Mercedes-Benz ML W163 window switch console, on models build between 1998-2002, manifests a wearing symptom on the windows switches: they require more pulling force for window rising operation until they become unresponsive.

The windows control console buttons rely on plastic rockers pushing on copper blades to interrupt contact for windows operation. In time, depending on usage, these copper blades become become bent downward and loose mechanical contact with the plastic rocker switch, especially for the driver window rising.

The copper blades of the contacts require realignment, to get them in contact with the sliding plastic rockers.

First remove the storage bin under the armrest, by unscrewing the two phillips head screws. On some cars, these were torx head screws.
Mercedes-Benz W163 ML Window Switches Repair 1 - Storage bin removal

 

Now you can reach the connectors by hand through the storage bin opening, but you will not remove them now.

Mercedes-Benz W163 ML Window Switches Repair 3 - Underside windows connectors

After removing the storage bin, lift the whole center console wood trim cover by pulling and lifting from the storage bin side up to the front. When reaching front side, you should pull back to remove it as there are two plastic hooks at the front, but first remove the connectors:

Mercedes-Benz W163 ML Window Switches Repair 4 - Connectors removal

You can now close your driver window (front left) if it remained open, until your repair is ready, by shorting the following pins between the two window connectors:

Mercedes-Benz W163 ML Window Switches Repair 6 - Shorting connectors to close front left window

You can unclip the buttons module from the console trim by unclipping it. The four screw holes are unused but can be of use on reassempbly if some clips break.

Mercedes-Benz W163 ML Window Switches Repair 7 - Removed console

 

Disassembly of the buttons module require removing almost all button covers, except the mirrors joystick.

Gently remove button covers by first unclipping one side:

Mercedes-Benz W163 ML Window Switches Repair 8 - Remove button cover step 1

Then wiggle it to the other side until it unclips completely:

Mercedes-Benz W163 ML Window Switches Repair 9 - Remove button cover step 2

Now you should see the white plastic rocker:

Mercedes-Benz W163 ML Window Switches Repair 10 - Button cover removed

All covers should be removed:

Mercedes-Benz W163 ML Window Switches Repair 11 - More button covers removed

The ones between front left and right window will also require white plastic rocker to be removed:

Mercedes-Benz W163 ML Window Switches Repair 12 - Foglight switch cover removed

After removing the white plastic rocker from the lock and defog switches:

Mercedes-Benz W163 ML Window Switches Repair 13 - Fog and lock button rockers removed

You can see their spring pins which you should pay attention not to loose. It is better to keep the module on a flat surface while doing the repair:

Mercedes-Benz W163 ML Window Switches Repair 14 - Required removal under rockers detail

Now the module cover can be lifted up by unclipping the 8 clips around the edges:

Mercedes-Benz W163 ML Window Switches Repair 15 - Buttons console cover removing

After removing it:

Mercedes-Benz W163 ML Window Switches Repair 16 - Buttons console cover removing

You can start removing the white plastic rocker for the non-working switches. It would also be a good idea to remove it for frequently used windows at this point.

Mercedes-Benz W163 ML Window Switches Repair 17 - Buttons console inside

You can see the wear level of the front left rocker:

Mercedes-Benz W163 ML Window Switches Repair 18 - Front left driver window rocker wear detail

The copper blades that it is pushing against:

Mercedes-Benz W163 ML Window Switches Repair 19 - Contact blades detail

 

Here you can see both front window switches rockers removed:

Mercedes-Benz W163 ML Window Switches Repair 20 - Window buttons rockers removed

 

And here the wear level compared, look at the leftmost rise, near the rectangular hole:

Mercedes-Benz W163 ML Window Switches Repair 21 - Left right front rockers wear comparision

 

Here you can see the wrongly readjusted level of the blades, they are too high, tend to glitch on sliding and not allow rocker full slide.

Readjustment should be made by rising from the outermost part of the blade, this way it will get a rounder top part for smoother slide against the rocker. Then it should be pushed back to its correct riding height. From my experience, the correct  height is 1 mm on top of the former riding height. Do not raise it so high as in the photo!

Mercedes-Benz W163 ML Window Switches Repair 22 - Blades realigned - too high

On reassembly, check that the top cover pin in the front is flush with the contour of the module.

Below is the full photos gallery:

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