery, i find that on internet.

Add cruisecontrol / limiter to your Vito/Viano W639 it’s configuration.
This should work for all W639 till AJ08

In DAS Developer mode tested version 10-2008)

Used with MB SD C4 multiplexer

In engine control unit:
Entwicklungen (Development data) ->F3
Password : flexecu ->F3
Steuergerate – Anpassungen (Control unit adaption) ->F3
Steuergerate-Anpassungen (Variantencoderierung) ->F3
VCD_Transporter->F3
a Pop-up tells you : “Mindest eine Codiereinstellung ist ungultig” confirm -> OK

Here you will find the option settings
write down the line that is blue.
For example : NSG or NAG_Klima_Wasserstandschalter

Now we search for the string that contains the same options + Tempomat and Begrenzer
So that will look like : NSG or NAG_Tempomat_v-Begrenzer_Klima_Wasserstandschalter
Once you find it , click it and confirm with ->F3
“Soll die Codierung in Steuergerat ubertragen werden ?”->F3
JA or YES->F2 to proceed

Now we log out the engine ecu and go to the :
Instrument Cluster ( Kombi instrument) (Magnetti Marelli)

Steuergerate-Anpassungen (Variantencoderierung) ->F3
Variantencoderierung Algemeine Daten->F3
Scroll down untill you see “Limiter” set to Ja or Yes ->F3
F2 -> F1 -> F1
Ansteuerungen -> Gesamstliste aller Ansteuerungen ->
Scroll down untill you see the line : Steuergeraet Resetten (PowerON-Modus) (FN_Reset_SG_Power_ON)
Press F3 and confirm again with F3
Now you will see the “Kombiinstrument” reboots

Cruise control coding is added succesfully to your W639 now

Benz eCOM DoIP vs. MB SD Connect C4 Diagnostic Scanner

Look here: What’s the difference between Benz eCOM DoIP diagnostic tool and MB Star diagnostic SD connect c4 multiplexer?

Benz-eCOM-DoIP-vs-MB-SD-Connect-C4-Diagnostic-Scanner

In summary,

New car: eCom DoIP
eCom – laboratory\development tool. Most cheap and light. Can’t be used with DAS\HHT vehicles. Need luck with kline communication. Need to be specially setup on any diag sw installation.

Normal: Clone MB SD Connect C4
SDConnect – workshop\robust tool. Most universal in use. The only limitation is kline communication in Vediamo from ver5* Easy to setup. In most cases work as is.

Good to know:

Actia eCOM DoIP Box Multiplexer Kit supports DoIP for the latest E and S series, and it’s perfect for Mercedes COMAND NTG5, NTG5s1, NTG5s2, NTG5.5

ECOM is the diagnostic and swipe communication interface used by daimler-benz’s production and r&d department. It supports the after sales diagnostic software Xentry, Vediamo, and the Monaco DTS, the exclusive development software, with higher access rights than SDconnect (C4).

ECom supports the CAN/DoIP network, which CAN be used for the diagnosis and brushing of new car audio and video entertainment systems. Vediamo for Mercedes engineers is an engineering software used by Mercedes engineers to develop diagnostic software, that is, Xentry and DAS now in use is developed based on Vediamo and delivered to general after-sales dealers. For this reason, using the Mercedes super engineering version is open to all diagnosis /coding/retrofit/flashing programming features. It is possible to add or reduce SA codes freely without going through VEDOC(the process of the original factory applying for modifying the equipment code), so as to achieve the purpose of modifying the vehicle equipment, such as adding SA500 electric rearview mirror.

Xentry and DAS Developer mode, commonly known as: exploit data engineering version after 2010, has added many restrictions on functions. Therefore, people may encounter that the vehicle version is too new to enter the control unit, or they cannot make any special modifications after entering the control unit. For example, the w204/212 2012 meter may need to be configured in the regional language, or turn on other convenience functions.

The database of diagnosis /coding/retrofit/flashing for the Mercedes engineer version USES the Xentry database, so the Mercedes engineer version is dependent on the Xentry version. As long as the database is new, the Mercedes engineer version can use the V4.00 version on the new model, and compact3 & SDconnect does not support the ODX document. The latest V5.00 supports ODX files with eCom. It is recommended to use eCom with DoIP function, which is faster and more stable.

Mercedes Benz Star C3C4C5 Buying Guide

Mercedes-Benz-Star-C3-C4-C5-Buying-Guide

Mercedes benz star scanner is a very popular auto scanner in the market. However,Many customer are confused to choose when they want to buy one, because there is four version of mb star:Mercedes Benz star c3,benz star c4, Benz Star SD Connect Compact 4 C4 and super MB benz star C5.

So now,i will summarize their similarity and difference,hope it will helpful for customers to choose.

Similarity:

1.Benz star C3/C4 and MB star sd connect c4,Super MB Star c5 use same software.

V2019.3 MB SD Connect Compact C4 Software WIN7 500GB HDD DELL D630:

https://www.obd2tool.com/goods-334-MB+SD+Connect+Compact+4+Star+Diagnostic+Tool+With+WiFi.html

V2019.3 256GB SSD Software for MB SD C4/MB SD C5 MB Star DELL D630:

https://www.obd2tool.com/goods-335-MB+SD+Connect+Compact+4+Star+Diagnosis+Tool+Plus+Dell+D630+Laptop.html

2.For the hardware, Benz star C3/C4/C5 is same function in diagnosing.

Difference:

1.For the functions, MB star c3 and c4 are almost the same,C4 can do all the works what C3 does and it is the replacement of Compact C3.
Just benz star c4 size is small and weight is light,much convience and the anti‐interrupting ability is better.
One more thing, as customer feedback, the advantage of c3 is can do trucks best.

2.MB starC3, C4 just can support Mercedes Benz cars manufactured after year 2000. Super MB star c5,Benz SD Connect C4 can support all current and new coming MB vehicles.

3.Benz star c3,c4,SD connect C4 update by Harddisk.That means when customer want to update,they need to send back harddisk to supplier,after finish update,then send back to them again or just buy a new HDD.For the long international distance,it may need about 2 weeks can complete one time update,so it is very trouble and inconvience.

Under this suitation,Super mb benz star c5 is release, it is can update through super mb star official web directly, which will be much convience and time saving.

In addition,Super mb star C5 work with W204, W207, W212, 405, 451, 452 and 454. Besides the software c3 and c4 own,it added three more software: SD Media, Xentry and Smart TAN Code.

SD Media: Video and PDF lessons;
Xentry:New software released by Benz Company after 04/2009 by diagnosis new cars. Xentry software for diagnosing W 204,W207 and W212 which C3 and C4 does not support;
Smart TAN Code: Opened special function in DAS program with Smart cars 405/ 451/452/ 454.Besides, it also opened more special functions, such as engineer mode, remove limitations,etc, which Star C3 and Star C4 do not have.

4.Now we turn to MB star SD connect C4 again.MB Star SD connect C4 not only support KL diagnosis and three lines CAN BUS diagnosis, but also support UDS diagnose protocol, Because it have UDS chips. Star C3,C4,c5 don’t have this chip, so they can not support UDS.

The most advantage of SD connect c4 is: It can connect to PC by wireless or Lan cable.So it will be much more convience than Benz star C3/C4/c5.

Besides, Professional Diagnostic Tools mercedes star diagnostic SD connect C4 interface components used the military quickly inserted techniques that can support one million times plug, more stably;And all of the its core components adopt new original packaged chip, plus 24 hours fatigue test, to ensure its stable release.

So in all,each version have its advantage,just see which one is most suitable and interested you.

Mercedes 221 ME9.7 SCN coding online with vxdiag Benz C6

Mercedes Benz 221 with control unit ME9.7 perform online SCN coding with VXDIAG VCX Benz interface successfully. Here we go for step by step procedure.

Need:

Online SCN coding account

VCX Benz interface (Benz C6 or VXDIAG Multi diagnostic tool with Benz software)

benz-221-me97-scn-coding-1

Procedure:

Run Xentry newest version.

benz-221-me97-scn-coding-2

Passenger cars W211 by automatically scanning.
benz-221-me97-scn-coding-3
benz-221-me97-scn-coding-4

Press “F2” to determine the data.

benz-221-me97-scn-coding-5

Again, click on”F2″ to determine the data.

DAS is initialized communication layer.

benz-221-me97-scn-coding-6

Get the IMPORTANT NOTE on you should ensure enough power supply.

benz-221-me97-scn-coding-7

Click on “Quick Test” and “F3”.

benz-221-me97-scn-coding-8

Click on “ME 9.7”, then “F3” after reading the safety notes.
benz-221-me97-scn-coding-9
benz-221-me97-scn-coding-10

Click on “F1” to back to click on “Control Unit adaptation”.

Choose “Variant coding”.

benz-221-me97-scn-coding-11
benz-221-me97-scn-coding-12

Click on “SCN coding” then “F3”.

benz-221-me97-scn-coding-13

Login with your user name and password.(Online SCN Coding one time service)

benz-221-me97-scn-coding-14
benz-221-me97-scn-coding-15
benz-221-me97-scn-coding-16

The 221 ME9.7 SCN coding has been completed successfully, choose “F2” to continue.

You can also choose print the test report.

benz-221-me97-scn-coding-17
benz-221-me97-scn-coding-18

Click on “ESC” to exit VXC Benz software.

benz-221-me97-scn-coding-19

Done.

Mercedes 221 ME9.7 SCN coding online with vxdiag Benz C6

Mercedes Benz 221 with control unit ME9.7 perform online SCN coding with VXDIAG C6 Diagnostic Tool successfully. Here we go for step by step procedure.

Need:
Online SCN coding account
VCX Benz interface (MB STAR C6 or VXDIAG Multi diagnostic tool with Benz software)

Mercedes-221-ME9.7-SCN-coding-online-with-vxdiag-Benz-C6-1
One computer with win7 8 10

Procedure:
Run Xentry newest version.

Mercedes-221-ME9.7-SCN-coding-online-with-vxdiag-Benz-C6-2

Passenger cars W211 by automatically scanning.

Mercedes-221-ME9.7-SCN-coding-online-with-vxdiag-Benz-C6-3
Mercedes-221-ME9.7-SCN-coding-online-with-vxdiag-Benz-C6-4

Press “F2” to determine the data.

Mercedes-221-ME9.7-SCN-coding-online-with-vxdiag-Benz-C6-5

Again, click on”F2″ to determine the data.

DAS is initialized communication layer.

Mercedes-221-ME9.7-SCN-coding-online-with-vxdiag-Benz-C6-6

Get the IMPORTANT NOTE on you should ensure enough power supply.

Mercedes-221-ME9.7-SCN-coding-online-with-vxdiag-Benz-C6-7

Click on “Quick Test” and “F3”.

Mercedes-221-ME9.7-SCN-coding-online-with-vxdiag-Benz-C6-8

Click on “ME 9.7”, then “F3” after reading the safety notes.

Mercedes-221-ME9.7-SCN-coding-online-with-vxdiag-Benz-C6-9
Mercedes-221-ME9.7-SCN-coding-online-with-vxdiag-Benz-C6-10

Click on “F1” to back to click on “Control Unit adaptation”.

Choose “Variant coding”.

Mercedes-221-ME9.7-SCN-coding-online-with-vxdiag-Benz-C6-11
Mercedes-221-ME9.7-SCN-coding-online-with-vxdiag-Benz-C6-12

Click on “SCN coding” then “F3”.
Mercedes-221-ME9.7-SCN-coding-online-with-vxdiag-Benz-C6-13

Login with your user name and password.(Online SCN Coding one time service)

Mercedes-221-ME9.7-SCN-coding-online-with-vxdiag-Benz-C6-14
Mercedes-221-ME9.7-SCN-coding-online-with-vxdiag-Benz-C6-15
Mercedes-221-ME9.7-SCN-coding-online-with-vxdiag-Benz-C6-16

The 221 ME9.7 SCN coding has been completed successfully, choose “F2” to continue.

You can also choose print the test report.

Mercedes-221-ME9.7-SCN-coding-online-with-vxdiag-Benz-C6-17
Mercedes-221-ME9.7-SCN-coding-online-with-vxdiag-Benz-C6-18

Click on “ESC” to exit VXC Benz software.

Mercedes-221-ME9.7-SCN-coding-online-with-vxdiag-Benz-C6-19

Done.

Mb Star C3 Mercedes Diagnostic Full Set + Dell D630 Laptop Diagnosis

mb-star-c3-2

The software program Xentry/ DAS is a bit sluggish on an outdated IBM so that it’s price paying a bit additional and getting a Dell D630. HDD that is pre-loaded with the software program for SDConnect 4 by the vendor, is inserted into the DELL D630… The DELL D630 is the quickest laptop computer with the RS232 characteristic. D-A-S The Analysis Help System, a concise interface and a straight-ahead operation added to a excessive-quality Dell laptop giving Seller level access to code studying and the complete automobile testing systems and sensor reading. MB Star Diagnostic Instrument sequence are the Mercedes-Benz approved supplier diagnostic systems for troubleshooting and programming. Simply give you the self-take a look at report and the number, you’ll find out what’s the matter with this tool to avoid the transport charge when this software need fix. After one yr, if you want to update, that you must pay fee. We’ll show you the photographs of the products and packages earlier than you pay the stability.

What is the supply date9 Our products are normally shipped within 45 days after order confirmation. Briefly, they are nearly the same good quality and features, it is as much as you to decide on which one is your greatest needed. High quality Mb Star C3, MB Star C4,MB STAR C5, MB STAR C6 ,with completely different versions now are available in UOBD2. Consideration: Some customers might imagine they will not register the machine till they need to update, in order that they’ll replace to extra new variations within this one yr. Assume how jealous you’re mates shall be if you inform them you got your mb star c3 multiplexer on AliExpress. Get a C3 multiplexer and the earliest version of the software that you could find. MB C3 STAR MULTIPLEXER( BenZ VCI) 2. Sixteen PIN OBD II cable (OBD Diagnostic Socket ) three. 38 PIN cable (Outdated Benz Spherical Socket ) 4. 14 PIN cable (Dash. BenzMercedes Benz Star Analysis systemfrom obd2tuning.com includingMB Star interface,Mercedes C3 multiplexer, MB SD C4, Xentry Connect C5 and other Mercedes Star prognosis Software program Xentry das Hard Disk that may work with MB star C3 pro or MB C4 SD Join. Mb star diagnsois compact three is preofessional for Mercedes Benz all car contains truck!

HDD Tremendous mb star package deal included: 1. MB C3 STARMULTIPLEXER (Benz VCI) PIN OBD II cable(obd Diagnostic Socket ) PIN cable(old Benz Round Socket ) PIN cable(dash. Update on Super mb star official webpage free for one year. A: This one has offline coding perform. I used to be very hesitant in buying one of those Chinese gadgets. The opposite option can be to get a C4 system, but then they value extra. It’s extra convenient for customers as a result of the software program for C3/SD C4 diagnostic tool will be pre-installed earlier than delivery. Q:Is this instrument capable of work with Reset the Mercedes-Benz SBC Perform? IBM ThinkPad to work properly. Over time, a whole bunch of laptops were examined for compatibility but solely 2 laptops had been found to work appropriately. Truck Assist Listing:Actros963/four, Actros2,three, AtegoIII, AtegoII, AxorII, Eonic, Zetros, Actros, Atego Gentle, Atego Heavey, HPN M96, Atron, HPN M2000, SKL, FSK. For instance: If the model you purchased is 2013.3 and you don’t register it till 2014.4 software program release, then you’ll discover your 2013.3 hdd can not run 2014.Four software immediately.

The software program you get will normally be preinstalled onto a laptop computer or arduous drive for you to install into your individual laptop. Preinstalled is lots easier than doing it yourself and will save you 2 or 3 hours of installing and messing around. Energy can be equipped to unique pc (COMPACT3) through the cables. We offer online service 24 HRs, our after-sales service males can enable you to remedy the problem by teamviewer, just contact the gross sales. Michael Luo was the gross sales rep who instantly responded to my inquiry on the machine and he instantly responded to all my emails and questions within a day at worst. It could readout and erasing trouble code; read the real-time knowledge of sensor and actuator; code and program. Exterior hdd can be utilized on any kind of computers. T30 HDD fit IBM T30 laptop. It turned out that I needed to delete the drive letter from the main partition where my unique XP picture was. Don’t use the model on the hard drive in case it’s contaminated with trojan, virus, malware.

How to active MB Star SDC4 Xentry 2018.12 on Win7

MB SD Connect C4 2018.12 is available with DELL 500G HDD and Solid Hard Disk 256G.
Following paragraphs are on instructions.

DAS
Open “Get Hardware ID”, Copy the HardwareID and send it to the dealer for generating “license.dat”
MB-Star-SD-C4-Xentry-2018.12-on-Win7-1
Open “license.dat”

MB-Star-SD-C4-Xentry-2018.12-on-Win7-2

Open”DAS”
MB-Star-SD-C4-Xentry-2018.12-on-Win7-3

MB-Star-SD-C4-Xentry-2018.12-on-Win7-4

EPC WIS
Open”EWA net”
MB-Star-SD-C4-Xentry-2018.12-on-Win7-5

Name admin
Password 12345
MB-Star-SD-C4-Xentry-2018.12-on-Win7-6

MB-Star-SD-C4-Xentry-2018.12-on-Win7-7

MB-Star-SD-C4-Xentry-2018.12-on-Win7-8

MB-Star-SD-C4-Xentry-2018.12-on-Win7-9

Open”CarProKey”

MB-Star-SD-C4-Xentry-2018.12-on-Win7-10

MB-Star-SD-C4-Xentry-2018.12-on-Win7-11 MB-Star-SD-C4-Xentry-2018.12-on-Win7-12 MB-Star-SD-C4-Xentry-2018.12-on-Win7-13 MB-Star-SD-C4-Xentry-2018.12-on-Win7-14 MB-Star-SD-C4-Xentry-2018.12-on-Win7-15
XENTRY Diagnosis
Open”ConfigAssist”
MB-Star-SD-C4-Xentry-2018.12-on-Win7-16

MB-Star-SD-C4-Xentry-2018.12-on-Win7-17 MB-Star-SD-C4-Xentry-2018.12-on-Win7-18 MB-Star-SD-C4-Xentry-2018.12-on-Win7-19 MB-Star-SD-C4-Xentry-2018.12-on-Win7-20

MB-Star-SD-C4-Xentry-2018.12-on-Win7-22 MB-Star-SD-C4-Xentry-2018.12-on-Win7-23

MB-Star-SD-C4-Xentry-2018.12-on-Win7-24
Open Computer –Local Disk C-ProgramData-LicDir  copy “lic_key_2.dat”, rename “lic_key_2.x4711″ Set to read-only file
MB-Star-SD-C4-Xentry-2018.12-on-Win7-25

Video guide:

Xentry DAS & HTT-WIN Star Diagnosis Softwares

Mercedes Star Diagnosis software 2018.12 Version release work with Mercedes SD Connect C4, SD C5 for SCN coding online no error. 2018.12 Mercedes Star Diagnosis come with Xentry DAS HTT-WIN for Mercedes Benz old & new cars till 2018. What’s the difference of HHT-WIN and Xentry and DAS? why choose obd2tool.com 2018.12 Mercedes Star Diagnosis software? Check the reasons below.

2018.12 Mercedes Star Diagnosis come with Xentry DAS HTT-WIN on windows 7 32 bit System

Xentry-DAS-HTT-WIN-1
2018.12 Xentry diagnosis software is the latest version software available for SCN Coding programming, the software such as Xentry 2017.05, Xentry 2017.09 cannot login for SCN online coding again.
2018.12 Xentry diagnosis software installed win7 32bit system with HHT-WIN software work for old model, some other Xentry diagnosis software with 64 bit NOT includ HHT-WIN software.

HHT-WIN vs Xentry vs DAS:
Xentry took me to DAS, and DAS switched over (automatically) to good old HHT-WIN, again. Guess my 16-year old SUV’s system is a bit ancient in the scheme of Mercedes-Benz technology.

From what I’ve seen:
All MB from late 80’s to 99 = HHT-WIN
All MB from 2001 to 2009 = DAS
All MB from 2010+ = Xentry

The year 2000 is a weird transition period — some MB made in 1999 but the model year is 2000 will be diagnosed from the 38-pin under the hood and thus use HHT-win. Other MB made in early 2000 and sold as a 2000 model will have the OBD port and the SDS will require the OBD cable to diagnosis….and will use DAS.

And then there are orphan cars, like some SLK models — some 2000-2001 SLK require the 38-pin.

I’ve even seen a 2000 E320 that had both 38-pin and OBD port — I could use either port to conduct a full diagnosis. That was funny.

HHT-WIN supports modules on Mercedes vehicles:
HHT-WIN should be able to read all Modules.
Having said that, for Model Years 1990 – 12/1993, the Roadster Soft Top Module has 30 possible fault codes associated with it.
Whereas for Model Years 1/1994 – 1996, the Roadster Soft Top Module has only 11 possible fault codes associated with it.

IMPORTANT: HHT-WIN is updated to 09.2018 Mercedes Star Diagnostic software disk. Software released in 2017 and 2018 doesn’t come with HTT-WIN. But now, it comes again!

HHT-WIN

mercedes SD Connect Xentry VS DAS VS HTT win Whats the Different Between Xentry DAS & HTT WIN Star Diagnosis Softwares

Exploring the MB STAR C3

This thread will be devoted to a thorough explanation of the Mb Star C3 system in depth, over time. Another good reference thread can be found here.

First off, some history and background about the system. The MB STAR C3 is a diagnostic system that is provided by the factory for dealerships and independent repair shops, and is used to interface with the cars’ computers to diagnose systems and pull/reset codes, and even to program certain elements of the systems on more modern cars. The system costs upwards of $20,000 from OBD2TOOL, and is applicable for MBs from model year 1989 and newer.

Of course, cars of model year 1989 only had 2-3 computers in the car; however all successive MBs have had an increasing number of computers, and this is where the MB STAR C3 system really comes into its own — with the newer cars. For the purposes of the cars that are the focus of this forum — the 124.036 E500E — and to a lesser extent the 400E/E420 and the later C126 coupes, the computer setups are rather crude and limited when compared to cars starting with the W210 models, which debuted in model year 1996 in the USA.

What I’m saying is that the MB STAR C3 systems are much more suited and capable, coming into its own, the newer the car that it is used with. However, the good thing is that it is able to fully exploit the built-in computer diagnostics as found in the E500E. It does this using a compatibility mode that emulates the Mercedes-Benz Hand-Held Tester (HHT), which was a diagnostic tool that was used for the 1989 and up cars, commonly until about 2001 when the MB STAR system debuted. The HHT is literally a hand-held unit (it is actually quite a handful) that allows the user to pull and reset codes, provides access to “live” engine data on the M119 and M104 engines (though a larger array of live data on the M119s), and generally pull compete diagnostics of the computer systems.

Mercedes Hand-Held Tester (HHT)

The MB STAR system, when it made its debut, was much more capable because it was PC-based (IBM T30 laptop), but it was also very versatile because it incorporated a HHT emulation mode (for backward compatibility) along with a “multiplexer” intermediate unit between the PC and the car, which allowed the connection of a variety of different diagnostic connection cables, depending on which diagnostic system the car in question happened to use. For the oldest cars (i.e. the C126, early R129 SL models, early W124s and W140s, etc.) a “four-pin” diagnostic cable was provided. For second-generation cars, such as the E500E, 400E/E420, middle and later R129s, middle and later W140s, the familiar “38-pin” plug is provided. There are also OBD-2 interface cables for model year 1996 and later cars, as well as a 14-pin cable for European diagnostic systems. All of these cables allow the combination of the MB STAR with the in-line multiplexer unit to fully interface with any particular car’s computers.

As I said, the MB STAR system debuted around 10-11 years ago, in 2001. Because of its expense, it has been very much “out of reach” of most MB owners and enthusiasts. To pull codes and get information about the car, owners were forced to buy limited testers from companies like Snap-On, Trisco, and others that perhaps allowed one to pull and reset codes, and a couple of solutions provided some limited “live data” where the car allowed it. These systems would typically run from $500 to well over $1,000. The other option was to somehow obtain a used HHT (they are occasionally available via eBay, and are quite expensive) or a used MB STAR system – still a huge expense of multiple thousands of dollars used.

In recent years, Chinese forgers, who excel at making fake copies of everything from Louis Vuitton purses to Guess Jeans to Rolex watches, have set their sights on the MB STAR market (and other automotive diagnostic systems for other marques). This has resulted in a cottage industry whereby one could purchase an MB STAR system for anywhere between $600 and $1,200. Over the past year or so, as Chinese copies of the MB Star C4 system have come onto the market, the prices of the MB STAR C3 system have come down to a typical range of $250-450, depending on the vendor and the items included in the package.

These “clone” systems are easily available on sites like eBay and also Alibaba.com from hundreds of vendors. As with any Chinese copy of anything, quality varies and quite often — but not always — one gets what they pay for. The recent reduction in price of the MB STAR C3 systems has made even relatively good quality systems very very affordable for the DIY mechanic and/or MB enthusiast — providing them with the same diagnostic power as the dealership mechanic (but not the same level of training and knowledge). Typical options that are available with MB STAR C3 systems available on the Internet include: an array of cables; a multiplexer; a hard drive containing the MB STAR software package; and instructions on how to set up the system. The software typically includes: MB Xentry, WIS, EPC, STAR Utilities; EWA net; Star Browser; Star Finder; and a recent MB parts price list (which goes out of date quickly). Quite a number of vendors also provide Internet support, including the ability to remotely control systems over the Internet (with the user’s permission, of course) to diagnose installation and software problems.

There has been precious little information on the Internet about the Chinese MB STAR C3 systems, how they operate, and in general how the system operates. This thread will be a thorough, methodical investigation of how the system works, what it looks like, and how it can be used with the E500E (and by extension, the 400E/E420). It is up to the individual owner as to whether they need or would want such a unit. It would be overkill for many if not most owners. However, there are a number of owners who do want to do their own maintenance and want the tools to help them do this properly. For these owners, purchasing an HHT or MB STAR system may be a good idea.

I will not go into the nuances and details of ordering the system. All that should be said is that one should do their research carefully, and pay attention to the ratings from other buyers as to the honesty of a particular vendor. Most of these vendors are based in Hong Kong or on Mainland China. Quite often they speak decent English and are quite responsive and communicative when inquiries and requests are made. It would be recommended that prospective buyers utilize an escrow service to complete the transaction, so as to maximize honesty and straightforwardness of the transaction from both sides.

Some vendors offer free air-mail shipping via DHL or other international shipper. These packages can arrive in as little as three or four days after a payment goes into escrow and the seller is notified by the escrow company that they have received the cleared payment. Once the package is received by the buyer, they inform the escrow company that the package has been received in good order, and the money is then released to the seller. Pretty seamless, and because of the escrow service — a fairly safe transaction. Certainly better than sending off a Western Union or Credit Card payment to an unknown party in a foreign land.

So, the photos below illustrate what is commonly received with an MB STAR C3 package. It is a 4.5kg (10-lb) box that is nicely packed, and includes all of the items described in the seller’s site. A typical package will include the cables, a USB hard drive (or internal hard drive for an IBM or Dell computer, if specified), a multiplexer box and a packet of adhesive stickers that are placed on the multiplexer and the computer-to-multiplexer cable. The box is unpacked and the contents are checked against the web site’s description to ensure that all contents were included. Some sellers also sell individual pieces of the sets, if they are ever needed.

Next, after the contents of the package are ascertained to be correct, the recipient should install the software on a computer. It is HIGHLY advisable that a standalone, separate laptop computer be used for this, seeing as it will be used in a garage (next to the car) environment. For versatility (and because most people don’t own the specific IBM and Dell laptop models that are needed for the internal drives) it is advisable that the buyer specify the external USB hard drive model of the MB STAR C3. This way the hard drive can be plugged into any qualified laptop and used.

Requirements for a laptop that can be used with the MB STAR C3 system are generally as follows:

Must have a SERIAL port
Must have a processor frequency rating of 1.8 GHz or higher
Must have at least 1 GB of RAM; more is highly desirable
Must have a USB 2.0-compatible port
Must be running Microsoft Windows XP

It is best to just purchase a used laptop via eBay or Craigslist that meets these specifications, and use this computer SOLELY as a DEDICATED computer for the MB STAR installation. It can be kept in the garage and used for these purposes. It really doesn’t even have to be connected to the Internet. One can also put the laptop on a dedicated cart, which allows the computer, cables and a printer (if desired) to be rolled around the workshop/garage next to specific cars. Although the cables are quite long, it’s nice to have the computer next to the engine when using it.