IGNITION kEY WILL NOT TURN - Mercedes-Benz Forum

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-26-2006, 02:15 PM Thread Starter
BenzWorld Newbie
Date registered: Nov 2006
Posts: 1
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
(Thread Starter)

I have a 1992 300e and can't get key to turn. I have tried shaing steering wheel with no luck. Any suggestions before I tow
double nickle is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-27-2006, 12:06 PM
BenzWorld Elite
Date registered: May 2005
Vehicle: '07 GL320CDI
Location: Albuquerque
Posts: 5,070
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
This happens to EVERY W124.

Solution is new ignition lock cylinder.

Must be ordered at dealer, who needs your VIN and proof of purchase to match your existing key.

Before towing, you may be able to get key to turn by applying lots of pressure. Don't expect this to work very many times.

Kent Christensen
'07 GL320CDI
lkchris is offline  
post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-12-2007, 08:08 AM
BenzWorld Junior Member
Date registered: Jun 2006
Vehicle: 1999 C280, 2003 ML350 Inspiration Edition
Location: Upstate New York
Posts: 27
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Kent, What is your recommendation on buying a E320CDI or an E320S?
lakeside is offline  
post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-12-2007, 08:09 AM
BenzWorld Junior Member
Date registered: Jun 2006
Vehicle: 1999 C280, 2003 ML350 Inspiration Edition
Location: Upstate New York
Posts: 27
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Date registered: Jun 2006
Posts: 3 ignition lock cylinder


I cannot start my 2003 ML 350 because the igntion lock cylinder cannot be turned. I can turn it only a slight amount which causes the red anti-theft light to flash. When I take the key out of the lock cylinder the anti theft lite stops flashing. Can the frozen lock cylinder be caused by a malfunctioning anti theft system. How can I disconnect the anti theft system? I'm about to schedule a tow to my MB dealer 50 miles from here and would like to know fi there are other solutions. I have sprayed the ignition lock cylinder with WD-40. No results
lakeside is offline  
post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-12-2007, 09:09 AM
BenzWorld Member
finntexan's Avatar
Date registered: May 2006
Vehicle: 2002 SLK 32 AMG, 2000 S 430
Location: DFW Texas
Posts: 278
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Steering lock removal is a pain if it is permanently locked

Originally Posted by double nickle
I have a 1992 300e and can't get key to turn. I have tried shaing steering wheel with no luck. Any suggestions before I tow
This may happen to all Mercedes's with the mechanical key . I have 2002 SLK32 which had the same problem. For a while the key could be turned if the steering wheel was wiggled a bit first. THIS IS A WARNING SIGN that soon the ignition lock will fail permanently. It is better to change the steering lock before this happens . For those of you who are experiencing the key binding, do it now, do not wait until it locks permanently.

I do not think it is usually the key barrel (tumbler) that causes this problem, I think it is the steering lock itself. Steering lock is generic, and it does not have to be made to match with the VIN (=with your key) like the key tumbler needs to be. So the existing tumbler should be reusable. Its condition can be assessed after the steering lock has been disassembled. The steering lock part is usually off the shelf stuff while the tumbler has to be ordered and it may take a week or two probably.

The big issue here is, if the steering lock is permanently locked (i.e. key can not be turned any more), then replacing the lock is VERY difficult. There is a locking pin that holds the steering lock in the steering column, and the pin can be pressed in to release the steering lock only when the key is turned in position 1 or 2 (the idea is to prevent this way the crooks from just disassembling and removing the steering lock if they don't have keys).

So if the steering lock can still be turned but it has those wear symptoms, it should be replaced while it still is reasonably easy job to do. But when the lock is permanently engaged, it is tricky and not all dealerships even know what to do (After some hours on phone trying to reach a technician who would know, without success, I went to dealership to talk to the guys and finally got the advice to try drilling into the center part of the steering lock to access the rod inside; well that advice did not work, either).

The best way to remove the steering lock is to drill or grind the locking pin flat so the the steering lock can be pulled out. That job may take some hours and involves removal of dashboard panels and may involve removal of steering wheel and/or airbag assembly. So if any thieves are reading this, beware: This is so awkward job that do not even try. Go and damage some other car.

The replacement procedure is explained in this link, however, the actual procedure varies from one car to another: MercedesShopWiki: Replacing the Ignition Switch

For the newer cars without mechanical key, I do not know if the steering lock is still the same design so for that I can not give any advice.

Also, do NOT try to turn the key with force (mechanical or not), it will probably just break the key and you have then more trouble. Only thing that may help is to shake the steering wheel vigorously while gently turning the key. But if the steering lock is permanently locked, it is so and now your know what needs to be done.

'00 S430
'02 SLK32 AMG

Last edited by finntexan; 07-12-2007 at 09:14 AM.
finntexan is offline  
Sponsored Links

  Mercedes-Benz Forum > General Mercedes-Benz Forums > General Mercedes-Benz

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mercedes-Benz Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode

Similar Threads
Topic Author Forum Replies Last Post
ignition key will not turn Charlee General Mercedes-Benz 10 11-30-2014 04:26 AM
'86 190e Ignition key problem- the key won't turn Guest (MBNZ) W201 190-Class 7 04-13-2010 03:35 PM
my ignition key won't turn southpawfx W126 S,SE,SEC,SEL,SD,SDL Class 14 05-26-2009 04:28 AM
Ignition key didn't turn. meariesguy W220 S-Class 0 07-05-2006 02:43 PM
IGNITION KEY WONT TURN ETECHJOE W163 M-Class 2 08-25-2004 07:54 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Title goes here

video goes here
description goes here. Read Full Story
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome