Have you seen a message on your dashboard that says ‘Radar Sensors Dirty’?
If so, don’t worry. This message is more common than you might think.
A ‘Radar Sensors Dirty’ message on the dashboard of a Mercedes-Benz indicates that grime, ice, or snow is covering the vehicle’s sensors or cameras. The message will automatically disappear after cleaning the sensors using a soft cloth or brush.
Continue reading to learn more and see which sensors to clean!
What causes the ‘Radar Sensors Dirty’ message?
You might wonder, “What makes my Mercedes show this ‘Radar Sensors Dirty’ message?”
Here are a few common causes:
- The environment: The most common reason is driving through muddy roads, dusty paths, or even heavy snowfall, which can leave your sensors covered in grime. Just like wearing dirty glasses makes it hard to see, your car faces the same issue with dirty sensors.
- Unexpected cover-ups: Sometimes, a misplaced sticker, a decorative cover, or even a small dent near the sensor area can block its view.
- A technical issue: Although less common, the issue might not always be dirt. Sometimes, the sensors might be misaligned, especially if you’ve had a recent fender bender or visited the body shop. In rarer cases, it could signal that the sensor is defective.
Where are the radar sensors located?
Here are the locations of the radar sensors on a Mercedes:
- Windshield-mounted sensors. At the top of the windshield, in the center.
- Grill-mounted camera. Integrated into the front grill, in the center, just above the Mercedes emblem.
- Emblem sensor. Integrated into the emblem of the front grill.
- Bumper-mounted sensors. Integrated into the front and rear bumpers. Multiple sensors per bumper.
- Side mirror camera. At the underside of both side-view mirrors.
- Rearview camera. Just above the rear license plate.
1. Windshield-mounted sensors
The windshield-mounted sensors are located at the top center area of your windshield, usually near or behind the rearview mirror.
These sensors are typically housed in a small, often black, casing and are crucial for forward-facing detection.
They are integral to the Distronic Plus system, which is Mercedes’ adaptive cruise control, adjusting your speed based on the traffic ahead.
Plus, these sensors power the Pre-Safe Brake system, helping in emergency braking situations.
Lastly, they are responsible for the rain-sensing function, automatically adjusting wiper speeds based on how much rain is hitting your windshield.
2. Grill-mounted camera
Look at the front grille, specifically just above the Mercedes emblem.
This grille-mounted camera is a component of your car’s 360° camera parking view system.
It provides a front-facing view that, when combined with other cameras around the car, creates a composite image, giving you a top-down view of your surroundings.
3. Emblem sensor
The Mercedes emblem isn’t just for show; it often conceals a radar sensor.
It is usually located behind the emblem on the grille, and in some models, the emblem itself is part of the sensor system.
This sensor is a part of the Distronic Plus adaptive cruise control system.
4. Bumper-mounted sensors
These sensors are discreetly located in your car’s front and rear bumpers. They are the eyes of the Parktronic system, which is your parking assistant.
When you’re trying to park, these sensors measure the distance between your car and obstacles around it, alerting you with audio-visual signals if you’re getting too close to an object.
5. Side mirror camera
Take a look at the underside of your side mirrors, and you might notice small cameras integrated into them.
These cameras are part of the 360° camera parking view.
6. Rearview camera
Finally, look just above your rear license plate, and you’ll find the rearview camera.
This camera is crucial for completing the 360° parking view. It gives you a clear view of what’s behind your car, which is especially useful when you’re reversing.
How do you clean the dirty radar sensors on a Mercedes?
Great, now that we know where these sensors are, let’s clean them to fix the ‘Radar Sensors Dirty’ message.
Here’s how you should clean the radar sensors on a Mercedes:
- Gentle cleaning: Always start with the gentlest cleaning methods. Use a soft cloth or a sponge with warm water. Avoid harsh chemicals or abrasive materials, as they can damage the sensors. A mild soap solution can be used for stubborn dirt, but be sure to rinse it off thoroughly.
- Windshield and rearview camera cleaning: A simple glass cleaner will do the trick for the windshield-mounted sensors and the rearview camera above the license plate. Spray a bit of cleaner on a soft cloth and gently wipe the sensors and camera lenses. Be careful not to apply pressure directly on the sensors or lenses, as they can be sensitive.
- Bumper and emblem sensor cleaning: A damp cloth should be sufficient for the bumper-mounted sensors and the emblem sensor. Gently wipe the surface of each sensor.
- Side mirror cameras: These are a bit more delicate. Use a soft, slightly dampened cloth to clean the camera lenses gently.
- Dry everything: After cleaning, dry all the sensors and cameras with a clean, dry cloth. This step prevents water spots or residue.
Note: Don’t ignore the ‘Radar Sensors Dirty’ message on your Mercedes. When the message is active, certain safety systems, such as Pre-Safe Brake, won’t work.
All in all, it can be unexpected to see the ‘Radar Sensors Dirty’ message on your Mercedes.
Luckily, it can be fixed really easily.
You just need to know the locations of these sensors and clean them gently!
After removing the grime on the sensors, the error message will disappear by itself, and the safety systems in your vehicle will work again.
If this article helped you, it would be awesome if you could let us know in the comments below!