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Old 11-07-2010, 08:03 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Date registered: Nov 2010
Posts: 6
c220 1996 won't start - please help!

Hello, I have a problem with my 1996 c220 Mercedes and was hoping I could benefit from the expertise of members. The issue is a significant one: I can't start my car. Here's the history:

The other day, my automatic lock key (switchblade fob key) stopped working. I replaced the battery and checked if it was working with a digital camera (it was, red and white lights were visible) but it would still not open the car door; consequently, I had to call CAA to get inside. Once inside, I couldn't start the car. I tried to reprogram the key as per the manual, but I don't think it is reading it. I should also note that the manual lock system (i.e. turning the key in the door lock) stopped working months ago, so I have been reliant on the key button to lock and unlock the key.

I think perhaps that the fuse to the key reader system is blown, but I don't know which fuse it is or where to find it. I also considered disconnecting the car battery to reboot the computer.

If anyone can help, I would really really appreciate it.
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Old 11-07-2010, 09:35 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Date registered: Nov 2010
Vehicle: 1998 c180 classic silver dark windows amg style wheels
Location: dundee scotland
Posts: 4
i have the same problem on my c180 98, starts with a booster but cuts out when removed and when the electrics on load like lights or blower try a booster
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Old 11-07-2010, 11:29 AM   #3 (permalink)
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You mean boost it with jumper cables from another car? Sorry - I'm a total car novice.
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Old 11-07-2010, 11:59 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Date registered: Sep 2010
Vehicle: 1996 c220 auto diesel elegance
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
Posts: 9
How long after the "automatic lock key" stopped working did you change the batteries? Were your red/ green immobiliser lights flashing alternately for sometime before this? Was the "manual lock system" being used for sometime before it stopped working and were you using this instead of the automatic lock key?

Last edited by saor99; 11-07-2010 at 12:01 PM.
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Old 11-07-2010, 12:06 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Date registered: Nov 2010
Vehicle: 1998 c180 classic silver dark windows amg style wheels
Location: dundee scotland
Posts: 4
yes i mean a booster pack or cables from another car then you will find out if its the battery
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Old 11-07-2010, 03:33 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I will try the jumping the battery and keep you posted.

As for the other questions:
I changed the battery on the fob key a few hours after it stopped working. The red/green lights have been flashing for months and months before this happened. Over the history of the vehicle, we alternated using the manual lock and automatic locks, but mostly have used the automatic key.

I should note that the trunk will unlock, but this does not unlock and lock the car (not unusual, this has been the case for awhile). Also, the manual door to the gas gauge is currently locked.
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Old 11-08-2010, 07:36 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Date registered: Apr 2010
Vehicle: 95 Mercedes Benz C220
Location: Brampton, ON Canada
Posts: 35
This may work but try anyways. From the trunk key, can you lock the whole car? if you can, open all the doors. If that happens, try to start the car.

Another problem could be the key itself? is it damaged?

Another question when you put the key in, does it turn or is it stuck in the same position (off?)
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Old 11-08-2010, 11:43 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Date registered: Sep 2010
Vehicle: 1996 c220 auto diesel elegance
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
Posts: 9
The red/green lights flashing could have indicated that your fob batteries were getting low. Changing these batteries hours after they have failed could also mean your key needs reprogramming! Using the manual lock system too many times seems to stop working after a while (?)
My car "locked me out" after I had gone over a large bump in the road when I had very little fuel in the tank, I had to reset the system by pointing the key at the rear view mirror and pressing the button 5 times then inserting the key and turning it to position 2 in the ignition.
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