Trunk will not open with key - top will not open either - Mercedes Benz SLK Forum

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#1 Old 01-18-2018
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Trunk will not open with key - top will not open either

Hi All,

We just bought our first SLK, It's a 1998 230.

The windshield is cracked, so in order to have it replaced, the top has to be opened.

The problem is the red button in the console is solid red, indicating a fault in the system.

In order to check the pump, switches, etc. I need to get the trunk open.

However, the trunk will not open with the key. I've put the key in, turned it counter clockwise, pushed the button in and nothing
happens. It appears to be a mechanical failure.

I can hear the lock unlock using the fob or the unlock switch in the cockpit.

The battery is brand new as well.

I've spoken to a couple of independent MB shops, and they don't have any answers either, besides drilling a hole in the trunk and manually
opening the lock.

I'd hate to do that if there is any other way in, but I'm stymied at this point.

I would sure appreciate help on this one.

I bought the car not running, and have replaced the fuel pump and filter, changed the oil and filter, replaced both serpentine belts, air filter and hood support so far. The car still has other issues, but getting in the trunk at this point is my primary focus.
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#2 Old 01-18-2018
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Whilst you wait for the experts have a read through these.

Might be something there.
Mercedes Benz SLK Forum - Search Results for How to get into trunk

And this might solve the rest of the problems with the roof:
https://www.slkworld.com/slk-r170-cla...leapyfish.html
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#3 Old 01-18-2018
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I've read that the best place for drilling is under the license plate - so the scars don't show.

It does sound like you have a mechanical issue.
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#4 Old 01-19-2018
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I'm seriously thinking of drilling a hole to access the mechanical release, and then plugging the hole with a rubber grommet plug.
I've done that before on a motorcycle luggage case and it worked out well.
The difficult part is how to determine where the best place to drill is.
I've been looking at images of the locking mechanism and an going to do some measuring to see where I should begin.
I'm even considering buying a latch on Ebay so I can have one in hand to measure more accurately.
Anyone have any other creative ideas to make sure I drill in the right spot.

I'll document the process with Photos so we can all benefit from this experience!
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#5 Old 01-19-2018
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Haven't tried this (not needed to) but is there access through the bulkhead?
Quote:
On a 03 c230
Remove drivers rear speakers grill cover
Underneath is the subwoofer, unclip the 2 audio connections..
Ps Remember wich is wich if you reverse when connecting you will have no bass
There are push clips to remove subwoofer carefully manipulate it out
Now get a long stick and push the EMERGENCY green trunk release button behind license plate on the inside
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#6 Old 01-19-2018
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If you can hear the lock operating then is the problem not the interlock that prevents the boot opening while the roof is operating. You know the roof is closed but do the electric pixies in your car know this?
Maybe you need to tackle the roof electronics first.
Just an educated guess on my part

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#7 Old 01-19-2018
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Hi, there eason the red light is on may be the front part of the deck lid is not closed properly, for the lid to open, if you go to the front part of the lid (Closer to the driver and passenger seat), you and someone else push down on the lid hopefully its the micro switch works, if that works, chances are the lid will open, it is worth to try before drilling , good luck, also there is a plastic bar about 12 inches long that connect the keyhole to the latch, that might be removed or disconnected. Good luck, hop it works
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#8 Old 01-19-2018
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I think the fact that the key won't turn the latch is the key. I don't think the electronics can prevent the key from working.
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#9 Old 01-19-2018
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I will post some pics of the inside of the lid on Sunday.
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#10 Old 01-20-2018
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Quote:
Originally Posted by efair View Post
I think the fact that the key won't turn the latch is the key. I don't think the electronics can prevent the key from working.
I had the same problem and turned out the guy I bought it from gave me the Valet key.... He eventually dropped off the fob key after buying a spare from the dealer using the vin. The key 'seemed' to unlock the trunk but did not. I think if you can lock unlock the glove-box its the main key.

I think the 'flashing light' is a fault in the system. You might be able to (gently/slowly) pry the trunk open from the window side of the trunk towered the bumper if the guy was messing with the hydraulics and it's in 'open' mode..
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#11 Old 01-20-2018
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One thing that is regularly suggested for all manner of electrical issues (the previous comment about the red lght being my clue) is a battery reset.

Now, you've mentioned that it's a new unit. That's good BUT maybe the disconnect/reconnect of the batteries occurred too quckly (weird but maybe .....).

Try disconnecting the new battery from the system for 30 minutes then do the various resets (windows, etc).

disconnect the battery negative cable for a minimum of 30 mins
reconnect cable
reset clock
synch/reset window travel (in your manual)
try roof (as it's connected to the trunk)

It might clear your problem with the trunk (red light, remember) .
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#12 Old 01-20-2018
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The boot lid is lying upside down here. You can see the shaft that connects the key mechanism - if you can get to it, or to the mechanism in the center, you can likely turn it to open.

If one knew how to energize the solenoids and pump conceivably you could hot wire them... I have no idea how.





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#13 Old 01-20-2018
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Got the trunk open by drilling a hole close to latch

I was able to get into the trunk by drilling a 1/2" hole (see attached pic) and manually releasing the lock
mechanism.
Once I got the trunk open, I discovered the rod that goes between the lock and latch was disconnected
at the lock end, and the part inside the lock mechanism that the rod slides into was pushed back inside the lock
mechanism. I had to disassemble the lock mechanism, push the rod slot back into place and put the return
spring back in place.
Once I got that done, I put the latch and lock back in place and connected the rod between them. The rod has a long side and a short side. The short side goes towards the lock and the long side goes toward the latch.
I'll put a rubber grommet in the hole and call it good.
It's totally hidden by the license plate, so I think it was a good solution.
There was no other way to get into the trunk other than drilling the hole. No access from the cabin was possible, and even if I could see into the trunk, I couldn't have fixed the issue.
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#14 Old 01-20-2018
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#15 Old 01-20-2018
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Glad you figured it out but i have to ask the obvious question. You bought a retractable hard top that you couldn't retract or open the trunk?
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#16 Old 01-21-2018
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mn car guy View Post
Glad you figured it out but i have to ask the obvious question. You bought a retractable hard top that you couldn't retract or open the trunk?
Brave man indeed but really unless the boot was welded shut the price of the car must have made it worth a try at least.

There are a few 'was running when it was parked' cheapies on eBay here for a few hundred pounds that i'm sure a session with a new battery and the MBstar system would soon have running again.

If i didn't have 205 other things to do on the weekends I'd be tempted to buy one and flip them, just to have them back on the road!
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#17 Old 01-21-2018
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I know it sounds crazy to buy one of these cars with the top not working, but I only paid $900 for the car and it has 56K on it. I thought it was worth the risk. I love to tinker on cars, and have an extensive background in electronics, so I can generally get things figured out.

Thanks to everyone for their help and advice on this issue. I'll tackle the roof next. I do see that the hydraulic flud is low in the reservoir, so there is a leak somewhere. I may be back soon to ask for more advice when I get to that point.

So far I've really enjoyed working on the car and getting it up and running. I'll have to take it in for the dreaded "smog check" soon so I can get it registered here in CA. That's always a roll of the dice, but I always use the same place, and they are familiar with the older mercedes and have given me some good tips about passing smog. The key is to have the cat(s) good and hot when they run the test. They recommend a 20 mile drive and then leave the car running when you get to the smog station. It has worked for me so far.
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#18 Old 01-21-2018
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gchisman View Post
I know it sounds crazy to buy one of these cars with the top not working, but I only paid $900 for the car and it has 56K on it. I thought it was worth the risk. I love to tinker on cars, and have an extensive background in electronics, so I can generally get things figured out.

Thanks to everyone for their help and advice on this issue. I'll tackle the roof next. I do see that the hydraulic flud is low in the reservoir, so there is a leak somewhere. I may be back soon to ask for more advice when I get to that point.

So far I've really enjoyed working on the car and getting it up and running. I'll have to take it in for the dreaded "smog check" soon so I can get it registered here in CA. That's always a roll of the dice, but I always use the same place, and they are familiar with the older mercedes and have given me some good tips about passing smog. The key is to have the cat(s) good and hot when they run the test. They recommend a 20 mile drive and then leave the car running when you get to the smog station. It has worked for me so far.
Over here you get 'smog tested' every year after the cars third birthday.

The system is largely automated and it does demand that the car is up to temperature for the test. If you have a borderline vehicle it's best to get your anniversary in mid summer, exhaust and cats cool down much more slowly when it's warm outside!
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#19 Old 01-21-2018
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That's a great find then! The seals are a lengthy but straightforward DIY. Which ones are leaking?
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#20 Old 01-21-2018
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Not sure yet. I haven't opened it yet to troubleshoot as the weather is supposed to be bad next week.

Today I was working on getting the brake lights working. After removing the light assemblies I did find some corrosion issues like I have read about in other posts. I was able to get them cleaned up and all the lights are working now. I started out with one very dim brake light and 1 running light. No backup light. All are working now. I also pulled and cleaned the MAF, as I was getting some hesitation at about 2500 rpm under load. That's fixed now too.

I'll probably work on the top next weekend, so hopefully it's not too bad.
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