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Created: 30 Nov 1999

Last Updated: 3 Jan 2012

Here are the questions I get asked most about COMAND-APS (The DVD based Mercedes Sat-Nav system) (also known as NTG1 and NTG2)

Questions:

1 What models does this FAQ apply to?
2 What is NTG1, NTG2, NTG2.5, NTG3, NTG3.5, NTG4 etc
3 How do I retrofit COMAND APS to my car?
4 What cars are factory fitted with COMAND-APS ?
5 Where can I buy the map disks ?
6 My Mercedes was not supplied with the COMAND-APS system. Can this be retrofitted ?
7 Who can retrofit COMAND-APS to my car
8 Where can I get a manual for COMAND APS ?
9 What part number for COMAND-APS do I need ?
10 What are the connectors on the back of COMAND-APS ?
11 Who makes COMAND-APS ?
12 What bits make up COMAND-APS and what do they do ?
13 What hidden menus are there ?
14 I got an E class unit, will it go in my C class ?
15 I just installed COMAND-APS and it immediately turns off -Why ?
16 What Map disks work with COMAND-APS ?
17 What are the map disk part numbers ?
18 Are software upgrades available for COMAND-APS ?
19 How do I get Estimated Time of Arrival on the screen
20 My COMAND-APS has 3 part numbers on the label - what do they mean ?
21 The dealer can't activate the instrument cluster Navigation screen.
22 The dealer can't make my phone work after installing COMAND
23 Can I reset my COMAND-APS, its going slow, not finding many satellites etc ?
24 Can I put a European COMAND-APS onto a North American car ?
25 Can I enable MP3 ?

Answers:

1. What models does this FAQ apply to?
This FAQ applies to the DVD based COMAND systems (known as NTG1 and NTG2). There is some information in this FAQ about NTG3/NTG3.5 (S/CL) and NTG4-W204 (W204 C/GLK) and NTG4-W212, (W212,W207 E). There is a separate FAQ for the NTG2.5 Hard Disk based system Here.

2. What is NTG1, NTG2, NTG2.5, NTG3, NTG3.5, NTG4 etc
NTG1 was the first DVD based system fitted to the W211 E class, the CLS class, the old W220 and W215 S and CL classes, the SL and the SLK. The navigation processor was seperate and in the boot (trunk) of the car. The AGW (amplifier, tuner and diagnostic interface) is also part of this setup and it is a seperate hidden unit in the boot or under the passenger feet in the SLK. This sytem first appeared in 2002 although it was mid 2003 (MY2004) before it appeared in the S/CL and mid 2004 (MY2005) in the SL.
NTG2 was then introduced for the A/B/C/CLK/ML/R/GL vehicles, the navigation DVD was then in the head unit (with the AGW also). This first appeared with the Model Year 2005 facelift C/CLK (ie from Q2 2004).
NTG3 was then introduced in the new W221 S and W216 CL vehicles, with an internal hard disk for the map but no Bluetooth phone support in the head unit. A seperate rotary controller is used to control the NTG3 unit
NTG4 was then introduced for the W204 C class, which is a cost reduced NTG3 with bluetooth in-built and is also the W212/W207 new E class and E class coupe but requires different map disks. The W212/W207 version does not have the folding display screen that exists in the W204. Early pictures of the SLS (W197) indicate that has the same system as the W212/W207. i.e also NTG4.
And NTG2.5 was introduced for Model Year 2009 vehicles (except those with NTG3/4), which has a built in hard disk, bluetooth, and no seperate controller. NTG2.5 was introduced for the Vito, Viano and Sprinter for Model Year 2010.
NTG3.5 was introduced for the S and CL for MY2010 which now includes bluetooth in the head unit.

3. How do I retrofit COMAND APS to my car?
Look at my document Retrofitting COMAND APS. This covers A and B class in detail, but the principle is the same for C, CLK ,ML, GL. There are other documents on Mercupgrades.com that cover how to install the head unit for different vehicles. The E / CLS / SL / SLK system is more difficult as it has units in the boot (trunk) as well as the centre console, and I hope to add some information on that shortly.

4. What cars are factory fitted with COMAND-APS ?
The new A class (W169), B Class (W245), C Class (W203) from roughly April 2004, CLK (W209) from roughly June 2004, E Class (W211), CLS (W219), GL (X164), new M Class (W164), R Class, SL Class from roughly June 2005, S class (W220) from MY2004, CL class from MY2004 and the Smart ForFour. The latest S (W221) and CL (W216) class have newer systems which are not really covered by this document. Note that the A/B/C/CLK/ML/R/GL in the USA before MY2009 is not fitted with COMAND-APS it is fitted with MCS-II which is completely different to COMAND-APS. MY2009 onward get NTG2.5.

5. Where can I buy the map disks ?
You can buy new genuine European map disks from Comand Online Web Shop

Theres a good supply of older European map disks on EBAY. Click Here for a suitable ebay search.
But beware, there are plenty of fake copies - make sure you really do buy the latest version, and the correct version for your vehicle - there are now lots of types of map disk and the numbers clash, and the latest releases do not have the same number - for instance Version 6.0 for E/CL/S/SL/SLK/CLS is different to Version 6.0 for the A/B/C/CLK/ML/GL/R - but actually V12.0 is current for W211-E (etc) and Version 12.0 is current for A/B/W203-C/(etc) and they are different disks.

6. My Mercedes was not supplied with the COMAND-APS system. Can this be retrofitted ?
Retro-fitting European and US A/B/C/CLK/M/GL/R and Smart ForFour with COMAND-APS is relatively easy because all componenents are contained in the single head unit. Other vehicles are more complicated as extra wiring is needed as the AGW (Audio Gateway) and the DVD navigation processor are often seperate.

7. Who can retrofit COMAND-APS to my car
Most Mercedes dealers will not - or it will cost an arm an a leg. If you are in the UK, then the best people to supply and fit (or arrange fitting) is Comand.co.uk. In Australia, see Benzmodz. And, Steve at MBenzNL visits the US and probably most of the world regularly on "retrofit missions" fitting COMAND and lots of other stuff to Mercedes vehicles.

8. Where can I get a manual for COMAND APS ?
You can get European manuals for the A/B/W203-C/W209-CLK/ML/GL/R and E/CLS class COMAND APS manuals from Comand Online Webshop. They are very hard to get hold of as Mercedes seem to only stock in small batches and run out quickly the the shop runs out of stock quite often.
Most of the USA COMAND manuals are Here.

9. What part number for COMAND-APS do I need ?
There is a document on My site with part numbers for COMAND and COMAND-APS.

10. What are the connectors on the back of COMAND-APS ?
The E/CLS units have between 1 and 4 connectors depending on whether the unit has video capability. The A/B/C/CLK/etc units have more connectors because they contain the AGW (and thus the tuner) and the Navigation processor.

E/CLS Comand APS connectors
1Green FAKRA - Video Input (only if Video capable)
225-way D-Type - Rear Screen (only if Video capable)
33 Way - AUX audio input
4Multiway - Power, Ground, Wakeup & MOST fibre plug

A/B/C/CLK/ML/GL/R Comand APS connectors
1Green FAKRA - Video Input
2Blue FAKRA - GPS aerial
3Yellow Fakra - 2nd FM Aerial
4Black Fakra - Main FM Aerial
5Multiway connector - AUX, Power, Speakers, MOST Fibre connections



11. Who makes COMAND-APS ?
Harman Becker and Siemens make the COMAND-APS units. Siemens seem to make the S(W220)/CL(W215)/SL units and the USA versions of the E/CLS/SLK units. Becker seem to make the others. There may be Becker versions of the USA E/CLS units. The USA A/B/C/CLK/ML/GL/R unit is not COMAND-APS, it is MCS-II and is made by Alpine. NTG2.5 are made by another manafacturer.

12. What bits make up COMAND-APS and what do they do ?
There are a number of components that make up the COMAND system, in some cars many of these components are in the main display unit, in others they are distributed around the vehicle.
Audio Gateway (AGW) - this unit contains the Tuner (radio), the MOST fibre optic controller and the diagnostic interface.
COMAND - this is the display module
Navigation - this module provides navigation functionality.

In the A/B/C/CLK/ML/GL/R/ForFour all 3 of these units are built into the display module. On other vehicles the Navigation system is in the trunk (boot) of the car. The AGW is either near the Navigation system, or built into the head unit. (Certainly on S/CL/SL it is built into the head unit). The US COMAND-APS unit is very different, and in fact is known as MCS-II - the navigation unit is in the head unit, but it is an option and can be added (or removed) later.



13. What hidden menus are there ?
On the E/CLS, holding down 1,3,8 keys simultaneously just after COMAND-APS is turned on without a CD in the drive will put the COMAND-APS into 'update' mode, waiting for a service CD to be inserted.
On NTG2 modes you can see the Navigation internal menu by pressing NAV, letting go and then holding NAV and the 5 key for about 10 seconds. This may work for NTG1 as-well.
On NTG1/NTG2 you can enter the 'Engineering Menu', firstly go to the language menu by pressing SERV key, then the System soft-key, then the Lang. soft key. Now hold down the 'phone-hangup' key, the small key between up and left on the arrow pad, and the Audio key. This should enter Engineering mode.
In the past there was another key sequence used from Engineering mode (only on NTG1) which would then allow you to watch DVD/TV in motion. This seems to be deleted now, and as I think its a bad idea, please do not ask be about it.
Please be careful in engineering / nav mode - you can delete files and render your COMAND useless.

14. I got an E class unit, will it go in my C class ?
The units will only fit in the vehicle they are designed to. This means the part number starts with the model series - i.e A211 870 xx xx goes in an E class (W211). However, some cars are based on each other (such as A and B, or E and CLS) and use the same units.
B class (W245) uses A class (W169) units, CLS (W219) uses E class units (W211), CL (W215) uses S (W220) units and GL (X164) uses ML (W164) units. CLK (W209) units and C Class (W203) units are definetly not interchangable.

15. I just installed COMAND-APS and it immediately turns off -Why ?
COMAND-APS will display the Mercedes Star and turn straight off (or within a short while) if its expecting equipment on the MOST fibre optic network that is not present. You will need to get the unit coded by the MB dealer and his Star Diagnosis computer.

16. What Map disks work with COMAND-APS ?
The map disks are different for the A/B/C/CLK/ML/R/GL/Smart-forfour and the E/CLS/S/CL COMAND systems, and of course, the numbering systems overlap.
Version 6.1 for A/B/C(etc) was the first disk to support TMC in the UK (older versions supported TMC in other parts of Europe. Version 5.0 was the first E/CLS/etc disk to support UK TMC
The latest A/B/C/CLK/ML(etc) disk for Europe is V12.0- Version 12.0 is the current version for E/CLS/(etc) disk.
The latest maps are available from Comand Online Ltd and there is a good supply of older European map disks on EBAY. Click Ebay Search for COMAND-APS map disks.

17. What are the map disk part numbers ?
These are the European map disk part numbers.

NTG1: E/CLS/S/CL/SL/SLK/Maybach (Europe)

Please note that if you are upgrading your map disk from Europe V3.0 or USA V2004.2 to Version 7 in the NTG1 systems vehicles your navigation unit may need a firmware update to recognise the disk. This is a 5 minute procedure using disk W211 589 15 22 00. It is not needed for an upgrade to V9 or later.

Version 3.0B6 782 3341A211 827 52 59
Version 4.0B6 782 3369A211 827 67 59
Version 4.1B6 782 3395A211 827 81 59
Version 5.0B6 782 3489A211 827 68 59
Version 5.1B6 782 3627A211 827 93 59
Version 6.0 (2007)B6 782 3659A211 827 95 59
Version 7.0 (2007/2008)B6 782 3855A211 827 10 65
Version 7.0 PlatinumB6 782 3879Spain/Portugal Only
Version 8.0 (2008)B6 782 3886A211 827 15 65
Version 9.0 (2008/2009)B6 782 3887A211 827 21 64
Version 10.0 (2009/2010)N/AA211 827 24 65Oct 2009
Version 11.0 (2010/2011)N/AA211 827 33 65Jun 2010
Version 12.0 (2011/2012)N/AA211 827 39 65Jul 2011
NTG2: A/B/C/CLK/ML/GL/R/Smart-ForFour (Europe)
Version 2.0N/AA169 827 12 59
Version 2.1N/AA169 827 16 59
Version 3.0B6 782 3379A169 827 14 59
Version 4.0B6 782 3386A169 827 20 59
Version 6.0B6 782 3490A169 827 26 59
Version 6.1B6 782 3641A169 827 33 59
Version 6.2B6 782 3674A169 827 36 59
Version 6.3B6 782 3695A169 827 45 59
Version 8.0 (2007)B6 782 3743A169 827 51 59
Version 9.0 (2007/2008)B6 782 3848A169 827 50 59
Version 9.1(2007/2008)B6 782 3893A169 827 56 59
Version 10.0 (2008/2009)B6 782 3944A 169 827 58 59Oct 2008
Version 11.0 (2009/2010)N/AA169 827 65 59Jul 2009
Version 12.0 (2010/2011)N/AA169 827 74 59May 2010

NTG2.5 details are available Here

NTG3: New S/CL-Class (W221/W216) (Europe)
Version 3.0B6 782 3699
Version 20070B6 782 3700
Version 2007/2008B6 782 3899
Version 2008/2009B6 782 3949
Version 2009A221 827 56 59
Version 2009/2010A221 827 67 59Oct 2009
Version 2010/2011A221 827 68 59Q1 2011

 

NTG4-204: New C/GLK (W204), SLS (Europe)
Version 2008A204 827 36 59
Version 4.1 (2008/2009)A204 827 57 59Dec 2008
Version ??A204 827 46 59
Version 6.0 (2009/2010)A204 827 47 59Oct 2009
Version 7.0 (2010/2011)A204 827 48 59Oct 2010
Version 8.0 (2011)A204 827 76 59Q2 2011
Version 9.0 (2011/2012)A204 827 83 59Dec 2011

 

NTG4-212: New E/Coupe/Convertible (W212/W207) (Europe)
/tr>
Version 1.41 (2008/2009)A212 827 26 59 
Version 2.0 (2009/2010)A212 827 12 59 
Version 3.1 (2010)A212 827 54 59May 2010

I'm pretty sure that European dealers are meant to be installing V3.1 for free for W212/W207 customers. Also, all vehicles with COMAND from MY2011 will include 3 years of free map updates done by the dealers.



18. Are software upgrades available for COMAND-APS ?
As described above there are 3 different parts of COMAND-APS, the AGW, the Navigation processor and the display unit. In the A/B/C/CLK(etc) (and with NTG2.5) all units are in the same physical head unit. In other models the Navigation processor and often the AGW are separate.
In all cases the AGW is only updatable by the dealer using their Star Diagnosis machine. The same is true for NTG2.5 units.
The navigation processor software normally is on the Navigation disks itself and therefore updates when a new mapdisk is inserted - however there are also sometimes releases that are for the navigation processor and thus applied using the navigation processor's DVD drive.

On A/B/C/CLK/ML/GL/R there is a software release (May 06) for the US headunit to enable MP3 playback. The US unit is very different to EU units (the navigation processor can be removed from the head unit) and therefore the MP3 update/functionality is not available for Europe. There are two or three current disks shown for this update in the list below - different disks are for different part number head units.

The European and USA CL/S/SL units (made by Siemens) update disk is W220 589 03 22 00

There are also specific E and SLK class update disk for Becker units which add MP3 support to older units and fix various issues.

On the SLK/E/CLS/CL/SL/S the navigation processor is seperate (in the boot/trunk) and has its own DVD - the update disk is W220 589 04 22 00. The navigation processor on other cars is built into the head unit.

Current Software Update Disks
Region/VehicleDisk Part NrAnnouncedVersion/Date Details
EU SLK HeadUnitW171 589 03 22 0018 Jan 2007SW-Rel 21.090 30/06>/TD>
US SLK HeadUnitW171 589 04 22 0018 Jan 2007SW-Rel 22.100 46/06
US ML/C/CLK/B/R HeadUnit with MP3W203 589 03 22 005th May 2006SW 52/ 05
US ML/C/CLK/B/R HeadUnit without MP3W203 589 04 22 005th May 2006SW 51/05
US ML/C/CLK/B/R Nav ProcessorW203 589 05 22 005th May 2006SW 31/04
EU E,CLS HeadUnitW211 589 13 22 0018 Jan 2007SW-REL 21.090 30/06
US E,CLS HeadUnitW211 589 14 22 0018 Jan 2007SW-Rel 22.100 46/06
US/EU SLK/E/CL/CLS/S/SL Navigation ProcessorW220 589 04 22 0022 March 2006SW-Rel 1.91
EU/US CL/S/SL HeadUnitW220 589 05 22 004 Oct 2006SW-Rel 22/06 - 25/06
EU MaybachW240 589 06 22 0022 Feb 2006SW-Rel 15.130 Build 51/05
US MaybachW240 589 07 22 0022 Feb 2006SW-Rel 16.150 Build 04/06

Old Software Update Disks
Region/VehicleDisk Part NrAnnouncedVersion/Date Details
EU SLK HeadUnitW171 589 00 22 00SW-Rel 9.390 Build 15/04
EU SLK HeadUnitW171 589 01 22 0026 Jan 2006SW-Rel 15.130 Build 51/05
US SLK HeadUnitW171 589 02 22 0022 Feb 2006SW-Rel 16.150 Build 04/06
US C/CLK HeadUnitW203 589 00 22 0025 Jan 2005
US ML/C/CLK/B/R HeadUnitW203 589 01 22 0022 Sept 2005
US ML/C/CLK/B/R HeadUnitW203 589 02 22 0019 Apr 2006SW-Rel E11.1 Build 50/05
EU E/CLS HeadUnitW211 589 00 22 00SW-Rel 7.130 11-06-2003
EU E,CLS HeadUnitW211 589 06 22 0026 Nov 2003SW-Rel 9.390 Build 17/04
US E,CLS HeadUnitW211 589 07 22 0011 May 2004SW-Rel 10.270 Build 13/04
EU E,CLS HeadUnitW211 589 10 22 0026 Jan 2006SW-Rel 15.130 Build 51/05
US E,CLS HeadUnitW211 589 11 22 0022 Feb 2006
US CL/S/SL HeadUnitW220 589 02 22 005 Aug 2005Built 21/10/2004
EU/US CL/S/SL HeadUnitW220 589 03 22 001 Dec 2005SW-Rel V28.X.14 Build 51/05
EU MaybachW240 589 03 22 00
US MaybachW240 589 05 22 00

Other Software Service Disks
Part NrVehiclesUsage
W211 589 15 22 00E/CLS (etc)Navigation drive firmware
W203 589 06 22 00A/B/C/CLK (etc)Head unit software reset



19. How do I get Estimated Time of Arrival on the screen
The ability to display ETA below the map whilst navigating was added for Model Year 2007. The software needs to be upgraded in the system to enable this by your Mercedes Dealer - see the sofware section in this FAQ.

20. My COMAND-APS has 3 part numbers on the label - what do they mean ?
The first part number is the unit itself, the second is normally the audio-gateway if the unit contains one, and the third is the software initially installed on the audio-gateway.

21. The dealer can't activate the instrument cluster Navigation screen.
The latest cars (such as new A class) clusters are coded with a 'SCN' code which the dealer gets from Mercedes-Benz. This code is generated from the MB 'FDOK' database which lists exactly what options the car has, its model year and other important information. So the dealer must have Mercedes add the option code for COMAND APS (527 in Europe) to FDOK, wait for that to be actioned then request the new SCN code and recode the cluster. Some European dealers have the ability to update FDOK themselves, mostly the country headquarters have to do it.

22. The dealer can't make my phone work after installing COMAND
This applies to the COMAND-APS with the map disk in the head unit.
When the dealer uses Star Diagnosis and runs through the initial startup sequence they must tell the COMAND APS that there is something on the MOST ring. If they do not, then COMAND APS never looks on it's MOST ring. Telling the COMAND to 'set configuration to match what is actually on the ring' does not work if the COMAND-APS was set to have nothing on the ring. They should set the order of the ring as AGW, Phone, COMAND, save that and then re-scan the ring. Just occasionally the unit needs a proper reset (pull the fuse in the fusebox) after the ring order is set in order for it to be able to find the items on the ring.

23. Can I reset my COMAND-APS, its going slow, not finding many satellites etc ?
On the COMAND-APS with the map disk in the head-unit, hold down the 5 button, wait a second, then hold the 3 button as-well, wait a second then hold the 7 button as-well (you will now be holding down 3 buttons). The unit will then stop responding, and a few seconds later it will reboot.

24. Can I put a European COMAND-APS onto a North American car ?
You can not put a European NTG2 COMAND APS for A, B, C, CLK, ML, GL, R class into a US/Canada vehicle (for use in North Amercia) because the MAP disks are not compatable and thus Navigation will not work. The US unit (MCS-II) is made by Alpine and completetly different to the European (and rest-of-world except Japan) unit made by Becker.
If you are bring a US NTG1 vehicle to Europe, you can use the EU map disk hapilly although you may consider switching the head unit as radio frequencies are different.
If you are bringing a US NTG2 vehicle to Europe, then you can put the European COMAND APS system in, it has the same connectors, and its just a case of swopping the units over and having it coded to understand the other audio related control units in your car. If the car has reversing camera then you will need this adapter.
We are not sure whether you can load EU maps into a US NTG2.5 (hard disk) unit, but we do know they run the same firmware so suspect it is possible although Mercdes dealer may need to code the COMAND unit with Star Diagnosis. I do not know if E/CLS/S/CL/SLK/SL units are interchangeable. I suspect the SL unit is, since both units are made by Siemens.

25. Can I enable MP3 ?
There is a firmware update for early NTG1 and for USA ("MCS-II") systems that then enables MP3 playback. NTG2 (Europe/rest-of world) does not have the MP3 decoder hardware so can not play MP3s.


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