Mercedes SLK World banner
  • Hey Everyone! Enter your ride HERE to be a part of this months Ride of the Month Challenge!
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered 2003 SLK230K
Joined
·
44 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The ignition key on my 2003 SLK230 doesn't turn all of a sudden, no warning signs.
Everything I read about points to the tumblers not lining up in the cylinder, preventing it from turning.
My tow truck driver is trying to scare me about the electronic key and how it takes "specialized" mechanic to repair it.
Will this indeed be a simple replacement of the lock cylinder or do I have to worry about the "electronics".
There is a ring around the lock with a wire (cable) attached, is this the electronic part?

Thanks, Ad
 

·
Founding Member 2006
Joined
·
109,002 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
62 Posts
If you turn the steering wheel a little to the left or right and try to turn the key, will it turn then? ... I think the steering lock puts pressure on the barrel and prevents the key turning. Happens to me mainly if I park up and don't fully straighten the front wheels.
 

·
*Premium Member
2002 Blue SLK320 known as 'Silkie"
Joined
·
4,287 Posts
If you turn the steering wheel a little to the left or right and try to turn the key, will it turn then? ... I think the steering lock puts pressure on the barrel and prevents the key turning. Happens to me mainly if I park up and don't fully straighten the front wheels.
Was going to offer the same advice - this exact thing has happened to me more than once.
 

·
*Registered
2005 SLK350
Joined
·
2,032 Posts
Had the problem in my 04 Jetta, different beast, different key (a funky one at that). However I was given good advice by a tow truck driver. "Hug" the steering wheel and try to turn it, at the same tap the end of the inserted key lightly with a screwdriver handle, at the same time turning it. While it is difficult and you seem to need three arms, it can be done. It got my car home that day and saved me about $150. I parked it until I could order and replace the ignition cylinder and haven't had the issue since then. Good luck to you mate.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
336 Posts
Once had a mustang with the same problem. The problem ended up foiling thieves trying to steal it while parked at the subway. They shattered the side window but couldn't get it started. Never fixed it after that because I could get it started if I leaned on the steering wheel and turned the tumbler in a certain way. I looked like I was truely in love with the car when I went to start it but it stopped some teenagers from trashing it. Unique security system I admit.
 

·
Registered 2003 SLK230K
Joined
·
44 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Bittersweet success,

Did not grind the pin as in this post, the pin is very hard.
How to remove the ignition if you can't turn the key - Mercedes-Benz Forum

I cut the housing in 2 pieces, see attached. That allowed me to remove all from the steering column. I cut the "hooks" holding the buzzer switch as to not damage the switch.
After this the key did turn, imagine that.

I installed the new ignition switch housing in the steering column and the new cylinder and key turned fine and the car started (make sure the transponder is in place, the round thingy dangling on the wire).

I then attached the connection to the gear shifter and the buzzer switch. Bummer, the key didn't turn anymore. I was really upset now. What happened?
Contemplating this I removed the connection to the gear shifter and the buzzer switch. The buzzer switch was stubborn and I put a rod under it and gave it a good whack up. Key turned again.
The buzzer switch turned out to be the problem, in the picture you can see the hole where the switch was, the picture with the screwdriver turning the ignition switch you can see the white plastic slide coming into the switch cavity.
With switch removed this worked well.

Turned out I cut a $150 ignition switch housing in half to find out the $10 ish buzzer switch was the problem all along.

My key stopped turning all of a sudden, no warning at all. When that happens pop the buzzer switch and try again.
The little pin in the switch broke off, but in my case still long enough to work, but not too long to bind up and prevent the key from turning.

I did get a new cylinder and key, but my original one may still be ok, would be nice for key to match the doors and trunk.
Will see if I can file the tumblers in a better shape and continue to use.

I used Pelican parts tech articles to figure out how to take the lower dash apart, good web site and they have many parts too.

Ad
 

Attachments

1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top