Have you encountered a message on your dashboard saying ‘Blind Spot Assist Inoperative’ or ‘Blind Spot Assist Currently Unavailable’?
If you have, you’re not alone.
In this article, we’ll dive into the common causes of the ‘Blind Spot Assist Inoperative’ message and provide straightforward steps you can take to fix it.
Quick Answer: Why is my Blind Spot Assist inoperative?
A ‘Blind Spot Assist Inoperative’ message on Mercedes vehicles is often caused by dirty Blind Spot Assist sensors, a faulty fuse, or water in the sensors. It can be fixed by cleaning the sensors, replacing the fuse, or waiting for the water to evaporate.
What causes the ‘Blind Spot Assist Inoperative’ message?
The ‘Blind Spot Assist Inoperative’ message indicates that there’s an issue with the Blind Spot Assist system. It can appear in various Mercedes models, including the C300, E350, GLC300, and ML350.
Here are the most common causes of the ‘Blind Spot Assist Inoperative’ message on a Mercedes:
- Bad weather conditions. Think of heavy rain, snow, or even dense fog. These conditions can make your car’s sensors dirty. Dirt or mud splashing on the sensors or a layer of snow or ice covering them can lead to this error message.
- Water in the sensors. Water and electronics don’t mix well. If you’ve driven through heavy rain or just had your car washed, water might seep into the sensors. This can cause short circuits or temporary malfunctions in the Blind Spot Assist system.
- Fuse failure. Your Mercedes has a specific fuse for the Blind Spot Assist. If this fuse blows, the system goes down. This can happen due to an electrical overload or just general wear and tear.
- Faulty Blind Spot Assist radar sensors. Sometimes, the problem is with the radar sensors themselves. They can fail due to internal faults, manufacturing defects, or damage from an accident.
- Heavy traffic or driving near walls and barriers. Extended bumper-to-bumper traffic or driving close to walls can overwhelm the Blind Spot Assist system. It’s constantly detecting objects, and in these scenarios, it might get a bit ‘tired’ and give you an inoperative message.
- Weak auxiliary battery. Last but not least, your car’s auxiliary battery powers lots of features, including the Blind Spot Assist. If this battery runs low, it might cause Mercedes fault codes.
Here is a section from the official Mercedes owner’s manual regarding the limitations of the Blind Spot Assist system:
How do you fix the ‘Blind Spot Assist Inoperative’ error?
Now that we know what might be causing the trouble, let’s get to fixing it.
Here are some steps that can help to resolve the ‘Blind Spot Assist Inoperative’ error:
- Clean the sensors.
- Check the Blind Spot Assist sensor fuse.
- Check for water in the sensors.
- Measure your auxiliary battery voltage.
- Replace the faulty Blind Spot Assist sensor.
1. Clean the sensors
Start with the simplest fix.
Your Mercedes’ Blind Spot Assist system relies on sensors to detect potential hazards.
These sensors can get dirty, especially if you’re driving through snow, ice, or even just a lot of dirt and grime.
Therefore, a possible cause of the system being inoperative is that your radar sensors are dirty, especially if you see the message in combination with any of these warnings:
Cleaning all the radar sensors is a great way to reset the ‘Blind Spot Assist Inoperative’ message.
Here are the Mercedes Blind Spot Assist sensor locations:
- Front bumper-mounted sensors.
- Rear bumper-mounted sensors.
- Side mirror-mounted sensor/camera.
Here are some images that make it clear where you can find all the sensors of the Blind Spot Assist system on a Mercedes:
Give them a gentle wipe with a clean cloth to remove any dirt, mud, snow, or ice.
It’s like cleaning your glasses; a clear view can make all the difference!
2. Check the Blind Spot Assist sensor fuse
Next, let’s look at the fuses.
The Blind Spot Assist sensor fuse is generally on location 116 on Mercedes vehicles.
However, we recommend checking your car’s manual to find which fuse is for the Blind Spot Assist sensor.
If you find it blown, replace it with a new one with the same rating.
3. Check for water in the sensors
If you’ve recently driven through heavy rain or had your car washed, water might have gotten into the sensors.
Often, this is just a temporary issue.
Give it some time to dry out, or if you’re in a hurry, a careful blast of compressed air can help speed up the process.
4. Measure your auxiliary battery voltage
A weak auxiliary battery can cause many issues, including affecting your Blind Spot Assist system.
Use a multimeter to check the voltage of your auxiliary battery. If it’s low, charging or replacing the battery might be necessary.
You can find our guide to locating, measuring, and replacing a Mercedes auxiliary battery here!
5. Replace the faulty Blind Spot Assist sensor
If you’ve tried all the above and the message still shows up, the sensor itself might be the problem.
This is a bit more complex and usually requires professional diagnostics and replacement.
Replacing the Mercedes Blind Spot Assist sensor generally costs around $800 to $1,200.
It’s best to take your car to a certified mechanic or a Mercedes dealership for this.
What is Blind Spot Assist on a Mercedes?
Blind Spot Assist is a safety feature designed to alert you when there’s a vehicle in your blind spot.
This is the area beside and slightly behind your car that you can’t see with your mirrors:
Here’s how it works:
- Radar sensors. Your Mercedes is equipped with radar sensors, typically located in the rear bumper. These sensors constantly send out signals that bounce back when they hit an object, like another vehicle.
- Detection zone. The system has a specific detection zone, which is where it checks for other vehicles. If a car enters this zone while you’re driving, the Blind Spot Assist kicks into action.
- Alert mechanism. When the system detects a vehicle in your blind spot, it alerts you. This is usually done through a visual warning, like a light on your side mirror. Some models also give an audible alert or a vibration in the steering wheel if you start to turn into a lane with a vehicle in your blind spot.
Why is Blind Spot Assist important?
Well, it’s all about safety.
Changing lanes is one of the most common moments for accidents to happen.
The Blind Spot Assist reduces the chance of these accidents by alerting you to potential dangers you might not see.
It’s important to note that Blind Spot Assist doesn’t replace the need to use your mirrors and to turn your head to check your blind spots before changing lanes.
Think of it as an extra safety layer, not a replacement for good driving habits.
And that’s a wrap on fixing the ‘Blind Spot Assist Inoperative’ message in your Mercedes.
We’ve covered the common causes, how to troubleshoot them, and even dived into what Blind Spot Assist is.
Remember, while it’s great to know how to fix these issues yourself, there’s no shame in seeking professional help, especially regarding the more complex problems.
Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments below!