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This adaptor has been a little hard to find for some of my clients. Luckily, Mercedes has come out with their own. Called the PCMCIA Multi-Card Reader, it is priced at $102 and the part number is 6-7-82-3974. You should be able to order one from your local parts department.
A quick Google search will come up with cheaper readers that are meant to do the same thing, but these are meant to work with laptops and aren’t guaranteed to work with your car like the Mercedes version is. Also, I haven’t personally tested the Mercedes adapter with the larger SDHC cards so it may not read those.
A customer e-mailed me last week to ask if the iPhone cradle they saw on Ebay would work in their car. Even though I had written about this part when Mercedes announced it I had never actually used one. I had my parts department order one for me and was able to test it today.
This cradle is designed to plug into the MHI port in most 2007-2008 vehicles and the 2009 S and CL. Any car that would use a bluetooth adaptor, what I call a “puck,” could use this cradle. This cradle is NOT compatible with the 3G iPhone. The 3G iPhone is too wide to fit into the cradle. There is a rumor of a 3G version but it doesn’t seem to be avaliable in the US yet. So, you plug the cradle into the car, synch the bluetooth and you now have a bluetooth adaptor that will also charge your iPhone as opposed to the normal puck that does not charge your iPhone. That seems to be the main benefit.
The instruction booklet also states that “If your vehicle is equipped with an iPod Integration Kit, it is possible to access the iPod functions of the iPhone in the cradle via the COMAND system…after an additional connection between the cradle and the iPod Integration Kit has been installed. A competent installation by a qualified specialist workshop must be performed for the connection of the iPhone Cradle to the iPod Interface Kit.” What that means is that you can’t just plug it in and start using it as both the phone and the iPod. You would have to take it out of the cradle and plug it into the kit to play music unless you pay the labor (and parts?) at the shop for them to re-wire it.
Also, I thought the plug on the side of the cradle (show above on the left) looked familiar. It is the same plug that the Multimedia Interface Cable or iPod/MP3 Adaptor Cable uses to plug into 2009 vehicles with the NTG 2.5 COMAND system (2009 ML, GL, R, E, SL, SLK). If you unplug the Multimedia Interface Cable and plug in the iPhone cradle you can access the iPod functionality of the iPhone and stay connected via bluetooth (shown below). This is not an improvement. You can already plug the iPhone directly into the Multimedia Interface Cable and do the same thing. The instruction booklet makes no mention of this extra cord on the side. Strange.
So, in summary… You cannot use this accessory with the 3G iPhone. You cannot use it with a 2008 or 2009 C-Class (no MHI). It is pretty useless for a 2009 ML, GL, R, E, SL and SLK. If you use an iPhone and would like it to charge in the car and you drive a 2007-2009 S or CL or a 2007-2008 E, ML, GL, or SL you might like it. Please consult with your parts department to definitely determine compatibility.
If you have a lease, pre-pay though the end of the lease. They have lots of packages available. In general, the longer term you sign up for, the cheaper it gets per month. And, if you cancel the subscription early Sirius will apply the unused portion to your next subscription. When you purchase a new Mercedes it’s also a good plan to purchase and extended pre-paid plan at the time you take delivery so that they can apply your 6 months base service as a credit toward you pre-paid plan. If you plan to keep the car for many years the best value may be the Lifetime Subscription. It’s $399 and will stay with the vehicle forever!
Referenced from SiriusBuzz.com
I am not an iPod user so my knowledge of this subject is limited. However, I know that many of you are as passionate about your iPhone as you are about your Mercedes-Benz.
The new MultiMedia Interface cable in the 2009 vehicles has been a wonderful upgrade for interfacing with iPods and iPhones. It is very easy to access folders and artists right from the main command screen. A problem with the system has been that when you plug in your 3G iPhone it gives a message that it is incompatible and unable to charge. According the to Apple website this error will probably also happen with 4th generation iPod Nano and 2nd generation iPod Touch devices.
From – Benzworld.org Forum Post
The UMI gives non-multimedia cars navigation, live traffic, ipod adaptor, usb port and bluetooth music streaming. It can be installed at the dealership for about $1850. If you know you want this option you can now order your car with it and it will be installed at the Vehicle Preparation Center (VPC) before it is shipped to the dealership. The VPC installation reduces the labor cost which is why it is less expensive when you order it than when you add it later.
Our dealership just installed our first Universal Media Interface (UMI) system in a 2009 C300. I had been reading about this sytem but it seemed to good to be true. Now that I have had a chance to try it out, I am very impressed.
#1 – Navigation – The map data and entry system is very similar to what is in all of our other vehicles. It is displayed, in color, on the standard audio 5″ screen. It was just as easy to use as the other systems and looks good.
#4 – USB Port – Yeah! Good quality sound for those of us who use a non-iPod MP3 player. It is easily accessed in the glove box right next to the iPod adaptor.
#5 – AUX jack – In case you have some other form of audio you want to connect to the vehicle you can use an 3.5mm male to male audio cable to connect.
#6 – Bluetooth Audio Streaming – For those of you who want to beam stereo music directly from your phone using A2DP. The connection process is very similar to connecting your phone via bluetooth to the car and the audio quality is excellent! This is the first time this has been offered in any of our models!
— Update — Read my new post on MHI as a factory option.
Don’t expect to see a convertible or an optional skate park package when the 2010 GLK350 gets here, but at the SEMA show anything is possible.
Legendary Motor Cars – Mobile skate park
Brabus Widestar – Definitely the best looking out of the group and probably the only one that you’ll actually be able to buy.
RENNTech Pikes Peak – Nice wing… RENNTech should probably just stick to drivetrain upgrades.
Mercedes just released these photos without any other details to explain the functionality, release date, or model avaliablity of this update. I’m making some assumptions here so please don’t take this as fact.
These first two images are taken in a GLK. You can see that in addition to the currently avaliable iPod and audio input jacks a new USB connection will be avaliable along with a 12 volt power outlet in the glovebox. The big question is what devices will be able to interface through this USB connection.
This photo was taken in a C-Class and shows a similar box with the addition of an SD card slot. Since most 2009 models will have an SD card slot on ther radio this may be a retrofit for older models or just for the 2009 models that don’t already have an SD card slot. We would have to assume that the devices shown are all intended to work with this system so at the least the USB connection should be able to read music files off of a thumb drive. It would be great if this connection could be used to read files from smartphones or other phones with a usb connection. I’ll be sure to post more information on this as it’s released.
Currently, you can connect your iPhone to the vehicle via the iPod connector (Code 057) and control your music through the steering wheel controls. When you get a phone call, the music will stop and you can receive the call. With this new iPhone connector it looks like you’ll be able to toggle between the two functions and see the data on the main command screen rather than just the multi-function dispaly. Also, the antenna connection will help to boost you phone’s signal. Additionally, this cradle will provide charging and a secure mounting location for your iPhone.
The press release from Mercedes doesn’t specifically say that this will only be available for 2009 or newer cars and the fact that they list the CLK as one of the cars it will work with makes me think that it might be available for several models going back a couple years. Mercedes also did not list this cradle being available for the GL, G or SLK Class models. A lot of this press release was specific to European cars and the option code does not show up in my dealer ordering guide yet. More info to come as the 2009′s start to arrive in August!