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2003 SLK230 Silver
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28 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I searched past topics on keys not turning in the ignition but could not find anything. I have a 2003 SLK Kompressor and my problem is this. My wife never seems to be able to turn the key in the ignition. It just feels like it will break in her hand. I personally never had this problem until lately. The only way to get the key to turn is to first turn my steering wheel until it locks into place. Then I need to wiggle the wheel back and forth until the key turns. When it finally does turn, it turns very easily. Is there something going bad in my steering column or what. It is very embarrassing at a gas station when people watch me trying over and over again to get the key turned and all I am doing is accidently locking and unlocking the doors. Has anyone else had this problem? Any suggestions would be appreciated.
 

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SLK230
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59 Posts
The steering wheel column has a ring with a series of holes in which the lock mechanism engages. Sometimes, when the wheel locks into place with a lot of tension, the steerting wheel requires a shift to the right or left to release the tension from the pin. This also causes the ignition lock to "lock" although the key is fully inserted.

I've seen it when a wheel is pushed up against a curb and the steering wheel lock engages, placing a lot of tension on all the linkages.

See if you can duplicate this by purposefully locking the wheel by turning to the greater distance left or right.

Keeping the steering wheel "neutral" between the pin locks resolves this.
 

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SLK32, ML430
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6,349 Posts
You should not have to lock the wheel then unlock it to turn the key. You should only have to wiggle the wheel if you have locked your wheel, not everytime you get in the car.
 

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02 SLK320, 05 Crossfire, 30 ford street rod, 96 Blazer
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1 Posts
We've started having the same problem with turning the key. We've put 80K miles on the SLK and 80K miles on a Crossfire we also have so we're used to what is normal. Like Git-R-Done it turns easy if it turns at all. When the key won't turn we shake and jerk and pull on the steering wheel until so far at least the key will turn but being against a curb hasn't been a factor. Any additional possabilities? Do I dare to squirt lube into the ignition?
suenmike
 

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2002 SLK 320 - Magma Red
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91 Posts
There is an excellent chance that you ignition lock mechanism is failing and soon you may be placed in the tought spot of calling the big ugly tow truck--to use the phrase from an earlier post, "Get 'er done". Have the issue corrected and possibly save you from a scarey incdent. It will only completely fail at the worst possible time and place.
 
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