Mercedes-Benz Forum banner

1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
1995 E420 W124.034
Joined
·
31 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Good day everyone, last night as I was starting my car I notice the ignition was kind of stuck so I moved the steering wheel around and got it started no problem... after the gym on my way home I've notice my steering wheel is locked like the wheels were cut the wrong way and I can't get the key to turn the ignition.. The wheels are pointing straight and I cant come up with anything logical.. can someone help?? :surrender:
 

·
Premium Member
About a dozen 1988, 1989, 1990, and 1991 sedans, wagons, 4Matics and 1 coupe
Joined
·
5,454 Posts
Sounds like you have fallen prey to the dreaded worn out ignition tumbler syndrome. The problem usually gets worse and worse until the tumbler locks up. You only had one occasion where the ignition seemed to be stuck?
Your local dealer can supply a brand new ignition tumbler that will match the one originally installed on your car so you can keep the same keys. You'll have to provide the VIN and proof of ownership.
At that point swapping out lock cylinders is simple ONCE YOU GET YOUR OLD ONE TO MOVE. I wouldn't mess with it until you have the new part in hand. Otherwise you'll be drilling out the old tumbler and that's no easy task.
 

·
Registered
1995 E420 W124.034
Joined
·
31 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Sounds like you have fallen prey to the dreaded worn out ignition tumbler syndrome. The problem usually gets worse and worse until the tumbler locks up. You only had one occasion where the ignition seemed to be stuck?
Your local dealer can supply a brand new ignition tumbler that will match the one originally installed on your car so you can keep the same keys. You'll have to provide the VIN and proof of ownership.
At that point swapping out lock cylinders is simple ONCE YOU GET YOUR OLD ONE TO MOVE. I wouldn't mess with it until you have the new part in hand. Otherwise you'll be drilling out the old tumbler and that's no easy task.
thanks for the reply! yeah, its the first time its locked up on me.. I'm about to take a trip to dealership right now and get the tumbler ordered. Any advice on how to unlock the steering wheel so I can get the key in the 1 position to pull the tumbler?!
 

·
Premium Member
About a dozen 1988, 1989, 1990, and 1991 sedans, wagons, 4Matics and 1 coupe
Joined
·
5,454 Posts
Wiggle gently and be patient. The alternative is much worse.
 

·
Registered
1995 E420 W124.034
Joined
·
31 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Ok, just got back from the dealership.. a new tumbler and key will be here by 10 AM tomorrow. I also made a ignition tumbler removal tool out of 2mm sway bars from my R/C car. The parts guy told me to try with new key tomorrow before removing the tumbler, because the new key might work and unlock the steering wheel so i can get the key into the 1 position to pull the tumbler.. we'll see how it goes.. i'll update tomorrow..
 

·
Premium Member
About a dozen 1988, 1989, 1990, and 1991 sedans, wagons, 4Matics and 1 coupe
Joined
·
5,454 Posts
Sounds good. I suggest that you first try your new key in a door to make sure that it works there. We've had at least one poster get a VIN-coded key for his 124 only to find out that it didn't work in any lock cylinder. Never heard the final resolution for that one...
 

·
Registered
1986 300e, 2004 Pontiac GTO
Joined
·
252 Posts
Dude i dont think you needed to buy a whole new ignition system. That exact same thing happened to my car a few weeks back and i read up in the owners manuel that it is some kind of saftey device so that if someone tries to steel the car they cant. Bascially i was driving the car and i must of hit the steering wheel to hard when i was getting out and it locked its self. There is a certain code that you have to do like i have to put my car in netural and the shift the wheel to the left and put it back into 1st and then start the engine. it was kind of hard to find the code but it might be diffrent for diffrent years. after that even nothing has happened with the car or the ignition

so if you havent replaced the ignition i would try that
 

·
Premium Member
About a dozen 1988, 1989, 1990, and 1991 sedans, wagons, 4Matics and 1 coupe
Joined
·
5,454 Posts
^ Dude, say what !?!? I'd like to know what you read in the owners manual. I can guarantee you that you misunderstood it. The shifter is connected to a rod that goes to the transmission. That's it. There are no interlocks of any kind. As for the steering column, it does have a wheel lock device like just about every car made since 1970 when that feature was introduced. If you shut the engine off when the steering wheel is turned hard, the steering (and ignition tumbler) can lock up. Then you turn the steering wheel enough to unload the locking mechanism and you're done.
 

·
Registered
1986 300e, 2004 Pontiac GTO
Joined
·
252 Posts
Well dude i c what you are saying about the steering lock but when i tried to do that it wouldnt work at all and i wound up calling my neighbor because he was a mercedes mechanic and he showed me some kind of combination to get the steering wheel to unlock. Because a couple of times my wheel actualy has locked up and i just had to turn it the other way and it would work but when it totaly got stuck thats what my neigbor did i might have the wrong combination tho
 

·
Registered
1995 E420 W124.034
Joined
·
31 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
update:

Well my tumbler was a day late.. but its OK. I picked it up this morning and stopped by the gym (where my car sat for a day). Checked the new key on the door lock, got inside inserted key into ignition than magic happens.. my steering wheel unlocked! I'm going to replace the old tumbler when I get home! I'll snap a few pictures while I do it if anyone care to see.. thanks everyone for their help!
 

·
Registered
1995 E320 Wagon, 2002 S430
Joined
·
594 Posts
update:

Well my tumbler was a day late.. but its OK. I picked it up this morning and stopped by the gym (where my car sat for a day). Checked the new key on the door lock, got inside inserted key into ignition than magic happens.. my steering wheel unlocked! I'm going to replace the old tumbler when I get home! I'll snap a few pictures while I do it if anyone care to see.. thanks everyone for their help!
Did you complete this task yet or have you just been getting by with your new key? I am in the same position but have a new key that still works fine. I will be ordering a new ignition tumbler on Wednesday from the dealer and installing it on Saturday. If you have done this, do you have any pictures or tips? thanks.
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top