Key won't turn in ignition switch - Mercedes Benz SLK Forum
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post #1 of 26 Old 05-26-2011 Thread Starter
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Key won't turn in ignition switch

May 26, 2011
SLK320 2003 45,000 MILES
Been having this problem on and off for awhile. Key won't turn in ignition switch. Doesn't matter whether the wheels are turned or straight on. I have to turn the wheel until it locks and then struggle to turn the steering wheel until it frees up. One time I had to call road service I was so tired of trying to turn the wheel. Dealer has replaced the ignition switch but to no avail. I currently am having the dealer "research" this problem (over a week now) because I don't want to leave the car their while they "try" various things. My Indi has no idea what it can be. He says he has never run across this. I discovered a member who had this problem in Sept 2010 but don't know what the resolution was. Sorry to be so wordy.
HELP.
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post #2 of 26 Old 05-26-2011
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Mine does this sometimes too. But if I gently turn the wheel to the right just a bit (moving it only an inches) the key then turns. Wish I could offer a permanent solution.
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I had a 2006 R171 that did that. What I had to do was to insert the key in the ignition and while in the ignition press the lock button and the unlock button on the key (I assume that you have the electronic key). Sometimes more than once. It resets the key. Try it and see if that works.


Godspeed..
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post #4 of 26 Old 05-26-2011 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RUHROH View Post
I had a 2006 R171 that did that. What I had to do was to insert the key in the ignition and while in the ignition press the lock button and the unlock button on the key (I assume that you have the electronic key). Sometimes more than once. It resets the key. Try it and see if that works.


Godspeed..
Thanks for your prompt reply. R170's have mechanical keys. The electronic keys came in with the 171's in 2004.
Thanks again.
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post #5 of 26 Old 05-27-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jafco View Post
Thanks for your prompt reply. R170's have mechanical keys. The electronic keys came in with the 171's in 2004.
Thanks again.
I wasn't sure if the R170's had the electronic key or not. Hope you can get the problem fixed. Good luck.
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post #6 of 26 Old 08-17-2011
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same problem

I know you posted this a while ago. Have you fixed the problem? If so, what was the fix?

I am having this same problem. I have a 2004 SLK230. I have to struggle to get the key to turn. The only luck I have is when I turn the wheel to lock and then jiggle the key alot. Today, it took me about 10 minutes to crank the car. The problem seems to be getting worse. I called a parts manager I know at mercedes, and he said it might be that the tumbler needs replacing?
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post #7 of 26 Old 08-17-2011
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post #8 of 26 Old 08-18-2011
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Same problem occurred for me a few days ago. Any ideas? If the ignition switch needs replacement, the old key will still be usable?
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post #9 of 26 Old 08-18-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by morpheusRO View Post
Same problem occurred for me a few days ago. Any ideas? If the ignition switch needs replacement, the old key will still be usable?

Yes, the old keys still work. Should replace the lock housing and the tumbler, not just the ignition switch at the end of the lock housing. The new lock housing comes with a new ignition switch. Follow the correct installation procedure if you are doing it yourself.
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post #10 of 26 Old 08-18-2011
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Ok. Thank you!
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post #11 of 26 Old 08-22-2011
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ignition tumbler problems

Hi everyone:
Had exactly the same problem and finally solved it by removing the tumbler switch assembly. I took it to a key shop locally and they performed some magic on the tumbler. Re-installed the unit on the car and have never had the problem again.
I asked the shop technician why it happened and he explained that the tumblers will sometimes need to be readjusted. He filed the tumblers to match the key, which is why he requested a key that showed little or no wear.
He also warned me that it must be fixed or it will get to the point where the key will not rotate the tumbler lock, which is really big trouble, especially if you happen to be in a remote location.
Good luck and best regards. Chuck
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post #12 of 26 Old 09-03-2013
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Originally Posted by cirvingjohnson View Post
Hi everyone:
Had exactly the same problem and finally solved it by removing the tumbler switch assembly. I took it to a key shop locally and they performed some magic on the tumbler. Re-installed the unit on the car and have never had the problem again.
I asked the shop technician why it happened and he explained that the tumblers will sometimes need to be readjusted. He filed the tumblers to match the key, which is why he requested a key that showed little or no wear.
He also warned me that it must be fixed or it will get to the point where the key will not rotate the tumbler lock, which is really big trouble, especially if you happen to be in a remote location.
Good luck and best regards. Chuck
Mine is getting to the point where I have to jimmy the key five or siz times.
Sometimes I flip the key over and try again.
My wife refuses to drive the car.

Both my everyday key, and the spare that's hardly ever been used do it.

Can you point me to instructions on how to remove the tumbler?
Do I need to replace the tumbler?
Do you know what the "magic" is called so I can find someone who knows what to do?

Thanks.
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post #13 of 26 Old 09-03-2013
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**note: this was the result of a google search - I have not personally completed this replacement

From justanswer.com

Customer:
from your drawings i assume this can only be completed by using sleeve 011?

eurotec :
The sleeve has a rubber insert and grips the outer ring, it sure helps to have the tool.

eurotec :
You might be able to make a tool or grip the ring with pliers but you will damage the ring.

eurotec :
It is not easy to turn the outer ring without the tool.

Customer:
is the part number below the drawing a mercedes part number

eurotec :
Yes it is, you should be able to Google the tool and find a supplier.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf R170 lock cylinder.pdf (51.7 KB, 93 views)
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post #14 of 26 Old 04-25-2015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slk320chick View Post
**note: this was the result of a google search - I have not personally completed this replacement

From justanswer.com

Customer:
from your drawings i assume this can only be completed by using sleeve 011?

eurotec :
The sleeve has a rubber insert and grips the outer ring, it sure helps to have the tool.

eurotec :
You might be able to make a tool or grip the ring with pliers but you will damage the ring.

eurotec :
It is not easy to turn the outer ring without the tool.

Customer:
is the part number below the drawing a mercedes part number

eurotec :
Yes it is, you should be able to Google the tool and find a supplier.
Exactly the same problem !

2003 SLK 170

Anyone know the replacement part for the whole assembly?

Can you make the tool 202 589 00 14 00 ? I have a lathe...
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post #15 of 26 Old 04-25-2015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frau_S View Post
Exactly the same problem !

2003 SLK 170

Anyone know the replacement part for the whole assembly?

Can you make the tool 202 589 00 14 00 ? I have a lathe...
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post #16 of 26 Old 04-25-2015
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Same Same

I'm having the exact same problem and I finally decided to fix it. I think the correct part (cylinder & key) is 2024601104 this site has a diagram.

I also need to get the proper tool (202589001400). At $132.50 that is an ouch. It beats not being able to reliably start the car though.
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Thanks, that was a useful pic.

I have dismantled it all, eventually, and can now drive the car with a screwdriver in the ignition switch and the key suspended in the coil with a molegrip. I am sourcing a replacement lock (that's what's jammed) from ebay (£90) and also a tool (£20) although I don't think the tool is necessary since you can twist the ring with molegrips once you get the trim and the coil off. The barrel 2024601104 is not the problem.

I'll let you know how I get on...
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post #19 of 26 Old 04-28-2015
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Ok, looks like the cylinder & key isn't enough, I need to replace the entire assembly (part 10 on the diagram). According to this site (diagram & parts list included), the part number is 2024600904. I'll post more when the parts arrive. As of now, my car is stuck at the office Looks like if I can't get lucky and convince it to start and get it back home I will be doing the swap in the parking lot sometime soon.

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Fixed

So, new (to me) lock assembly arrived yesterday and fitted nicely. Biggest problem was swapping the old key barrel so that the old key can be used. Forget the 'special tool' it's a waste of time and money. Use a big adjustable spanner.

Dissecting the old one with a cold chisel, hammer and angle grinder, the problem is a D-shaped pin fouling with the steering column bolt withdrawal mechanism. Without this, it turns fine.

A lot of the operations can't be done without the key turning (obviously) e.g. you need to get the key to turn to get the lock off.
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