My fathers 98 ML 320 will not shift out of park after he replaced the motor mounts. I was wondering if there was a way to by-pass the lock-out mechanism so that he can get it out of Park and take it to the dealer.
It is possible to manually release the lock.
Looking at the shift gate you will see an opening below position 'D'...use a slim pen or rod and insert it into the opening and press down whilst moving the lever from 'P'
FYI, the manual override was only incorporated on MY2000 and newer MLs. I just was marooned far from any help with this same problem on my 99. I spent 2 hours tearing apart the center console and dash to try to figure out a different mechanical or electrical override, and went so far as to talk with 2 different mercedes technicians I know to try to get going again. No luck. You're literally SOL (so was I ).
Since it's a solenoid that's controlling your ability to shift out of park, once that electrical mechanism goes, you've got to get the shift mechanism replaced. You can try repeatedly turning off the engine, taking the key out, starting the engine, and shifting, in hopes the solenoid gets 'shocked' into releasing, but that's about it. If that works, don't shift back into park. You can't even pull a fuse or wires to de-activate it! It would have been nice if the failure of this component would default to an open shift capability, not a closed one.
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