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.

mb star c3 vs mb star c4 vs mb star c5 vs mb star c6

22-1

Mb Star C3: It requires a laptop so that you can troubleshoot your Mercedes-Benz via Xentry software. While on paper it is slower than MB Star C4, it has proven to be a very reliable and robust scanner that is not plauged with WiFI connectivity issues like the Star C4.

22-2

MB Star C4 is the latest Mercedes-Benz wireless multiplexers that can connect to your PC via wireless connection. Being the latest Diagnostic Scanner for Mercedes-Benz it works faster, once you resolve any connectivity issues that is.

22-3

MB STAR C5 provides complete diagnosis for newest hybrid W222,with a qualitative improvement in hardware and software by authorization of diagnostic interface to control the software,it will allow you to work on windows xp, win7/8/10 system.

22-4

MB STAR C6: VXDIAG For XENTRY Diagnosis VCI is the latest interface for For Mercedes & SMART vehicles can replace Star C4/C5. VXDIAG For XENTRY Diagnosis VCI acts as a Pass-through Interface, also called Star C6, For Benz C6 multiplexer to provide complete communication between a vehicle and the VXDIAG For XENTRY software loaded on a PC.

(Solved) MB STAR C3 StarUtils Save Not Successfully

Hardware: Mb Star C3 China clone

Software: Xentry Diagnostic

Error:

StarUtils

Save Not Successfully

licSaveLicense XENTRY Diagnostics

13 – Store operation tried to save a StartKey which is older than existing StartKey with the same application ID.

Possibility of using fake old StartKey with higher permissions.

7-1

Solved!!

First delete lic-key2.dat in the local disk C:

Second change the Date and Time of your PC (should be same as the real)

The last but important, check if your activation is correct or not

SDconnect C4 Reviews: the best tools for programming Mercedes

This is the latest SD connect c4 reviews

Topic: the best tools for programming Mercedes

I want to buying a device for programming the modules of mercedes which one is safe and updatable?

Reviews:

I use C4 with Xentry works good for me.

First you must buy MB SD C4 or MB STAR C5 if you want coding and programming Mercedes Benz
And you also need other tool which can renew usd control modules
Like avdi Simon tech Mercedes instrument programmer vvd2

I use xentry 09.2016 works great, you can find premade acronis images and installation version here, just search for Xentry.
It’s good for trouble shooting and coding.
In some cases online scn coding requires a MB server connection.
You find members here that offer scn coding via team viewer.
Vediamo is also available I have not used it a lot but it lets you code and program on a deeper level.

Both sd connect c4 and c5 work good in coding and programming Mercedes Benz
but as for china clones, i prefer sd connect c4, c5 just in c4 casing

MB SD Connect C5 vs. SD Connect C4: The software of SD Connect c5 is the same as that of SDconnect c4, but the hardware of SD C5 is better and stable than SD C4:
1. The host communication connection end USES from design, to avoid inadvertently fall in the normal use of the communication port to connect and communication failure, etc.
2. DC 12 v power supply design/host upgrades to avoid the battery installation/battery voltage instability/host can’t enter the shutdown state, etc, caused by the motherboard and rapid aging of the battery.
3. The host CPU radiator surface and perfectly fit alloy shell, good heat dissipation effect. Equipment running smoothly, don’t crash.
4. The host USES the tamper clasp, should to avoid fragile warranty sticker damage caused by the warranty disputes.
5. Host wi-fi protected the upgrade for PC plastic shell, solid quality does not affect the wi-fi signal.
6. OBD main telecommunication lines connected to the host end upgraded to VGA15 industrial-grade connector.
7. Network upgrade for gigabit connections/pure copper wire core/double layer aluminum foil/woven mesh/silica insulation material. Gigabit communication Against interference/pulling open circuit / / fracture in low temperature.

Conclusion:

Benz diagnostic tool SD connect c4 wins! It works good in basic obd2 diagnostics, SCN coding, ECU/key programming online or offline on Mercedes cars, truck and Smart as well.

MB Star Diagnostic Tool series

MB STAR Diagnostic Tool series are the Mercedes-Benz approved dealer diagnostic systems for troubleshooting and programming.

MB Star diagnostic hardware:

MB STAR series now includes: WIFI MB SD Connect Compact 4 system, Super MB STAR C3 diagnostic system, MB Star C3 multiplexers (best quality, best price and C3 pro with 7 cables) and MB STAR Compact 4 system.

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All Star diagnostic system will do  Mercedes Benz 1989~up to now Car, Bus, Trucks, Sprint, Smart  (expect SP45-C best price MB STAR C3)

MB Star C4 is the newer Star system for newer models and support Mercedes with UDS protocol. SD Connect supports offline/online programming and Vediamo engineering software as well. Super MB STAR is the only Star tool that can be updated online.

Star diagnosis software:

All MB STAR Diagnostic systems come with multi-language basic software applications.

1.D-A-S / Xentry: the automatically Diagnosis Assistance System, Concise interface and straightforward operation with IB M high-quality computer can realize the quick and accurate code reading and the whole car system testing
2.W-I-S net: Workshop Information System Supply the whole view of the wiring diagram in a car, component location diagram and maintenance method. What you do is to enter the chassis number, and then you will get the manufacture data, engine configuration and the car model -all in detail.
3.EPC.net: Electronic Parts Catalog
4.ST Finder: Part location finder
5.STARUTILITIES: the movement management system and self-test
6.SDMEDIA
7.PL69

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Super Mb Star C3 comes with more software programs, including Smart Tan Code, Developer model and Benz Disassembly system etc comparing with other Star systems.

There are basic 3 formats Star diagnosis software HDD: IBM T30 HDD, Dell D630 HDD, and moveable external HDD. Internal HDD runs faster and stable then external HDD. While external HDD can be easily replaced and has no computer limitation (any laptop has COM-PORT)

All MB STAR system are look similar, are they all different?

All MB STAR system are look similar (Super MB STAR C3, MB STAR C3. SD Connect C4), are they all different?

And following are the obd2tool customer’s clear & precise answers:
a All STAR system shares the basic diagnostic software, like DAS, XENTRY, WIS, ST Finder etc. Super has much more software than other star diagnostic systems. Super MB SATR C3 has Develc Mode, Smart TAN code etc software etc that other Star tools does not have.
b.Super MB STAR C3 multiplexer can be updated online. MB Star C4 SD Connect and C3 Star do not support update.
c.MB SD Connect 4 is the newer and most respected Star tool for Mercedes models.
d.Best price MB SATR C3 version cannot support Benz trucks. Other Star multiplexers work both cars& trucks.

The VT55 triggers all newly mounted TPMS sensors and turns the warning light off. It decodes the sensor data and ensures that the correct tire pressure monitoring sensor is being read and isn?t a radio frequency transmission from a key fob or other sensor. The process allows the user to display the data on screen but also to transfer it to a PC and print out results outlining which sensor is faulty and why.The ATEQ VT55 OBDII TPMS Diagnostic Tool displays sensor ID, pressure, battery status, temperature, accelerometer and more.

Cars in normal operation, the automobile electronic control system signal input and output (voltage or current) will change regularly with a certain range; electronic control circuit when the obd2 scan tool is abnormal and beyond the normal range of variation, and this anomaly does not disappear at a certain time (three continuous stroke) within, ECU determines that a failure of this part, the fault indicator lamp is lit while the fault monitor in the form of code stored in the internal RAM ( RandomAccessMemory: Random Access Memory), is the fault code stored in the maintenance can be read by the fault indicator lights or OBD2 scanner.

If the fault is no longer present, the monitor after three consecutive times to the relevant signal is not received, the command displays the fault light goes out. Fault indicator light turns off after engine warm cycle about 40 times, the fault code will automatically be removed from memory.

2016.05 MB Star diagnostic Win7/Win 8 HDD/SSD

Mercedes Benz MB Star diagnostic software 2016.5 Xentry Das Win 7/Win 8 HDD/SSD for MB SD Connect C4 and Benz star c3 multiplexer have released in obd2tool.com
Latest version: V2016.5
Software language: Chinese. English. Croatian. Czech. Danish. Dutch. Finish. French. German. Greek. Hungarian, Italian, Japanese. Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian; Russian. Spanish, Swedish& Turkish.
Note: WIN8 System HDD/SSD does not support HHT-WIN! Software version newer than V2015.12 does not support HHT-WIN!

Software includes: (Version: 2016 )
1.D-A-S    I Xentry 2016.05: the automatically Diagnosis Assistance System .Concise interface and straightforward operation with IB M high-quality computer can realize the quick and accurate code reading and the whole car system testing
2.W-I-S    net 2016.03: Workshop Information System Supply the whole view of the wiring diagram in a car.component location diagram and maintenance method. What you do is to enter the chassis number, and then you will get the manufacture data, engine configuration and the car model -all in detail.
3.EPC.net 2016.03 : Electronic Parts Catalog
4.ST Finder 2008:Part location finder
5.STARKey : manager the startkeys
6,SDMEDIA 2014
7,PL70
8,Win8

ATEQ VT55 OBDII TPMS Reset Activation Programmer Tool
Displays: Depending on the information transmitted by the sensor, vt55 ateq will display sensor ID, pressure, battery state, temperature and accelerometer information.
Indicators: LEDs: low battery, transmision, PASS and FAIL. Buzzer.
Connectivity: USB port with included USB cable, PC driver and software.
Power Supply: Powered with Li-Ion rechargeable batteries with charger – low battery status

Because the United States and Europe, using two different emission regulations, so the second-generation on-board diagnostic system OBD II, EOBD two forms. U.S. implementation of OBD II, and the use of European countries to implement emission regulations EOBD system. From the source, the American OBD II system implemented earlier and more stringent standards. EPA regulations in 1996 after the production of cars and light trucks (load at 6.5t or less) of electronically controlled systems require configuration OBD II system and start all car manufacturers cars and light trucks in the January 1, 2000 are you must configure the OBD II system. In 1998, Canada implemented OBD II system.

Europe began the gradual implementation from 2000 EOBD system in 2001 all new production of cars in Europe (Load 2.5t or less) is limited to the gasoline engine configuration EOBD system, and the Professional Diagnostic Tools for diesel engine cars to the 2004 mandatory EOBD system configuration. In the relevant provisions of the Central European emissions regulations no OBD II our current standard has been promulgated in, but with the implementation of the Euro Ⅲ standard, EOBD use certainly on the agenda.