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2007 C220 CDI Avantgarde W204
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79 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
W204 C220 CDI 2007 - Web is full of "car not starting" for these models and the reason is not a dead battery, it is a $5 motor of the ESL (Steering Lock), which has burned out. My mistake was not to ask the forum straight away, why it takes a few times to start my car, now I know the reason is the $5 motor slowly burning out until it finally gives out, too late, then your vehicle is stuck somewhere. Worse, the ESL itself needs a bolt cut off to remove it from the steering column. If you are unlucky, then the motor has also taken out the NEC security chip and you need to buy a new unit and get that chip matched with your key, another $350 on top of $2,000!

If you are lucky, the vehicle can be driven to your garage or stealership by hitting the ESL with a rubber hammer to nudge that $5 motor one last time to release the steering locking pin. But then LEAVE THE KEY IN and disconnect the battery, as the locking will happen the moment you pull the key out again. You can remove the key once the batt is disconnected. Following a Youtube video I am now trying to save myself $2,000 and have ordered that $5 motor. Problem is, in that video the op just pulls a lock on the ODB to let go of the top part with the wires.

Am showing that ODB connector and am asking for help how to split that unit, so i can carry on with that repair; getting stuck that early in the piece is frustrating!
IMG_20200121_170430.jpg
 

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Registered
2007 C220 CDI Avantgarde W204
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79 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
Sorry, just worked it out, the top horizontal part slides forward and unlocks that way.
 

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2004 SL500, 2014 C350 Sport
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259 Posts
There was a recall on the ESL switch, so you should run you VIN on the Mercedes website to see if you’re covered.

Can you post a link to the YouTube video you mentioned? Thx
 

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2007 C220 CDI Avantgarde W204
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79 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
My car is a 2007 model, I doubt if it is covered, besides, with the steering wheel locked and wheels blocked, the tow truck operator will cause a lot of damage to the vehicle, but thanks for the advice. On some sites, they are talking about a class action, but that is America. Here in Australia Mazda gets away with repairing cars, while in America customers got their money back!

If the link does not work, use Dr Google with Mercedes Electronic Steering Lock Fail - Step by Step Repair


There are heaps of other Youtube videos showing how to repair the ESL itself by opening up the ESL by hitting a Torx inside the four locking cylinders, not bolts, and then twisting and lifting those things at the same time, etc. Scammers tell you it is necessary to sync your key with the ESL, wrong, only if you had to buy a new or second-hand ESL and then the NEC security chip in the ESL has to be matched with your key.
 

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2004 SL500, 2014 C350 Sport
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259 Posts
Thanks. Well, for kicks, you could try to enter your VIN and see what comes back. (I understand you're on the other side of the world.)

 
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