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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My wifes 2002 ML 500 is stuck at our daughters school. She came out and started the car and tried to put in gear. It wont get out of park and the BAS ESP light is on. Ideas? HELP!
 

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My wifes 2002 ML 500 is stuck at our daughters school. She came out and started the car and tried to put in gear. It wont get out of park and the BAS ESP light is on. Ideas? HELP!
Turn motor off and restart. The light should go off and it should shift OK. If it dioesn't, there should be a small Allen wrench looking hardware, usually in the glove compartment. Take it and on the shifter console, there's a location (towards the rear of the shifter console) where you insert it to unlock the shifter. I don't have pics, but there was a thread about this just a while back. I guess she doesn't have the owners manual. If you have it, look in it and give her the instructions.
 

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1999 E55, 2001 E320, 1990 560 SEC, 2004 ML350, 2001 ML55, 1995 S500, 1998 SL500, 2010 E550 Sport zoo
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To me it sounds like the brake light switch (which also controls other things) failed, and that is what caused the lock out.

The other common source of the lock out is a spillage on the shifter, but here the BAS/ESP lights are the clue that it fortunately could be that brake light switch instead a shifter clean/hope/pray not to have to do a $400 shifter module replacement.

Yes - you can use Darkman's instructions, and/or call Roadside Assistance and they will walk you thru the unlock procedure.

The replacement of the brake light switch (like a $15 dealer item) I think is listed in the stickies at the top of the forum. Use a MB/OE part, don't by a no name part from the internet.

Being registered for Roadside Assistance could really help out your wife, in the event you are unavailable for her emergency call on something like this.

Hope this helps !
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I turned off and restarted several times. The light stayed on and stuck in park. I used a phillips screwdriver to unlock the shifter. Each time I put it in park I needed to re-unlock. Thank you for the tips. :thumbsup: It got me home. I assume that this is what I will need to do until I fix the underlying problem, right? Or is it possible that it was a one time issue? Wishful thinking?

I will first attempt the cheap fix. Is replacing the brake light switch easy? Does anyone have instructions for dummies?
 

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1999 E55, 2001 E320, 1990 560 SEC, 2004 ML350, 2001 ML55, 1995 S500, 1998 SL500, 2010 E550 Sport zoo
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You can do a forum search, use the search function at the top.

The switch is located on the backside of the metal arm holding the brake pedal, a little up under the dash.

You put your drivers seat all the way back, put your steering wheel all the way up, take the key OUT of the ignition, and on your back with a flashlight look up there and its easy to spot.

The wire connectors unclip from the back of the switch, the switch gets rotated a quarter turn to unlock it and come out, you insert the new switch, twist to lock it in, then reconnect the wired connectors.

This is one of the more recent posts, do a search search for a better and more complete illustration.

http://www.benzworld.org/forums/w163-m-class/1547326-w163-car-park-cant-put-gear.html

It's a fairly common incident, some talk about lubricating the switch, or getting the plunger unstuck, those are all at best random and most certainly short term fixes.

This switch commonly fails with time/use, it a quite simple DIY with the right dealer part in hand. ALL MB dealers have them in stock, since it is common to most series from the late '90's period.

Keep the faith !
 

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Being registered for Roadside Assistance could really help out your wife, in the event you are unavailable for her emergency call on something like this.

Hope this helps !
You don't even have to register. You automatically qualify as long as you own the vehicle, and it's lifetime too and transferable.
 

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...I assume that this is what I will need to do until I fix the underlying problem, right? Or is it possible that it was a one time issue? Wishful thinking?

I will first attempt the cheap fix. Is replacing the brake light switch easy? Does anyone have instructions for dummies?
That was just to get you home. Like Fabb said, most likely brake light switch. It's easy to do. Look at the link Fabb posted.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
You guys rock! I found a switch locally for $16. The only reason it took me 20 minutes to install was due to my inexperience and the cramped quarters. I easily found the culprit. The plunger on the switch was stuck in the down position. I fiddled with it and it popped back out. I probably could have made it work for a while loger...clean and lubricate the plunger, but why? I'm already in there and I dont want it to happen again.

All of your advice saved me time, headaches and I'm sure quite a chunk of change. :bowdown:

Go Ducks!
 
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