Mercedes Sound 5 Auxillary Audio Input Modification

There is some mystery surrounding the standard Mercedes Sound 5 CD Radio player found in later model Vito and Sprinter models I hope that this post goes some way to explaining them and my findings prove useful in adapting the unit for connection to an external mp3 player etc.

The Mercedes Sound 5 CD Radio unit exists in 2 versions as I am aware, the one made by Becker and the other Mobis (Hyundai) Both radios look similar and have the same controls, connections and layout but differ in their internal firmware – this controls the radio ‘behind the scenes’ – to the user, both radios operate in a similar way with a couple of exceptions. The other difference is the later Mobis HA1111 version of the Sound 5 (NG) plays a range of computer audio file CD formats that the previous Becker unit does not. The Mobis unit has secondary button function legends above the channel preset numbers – this is a quick way to identify the models as the early Becker unit does not have these button markings .

Ha1111 Mobis  Mercedes Sound 5

The Mercedes Sound 5 (NG)  Mobis Version HA1111

The mystery of the radio is that it contains flash memory that holds a unique code, this code is communicated to the vehicle electrical systems (CAN-BUS) main processor to give the radio anti-theft security. The radio can be removed from the van and refitted without the traditional recoding once power failiure has occurred. It simply talks to the central system, says I am here, the code is recognised and the unit is allowed to function.  Great !

If your radio breaks or becomes faulty, you buy a used replacement right?  Well you can, but it will not work in your vehicle. You connect it, all is well… then after a few seconds the set ceases to function and displays ‘PROD’.  What this means is that there is no longer a match between the radio flash code and that registered in the central vehicle contol system. (it is reacting as if you had stolen it from another vehicle!)  Now, that wonderful machine that connects to your vehicle electrical system when you take it into a main Mercedes Dealer (The Mercedes-STAR Diagnostic System) is able to syncronise a new radio to your van but cannot recode an existing one… Great marketing….  So they will sell you a new radio that is delivered with a default ‘blank’ flash code which is open and accessible, further activated by the dealer to synchronise with your vehicles central controller via the CAN-BUS. You now have a new working radio !

If you have a 6 Disc changer or Auxillary audio device that uses the radio audio section, such as some types of phone kit, these functions are activated and enabled by the STAR diagnostics unit. (Also variable volume-with-road-speed option) So lets say you purchased a 6 disc changer for your basic Sound 5 CD radio and the function of ‘CDC’ was not already accessible through the user menu, then it will not work.  It would have to be activated for you (with a £ charge) by the Mercedes agent. See here for information of how to enable Sound 5 radio options from the front panel without MB STAR and a visit to the dealers!

What replacement options are open to us then !  There are used/repaired radios available that have been re-flashed by Auto Electrical Repair Shops that  have car audio workshops.  This is carried out by connecting directly to the flash memory chip inside the radio and using a PC programming device erasing and and reloading a blank ‘default’ dump of the factory code.  This basically returns the radio to a factory ‘new’ state that enables connection to your vehicle without the fatal PROD error.  But there is a  downside, if you had options enabled such as AUX or in some cases CDC then these will need enabling again by the Main Dealer using STAR.  Most, if not all decoded ‘re-flashed’ radios do not contain any options just a basic load.

From my own expierience I have come to the conclusion that once the blanked ‘as new’ radio is installed it will function without the security enabled, this means that you can remove it and refit it to another vehicle without the PROD error as many times as you like.  However if you go to the dealer to have options enabled, or possibly even a main service (although I dont see why unless the radio section of the dealer software is accessed)  the STAR will synchronise the radio to the main system and the radio will once more be locked and married to the individual vehicle. (This is my assumption as there is no other reasoning behind how it can function)

Knowing the above details regarding the radio, the first thing to do is check your fitted Sound 5 has the AUX option enabled, below is an extract from the owner manual, follow the instructions given to try and select AUX – if it does not exist in the user menu, the option to have an auxiliary audio input is currently disabled. You could try to enable it yourself from the front panel ‘Test Mode’ –  read about this here.  If this did not work for you, it would need to be enabled at a Mercedes dealer with MB STAR service and diagnostic equipment.  If however you have found the option or you have managed to enable it, then you may wish to continue reading, describing how to easily add an audio input for your external device.

Mercedes Audio 5 Manual_AUX Selection

Firstly take a look at the photograph of my Vito installation below (Becker Version), it was carried out quite easily using a 3.5mm chassis socket that was mounted in the area to the left side of the storage compartment below the radio. There is a large quantity of free space behind this area and it was chosen to prevent any problems with catching it, or the connected lead with your hand during gearchange.  Space between the radio is restricted in the gear lever area to the right of the set as you will no doubt be aware, often radio preset 5 or mute can be frequently knocked and selected with a finger or knuckle during an upshift.  If you need to know how to remove the radio from the dashboard see here.  It describes the radio removal to replace heater control illumination lamp (Other Mercedes.Gen.In Post)

Vito radio aux audio installation

DSC_1110

A simple cable can be made up between the 3.5mm  stereo jack chassis socket pictured and the rear of the radio, plugged directly into the available ISO socket at the back of the set.  Perfect connection to the rear of the Sound 5 is achieved by using a special ‘blue’ ISO radio connector and contact pins that fits into the top row of the radio connector block.  This special blue connector ready made can be obtained here, you can either use it as it is – threading the cable through the dash somewhere – or do as I did and cut off the 3.5mm stereo jack plug and solder the wires to the rear of a drilled and installed 3.5mm jack socket.  The choice is yours !  The 3.5mm stereo jack socket can be obtained from Maplin Electronic Supplies here.  Shown below is all the information you require to connect the radio to the external audio device.  Should you require just the blue ISO plastic female plug and pins to fabricate your own cable it can be found here.  It is possible to carry out this complete useful modification for under £15 if you have the AUX option already enabled.

Mercedes Sound 5 ISO connector

Mercedes Sound 5 ISO Connector

Sound 5 AUX jack connector wiring

Mercedes Sound 5 mp3 connection lead wiring.

79 thoughts on “Mercedes Sound 5 Auxillary Audio Input Modification

  1. Steve i bought an after market Android media system designed for a Sprinter with Canbus suport and it is replacing a Sound 5 with Canbus ( Iknow because I have a seen a diagnostic laptop system turn on my radio ) on the Sound5 There are the regular speaker connection bank and then only five connections on the lower connect Unfortunatelry the aftermarket unit came with a connector designed for a Radio 20 Which has hot, neg and two can bus wires , I can t find a pin out for the sound five that indcates the canbus pinout just ISO10487 pinouts Are they using what would normally be the power anttena and dash light terminals for the canbus wires and if they are which is high and low ?

    1. Hi Mike,

      I see your problem.

      The Sound 5 should have the same pin outs as the earlier Audio 5 as these were fitted to both Sprinter and Vito Models at different points in time. If this is the case I am not sure that the Power Antenna / B+ wires are used for CAN BUS as you suggest. If the wiring is the same on the two models of radio above then this document will help:

      http://www.speedsignal.de/Dokus/342_ADIF/en/342DB01.pdf

      ISO Connector A – Pin 6 = CAN Hi, Pin 7 = CAN Lo, Pin 8 = GROUND. I hope this helps. If not have a search for CAN Adapters and view their documentation as often the wiring to common radios in the Mercedes range is shown.

      Good luck – Steve.

  2. HELLO, I RECENTLY BOUGHT A W169 2006.THE CANR WAS INITIALLY INSTALLED WITH THE RADIO CD 20 I BELIEVE. THE PREVOIUS OWNER REPLACED IT WITH A PIONEER USB RADIO CD. THIS IS NOT FINCTIONING WITH THE MULTIFUNCTION STEERING WHEEL.ALSO THE WATCH IS NOT SYNCHRONISED. SO I DECIDED TO PURCHASE A MOBIS SOUND 5 NG HA 1111 WHICH SUPPOSE TO BE COMPATIBLE WITH THE A CLASS PLUS OTHE MANUFACTURER MODELS. SOMETHING IS REQUIRED TO GET THE THING FUNCTIONING..ANY IDEAS?
    CHRIS

    1. Hi There Chris,

      If I understand your question correctly, am sure the HA1111 is compatible with the A Class Mercedes (2006). I think there should be a small plug and loom (separate to the speaker and power ISO wiring) that plugs into the upper row of radio terminals. This connects to the steering wheel controls through a short loom, via the air bag ‘clock spring’ contact arrangement to the steering wheel controls. There is a chance that if the steering wheel controls were not used with the aftermarket radio the original ‘wheel control’ connector may have fallen down in the dash somewhere. Have a look around and see if you can locate it.

      If you are making reference to the radio not working with regard to ‘PROD’ error then please read again the original post as it explains in detail why and how the PROD error occurs. Please let me know if you need any more information.

      I hope this helps,

      All the best. Steve

      1. dear Steve,
        thank you for you reply.Today one mercedes dealer in athens managed to install physically the radio cd but the unit is not functioning due to prod error which ligts after few minutes. i believe that it is needed to reset its flash code in order to have the unit usufull. The technicial cannot do this procedure.

      2. Hi Chris,
        As you have discovered the PROD error is caused by a mis-match of the radio and vehicle. The details of this are outlined in the original post as you have no doubt read. The only thing I can suggest is to take your radio to a car audio specialist for decode (reflash) or you can often pick up ‘used decoded’ Sound 5 unit from the popular online auction sites cheaper than the decode operation at the audio specialist!
        Good luck and I hope you get it sorted out quickly.
        Steve

  3. Hi, I just bought a new Sprinter, 2013, and I can not turn on RDS function on stock radio.
    Eben in the books are written as available, looks like the radio doesn’t have this function.

    is that true? in no rds what other radio I can use to replace the stock radio, to have RDS and bluetooth?

    thanks

    1. Hi There,

      I am not sure if they missed it from the new edition manual for the Sound 5, but the slightly older published radio operation paperwork shows that a continuous press on the ‘FM’ button top left will turn RDS on/off. Look here: Look specifically at .pdf page number 12. Not sure about the Bluetooth but a call to the dealer will confirm your options here if you radio/vehicle is pre-wired with the phone option. Hope it works for you.

      Regards Steve

      1. yes, I saw and try that, but nothing happened.
        I press it for about 30 sec and still nothing, not even a beep.
        is maybe another combination: press FM and turn the volume, or something like that?

        just asking, I would really want it to turn RDS on.

      2. Hi again,

        It seems the mute button (speaker symbol with a line thru) has a similar function if pressed and held, it should also turn RDS on and off according to the manual. Worth a go, maybe this will work. Failing that I am stumped !! Let me know how you get on.

        Regards Steve

      3. hi there, sorry for the delay;
        unfortunately it not working either; tried lot of combination with mute and other sound button;
        looks like I have to visit the dealer; I already hate them

  4. I found the solution to the problem, Switch the radio on without the ignition on, and turn to radio function. Switch off…..then turn radio on again, after 2 sec. press the sound adjustment key (with the 2 notes on it) together with the #4 selector for radio stations. this puts you into the menu of the radios AUX EXT……press the button up key untill you see the AUX OFF…..turn the volume dial till it says AUX EXT…..then press left key to finish……..now press CD twice and you should see that button now has two options in the display…….NOW THE AUX IS ACTIVE !!!!!

    You don´t need to visit Mercedes for a STAR fix !!!!

    Good luck !

    1. Hi Mark,

      Thanks for the useful info, what I think you may have actually done there is selected the function AUX ON as described in the manual page photo shown in the post. Only radios ‘enabled’ with the AUX function have access to turn this on – yours obviously has. The HA1111 radio with a standard flash has no AUX ON – AUX OFF option and it will not appear anywhere, even in the set up menu. In some cases even CDC (disc changer) cannot be selected unless enabled in the radio’s flash. You may be fortunate that your radio is already configured to allow the extra options to be selected, some sets are not.

      I will test out your solution with a radio known to be without AUX that I have here and report back on the blog. I hope you are correct as that’s a great work round and will save folks a fortune at the dealers. Thanks again for the informative input.

      All the best
      Steve.

      1. Mark – That’s an absolute GEM !!!

        From testing out the known featureless set I have here and following your instructions It it does in fact reveal a hidden manufacturer ‘test mode’ within the radio itself, (how on earth did you discover that !!) In this test mode there is indeed a selection for turning the AUX – ON and OFF. That is a fantastic find and for that I truly thank you. I will put together a video later this evening on how to access this menu and show what else is hidden in there too ! (some real interesting stuff hidden in there!! eg turning the Weather Band – ‘WB’ reception option on or off, LW or MW enable/disable and a few other interesting features )

        Its opened up a whole new avenue to accessing the radio, its functionality and how it now can be ‘user’ configured without STAR – not just with AUX selection, but with a multitude of other options too. Thanks again for letting me know and sharing this top find on the blog.

        Look out for the video in the next day or two credited to your findings….

        All the best Steve

      2. could this trick, by any chance, to enable the RDS function?
        can someone please check in that well hidden menu?

      3. Hi Cat,
        I did have a quick scroll round the test mode menus and unless I am mistaken there is no mention of RDS On or Off, I suppose it could be a region setting but at this moment I am still unsure. Let me have another look over the next few days and I will report back. Part of me still thinks that if the RDS function cannot be selected as per the manual it is possibly faulty. What did the dealer suggest? I realise you are not impressed with your local dealer but why not use the larger network of dealers to get some answers, its a Mercedes after all and no matter where it was purchased the support should still be there from any dealer. Maybe try calling the next county dealership on the phone to start.

        Let me know and I will get back to you when I find out a little more about the test menu.

        Regards Steve

      4. Cat,
        The RDS Mode ON/OFF is inside the test mode menu ! Enter the test mode as described above and find the RDS option, when you have it rotate the volume control to select ‘ON’ and then advance through the remainder of the menus using the up button until you reach END, then turn off the set. You should now have RDS enabled.

        Regards Steve

      5. Here is the video showing how to access the HA1111 Sound 5 Test Mode menu and the options listed within it.

        Assumed Functionality and Key Settings

        Assumed Functionality and Key Settings in Test Mode

        I have taken a ‘first guess’ at what the individual settings mean or relate to – I may be wrong in some cases and there are a few not worked out yet but hopefully it provides the basics to go on should you venture into this menu.

        Test Mode
        DEV – Hex ID Tag for the Device
        SER – Serial Number of Device
        HW – Hardware Date /Week and Year/ (WW/YY)
        SW – Software Date /Week and Year/ (WW/YY)
        DECK – CD Deck Date /DAY/MONTH/YEAR/VERSION (DD/MM/YY/VV)
        PRD – Production Date – /DAY/MONTH/YEAR (DD/MM/YY)
        TUN – Tuner ???
        P1- ???
        FAD – Front to Rear Fader option ON/OFF
        GAL – Speed Dependant Volume. GAL is a special circuit which automatically adjusts the radio volume according to vehicle speed. This compensates for higher noise levels at increased speeds.
        GAL OFF – No speed dependent volume adjustment
        GAL 1 – Volume adjustment set to activate at lower speeds
        GAL 7 – Volume adjustment set to activate at higher speeds

        TON – Mid range tonal shift
        RDS – ON OFF
        TP VOL – RDS Traffic program break in volume level
        AREA – Sales Region ECE (Europe)
        KW- Short Wave Band Selection option ON OFF
        LW- Long Wave Band Selection option ON OFF
        WB- USA VHF Weather Band Selection Option ON OFF
        EXT- External audio input selection. OFF or Either ON or AUX for auxiliary wired audio input
        SCR- (ID3) ON OFF ????
        PHON- MIN Minimum phone break in volume
        PHON-MAX Maximum phone break in volume
        AMP – Amplifier output ON OFF
        CD – T Temperature protection alarm limit for CD player (Disc/Player damage)
        CAN – CANbus Security Location HEX Code (This model is blank FE00)
        Blacked Out Display – Contrast Set/Test
        Clear Display – Backlight Illumination Level Test
        RESET – Press SC button to enter defaults and lose all custom settings of this menu
        END – End of menu Turn unit off on this point in the menu to save options.

      6. Unfortunately this trick doesn’t work on every set; mine at least didn’t work;

        so I take an appointment at my dealer, and solved the problems;
        looks like test menu is not enabled by default in newer sets (mine is 2013) at least not in Canada; and he didn’t want to enable for me;
        but at least he enabled all featured missing from initial set-up: Aux, RDS (after 15 min of hard explaination to the mechanic that RDS is not the TV Sport Channel we have in Montreal, it’s just a radio function 🙂 )WB, LW, Traffic announcement, actually I was staying just beside him to have him checking ON option for all features on his software.

        BTW his software is quite a piece; once connected he knew everything about what I do with the car.

        thanks all for every answer; I learned a lot.

      7. Hi Cat,

        At least now you have it sorted out… eventually. We all know why he would not enable manual test mode for you don’t we? – He would not get any monetary return for future work if you could change things yourself! It is interesting that the radio was not ‘Test Mode’ enabled. It’s worked on every set I have tried it on thus far, although I will admit that the manufacturing date of the radios tested would not extend much beyond 2010. Maybe this is a point to note.
        Thanks again for the useful feedback.
        All the best

        Steve

  5. Thanks for this, just did this in my 2007 Vito and it works a dream. Like you I have put in a chassis jack for neatness but had no bother programming my stereo and even was able to turn the fader on!

    Thanks again.

    Matt

  6. Hi, can you give any further info on the ‘AMP out’ function. I assume if it’s switch to ‘on’ then this enables a pre amp out on the back of the unit ? If i’m correct do you know which pins I would use to utilise the feature ?

    Thanks, keep up the good work.

  7. Useful info!

    My sound 5 display is illuminated but utterly blank- are there any known settings to re-activate the display?

    1. Hi Jules,
      There is couple of things worth checking out, if your vehicle has the Ipod connect kit (as factory Standard) disconnect this at the head unit end and try the radio again as it has been reported that issues with this can cause the blank display.

      There is a chance that that the radio just needs a hard reboot ! You will need to disconnect the power multiconnector at the rear, wait a few seconds then reconnect. Again this has been reported as a solution to the blank screen.

      Lastly I suppose it could be a faulty display, this can only be really checked out by a Car Radio repair centre where they will test it for you. Remember if you do get a used replacement radio from ebay to replace it do make sure that it is ‘code free’ or you will have wasted your money !

      Let me know how you get on.

      All the Best Steve

  8. Hello

    How do I remove the Sound 5 from the dashboard in a 2010 Vito? Whitout damage everything in the car 🙂

    Thank you for a great tutorial of the test mode menu and how to with the AUX!

    Br Martin

    1. Hi there Martin,
      I would imagine the same procedure as the one in the 2008 model. You will first need to remove the clip-on plastic trim that surrounds the perimeter of the radio, carefully lever this off using a trim puller or thin plastic spatula. Once this is removed the fixing screws are visible and everything there on in is straight forward. See here this describes how to remove the radio to get to the heater control etc.

      Best Regards
      Steve

  9. Hi there,
    just completed the “transformation” and all went fine… but… I broken accidentally the drawer under the radio…
    Does anyone know where I can buy online a new drawer, avoiding the MB
    thieves?
    Thanks for help
    Nik

  10. Hello. We did like you wrote obove and we got the aux connector to work. Now we want to install a subwoofer in our Vito with sound 5 but we are having problems with the remote. We cant get Power out from the connector to the amplifier. Ground and Power is ok from the battery but the radio will not give the signal to the amp to start?
    Anyone that have a solution to this?

    1. Hi Fredrik,
      I would look to utilise the amp power connection (usually pin 6 yellow plug also used for amp and CD changer power) dependant on wiring configuration you could trace the wire that normally powers the radio antenna preamp and tap into that for switched power control when radio is on. Does the ‘amp output’ mode in the test selection menu allow the function of the power signal?. Having not used this or measured it I cannot say for sure, may be worth a go. Good luck.
      Best Regards
      Steve

    1. Hi Fredrik,
      Sorry to hear you have had limited success finding the audio output. Perhaps you could report back your findings from MB when you have them it would be most useful.
      Many thanks, all the best.
      Steve

  11. HI MY FATHER RECENTLY BOUGHT A EX FEDEX SPRINTER HOWEVER FEDEX DID NOT ORDER THEM WITH RADIOS SO I WENT ONLINE AND BOUGHT A OEM HA111 111 RADIO, MY PLAN WAS TO BUY A PLUG WHICH I DID AND MAKE MY OWN HARNESS, HOWEVER AS SOON AS I PUT 12V TO IT IT WORKS BUT AFTER 10 SEC GOES TO PROD, AM I OUT OF LUCK WITH A OEM STEREO? I WANTED TO KEEP IT AS OEM LOOKING AS POSSIBLE. SINCE THE DASH DOESNT EVEN HAVE A HARNESS FOR A RADIO I CAN EVEN BRING IT IN TO MB.

    1. Hi there,
      Its unusual that there is no existing loom there for a radio even though no head unit is fitted, but I suppose anything is possible with special order vehicles. You will have read the HA1111 is linked to the CAN and in turn needs to be connected to its native vehicle to function without the PROD error. If you had purchased a decoded radio (one with this feature removed or disabled) then it will function in any vehicle without the CAN connection. Indeed it will work perfectly with just simple power connection and speakers. I would be looking to get the radio you have purchased to a car audio specialist and have it decoded (remove the PROD feature) to work in any vehicle. It may be almost as cheap to but an already decoded radio from Ebay than get yours done but the choice is yours. Good luck.
      All the Best
      Steve

  12. Hello. I went to the mb dealer and he connected the computer but we couldnt get it too work. My sound5 doesnt have the amp on off in the menu. So we are back at square 1. No we have audio in from the phone but not audio out to the subwoofer.

  13. Can you think of any reason why our sound 5 radio will play CDs okay but can’t seem to pick up a radio signal? Even manual tuning won’t pick up the station – does this mean that the antenna has somehow been disconnected or is there a setting I should change?

    1. Hi Karina,
      It sounds likely as if the antenna has become disconnected in some way, this could either be a simple disconnection at the rear of the set in the dash or the connection to the screen antenna has broken or elements corroded (if you have a screen antenna). There is a chance the cable/connector has become damaged faulty. Its worth pulling the radio and having a look behind. Once removed from the dash, you can always push a length of stripped wire directly into the centre of the radio antenna connector/socket and see if you can get a radio station – this will test the radio receiver in the head unit is functioning OK before any further fault finding.
      Good luck, Steve

      1. Hi
        I have a 2014 sprinter with the audio 10, I was considering buying a Audio 15 that has been removed from a mother 2014 sprinter, Will this be a straight forward swap or will this be locked to the van and need to be re programmed by Merc
        If it needs to be programmed etc is it worth the hassle or would I be better maybe just buying a aftermarket unit perhaps maybe with sat nav ( do you have any recommendations on units with and with out sat nav) possibly even for use with a reversing camera
        Many thanks in advance

        Many

      2. Hi Robert,
        You have presumed correctly, no matter what radio option is fitted to the larer vehicles it will be coded to the ECU. A move to Audio15 is possible if you can find a car audio dealer who can disable the coding for you, this should cost £35-40 ish. Failing that you can often see decoded/defeated Audio15 units for sale on EBay. Because the opening in the dash is double DIN you can have virtually any set up you require in there! Alpine do some very nice screen based head units that have both fixed and retractable screens. Another GenIn poster Mike Somerfield from the US fitted a double DIN Android type head unit from China and had great success. The only thing to remember is that some of the higher end devices need external amplifiers to drive the speakers so make sure you research exactly the parts required and total up the final cost correctly.
        Good luck in your choice! Do let us know how it went.
        All the best,
        Steve

      3. Hi Steve sorry to trouble you again if I get a audio dealer to decode the audio 15 unit, would it just plugging and play so to speak or would it still need to be programmed etc by Merc
        (This is my own fault I should have spec it when I was ordering the van)

        Best regards robert

      4. No probs Robert,
        Plug and play! Make sure you mention to the audio repair shop that you would like reverse camera and aux audio in enabled, they should be able to check this is active and if not make it so.

        Steve

  14. Hi Steve
    Further to the questions the other day,
    my previous sprinter ( a mid 2007 model pre seering wheel controls etc) had a sound 5 fitted to it and I fitted a audio 20 to this van although i did have to buy a set of leads to reconfigure the connections into the back of the radio and this worked ok with out requiring a code)

    My question is the van was remapped by super chips as is my new van would this make any different to the radio requiring to be decoded,
    Please excuse my ignorance

    Best regards robert

    1. Hi Robert,
      I cannot answer your question – but I suppose its possible. I really cant see the higher end audio system having no ‘theft protection’, especially as the base radio does! Maybe you have hit on the answer, its great news for you whatever the reason… There could be a chance that the replacement radio was originally decoded before being taken from the other vehicle to fit in yours I suppose.
      Thanks for getting back to me with the results of your findings, keep me posted on your 2014 swap out.
      All the best
      Steve

  15. I want to upgrade my 2007 Vito V6 W639 from original sound 5 audio to an aftermarket audio with 7” display, BlueTooth Hands Free, GPS, Reverse Camera, etc, but I noticed at last service that MB STAR diagnostics automatically turned sound 5 on and conversed in ‘diagnosis’ text on the sound 5 LED display face panel. (we were checking for faulty glow plugs).
    Question (1); Does an aftermarket audio need features apart from CAN-BUS to converse with STAR to enable ‘diagnostic’ text to also display ?
    Question (2) Which aftermarket 7” audio is the best for the Vito, or should I purchase an MB upgrade ? I don’t want cheap chinese units. Thanks for any info

    1. Hi Geof,
      MB Command / Audio unit is very overpriced for what it can do and there alre many better more capable units available at a fraction of the cost. (With far better GPS and mapping) The radio just needs CANbus for communication to speed control and other small insignificant items. If you have steering wheel controls this can be done with an adapter and a limited range of aftermarket radio head units. Have a look at what you can get in an Android based unit, I notice you don’t want a Chinese radio – Well the Mercedes radio you probably have is Made by Mobis and made in China! Its all about quality – basically you get what you pay for. If you want top quality take a look at Alpine, Kenwood and Pioneer you wont go far wrong here.

      All the best Steve

  16. Hi Steve, thanks for the info on ‘test mode’. I have a AU 2010 vito120 with the S5 radio fitted and have been having issues with poor rx on fm. Using this test mode I was able to turn on the fader, Rds and the amp functions- now I will see if my FM rx issues have improved. FM problems suddenly occurred after the last Svc visit re aircon issue. Is there a possibility that the dealer has inadvertently changed a radio setting while connected to the vehicle?
    Mike T

    1. Hi Mike,
      Its more likely that they disturbed the radio antenna connector or crushed the antenna wire when inside the middle section of the dashboard. I would remove the radio/centre console and check all is well with the antenna connection / plug. Its also worth just looking behind the rear view mirror, behind the roof trim, to ensure the antenna connection is still attached to the screen element correctly.
      Whilst its a possibility, I feel its unlikely they changed any radio settings and more likely they physically disturbed something.
      All the best
      Steve

  17. Steve,
    First off, thanks so much for all the valuable info. Awesome having all this in one place! I have a 2010 sprinter 2500 (America). It came with an audio 5. I found a audio 15 on eBay, which I confirmed works thru a regulated 12v power supply, with no prog message or anything. However, after merging two wiring harnesses (one for the 5 and one for the 15) in the van I get nothing, no power to the unit at all. Switching back to the 5 the radio fires right up. Any thoughts would be appreciated!

    1. Hi Mark,
      I am guessing the Audio 15 has the later Quad-lock multi-connector as used in the COMAND series of head units. The Audio 5 / 10 of course has the more standard ISO connections. Here is the pin conversion data for Audio 5 / 10 type ISO connections to the later Quad-lock type. It sounds as if you have a wire connected to the wrong place. There is also a possibility a control fuse has blown depending what wire is in the wrong location. Use this chart to check your work – double check with a test meter to be doubly sure.

      Hope this helps
      All the best
      Steve

      1. Thanks very much for the quick reply Steve. I can’t seem to find a diagram attached to your above reply. Would the control fuse be located under the drivers seat or elsewhere? all the best, and greetings from Northern New England!

      2. To further answer your question; I simply attached color to color in both wire harnesses. I believe you are correct that a wire in one of the harness is not where it is suppose to be. I’ll check this out later today. I’m using a Axxes XSVI-1784 for the harness attached to the original radio wiring in the van, and a Scosche VW03RB for the quad connector coming out of the Audio 15. I assumed with the Axxes I didn’t have to run independent power from the cig. lighter. I thought it was worth a second post to give you specifics on the wire harnesses. Again, thanks so much for putting all this great info in one place, Steve. You are the best!

      3. Try again on the link in the previous text Mark,
        I did not link it correctly on the reply. This will be the info you need to double check the wiring.
        Link to conversion data if not working on above previous text. Concentrate your efforts on checking the pin to pin interconnection as the colour codes may have been superceded.
        Radio fuse Fuse 10 (Drivers Kick Panel) location here, just close the white box that appears when you open the link to view the content – http://www.sprinter.net16.net/fuses/ (Its the fuse bottom left corner)
        Regards
        Steve

      4. Hey Steve,
        Got it. I’m going to give it a try today and we’ll see. It almost looks like the two blocks, A&B, are flipped. Will keep you posted. Thanks again.

  18. Hi Steve,
    Well, no luck. I just tried to add aftermarket unit just to see if it would power up, and no luck. I’m thinking of adding the aux input via the link you mentioned earlier in the post to the Sound 5 at this point, and look for an installer that isn’t scared to death of Mercedes. Not quite giving up, but I’ve been at this for two weeks and it’s driving me crazy! Any time I try anything BUT the Audio 5 the van’s dash indicator reads “Audio —” .
    I’ve installed several stereos over the years, but this is my first attempt at Mercedes. This is the only vehicle the wiring harnesses have not worked. I’ll study the diagram further to see if I’m missing anything.

    1. Hi Mark,
      Not sure if you have audio controls on the wheel. Although the canbus connections are made you may have to connect to STAR to tell the ECU what audio option is fitted. Indeed on the 2010 NCV3 Sprinter if delivered without a radio option, you just cant add a radio. It has to be turned on as an option within STAR. Madness I know, but even if you get the radio to power with the Ign/Aux connection you may not get wheel control unless you tell the vehicle what audio option to expect.
      All the best
      Steve

  19. Hey Steve
    Yes, I do have wheel controls. I’m going to have to get in touch with local mb dealer to see if they can do it. I took some pics of the harness and will upload later just fyi. Thanks again for the help; it’s driving me bonkers! Only 17k on the van and it’s awesome, so it could be a lot worse!

  20. Steve,
    Just curious if you know which wires are the can wires. I see 3 brown wires that are a smaller gauge then the others, is that them?

  21. I have a new to me 2011 Sprinter. Has the Audio 5(?) System. Tried the 2 note & #4 station buttons. All it did, was to turn off display (& back on), in instrument panel. Can’t have THAT! Display in radio doesn’t work.

    Will a general use scan tool access radio? Or does it have to be MB Star?

    1. Hi Brian,
      It is possible the button pushing routine has confused the radio. I have seen this display blanking happen (though not through this procedure) if you accidentally catch a combination of the radio buttons with your knuckles on a gear change (Vito) Usually a power on off sorts it. I don’t think the button push combo is designed in any way to reset the radio to display only the dash display no matter what combination of buttons you press (this option selection does not even appear in the menu)

      Some radios will not allow this hidden menu function, it has to be turned on as an option if access is denied with a Star Dealer level tool.
      If you still have the radio display out but illuminated (backlight), it is most probably a processor glitch in the radio. Pull the radio fuse and reconnect after a while that may well cure it. It may be of course the Becker unit behaves differently to the Hyundai made Ha1111 model, that I could not say.

      This tip has been posted here and on Sprinter Source forum for almost 2 years now, successfully used by many and no issue has never been reported in all this time, (in fact, only one person has reported that their radio had to be unlocked by the dealer with STAR so the hidden menu could be accessed).

      Thanks for the heads up on this. Do let me know how you get on and what you find.

      All the best
      Steve

  22. hi there i have a 2013 sprinter it has a double din cd player i am wondering that how can i get the aux lead working in it can some one help me please i need a help wiyh the setup in the cd player i already have aux lead

  23. Hi…I have a new vito 2015 119 crew van with an AUDIO 15 system…..i love the integration with the dash display and am forcing myself to like the gps as I’ve been told there’s no way to add an aftermarket and maintain my dash display.
    the 2 major problems now
    The radio reception is hit and miss with a lot of times poor reception and AM is complete crap and
    the car only comes with front speakers.
    I would like to add rear speakers as there is provision in the cargo area but the audio 15 doesn’t display any settings for a fader…does the audio 15 allow me to add rear speakers and does the fader option pop up when they are connected?
    and is there anything i can do to improve the reception.

    1. Hi Frank,
      As with most Vito models over the generations the radio antenna is often in the top section of the front screen, embedded in the glass. Improvements all round may be gained with a professional installation of a roof antenna (entering behind the dome light up front, unless you have the sunroof option – then you would have to rethink this. The screen antenna connection is usually under the dome light so really convenient to tapping into existing antenna wiring.) If you use a mobile phone car kit you can get some great antennas from the likes of Hirschmann that are a cell phone antenna and AM/FM broadcast radio though you wouldn’t have to use the cell phone feature if you didn’t want to. While there are many to choose from I think you should stick to some thing like this: Done properly it can look like original equipment and not a cheapo-solution. Have a word with a competent radio car audio specialist and mention this, see what they say.

      I forgot to add there is an engineering set-up menu on the audio15 that allows you to among other things enable rear speakers. This I would assume would be similar to the NTG2.5 COMAND unit and access to this menu is shown on the web how to get into here.

      All the best
      Steve

      1. Thanks Steve I have tried getting into the engineering menu but the Audio 15 must be different. Can’t find anything on the net. I have been told it’s not possible to activate a fader but find this hard to believe.

      2. Hi Frank,
        It will be a combination of key presses not dissimilar to the NG2.5 command I am sure, you may have to play around a little using similar presses. If all else fails I am sure that a dealer or good independent with access to Star can activate this for you, it will be as simple as a checkbox! If you do hit on the correct key combo please do write back and let me know.
        Many Thanks
        Steve

  24. Hi steve

    i know this is mainly about merc’s but as crafters are basically a sprinter with a vw badge on here goes….

    I’ve recently had an after market radio/nav unit (Dynavin N6 MBA) fitted to my 2014 crafter, i cannot fault the functionality of the unit and its fully integrated with the steering wheel controls/CAN BUS of the van.
    However even though the screen switches off once the key is removed from the ignition the unit still remains on in a sleep like state and the built in cooling fan in the radio compartment of the van stays on too and this is causing my battery to drain unless i completely unplug the unit.

    i wondered if you know of a solution around this as its really spoiling what is a cracking replacement radio unit.

    1. Hi Alex,
      Connection A7 on the radio that is connected to red ACC+ it seems is not completely without supply when the ignition is off. You can try disconnecting completely the red ACC+ wire from the vehicle loom (simulating a complete removal of power, as if ignition was off) If all works well, and the set shuts down and fan stops running correctly, that is a great start! All you will then need to do is find a switched supply that goes ‘fully live’ when the ignition is on and ‘completely off’ when its off. Usually a good place to find this is the glove box illumination supply. This goes live on ignition on to one side of the lamp holder and this supply is totally removed when off. Obviously use a test meter to confirm things.

      Hope this helps and gives you a starting point.

      All the best
      Steve

  25. Hi Steve,

    I recently bought a 2010 Vito with an aftermarket radio fitted that was not working. I stripped it out and bought a Becker (hyundai) sound 5 radio that has been decoded. Inside the dash there seems to be no original loom but I do have ISO plugs with perm +12v, ignition +12v, ground and +12v for illumination all in the correct pin locations.
    Unfortunately when its all plugged in the unit seems to have no working button illumination. I also have another unit that displays prod error and this is the same. I’ve had the multimeter on it and have +12v when the vehicle lights are switched on but still no button illumination.
    Any ideas?

    All help appreciated, Chris.
    Any idea why the button illumination is not working?

    1. Hi Chris,
      I would imagine the illumination is controlled by can bus on 2010 version these connections are on the C bank connector and must be correct for both the speed dependant volume,(GAL),Illumination and radio off with key out function.
      Hope this helps
      Steve

  26. Thanks for the reply Steve, like you say it must be the C bank connector. Presumably if i knew which pin it would just need a +12v feed for the illumination. I’ll have a play if I get time with the unit I have that displays the prod error, that or I’ll take it to a car hi-fi shop..

    Best regards, Chris.

    1. Chris,
      Thats just it, I am pretty sure the can bus signal will control the HA1111 illumination, signalled on the bus when vehicle lights are on. Pin 6 ‘old school’ was the +illumination connection but probably does not actually connect to anything inside the radio as it does not support this hard wire illumination facility. If your can bus is connected on the ‘C’ connector correctly, those automated functions via bus control will most probably work as designed.
      All the best
      Steve

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