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Key won´t turn following auto gearshift replacement

863 Views 9 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Omi-wan

My father has a 2002 S320 in which the car became stuck in Park. A recovery guy came and knocked it into neutral where it remained with the key in the ignition and he was told to leave it like that. I then found several videos showing this to be a common problem so I removed the shift mechanism and successfully removed the the broken plastic lever and ordered a new aluminum one from the States. Meanwhile I put the mechanism back in (without the over as shown on various Youtube videos as it would appear that some people don´t bother to maintain the Park lock) and the shifter moves freely into any gear (albeit at the moment without the safety of the Park feature/key removal disabled). The black release cable is correctly connected as it came out and I have manually pressed on this and can see the key wiggle slightly this confirms it is still correctly connected at the EIS.

I accidentally took the optical key out and now find that I cannot turn the key to turn on the power, ignition or crank the engine. I have tried all sorts of things but it will not turn. The battery became drained so I am using a jump charger each time to feed the battery with power. I also note that the steering wheel has not locked and I believe this may be related but I thought I would ask here in case I make things worse by trying to lock it and perhaps enabling a reset of the key turning facility.

Can anyone help?!!
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" I can´t imagine that there is any connection between the gearbox and the EIS anyway so I don´t think it is this."

The EIS will not release the key until the shifter tells the EIS that the transmission is in PARK. The connection is electrical, which is why you got the suggestion to check all of the electrical plugs.

You might lower the frustration level by using a charger to fully charge the battery. The W220 does not do well with a weak battery.
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