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1988 MB 420-SEL
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4 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I've searched all over the threads and the internet, but have been able to find this specific problem.

A few weeks ago I bought a 1988 420 SEL, and it's been great. But the owner warned me not to turn off the ignition with the steering wheel horizontal. He said for some reason it won't let you turn the ignition afterward.

I've been real careful to have the steering wheel turned 90 degrees or so to the left each time I turned off the car. Until today when I forgot. The ignition will not turn at all. The steering wheel is locked as it normally is without the key in. There is a little bit of play, but not a whole lot. The front wheels are straight and the steering wheel is horizontal. I've tried wiggling the steering wheel, had it in different positions - as much as I could without the key unlocking it, but still the ignition key won't turn at all. My wife was with me at the time, so we tried her key, and still no go.

I've had no problems with the ignition at all until now. It hasn't seemed like it has gotten tougher to turn or sticky intermittently, or anything like that. There have been no signs that it was going bad.

Is this some kind of anti-theft system gone awry? It just seems so strange that it would be designed to only lock out when the wheel is horizontal, which is the most natural way to leave it. And to have no override! And to make matters worse, it happened while I was out, so it's in a Target parking lot and not my driveway.

If I can just get it to work this time, this event is bad enough that I won't forget again!

Many thanks in advance!
 

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Registered
1988 MB 420-SEL
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4 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
That thread link looked great! I don't have a sander, but I'll see if maybe a drill or a reciprocating saw will vibrate the right way to work. If not... well, I've been trying to convince the wife I need a sander anyway :p

Gonna try it in a few hours. I'll post again with results.
 

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Registered
1988 MB 420-SEL
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4 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Well, the sander didn't work... I'm going to have to have to call a locksmith :crybaby2:
 

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Registered
1991 420SEL, flirting with 200k
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150 Posts
Well, the sander didn't work... I'm going to have to have to call a locksmith :crybaby2:
Good luck there, I had a tumbler go wrong in my 300D once, it would turn but not engage the starter, tumblers can be big bucks too, I had to change the whole thing though.
 
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