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  #1  
Old 10-26-2017, 05:23 PM
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Adding a Nav System to an '04 W211..

So I learned a ton restoring a 94 W124 wagon. Its now running great after replacing the heater blower motor, head gasket, fuel pumps and water pump and tons of misc stuff..And it will be my daily workhorse car. A joy to drive and economical..But it wont last forever and I have a W211 coming which has been beautifully maintained, but it does not have the cool Nav system.

Im hoping to purchase a device/system that will put the car in business with maps and tracking and location search..using the car's digital screen as offered by Mercedes at purchase. I had a quick look on Ebay and see systems for sale but the details arent clear and my car has the original radio and screen which I dont want to replace..

Ive noted on several carfax histories that the shop, at some point, will install and set up the Nav system for an owner. I hope a nav system can be added on my car..Preferably DIY for reasonable dollars..

Thanks, you who know all about this new stuff..Im sure you are way ahead of me and can point in the right direction.

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Old 10-27-2017, 01:44 AM
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Any navigation system no matter how good it is today will be ancient, clunky, out of date and generally useless in 3 years. The best navigation system will always be on your smart phone.
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Old 10-27-2017, 09:22 AM
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I have had several w211 cars with the factory nav system. Let me point out a few things about using it. It does not know individual street addresses, it only knows ranges. So it guides you to the block in which a house is located, but not the house itself. Address entry is by using the cursor up/down/right/left buttons and the OK button, it's not a touch screen and there is no voice recognition. So address entry is extremely tedious. It does not know as many gas stations, restaurants, etc. as newer systems.

During the last few years owning a w211 I used my iPhone and ignored the nav system - it was easier and faster to use, and worked better. My wife kept a garmin in the glovebox of her car and used that instead of the factory nav system.
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Old 10-27-2017, 09:25 AM
A Talent for Obfuscation
 
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Smart phones are good as long as you travel in areas that the phone GPS system can reliably access cellphone towers, which represent the source of the information that the phone uses to calculate your current location. If you travel in relatively desolate areas where cellphone service is sketchy, you might want to pick up a Garmin or Tom-Tom GPS, the kind that you can stick onto your windshield with a suction cup.
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Old 10-27-2017, 10:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by P.C. View Post
Smart phones are good as long as you travel in areas that the phone GPS system can reliably access cellphone towers, which represent the source of the information that the phone uses to calculate your current location. If you travel in relatively desolate areas where cellphone service is sketchy, you might want to pick up a Garmin or Tom-Tom GPS, the kind that you can stick onto your windshield with a suction cup.
GPS coverage is everywhere regardless of cell phone towers. If you frequent areas lacking cell phone service google maps allows you to download a certain region or route. It will eat up some space on your phone and you won't get live traffic data but your navigation will still work. Also cell phone coverage today is miles better than even 3 or 4 years ago. I've traveled the length of the US west coast and deep into BC into some pretty far out of of the way spots. As soon as I hit even the smallest town or wide spot in the road I have solid TLE on Tmobile and no roaming charges anywhere.

If I really wanted a built in unit I would try to use something with android auto.
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Old 10-27-2017, 11:37 AM
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https://avinusa.com/mercedes-benz-e-class-cls-android-6-0-marshmallow-gps-navigation-system-w211-w219.html

yes I see the original mb nav everyone brags on when selling is brick by current standards. About as useful as the silly third row seat which will become a toolbox once I get the car..I see these new Android units run less than $500 and are awesome. Also incorporate a backup camera and TV if you want..

The electronics techs on the MB forum have it all sorted out and lots of instructional videos on YouTube..I dont use a smart phone but its just a cheapie..very slow. And want something built into the car..not a separate screen but yes, I see most find that the easiest..Thanks for the great info!
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Old 10-27-2017, 11:52 AM
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My own 2:

Having known several people with cars that have built-in NAV ability, every one of them wound up using their cell phone or a standalone GPS device. I use a 2013 Garmin when I travel and it is far superior to most of the built-in GPS devices I've dealt with. The biggest challenge to any GPS device is how updated its map software is. At least with a detachable GPS or a smartphone, you can chunk it and get a new one when it is too obsolete to run the newest/latest/greatest revision. With a built-in system, you now have a fancy piece of panelling with movable pictures on it. Personally I wouldn't waste my time or money installing a built-in NAV system on a 13 year old car. How useful is your 13 year old cell phone, or 13 year old laptop? The GPS device will be similar in its antiquation.
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Old 10-27-2017, 12:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by puzzler View Post
https://avinusa.com/mercedes-benz-e-class-cls-android-6-0-marshmallow-gps-navigation-system-w211-w219.html

yes I see the original mb nav everyone brags on when selling is brick by current standards. About as useful as the silly third row seat which will become a toolbox once I get the car..I see these new Android units run less than $500 and are awesome. Also incorporate a backup camera and TV if you want..

The electronics techs on the MB forum have it all sorted out and lots of instructional videos on YouTube..I dont use a smart phone but its just a cheapie..very slow. And want something built into the car..not a separate screen but yes, I see most find that the easiest..Thanks for the great info!
That unit will be far better than the OE nav. The only issue I see with that unit is that the version of Android it's running is two generations behind. It should be useful for another few years, but after that it may fail to get map updates not long after that. I would contact the seller to see if they have plans to update it with a more current OS and newer hardware.

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