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Old 02-12-2012, 05:37 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Help! Ignition key won't turn

I have a 2001 Mercedes c320 c-class. The ignition key won't turn, the lights don't turn on and I have use the metal key to unlock the door.Everything was working fine until today. Anyone know what could be wrong?
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Old 02-12-2012, 06:20 PM   #2 (permalink)
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It's probably a dead vehicle battery.
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Old 02-12-2012, 07:11 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by rudeney View Post
It's probably a dead vehicle battery.
I should be able to turn the ignition switch. If that was the case, should I?
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Old 02-12-2012, 08:14 PM   #4 (permalink)
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It does sound like a very dead battery. Without proper battery voltage most systems in the car will not respond to anything espically the ignition switch. Try checking the voltage of the battery and if low just charge it and hope for the best. Those model cars are notorious for amperage draws at rest which is why the battery is probably dead. Could be one or both your seat control units under the seats staying on draining your battery. I just speak from experience. Just an fyi.
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Old 02-13-2012, 05:43 PM   #5 (permalink)
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The ignition switch is not like the old key blade and tumbler systems of yesterday that were purely mechanical. MBZ uses a SmartKey system that validates an infrared code handshake to electronically unlock the ignition switch and enable the starter. The "turning" of the switch is just a throwback to the old blade systems; it could just as easily be a button. During that infrared handshake, the vehicle re-programs the random rolling code in the SmartKey fob. If that programming were to fail, it would permanently "toast" that key. To prevent that problem, the ignition switch system has logic in it so that if the vehicle battery is too low, it won;t even attempt the infrared handshake and thus the switch won't be unlocked. SO, yes, if you vehicle battery is dead or dying, you might not even be able to turn the key in the ignition switch.
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Old 02-13-2012, 10:35 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Well said
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Old 01-07-2013, 07:01 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Guys, I'm having the same problem on my 05 E55. Key won't turn. Batteries in FOB are brand new from the store. I just gave the ignition LED and the FOB LED a good wipe down with rubbing alcohol. Car battery is at 14.5 volts (just tested with voltimeter). Car is all the way in park. So far I've tried moving the wheel back and forth, pressing the lock/unlock several times (both on the dash and FOB), and disconnecting the car battery. Don't know what's causing this.

More info: problem started happening after I parked the car for about two weeks without starting it. Don't know if that helps diagnosis.

Anyway, what gives? Anyone got any tips?!?! Trying to get this baby sold and something tells me nobody will buy it if they can't actually turn the key
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Old 01-07-2013, 08:26 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I assume that voltage is with engine running. if not your voltmeter must be wrong (should be no more than 12.7 with engine off). do you have the second key that came with car?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kurtwz View Post
Guys, I'm having the same problem on my 05 E55. Key won't turn. Batteries in FOB are brand new from the store. I just gave the ignition LED and the FOB LED a good wipe down with rubbing alcohol. Car battery is at 14.5 volts (just tested with voltimeter). Car is all the way in park. So far I've tried moving the wheel back and forth, pressing the lock/unlock several times (both on the dash and FOB), and disconnecting the car battery. Don't know what's causing this.

More info: problem started happening after I parked the car for about two weeks without starting it. Don't know if that helps diagnosis.

Anyway, what gives? Anyone got any tips?!?! Trying to get this baby sold and something tells me nobody will buy it if they can't actually turn the key
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Old 01-07-2013, 08:29 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Battery voltage of 14.5 could be a problem - a "12 volt DC Lead Acid Battery" should put out around 12.7 volts max. Keep in mind the batteries in the SmartKey fob have nothing to do with starting the vehicle - they are only used for RCL (remote control locking). Also, do you have only one key? Have you tried another key?
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