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Hi everyone. I used to lurk about in the 126 forum back in the days when i used to borrow my dads 420 sec, but we got rid of that, and i tried having some fun with an alfa 156 - great fun but absolute nightmare when it comes to reliability.

Anyway, my mum's still got her C180, but thankfully, it has been pretty much trouble free (well should be after 20333 miles (genuine)).

Anyway, recently, her ignition barrel has been playing up, she can normally use it fine, but i have great difficulty turning the key. Once it frees, it is fine, but this is hard and normally takes me many attempts.

I want to change the barrel before it completly locks up.

The car is a L reg (1994ish) C180. It is a very early model - no electric headrest folding at the back.

I tried to remove the barrel so i could try to remove the dodgy pin/wafer, but despite loosening the clamp around it and trying with key in various positions, I could slightly rotate the lock, but couldnt actually slide it out at all!!

This means I will probably leave the job to our local garage, unless anyone knows how to do it.

Also, our local garage said our only option was to get a new matched barrel from Mercedes as the car has an immobiliser. I could not actually find any signs of an aerial near the barrel, or any wires running where I would expect so does anyone know if this is true. If so, he will probably be right.

However, has anyone successfully played with the pins/wafers in their existing barrel?

And if this can't be done, and the car has no immobiliser, can I use a barrel from a later car e.g. one that does have an immobiliser, or preferably one of the newer style plastic chunky keys. I understand this will greatly reduce security, but the car has has a very good alarm and immobiliser fitted to it, and is always parked in secure locations.
 

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W201, W202, W203, W204, W205 Moderator
Amethyst 2001 C320 with 345,000 miles
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1,737 Posts
Hi Robin,

I've replaced the lock barrel on my old 190E, but that took me several hours and required pulling apart the dash around the steering wheel. If you're comfortable with this kind of work, then you could do it as well. I currently have a 1994 C280, but haven't had to replace the lock barrel so I'm not sure if there's an immobilizer or not.

It's true that you will have to get a new barrel from the dealership, and they'll have to order it from Mercedes, so your turnaround time may be a couple weeks.

Hope you get it working!
 

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2004 SL500, 1993 S420, 1990 420 SEL, 1985 500SE, 1994 Toyota Supra Aerotop
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I just changed my girlfriend's ignition barrel that had given up - I used the emergency spare key, it had the least amount of wear and used some pliers to very gently but rapidly jiggle the ket around and after some persistence it turned. The trick is not to force it, but to lightly rattle one of the key barrel components into going back to where it should be.

I didn't have a service tool to remove the collar, but you don't need one. Use the handle end of some pliers, they need to be grippy though, mine were a silicone type handle.Then follow this video
using the handle end of the pliers to simulate the service tool, push in hard and turn left until it frees up. Follow the video instructions and you'll be done in less than 5 mins!
 

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c230 Kompressor
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I just changed my girlfriend's ignition barrel that had given up - I used the emergency spare key, it had the least amount of wear and used some pliers to very gently but rapidly jiggle the ket around and after some persistence it turned. The trick is not to force it, but to lightly rattle one of the key barrel components into going back to where it should be.

I didn't have a service tool to remove the collar, but you don't need one. Use the handle end of some pliers, they need to be grippy though, mine were a silicone type handle.Then follow this video YouTube - Wk?ad stacyjki w202 using the handle end of the pliers to simulate the service tool, push in hard and turn left until it frees up. Follow the video instructions and you'll be done in less than 5 mins!
Hi Harlz,
Was this on a C-Class. I think this is exactly what i need to do before my seizes up completely. 2 hours trying to turn ignition on today, had RAC out and finally it turned.
Thanks
 

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I managed to get my ignition collar off with handle of pliers like harlz. Thanks dude. Hopefully im will come out this experience only £21.99 down form purchase of ebay barrel and keys. I don't mind having different keys for entry and ignition.
RAC man told me to call locksmith - locksmith told me to order new ignition and security cap or something (was looking at about £120 plus £80 labour roughly) hes said.
Glad i joined this forum it may have saved me around £200 pounds min. THANKS TO EVERYONE
 
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