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Registered 2012 SLK350
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13 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
We have owned our 2012 SLK 350 for about 3 months. The car has a very annoying intermittent problem of not starting. Each time this has happened, the car had been driven, shut off for anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour or so. The key is inserted and turned and there is no response. The steering column goes down as normal but the instrument panel does not light up and the radio does not work. There is no starter engagement. If you sit there for a while and keep re-trying, the car starts. There is no rhyme or reason as to when this may happen. Has anybody experienced this?
 

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Administrator/Founding Member since 2006
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101,345 Posts
you do not mention how old the car battery is
 

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Super Moderator (UK)
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If you make a deliberate and slow movement of the key does that work.
Some 'wont start' 172 threads.

My first thoughts are main battery, or key battery.
Does the spare key have the same trouble?
But I haven't gone through those threads.
 

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Registered 2012 SLK55 AMG w/P30
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3,635 Posts
The key battery will not make a difference if the key is actually inserted in the switch. Key battery only affects keyless go, which will then give a message on the MFD if the key battery is low.
 

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Super Moderator (Canada)
2012 SLK55 AMG w/P30 "Schwarzie"
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15,681 Posts
OR "No key detected" if you ignored the low key battery message 😉
 
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Registered 2012 SLK250
2012 SLK 250CDI
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360 Posts
We have owned our 2012 SLK 350 for about 3 months. The car has a very annoying intermittent problem of not starting. Each time this has happened, the car had been driven, shut off for anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour or so. The key is inserted and turned and there is no response. The steering column goes down as normal but the instrument panel does not light up and the radio does not work. There is no starter engagement. If you sit there for a while and keep re-trying, the car starts. There is no rhyme or reason as to when this may happen. Has anybody experienced this?
I had this once on a 2008 CLC, there was debris inside the ignition key holder which stopped the key communication with the car.
I believe the key talks to the car with infra red and if the key end or the inside of the key holder blocks the infra red then nothing happens!
 

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Registered 2012 SLK55 AMG w/P30
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3,635 Posts
Actually, there is a transponder chip that is energized by electromagnetic field coil in the ignition key area. The only thing infrared is used for on the key, is for remote opening of the top to an infrared receiver located in the doorhandles.
 

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Premium Member 2014 SLK200
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2,713 Posts
@Scooter Trash
Have the main starter battery terminals been checked for tightness? Similarly earth straps? I wouldn't really expect them to be loose on 2012 car but you never know.
Not certain but if you have stop/start the steering wheel may be powered by the auxiliary battery and therefore a red herring.
 

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Registered 2012 SLK350
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13 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
The car stranded my wife again today. I have verified that the Mercedes dealer we bought the car from had replaced the battery before we bought the car 3 months ago. When I went to rescue my wife today, the car had been sitting for approximately 1 hour. When I got in the car I placed the key in the receptacle. The odometer did light up. I turned the key to the on position. There was no power to the instruments (gauges did not sweep) The power windows did not work. I removed the key and inserted it again very deliberately. I held the key and put pressure up on the key. The gauges lit up, needles swept, and car started. I've been reading multiple reports of similar issues and I am suspicious of the EIS (electronic ignition switch). I have read that there are companies that refurbish your existing EIS. I don't want to take it to the shop with an intermittent concern and have high dollar parts thrown at it. I'm thinking about removing the EIS myself and sending it out for repair. Any thoughts?
 

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Premium Member 2004 SLK350
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5,147 Posts
Need to scan the car and see what errors do you have.
Check the battery cables also, in case they are loose.
 

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Premium Member 2002 R170 SLK V8 5.0
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4,165 Posts
It does sound like either Key or EIS, needs SDS to confirm what is not issuing Drive Auth when it plays up ;)

My only thought is for heavens sake use a reputable Locksmith who specialises in MB's, you need to find someone in your area who isn't a yee ha cowboy ;)

And no @Avel Du I'm not doing another Drive Auth issue by post, never ever ever ever :ROFLMAO:

Besides which I don't have an R171 here to take to bits and test it all on 🤣
 

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Premium Member 2002 R170 SLK V8 5.0
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4,165 Posts
Actually, there is a transponder chip that is energized by electromagnetic field coil in the ignition key area. The only thing infrared is used for on the key, is for remote opening of the top to an infrared receiver located in the doorhandles.
Sorry, but no Transponder Chip on DAS 3 which R171 has, yes the Key is energised by EIS Coil, but there are 3 separate functions, RF for C/L and KG, IR for Drive Auth, (no key batteries needed), and separate IR function for Global closing etc, which does require good batteries in Key ;)

However all that said Batteries in Key are not needed to start the car with Key actually in EIS ;)

HTH :)
 

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Registered 2012 SLK55 AMG w/P30
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3,635 Posts
Sorry, but no Transponder Chip on DAS 3 which R171 has, yes the Key is energised by EIS Coil, but there are 3 separate functions, RF for C/L and KG, IR for Drive Auth, (no key batteries needed), and separate IR function for Global closing etc, which does require good batteries in Key ;)

However all that said Batteries in Key are not needed to start the car with Key actually in EIS ;)

HTH :)
I text corrected! Or should I say stand?
 

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Premium Member 2002 R170 SLK V8 5.0
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4,165 Posts
I text corrected! Or should I say stand?
:ROFLMAO:

Anyone can be forgiven for not quite getting MB's Drive Auth right, and DAS 3 is the easier one ;)

The "Franken DAS 2.5" that R170 uses is absolutely unique, even compared to other MB's that use a Blade Key like W163 ML, W638 Vito etc
 

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* Registered - Looking for an SLK
Fleet of bottom feeder W210's....
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38 Posts
The franken DAS 2.x that the flip blade key MB uses in all of their models are unique to their specific models and are hell to work on. The one in W163 ML's are the worst of the lot.

Sure, not the news you were looking for, but there it is.

Regarding OP intermittent no crank....see if you can buy a can of electrical cleaner (I do mean ELECTRICAL cleaner, specifically mentions on the bloody can....NOT brake cleaner, NOT parts cleaner, and for love of god, NOT starter fluid!!!!! ELECTRICAL CLEANER! I'm definitely not being super clear because of idiotic customers....), and spray it in the EIS portion. Don't empty the whole can into it, but do spray a small amount and insert your fingers in the EIS to move the shaft couple times between each spray. Let it dry, give it 2-3 mins to dry out.

Report back the results.

Also, do you have another key to test it with? Problem could be with the key itself and not EIS....
 

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Registered 2012 SLK350
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13 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Thanks for the input. The fault has occurred with both keys. I am familiar with electrical contact cleaner and will give that a try today. 🤞
 

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Registered 2012 SLK350
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13 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Thanks for the input. The fault has occurred with both keys. I am familiar with electrical contact cleaner and will give that a try today. 🤞
Well, the #&%$(*&)@ car would not start today after getting off work. I had purchased the electrical contact cleaner so I gave that a try. I had both keys with me. Unfortunately that didn't work. I was able to verify a few things that I hope will be of use to the repair shop. The remote lock/unlock works from the key fob. The power fold away mirrors work. The steering column lowers and the center of the instrument panel between the tach and speedo lights up. Fortunately the radio will turn on ( I had some music to listen to while sitting in my dead car). I had read that some system would reset if the key was placed in the receptacle for 5 minutes. That made no difference. I guess we will be checking it in to the shop tomorrow. I will report the findings.
 

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* Registered - Looking for an SLK
Fleet of bottom feeder W210's....
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38 Posts
Okay, can you clarify the no start?

Does this car have a steering lock?

When you insert the key, does cluster light up?

When you turn the key, does cluster lights up further? As in, all idiot lights come on?

Does engine crank?
 

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Registered 2012 SLK350
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13 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
The car does have a steering lock.
The center of the cluster lights up when in fail mode, but nothing else.
When it works, the rest of the cluster including gauge sweep, idiot lights, climate control back-lighting, etc.
When the problem occurs, it does not crank. Total silence.
 
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