There are some generic tools that will do the job well enough but for accurate deep level diagnostics on any Mercedes be it car, van or Mercedes HGV/Bus as well as the Mercedes special machines and construction rigs, there is nothing better than what is known as a Star Machine.
A Mercedes Star Machine will give you deep level diagnostics with pinpoint accuracy and give full readout of events, current and stored faults. It will programme parts and do software updates on modules and give the user repair time estimates and how-to guides.
A good Star Machine system should have the following programs;
1- Xentry for vehicles after 2009
2- DAS for vehicles after 1999/2000 to 2009
3- WIS (Workshop Information System) a Mercedes vehicles Data software
4- EPC (electronic parts catalogue)
These 4 programs are the most essential in any Mercedes Star Machine, most will have Star finder and SD media and various key generators we also add Vediamo and DTS Monaco on request but unlike 99% of our competitors we never use Chinese software builds, we build our software in-house individually each time to insure no errors in the software.
So what the difference between the types of the Mercedes Diagnostics tools?
To answer this we need to know what each one is and have hands on experience with them all.
Lucky I have this experience.
MERCEDES BENZ C3 ( Star Diagnostics Compact 3 )
Commonly referred to as C3
It has K-line and Can protocols and uses a wired connection only
Became obsolete in 2013 very good for older Mercedes Benz comes in 2 versions 12v and 24v will have HTT virtualisation.
Mercedes Benz SD C4 ( Star Diagnostics Compact C4)
This is by far the best option its an all-round good system it has the best features and will still be working many years to come
Wireless option, K-line, Can and UDS protocols
Mercedes Benz SD C5 ( Star Diagnostics Compact 5)
There are 2 versions of this a c4 inside a c5 shell and a real C5
This the same as c4 but its expensive and very hard to update
Has all the other protocols with the latest DOIP protocol
Good option for Techs just leaving Mercedes Benz official dealers as it will have the exact same layout.
Mercedes Benz SD C6 ( Mercedes Star Diagnostics VCI)
Very fast machine good for newer cars
Has full list of protocols with wireless option
The after market versions don’t seem to work well with DAS
We at pro Auto Diagnostics are always here to help yo make the right choice for your workshop needs.