Retrofit Retrofit
Car: Mercedes-Benz | CLK | W209 | Avantgarde | Coupe
Engine: CDi | 0 | Inline 5 | (170 BHP) | Turbocharged | Diesel

Luxury Climate Control Retrofit


Luxury Climate Control was an option on W203/W209 models, and can be retrofitted with ease; the wiring for the control unit remained unchanged making this a plug-and-play upgrade.

The system offers a few advantages over the standard control head, however the largest difference is arguably cosmetic.

Mercedes advertise the unit as follows:

'If you want to take comfort to a whole new level, optional luxury climate control is also available.
This easy-to-use system enables occupants to set their ideal temperature and airflow within their own individual climate zone. It also features sun and pollutant sensors, along with dust and carbon filters, to help maintain a fresh cabin environment.'

Technical differences

Cars that had Luxury Climate Control fitted at the factory have the following differences over standard:

Luxury Standard
LCD display / back lit switches Painted display panel
10 Flap actuator motors 6 Flap actuator motors
Multi-function sensor Dew point sensor
Independent air direction control Single air direction control
Illuminated dash vent controls -
Sun position sensor -
Activated charcoal filters -

It is entirely possible to fit these extra parts, but extremely time consuming and expensive.
These extras are not required to retrofit the actual control Panel.


'Facelift' here refers to cosmetic modifications and not an entirely new generation of C/CLK. This guide features my facelift installation, but the process is largely identical for pre-facelift cars. The article is annotated wherever the process differs.


w209luxuryclimate w209luxuryclimate

Standard (left)- 4 rotary knobs for temperature/fan adjustment.

Luxury (right) - Red and Blue buttons for temperature plus an LCD scren with orange illumination. Extra button for pollutant filter.


w209luxuryclimate w209luxuryclimate

Standard (left) - 4 rotary knobs with chrome accent for temperature/fan adjustment.

Luxury (right) - 2 large rotary knobs with chrome accent for fan/air direction, LCD screen and separate buttons for temperature control. Extra button for pollutant filter.

Luxury climate control units can be picked up relatively easily on eBay, if not in the UK then in Germany. Search for 'klima*' on German eBay. At the time of writing expect to pay anything up to £150 including delivery if buying a later unit from mainland Europe.

It has been noted that very occasionally come units refuse to work in a particular car, and there is easy way to tell (Luxury climate was not offered an official retrofit). In the rare case that an incompatibility is found then do not worry; incompatible unit will not damage your car, simply sell the unit and buy another.


Installing the new unit


Installation is very simple requiring only the removal of the radio surround fascia (pre-facelift) or the lower cliamte control fascia (facelift).

The unit has 2 electronic connections (right); a small black connector which simply pulls free and a large multiplug which can be withdrawn once its grey catch has been released.


It is a good idea at this point to test your unit, it should display climate details with the ignition on and illuminate with the lights.

The next step is to physically mount the Luxury unit to your existing fascia. The old unit is held in by 4 T20 Torx bolts (left), remove these, swap the units over and carefully tighten the screws.


Next, refit the wiring connectors, the fascia and the rest of the trim removed to gain access.

The newly installed unit should come on with the igition (right).

Normalise the air flap motors

The climate control unit holds in memory the position of the air control flaps from the car in which it was last installed, or if brand new these values will be unpopulated.

A reset of the unit should be performed so the position of these flaps are reset and learnt. To reset the unit hold down the demist and recirculation buttons for > 5 seconds, if successful both LEDs flash and the unit will cycle the flap motors to normalise their posotion.

If after a reset air is not being diverted to some of the vents then a trip to Mercedes is required to code the car on STAR for the new system. Expect to pay around £30. In my case this was not required.

© Mark Stewart, Sunday 1st March 2009
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