Rear view camera
Installing a rear view camera is a nice feature, especially if the rear window is tinted. This section covers rear view camera installation on a W220 and various rear view cameras.
To see the picture on COMAND screen a multimedia interface must be installed. Alternatively, a cheap (~15 USD) LCD monitor can be used to see the picture.
The simplest path from the front panel to the rear under seat is to follow the thick, red positive wire. Then the wire can follow wires that go from rear SAM to trunk cover.
The wires in the trunk cover wiring shield seem to be glued, therefore it seems that extra wire for camera cannot be pulled through.
Relatively elegant solution is to run camera wire in parallel with trunk wiring shield.
To activate rear view camera when the reverse is engaged the activation cable (the blue wire in the picture) can be connected to reverse cable of tail lights.
W220 do not have rear view camera as an OE option. It can be difficult to find a workable and convenient location for installing an aftermarket camera. Possibilities include:
- A special number plate housing with a camera built in.
- A camera mounted on a bar which is fitted on the top of the rear number plate using the existing screws.
- A camera in a purposefully designed handle which can replace the existing trunk handle.
- A camera in a purposefully designed licence plate light fitting to replace one of the existing lights.
- A universal style stand-alone camera which can be fitted on either vertical or horizontal surfaces but does require a hole to be drilled in the car body.
There are several rear view cameras available on eBay.
Typical Price: 35 USD
This one is marketed on eBay as a W220 rear view camera, however, there is no place where it could be possibly mounted.
CAMERA2 (licence plate light module)
Price: 50 USD
The camera comes with built-in LED which is powered by a separate wire. Note, that the LED is not CANBUS "error free", which means that if connected to licence plate light wire the LED will blink and errors will appear on the instrument cluster. To make it work an additional resistance - load resistor of 150 ohm must be added (you can also use 100 ohm load resistor, but in that case if the LED malfunctions you will not receive error message on the instrument cluster). To mount it in place of original licence plate light module you will have to sacrifice the original module by breaking off the connector (or alternatively drilling two holes). Breaking it is easy since if the original licence plate module has been used for a while the plastic becomes very fragile (see license plate lights page).
- Discrete mounting (hardly visible from distance).
- The small LED provides less light onto the licence plate than aftermarket LED modules (see license plate lights page).
- Has relatively small view angle (see comparison below).
- Since mounted 20cm away from center, makes rear view biased (see comparison below).
Front and back views of licence plate light cover. The part number is A2208200066.
Price: 15 USD
This is generic rear view camera that has to be mounted to ceiling. Trunk lid handle is a good place where to mount it.
CAMERA3 - Advantages:
- Can be mounted very close to the center of car (in case of pre-facelift trunk lid handle).
- Has large view angle (see comparison below).
CAMERA3 - Disadvantages:
- Not very discrete (visible from distance).
CAMERA5 (license plate light lens)
Price: 25 USD
Feedback from eBay: "Received this camera today after a three week wait and it is not a direct replacement of the license plate light lens. The brackets that hold the lamp are too long and the lens itself does not bubble out and accommodate the lens like the original does. There's no way to adjust the camera left or right. The camera is made of two pieces and both pieces were put together by some sort of RTV that does not cover all the electronic pieces. Mine came apart. Great concept, but the execution was poor."
Here we provide a comparison of two rear view cameras. The rear view camera in the licence plate light module (CAMERA2) and the generic rear view camera (CAMERA3).