Justin Cracknell Motor Services - 143 C&D Sprowston road, Norwich NR3 4QQ Tel: Workshop - (01603) 784111 / Mob - 07799 492517



Mercedes ESL Emulator information
Mercedes W204 / W207 / W212 ESL Removal guide
As you are probably aware some of the ESL (Electronic Steering Lock) units fitted to Mercedes vehicles are programmed to the vehicles immobiliser system and cannot be replaced with a secondhand part, however a cheaper option than fitting a new ESL is to purchase an emulator from us, firstly we will need the ESL unplugging (If it as failed in the unlocked state) or removing if it has failed in the locked state. We will then need you to send us your EIS (Electronic Ignition Switch) & a working key for your car. We can then program an emulator or if you prefer a replacement (Secondhand) ESL. Below we have made a guide on how to remove an EIS on a Mercedes W204 model, the whole operation takes about an hour with the correct tools as listed.

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First to check if you have a Mercedes with a programmed type of ESL (W204, W207 or W212) then you can check on the chassis plate located on the driver side door pillar, this is an example of a W204 - the first  digits of the VIN number is WDD204, if it is either 207 or 212 then you have a programmed type, otherwise your ESL is not a programmed type and an non-programmed 'Plug & Play' type ESL emulator can be installed.

The first item that needs to be removed is the airbag, this is screwed in from behind with 2 T25 screws, once the airbag is removed then the steering wheel can be removed - This is held on by a 10mm hex female countersunk bolt & is extremely tight, it's best in our opinion to use an impact gun. Make sure that the marks for aligning the steering wheel are clearly visible, if not make your own marks on the wheel & column for correct alignment when re-fitting.

Once the steering wheel has been removed then the squib / column switch assembly is visible, again its best to mark the position of the squib in case it moves out of alignment when removed.

Underneath the squib assembly there is a small red release lever, this needs to be gently pulled down to release the assembly from the column, this also needs to be unclipped from the cowlings.

The squib assembly can then be pulled away from the column & the plugs can then be released.

Once the squib assembly & cowling has been removed we then have access to the two upper column bolts (E12) Arrowed here. These can then be removed.

From underneath the plastic cover can be removed by removing the T20 torx screws and then we have access to the bottom column column bolts (E12) arrowed here, these can now be removed.

The column is now loose and can be lowered and rotated giving us access to the multiplug of the ESL. The ESL multiplug is located at the bottom end of the column facing upwards. Here we are looking through the column aperture and the green / blue ESL multiplug is arrowed. Access to the multiplug is easiest by reaching your and from underneath. If your ESL has failed in the 'unlocked' position then you are in luck and it can just be unplugged & left in place as it will not engage into the 'Locked' position if left unplugged. If however your ESL has failed in the 'Locked' position then the column will need to be completely removed to extract the ESL.

The column can be completely removed by removing the pinch bolt (Arrowed) securing the column to the steering shaft.

Once the column is removed you then have access to the ESL (No.5 in the picture here).

If you are sending us the EIS & key to program an emulator you will need to remove the EIS from the dashboard, the only thing that holds the EIS into the dash is the ringnut around the keyslot - here we are using a professional tool to remove the ringnut but a small screwdriver or similar can be used to wind the ringnut off.

Here is the Ringnut (With chrome ring) removed

The EIS can then be manoeuvred out through the steering column aperture and multiplugs can be unplugged.

Once the ESL emulator has been plugged in it can simply be tucked out of the way of the column mechanism, refitting is reversal of removal.

Tools used:
T20 Torx screwdiver (Plastic undertray)
T25 Torx bit (Airbag fixing bolts)
10mm Hex bit & Impact gun (Steering wheel)
E12 socket & Double flex head ratchet & palm ratchet & 10mm wobble head ratchet spanner (Column mounting bolts)
EIS removal tool - A thin screwdriver can also be used.


Pictured here is an EIS mounted on our bench test rig with an emulator connected, alternatively we can program a replacement (New or secondhand) ESL, these can be fully tested for correct function before sending back to you.

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