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  #1  
Old 08-01-2003, 02:47 AM
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The mystery box under my ashtray

The other day I had to replace a seat heater switch in my 1987 560SEL. As many of you know, this involves removing the ashtray and the black thingy which holds the horn switch and seat heater buttons. Out of curiosity I lifted the insulation which was now exposed under the ashtray and found a box that said (in four different languages) "Warning! Do Not Remove". Needless to say, I did not remove the box, however, because of the multilingual warning I am very curious as to what it could be. Anyone know?? Is it a doomsday device?
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Old 08-01-2003, 03:00 AM
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Probably part of the airbag system.

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Old 08-01-2003, 09:12 AM
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Yes that is a "doomsday" device, IF you need that box, then your car is in a bad wreck & the air bag has hit you in the face.

That is the control module/crash sensor for the SRS system.
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Last edited by mbdoc; 08-01-2003 at 01:05 PM.
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Old 08-01-2003, 09:23 AM
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It's actually the control module for the SRS (Airbag) system, but the sensor is integrated into the control module. It only has that one crash sensor.

Gilly
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Old 08-01-2003, 09:34 AM
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Gilly, are you sure that's the only sensor? If so, it's a poor design! Most cars have sensors located near the front of the car. SRS design engineers are always looking for ways how to sense an impending collision as soon as possible. The latest technology is looking for a way to incorporate forward radar sensors to the SRS systems. The idea is to set off the air bags even before there's contact between the two cars.
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Old 08-01-2003, 12:02 PM
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I'd have thought setting the airbags off before the cars make contact would be a shade daft - you'd surely run the risk eating canvas if someone carved you up on the motorway?

As I understand it, it takes a very specific type of impact to actually deploy the airbags - I know someone who put a modern Jaguar saloon through a motorway metal crash barrier head-on, then rolled some 6 times before hitting a tree and NONE of the airbags deployed... The police crash investigation team said to him that it's surprising what it takes to actually set the things off.

Credit to Jaguar - he had both right hand tyres blow out at over 100mph, and the police estimated he hit the barrier, more or less head on at about 90mph - the car ended up unrecognisable... and he walked away with a broken wrist and concussion.
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Old 08-01-2003, 12:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by UK 2.3-16v
I'd have thought setting the airbags off before the cars make contact would be a shade daft - you'd surely run the risk eating canvas if someone carved you up on the motorway?
Yes, now you're thinking like a design engineer. It's problems like these that keep these ideas from market. These unique scenarios need to be addressed before something like radar collision avoidance and radar SRS deployment can be put on cars. This idea is still being worked on.
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Old 08-01-2003, 09:58 PM
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I believe the 2003 E Class (W211 chassis) is the FIRST MB to have front mounted crash detection sensors, out on the radiator support. This was found neccesary due to the efficiency of the crumple zone, the deceleration in the cabin has slowed to the point of making this relocation neccesary. Up until then, the sensor in the cabin was "fast" enough to deploy the airbags in time.

At least with the older system (sensor integrated into the module)
you don't need to worry about the wiring.

Gilly
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