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Mercedes E430 Clock
© 2006 KenRockwell.com

Mercedes E320 Clock

E430 Clock

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I keep my clock set to fractions of seconds. You can ignore the details if all you want is the right time.

To set the clock:

1.) Turn the key at least to the first position. The E430 must not be moving. It's OK if the engine is running, but not required.

2.) Press the menu buttons on the lower left of the steering wheel until SETTINGS is displayed, like this:

E320 Clock Setting

3.) Press the UP arrow on the top left of the wheel to display HOURS to change time zones or daylight time. Press again to choose MINUTES to set the minutes or sync the clock to the exact second.

Mercedes E320 Clock Setting

4.) Adjust with the + and - buttons on the right of the wheel.

5.) You're done. Press the menu buttons to take you back to your chosen display.

Setting the hours doesn't disturb the exact setting of the clock. Adjust the hours anytime you like and the exact to-the-second sync is unchanged.

Set the minutes on a time signal if you care about to-the-second timing. Setting minutes resets the clock's internal seconds counter (not displayed ) to zero. The instant you change the minutes it sets the seconds (not displayed) to 0. It doesn't matter when you decide to get out of the settings menu.


The new one runs only 4/10 of a second fast per month over the past three months! This is insane, and exceeds COSC tolerances for certified quartz chronometers several times over.

This new clock is the most accurate thing I own.

I doubt if it sets to the GPS of the Tele-Aid system or RDS, since it gained 0.4s/month uniformly over the past three months.

The clock in my 190D was so accurate that I never could;d measure it: it wasn't off by any measurable amount every 6 months when it needed to be reset for daylight time, but it also had only two hands.

Scrambled Display (missing segments)

Mercedes Scrambled Clock

Scrambled Clock

Do you know what time this is? Time to buy a new clock! Do you know what it costs? $3,000!

Many E-Klasse have defective clock displays. The connections to the LCD become unreliable with time, and some or all of the segments don't light. This clock is trying to display "8:11." The 8 and the ":" are dead, as are some of the segments around the "D" (transmission position display). This is random; some days it was fine, other days it was worse.

When it got bad enough I asked my dealer about it.

Mine was replaced under Mercedes Extended Limited Warranty (ELW), which was an extra-cost option bought when it was new. Of course this warranty transfers if the car is sold between individuals, but not if you buy one through a 3rd party like a used car lot. The warranty transferred to me when I bought my E430 from a neighbor, the original owner.

My clock was replaced for free, with none of the deductibles or other hanky-panky pulled by warrantees offered by lesser brands like the BMW I used to have. Of course I had a free Mercedes loan car for the day, and had my E430 returned to me washed and in top shape, all 100% free.

The good news is that it was easy and free to get fixed. The bad news is that the clock isn't replaceable by itself. The entire instrument cluster has to be replaced. The cost of the job I had done for free? About $3,000! That's why you see so many poorly maintained Mercedes with malfunctioning clocks.

Don't buy a used car with a bad clock, unless you have $3,000 to replace the entire cluster or the car is covered by the genuine Mercedes Extended Limited Warranty (not a 3rd party plan). A scrambled clock is the sign of an abused Mercedes and an owner who doesn't take care of it.

If mine died on me out of warranty, which would be 2009, even I wonder if I'd shell out $3,000 to fix the clock. $3,000 buys a real nice clock! I'd first call the folks at Palo Alto Speedometer whose ads claim they fix these things and see what they could do for me.

Good news is that my dealer suspects that Mercedes has fixed the clock issue, so my new one is unlikely to repeat the problem. Mercedes is smart and learns from mistakes.

Want to know if your car is covered by a Mercedes warranty? Phone Mercedes at (800) FOR-MERC with your VIN and ask them.

Shifty used car dealers often try to sell expensive 3rd party insurance policies paraded as warrantees. These make a lot of money for the dealers. Good luck if you got stuck with one of those trying to get a clock fixed! The warranty I have came directly from Mercedes.

I'm very happy about all this. No car is perfect. It's what the manufacturer does to make things right when there is a problem that's important. I bought a used car outside of the original warranty, it developed a problem, and Mercedes fixed it, free, with benefits, under the transferable Extended Limited Warranty.

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