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Created: 1 Jan 2008
Last Updated: 3 May 2009
V1.3 12th January 2008
Many users of the Mercedes iPod integration kit that allows the driver to control their iPod from the steering wheel and view track names in the cluster complain that when switching from radio or cd to iPod the volume is much quieter than the previous source.
There are two possible fixes for this.
The later versions of the iPod kit have a hidden diagnostic menu where the iPod volume can be set to one of two settings, using this mode you can increase the volume.
Accessing the hidden diagnostic method is decribed later in this document.
If your car's iPod kit does not have the volume setting in the menu, no menu, or it is already on it's high setting and that is not loud enough for you then you can try to use the method (2).
You can install a special amplifier, it goes between the cable going to the iPod and the iPod interface. Please see my iPod Retrofit Document for pictures of the interfaces and cables.
The part number for the amplifier is A204 870 39 94. Here is a picture of it and the felt/velcro that comes with it. The coins in the picture are €1, £1 and US 25c.
It should always be used on the new C class (W204) when the vehicle does not have the Harmon Karden sound system option. If your W204 iPod is very quiet, the installer probably didn't know they have to install it.
If you are using this part with an iPod interface with the hidden volume setting menu, then start with the setting on low.
It has been reported that this method does works on cars with Harmon Kardon sound systems where the volume is low also. I have used it on a W164 ML without Harmon Kardon, with the latest iPod kit, and volume set on low.
Entering Diagnostic Mode:
Plug in your iPod, select AUX input and select the Audio iPod display on the cluster.
Now hold down the 'telephone hangup' and 'down arrow' buttons for about 8 seconds. The display will change to the diagnostic display and show the software version of the iPod controller
After a few seconds it will change to show the hardware version
and then after a few seconds it will switch to showing the current volume setting - in this case it is set to the lower volume setting.
If you now press the up arrow the volume setting will increase and the display will change to show the higher volume setting: -
Pressing the down arrow will set it back to the low volume settings.
If you don't touch any buttons for a few seconds the system will then switch back to the normal audio display.
If you do not get any of these menus or only get the Software and Hardware versions then your iPod kit does not support the volume setting and you will have to use the amplifier described in Method (2) above.
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