The Mb Star C3 is one of the most popular clones on the market, It gives dealer level access to Mercedes Benz cars trucks/buses and plant machinery, running Xentry and DAS often installed on a laptop with EPC & WIS.
The original can cost as much as 22k for a lease making this system very very cost effective.
However, when buying one there few pitfalls that should be avoided.
1- There are 2 popular grades of this system, one is badly made cheap and nasty C3 multiplexer with sub standard cable set and inferior used chipset see photos
they very easy to tell apart, the bad quality C3 Multiplexer is the one with the darker rubber ends as the photos show. DO NOT BUY THE DARKER ONE
2- 12 or 24 volt?? they are made as 12v C3 multiplexer or a 24v once again it’s very easy to distinguish them apart, the 24v will have red connection ports on the end of cables and the Multiplexer, this is important for obvious reasons but not often explained by sellers. always buy 24v as they are better made.
3- Software versions, from Dec 2014 some software builds moved all module coding online so one must have dealer codes to access the MB network. the versions we have are 2014.9 and 2015.5 they should not cost more they should be at the same price.
As it can be seen from the photos we took, the darker one is very bad quality and should be avoided, to make matters worse the cables for the C3 MB Multiplexer are of poor quality much thinner, the RS converter is not present in some cables sets.
The connection on the high quality MB C3 cables is made from brass, the other is a cheap composite of plastic made shine like metal.
finally we have MB Star C3, MB Star C4, and Xentry C5, the c3 will work with older cars right up to 2013 but lacks the protocols for newer Mercedes, C4 has these protocols and will work with all Mercedes from the year 2000 onwards, C5 has all the same protocols as the C4 but the software builds have dropped support for older Mercs and the genuine C5 have moved the software and licence online.
We hope you found this article useful, should you need any help regarding this or any other Diagnostics tools call us 24-7, if you are at work then we are at work.