Benz Forum banner

Installing an MB CD Changer

10306 Views 14 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Kal Rubinson
I have an 02' C203K (I'm in California) without the CD changer. I've got a used changer from Ebay for $400. I'm thinking about installing it myself. Does anyone know if the car is prewired with the fiber optic cable? The seller from Ebay said that the cable should be routed to the glove compartment or the trunk, but I did not find any cable at all. Please help before I attempt to remove the HU and route the cable myself. I read on MBWorld that this should take about 40 mins. Thanks

Happy Holidays
Not open for further replies.
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Hi and Welcome to the Forum!
Are you talking about C203 or C230?

C230K comes with prewired fiber optic cable - it's kind of "hidden" in the glove compartment - on the left...

Yes the installation shouldn't take more than 1 hour, but you might need the installation kit, which you can purchase at: AutoClass.Net
The 2002 coupe does not have the correct fiber optic cable pre-installed. You must purchase one and it is different depending on whether the car has Bose or not.

There has been a report that the cable may be coiled up in the compartment below the cargo compartment floor between the rear seat and the spare tire well. I haven't looked, but you might check there before buying a cable.

The power wire is coiled up and taped to something behind the dash. It can be found when the center of the dash is removed to attach the cables to the rear of the headunit.
Installing CD changer

Thank you all for your prompt reply and support. I made a typo. I meant C230K. Based on your responses, I guess that I have to remove the HU to install the changer. I looked but I could not locate any cable in the glove compartment. I will look in the trunk area to see if there is a cable there.
Thanks, I did. I was just hoping that the car might be prewired so that I don't have to remove the HU. I guess there's no shortcut, is it?
Also think MB needs to adjust the computer to tell the car about the CD changer and of course they will charge you.
Good Luck
i am installing the changer right now!

hey everyone, i'm installing the changer now but i ran into a problem. first off, let me say that there is NO fiber optic prewired. i got the dealer manual on how to install these things on ebay with my changer. although i got a fiber optic cable with my purchase, the instructions say to go into the trunk, under the trunk mat, there is a small box next to the spare tire held in place with clips. it says to release the clips and there should be the fiber optic cable (it also says that there are other cables there, but the fiber optic cable is the orange one not connected to anything, even though it may be tied to other cables that are connected) my fiber optic cable is very thin and flexible, although resilient (a springy type wire) it's orange, it goes from one end to two. on the biggest end, there are what looks like 2 leds. and it's about a foot long. removing the ashtray was a pain. makes sure you have 20 torx screwdriver before you attempt to install. cutting out the perforation was a PAIN (the plastic is thick and plentiful...i used a razor sharp knife and i had to "saw" the area for a while before each plastic piece broke) anyway, this is a guide on how to find and then identify the cable, with a few disclaimers. thought it might help because no one who's posting has started to install and everyone who is is just speculating (no offense) hope this helps!

ps. i'm stuck in the install - i can't get the vent assembly out. i removed the torx screws and the vents are pointing up (with the extra click from the tabs) the whole thing is loose, i just can't get it out. if anyone knows how, let me know that would be great. thanks

2002 black/black manual leather everything but the changer..doh! (yup i have illuminated sills and heated seats. but no navi.)
See less See more
There are two clips at the top of the vents than must be unclipped. They are hard to see, harder to unlatch, and fragile. Also see this:

It is really not that difficult. I saw a professional auto audio installer do it r&r the radio in seven minutes. It was only the second time he worked on a C-class.
Hi Joe:

Thank you so much for your detailed report. It's nice to have someone like you who actually performs the installation to illustrate the process in practical details. Don't get me wrong, everyone else in this forum was also very helpful to provide the basic resources. Please look at the link on the previous reply at which had pictures of the actual steps (very helpful). There are 2 more clips on top of the center vent that are aslo tricky to undo to remove the vents.

I'm going to do my after the holidays. Be sure to come back and post your progress and tips, so others (like such as myself) can learn from you. Good luck.
Joe, do you have the Bose system? I heard that the Bose system requires a different fiber optic cable. I'm El Cheapo because I don't the Bose, so I wonder if I have to buy the cable for the non-Bose system. Also I heard that you got to have MB to update the vehicle's computer to recognize the changer? Keep in touch...I will keep you posted.

lynn, the clips are my nemesis. i still can't get them out, so i've been driving my bro's lexus is300 (not bad but it's auto) i've tried EVERYTHING without damaging the vent. if you could tell me how the hooks work, that would be great. (i'm pretty sure i'm supposed to pull down, but am i putting the screwdriver head flat horizontally in between the teeth and down??) it's so frustrating.

dicho-the person i bought it from (who sells changers for german cars on ebay as a business) said that there ARE separate cables for the bose and non bose. the only difference in the install manual between the bose and non bose is that on the bose, there is a fiberoptic cable already sticking out of the back of the radio that you pull connectors off of to "patch" the changer cable to. it says here that the non bose fiber optic cable CAN be found in the trunk (see my previous post) and that it simply plugs directly into the rear of the factory radio.

about programming the changer - everyone says you need to, my guy at mercedes in service, dave, says it's necessary. Liz, who sold me this changer, says that "The people at Mercedes will try to charge you $200 to "program" the changer but I assure you that this is completely unnecessary." with her bid of confidence, i began my install. not done yet, if anyone can help me conquer the clips at the top of the vent, i'm yours. i'll let everyone know how it's going.
See less See more
beats1234, I wish I could tell you how to get those clips unfastened, but I can't I tried to install an Audio 10, but that is where I stopped and took it to a stereo shop. I need bifocals to see those clips and I couldn't get the flashlight, the screwdriver and my head positioned such that I could see the clips and unlatch them.

You will need to have the fiber optic network set for the changer sooner or later. Fault codes will build up until the changer stops working. Some people go for months without having it done, but some people had to have it done in a few days.

wow. thanks lynn. guess i'll bring it to ray catena after all. sorry about the misinformation about the programming..
I had trouble with the vent clips the first time I did this but perservered. Unfortunately, after I installed the changer, I found out that it was defective. I then tried to uninstall but found the clips impossible since they have limited elesticity and just would not give. So, I lived w/o radio while the changer was swapped. New one popped in just fine and is A-OK. No reprogramming was needed.
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Not open for further replies.