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'02 ML 500
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44 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello fellow readers,

I have an 02 ML, production date Dec 01, 86K miles, with a lock problem. I picked it up yesterday after a 2 1/2 month stay at the dealer (don't even get me started...). The person taking me to my car clicked the key fob and said "tee hee...your locks don't work". I figured the key battery was dead/dying. But the battery seems to be ok. When I hit the lock button on the key, all the locks lock, unlock and relock with the exception of the driver lock, which does nothing - no movement, no noise. The locks don't "machine gun". I think the same thing happens when using the console lock switch. So I'm guessing it's the driver door actuator. I thought I would also try the resynch procedure outlined elsewhere on this site. I followed the directions, the lights blinked in acknowledgement, and now none of the locks work. The alarm is armed, lights go on/off as usual, but the locks neither lock nor unlock. The console switch is dead too. If you manually lock the locks (i.e. press each one down by hand...remember doing that in the old days?), and press the lock button, then all UNlock (except for the dead driver door lock).

So I have two questions.
1-Do you think the original problem is a dead actuator? Is this still a problem on 02 models?

2-Obviously I need to get the synch problem fixed first. The instructions on this site and in the owners manual say to visit the dealer if the synch process doesn't work. Does anyone know what they do or what they use to resynch the locks? I would like to go to an independent garage who may or may not have the magic electronic tool to fix it.

Thanks...
James
 

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98ML320
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1,278 Posts
It's quite possible that the door lock actuator is simply broken. On my truck, one of the plastic parts that connects the actuator to the lock broke. I could hear the lock mechanism activate when using the remote but it wouldn't physically move. I had to replace the entire lock mechanism which is moderately difficult and includes removing and replacing grommets. The parts just around $100 if I recall correctly. Definitely can be done by any independent mechanic.

Don't know if this is your problem. Can you hear anything mechanical from the drivers door before the synch problem? If not it might be as simple as the electrical connector being loose or dirty. That's a really easy fix; just clean and replug.

Good luck with the synch and fix. Too bad about your problem with the dealer.
 

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'02 ML 500
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44 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Hello Big Cat, and thanks for the reply. I'm pretty sure I didn't hear anything in the driver's door making noise when the other locks were activating. I did see an internal dealer bill for a towing company and they said something about having the truck towed at one point. I suppose they could have used a "slim jim" to open the truck and maybe disconnected something. Or like you said, maybe just a dirty contact somewhere. Sounds like I get to see what the inside of the door looks like - that should be fun.

As far as the synch goes, I talked to the indy I'm considering, and he said he could probably hook the truck up to "the big machine" as he put it and reset the system. So my fears of using an indy because they might not have a dealer or vehicle specific tool may be unfounded. We'll see.

Thanks again for your help. Happy MLing.

James
 

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99ML320 (retired) C230 530xi 911-C4
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2,229 Posts
MLMoose - 3/10/2005 7:45 PM

Hello Big Cat, and thanks for the reply. I'm pretty sure I didn't hear anything in the driver's door making noise when the other locks were activating. I did see an internal dealer bill for a towing company and they said something about having the truck towed at one point. I suppose they could have used a "slim jim" to open the truck and maybe disconnected something. Or like you said, maybe just a dirty contact somewhere. Sounds like I get to see what the inside of the door looks like - that should be fun.

As far as the synch goes, I talked to the indy I'm considering, and he said he could probably hook the truck up to "the big machine" as he put it and reset the system. So my fears of using an indy because they might not have a dealer or vehicle specific tool may be unfounded. We'll see.

Thanks again for your help. Happy MLing.

James
ever think about taking her to another dealer...
 

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'02 ML 500
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Discussion Starter #5
Hey Big Cat, I have a question for you. I attempted to remove the old actuator. I pulled off the door panel, removed the 2 screws from the edge of the door that loosen the door latch and actuator up, and, from your instructions on the 'cedesshop website, loosened the hex nut accessible through the rubbber-plugged hole in the edge of the door. It loosens, but nothing comes apart. I can kinda stick my finger behind the actuator between the actuator and the outer door skin and feel the hex nut (probably actually a hex-headed bolt/screw) spinning. I decided to quit for the day and as I attemted to tighten the hex nut, it doesn't seem to ever get tight. What am I missing?

Thanks for your help.

Roadsession, there are two dealers in the area, but the other one is kinda inconvenient and doesn't have a very good reputation although I don't have personal experience there. I've been going to the first one for around 15 years, and want to maintain a relationship if possible. They really tried hard to fix the problem they admitted creating, and threw a ton of parts at it, and the guys actually doing the wrenching seem totally dedicated, but I can't imagine not being able to fix a driveline problem as well as having to take the truck back over and over for stuff that's not fixed right the first time or for new stuff they break fixing the first problem. And I'm not even all that picky. So I guess I'm more big-dealer gun shy than anything. Your comment made me stop and think, however. "My" dealer has another branch that maybe I should give a chance. Thanks for the comment - I've seen many of your posts and respect your opinion. Oh, and you called Moose a "she". Hmm. I thought he was a he. Maybe that's been my problem all along!!

Happy MLing,
James
 
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