Active Parking Assist

Active Parking assist is a facility which when selected is able to park the car into a parked line of vehicles without the driver turning the steering wheel.
Several people I have spoken to have said they would not have confidence in allowing the car to take charge of the steering and that they would sooner have hands on.
Well quite unbeknown to me when I purchased my 2009 W169 the facility was on the car and so I have made a point of using it to the full.
The conditions do have to be right for the system to operate, dropped kerbs or where other vehicles are parked on pavements can confuse the system however where vehicles are legally parked in the direction of travel rather than on bends the system is most useful and is very easy to use albeit rather strange the first couple of times:-
Procedures for Use.

As you drive along the road looking for a suitable space, at 35km/h 20MPH or less and arrow and P as seen in the photo on the right will appear in the lower display of the instrument cluster.
In this case the space is on the left.
Parking spaces on the right can be used, however the right hand indicator must be working for the system to operate.
The parking system will have decided whether there is sufficient space for the car, Ie 1.5 meters (5'-0")"wide, and the actual space being 1.3 meters (4'-3")longer than the A class or vehicle fitted with the system .
Spaces that do not meet these minimum requirements will not be indicated by the system.

the space having been selected, reverse gear is selected,
at which time an option as to whether to use the system or not will display in the instrument cluster screen.
If you wish to use the system then the 'UP' Arrow or button 3 is pressed, see above, this will select Yes
A further message will now appear telling the driver to accelerate, and brake the vehicle yourself.
If during the reversing stage the driver touches the steering wheel the parking assist will cancel, and a message will appear cancelled .
It should be remembered that the driver is responsible for the actions taken by the car all round observation is still as necessary as when steering/reversing manually .

During the selection stage if you do not want to use the system , press button 4 you are now in manual control

I myself have found that as the driver I'm more able to look for obstructions, hazards and pedestrians who will insist on walking behind parking cars. That however is when the 'Parktronic' another useful system comes into play and warns you of their presence behind the vehicle even though you may not be able to see them in your mirrors.
You do not have to concentrate on the steering of the vehicle.

click the photo below to see parking assist working (Hands Free Reversing)

Does it really work ?
Sure does and it saves me twisting my back and neck in the process.
I can just observe in all three mirrors and operate the clutch and brake as normal. The beep that is heard, is accompanied by a message in the instrument cluster 'Take Over'

which is when you are back in manual control.
Where the parking manoeuvre takes more than one shunt/movement, messages will display telling the driver the select the gears required I.e. reverse followed by forward etc. these will continue until the vehicle is fully parked.

In this demo only one movement was necessary.
The 'Parktronic' plays a large part in indicating to the driver when to stop either forwards or backwards movements when parking.

I would just add that I have been driving all sorts of vehicles since I was 16 years of age, I'm now 74 and this system parks as well if not better than me and makes less fuss about it, this to a large extent is due to the speed the steering wheels turns when using the system to park, without a steering wheel knob fixed on the steering wheel the steering wheel cannot be turned that fast by the average driver even on a good day!

Please do not ask me to explain how it works ? Because I do not know accept that there ultra sonic sensors in the corners of the front and rear bumpers play a large part in the system. with the Parktronic sensors situated in the bumper indicating when you are nearing the limit of reverse of forward movement.

Low pressure oil warning light

This is a instrument cluster red sign that none of us want to see unless we already know the cause.
If the cause is not known then it could be caused by a oil pump failure or a massive lose of engine oil, caused for what ever reason. A poorly fitted oil filter, or loose or lost oil sump drain plug, not tightened after service, come to mind.

Having decided to Change the oil on my car ready for a drive up to Scotland and back some 1200miles, with the running around I drained the engine oil and then discovered that the filter I had was for the MB smart car and not the W169, a gross error on my part.

To get transport to collect the correct filter, I had to move my car off the ramps and away from the garage Doors just 20 feet or so.
I was pleased to see that there is a low oil warning built into the system which should enable a driver to pull over and stop the engine before any damage is done. Do not delay in taking that action or the engine will cease.

Equally do not be tempted to switch the ignition off while still in traffic as you will loose the power steering and the servo on the braking system which could easily cause an accident if your not aware that these two systems will be affected.

Removing the keys will cause the steering to lock

And this is the business end of the steering column where the electric power steering is housed.
Some where located on the unit must be the automatic drive for the park assist.
One just hope this unit does not want replacing I suspect it a costly item.

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