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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi, during winter the driver passengers locks get stuck so I use trunk to open/lock car, today I tried opening through but it was also stuck so I kinda tapped on the top of trunk with some force but it did nothing after a few attempts to open various locks with different keys it finally opened passenger door, however the car cannot be started, instrument cluster lights up but no cranking. Its like starter is disabled. Car always starts with 1st try and there were no indications of failing starter.

I saw a few posts about alarm being responsible for disabling starter... so was thinking maybe I triggered it somehow. If thats the case is there way to reset it to normal or bypass it so the car starts. I haven't done any troubleshooting yet because of cold weather...

So... cluster lights up but there is no crank and no clicking sounds... and 225000km

Thanks!
 

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2003 G500, 2000 SL500, 1995 E320 Cabriolet, 1980 TR8
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Even though you don't have all of the symptoms, for good measure, check fuse 5 to see if it is corroded or blown (fuse 5 supplies the starter relay circuit). However, most likely, you may have triggered the alarm which is designed to disable the starter when activated. Try locking and then unlocking the car from a different door if you can. If that doesn't work, try removing fuses 11, 12 and C for a few minutes and then replacing them. This may reset the alarm module.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Even though you don't have all of the symptoms, for good measure, check fuse 5 to see if it is corroded or blown (fuse 5 supplies the starter relay circuit). However, most likely, you may have triggered the alarm which is designed to disable the starter when activated. Try locking and then unlocking the car from a different door if you can. If that doesn't work, try removing fuses 11, 12 and C for a few minutes and then replacing them. This may reset the alarm module.
Thank you for usefull info... In the end the car started in N position first try, now it also starts in P, but I only tried one time. Could this be just a glitch? Or something is broken? Before starting, I checked all fuses, lubed all locks, reset brains by touching battery leads together, then used all locks to open close door/lift windows, enter radio code, also put spare battery that I charged overnight, although old battery was good too.
 

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2003 G500, 2000 SL500, 1995 E320 Cabriolet, 1980 TR8
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Thank you for usefull info... In the end the car started in N position first try, now it also starts in P, but I only tried one time. Could this be just a glitch? Or something is broken? . . .
Sounds like your neutral safety switch is starting to go. Fairly common problem. I should of thought of it.
 

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2003 G500, 2000 SL500, 1995 E320 Cabriolet, 1980 TR8
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So is it safe to say that it can be always started in neutral? I'd prefer not to go under the car until spring :)
Thanks!
It's hard for me to say - once the mechanism/contact is worn it could in theory fail at any time for both P and N. Maybe someone who has experienced a NSS failure will have more insight into how long it will go once it starts to get flaky.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
It's hard for me to say - once the mechanism/contact is worn it could in theory fail at any time for both P and N. Maybe someone who has experienced a NSS failure will have more insight into how long it will go once it starts to get flaky.
Thank you! I will see how it goes... So far 4 starts and no problem :)
 

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W124
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Dimitri,
Floobydust is correct, the switch will fail unexpectedly and you will be left stranded with no way to start the car. Be thankful you have the ability to start it temporarily until you replace the switch. Don't waste this opportunity. The switch is less than $50 and it takes a half hour to replace it.

When the transmission selector is moved from Park, to Reverse, to Neutral, etc. this action drags an internal metal "wiper" across the metal contacts for Park and Neutral. This wiping action causes wear each time you move the selector over the many times your car has been driven (225,000 km). So if you are thinking you have a brand new Neutral contact to use for another 225,000 that will not be the case. The contacts wear evenly until the time when the switch fails. The only reason the Park position failed and the Neutral position works, is because arcing of the contacts has taken place in the Park position due to starting the car in Park most (all) of the time, and poor contact pressure between the wiper and contact pieces due to wear. They no longer conduct electricity.

The same will happen to the already worn Neutral contact. I estimate you have under 100 more reliable starts left. Don't waste them.
 

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'92 300TE 4matic 280,000miles, '92 300TE 4Matic 'Ice Blue Metalic' 101,000miles
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Funny.....I told him all this in PM about the NSS. But it's nice to see it verified here as well. We were previously working on 4Matic issues in PM......

There's also a thin chance that he has a faulty ignition switch, or maybe even both showing symptoms simultaneously.

Kevin
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I'm glad you helped to figure out whats wrong with it, thank you! I hope it still works until warmer weather.. so far it worked about 15 times.
 

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W124
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Replacement of the W124 Neutral Safety Switch (NSS) requires a 10mm socket and ratchet, a large flat blade screw driver, and a pair of needle-nose pliers.

Most of the work is pretty straightforward except for the following:
  • removal of the wiring and connector requires you to twist the collar on the connector. Its not difficult, just not obvious.
  • the bolt that pinches the actuating bellcrank on the transmission shift selector shaft (on the transmission) needs to be completely withdrawn in order to remove the bellcrank and begin removal of the switch. The shaft has a recess in it that the bolt fits into. WIthout removing it you will never get the bellcrank off. The flat blade screwdriver is used to pry the lever off the shaft but the bolt has to be out first.
  • once the new switch is in place, it needs to be adjusted. This is not just a "remove and replace" operation. You need to adjust the switch so that when the shifter is in "Park", there is no pressure on the black plastic lever on the switch. You can usally achieve this by only tightening the switch when the selector is in "Park".
If you want to treat your W124 to a little love, buy two new shift rod bushings (plastic, about $2.00 each) and replace the old, hard, and probably cracked bushings that are there now. The one on the shifter can be a bear (look for youtube videos on this one or search for threads. Forum member Sbaert has some recommendations to heat them up in warm water first I think) the other is easy to install once you have the actuating bellcrank in your hands.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Replacement of the W124 Neutral Safety Switch (NSS) requires a 10mm socket and ratchet, a large flat blade screw driver, and a pair of needle-nose pliers.

Most of the work is pretty straightforward except for the following:
  • removal of the wiring and connector requires you to twist the collar on the connector. Its not difficult, just not obvious.
  • the bolt that pinches the actuating bellcrank on the transmission shift selector shaft (on the transmission) needs to be completely withdrawn in order to remove the bellcrank and begin removal of the switch. The shaft has a recess in it that the bolt fits into. WIthout removing it you will never get the bellcrank off. The flat blade screwdriver is used to pry the lever off the shaft but the bolt has to be out first.
  • once the new switch is in place, it needs to be adjusted. This is not just a "remove and replace" operation. You need to adjust the switch so that when the shifter is in "Park", there is no pressure on the black plastic lever on the switch. You can usally achieve this by only tightening the switch when the selector is in "Park".
If you want to treat your W124 to a little love, buy two new shift rod bushings (plastic, about $2.00 each) and replace the old, hard, and probably cracked bushings that are there now. The one on the shifter can be a bear (look for youtube videos on this one or search for threads. Forum member Sbaert has some recommendations to heat them up in warm water first I think) the other is easy to install once you have the actuating bellcrank in your hands.
Thank you for detailed tutorial, I just saw riffraffjazz video on nss switch could be just a bad shift bushing... on 4matic I think there is also front driveshaft in the way. So far no errors in starting!!
 

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'92 300TE 4matic 280,000miles, '92 300TE 4Matic 'Ice Blue Metalic' 101,000miles
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It is tight in there with the front drive shaft. But with a tool, you can do it. I found it easier just to drop the linkage in the front on the tranny. There's no way you can put it back in worng....only goes one way. Put the bushings in and reinstall. Don't buy those soft bushings off of Kent's site.....buy the OE.
 

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And make sure you put those new OE bushings in hot to boiling water for a few minutes prior to install. This helps soften them up and helps installing them tremendously. Without softening them, the bushings are a pain to install.
 

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80 280SL, 85 300SD, 87 300TD, 90 300TE 4Matic, 90 300D 2.5 Turbo, 92 300D 2.5 Turbo, 92 300TE 4Mat
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Swapping out the NSS on a 4Matic is a PITA. I changed mine over the summer when the reverse light switch part crapped out. I ended up dropping the back-side of transmission so I could reach over the front drive shaft.
 

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'92 300TE 4matic 280,000miles, '92 300TE 4Matic 'Ice Blue Metalic' 101,000miles
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Agreed....it's a real PIA. That side of the tranny has everything really shoehorned.

Kevin
 
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