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W210 Key not turning in Ignition, Central Locking Malfunctioning

Discussion in 'Electrics, Vacuum, Ignition and ECU' started by Tindo, Jan 8, 2013.

  1. Tindo

    Tindo Member

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    Mercedes Benz E280 1997 W210
    Hi guys, ive a problem with my 1997 Mercedes Benz W210 E280 Elegance which I hope you will help me with. I will try and describe the sequence of events as accurately as possible.

    Sometime last Friday (4 January) I opened my boot with the remote and locked again without a problem. When I tried unlocking the doors to drive out the doors wouldnt open and I remained locked out. tried the Mechanical key but it wouldnt unlock the driver door (or even turn). After giving up my dad came in the evening and when he tried the doors opened and the car was flashing the indicators rapidly (without any sound) which I assume is the alarm. The indicators in the dash were also flashing rapidly. Pressing the unlock button on the key wouldnt stop the lights and they only stoped when I started the car. I drove the car for about 5km, came back and parked without incident. When I tried starting the following day the car wouldnt start, just lih\ghting up the dash and not starting. I tried repeatedly and fiddled with the battery terminals (because they are loose and have given me a problem before when starting) but car wouldnt start and in the middle of all this fiddling with terminals and trying to start the car the key suddenly refused to turn in the ignition. On leaving the car the remote key wouldnt lock the doors.

    I also need to mention that before the general failure mentioned above, the ignition part where you insert the key has started spinning when I need to start the car so when turning the key, the whole thing thing turns as well and I have to wait for it to stop truning before the key can engage and start the car.

    As of now, four days later this is what is happening:
    1. Remote key cannot turn in the ignition which means I cant start.
    2. When I insert the key, the steering lock is released, and when I remove the key its locked again.
    3. Remote key cannot lock doors or boot.
    4. Mechanical key in the cannot lock doors or boot
    5. The central locking switch in the centre console can lock doors when I'm inside and there is a hiss from under the rear seat and the multifunction display shows mileage, time, outside temperature etc
    6. Radio, trip counter, multifunction display, electric seats, inside lights and headlamps all work but the horn is silent.
    7. I don't have a spare key or emergency key.

    After reading of similar problems this is what I've done so far:

    1. Charged main battery - didn't help
    2. Changed batteries in remote key (red light shows when I press the key) - didn't solve the problem
    3. Checked the IR beam under camera and its showing.
    4. Asked an electronics guy to check the remote key motherboard / chip and he didn't find any problem with it like dry joints.
    5. Electronics guy checked my fuses in the box under the bonnet and they were all fine.
    6. Left remote key in ignition (read somewhere that it re-syncs) - didn't help.
    7. Tried wiggling the steering when starting - didn't help
    8. Cleaned both remote key and ignition keyhole IR sensors - didn't help.

    The whole thing has left me with a couple of questions which I believe someone in the forum can clarify:

    1. I read on the forum that the central locking and ignition part of the key are separate but it appears they both stopped functioning simultaneously, is there a car component / system whose failure can shutdown both ignition and central locking functions?
    2. When I insert the key, the steering wheel is unlocked, does this mean my EIS is still functioning?
    3. The mechanical key does not lock doors or boot, is it possible that there is a general locking failure which is affecting mechanical lock, remote lock (and possibly ignition)?
    4. Or asked in other words, does an ignition failure cause both the remote and mechanical locking system to fail?
    5. In case I have a key problem, is it possible to just order the slim emergency key, is it cheaper than the key with remote functions?
    6. Does the description i have given above suggest a dead ECU?

    Im sorry for the very long post but I wanted to give as much detail as possible so that some forum members can figure out the exact problem(s). Thanks for reading.
     
  2. television

    television Always remembered RIP

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    Your Mercedes:
    2002 SL500, 216 CL500, all fully loaded
    A 1997 car will be DAS, not EIS I think as too early

    I think that your alarm siren was at fault when all this started, you will need to disconnect it as it could be upsetting the mobilizer.

    Really need a picture of the key that you have.

    Spraying in some wd40 in the barrels should free of the locks for the metal key.

    The remote could have a fault with the transponder, have you taken the key apart
     
  3. OP
    Tindo

    Tindo Member

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    I have opened the key and an electronics guy who looked at it couldnt find any fault. How do I disconnect the alarm?[​IMG]
     
  4. television

    television Always remembered RIP

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    Are you sure that the transponder bit has not fallen out

    I think the siren is under a front wheel arch, not dead sure sure at this point i
     
  5. OP
    Tindo

    Tindo Member

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    Im sorry I cant figure out how to upload pictures yet of the key but its the short all plastic version. The guy who opened it couldn't find anything wrong with it when he opened it to change batteries. Is the transponder visible to the naked eye because I can open the key and take a picture of the chip. Is there any way to tell if the transponder is still attached?
     
  6. television

    television Always remembered RIP

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    Wait till member dec comes on line he has all the photo's of your key
     
  7. Dec

    Dec Senior Member

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  8. Dec

    Dec Senior Member

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    Your alarm siren will probably look like the Black one, bottom left of picture. It unplugs via a 3 pin plug in its back.
    The sole purpose of the metal key blade is to unlock a door or boot lock individually and is purely mechanical and non electric, in other words it will open the doors of a car with no battery.

    The fact the door or boot doesn’t open is solely due to the seizure of both locks due to lack of use, very common fault.
    Continued use of WD40 required to free up the locks.

    Dec
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Mark@RMK

    Mark@RMK Senior Member Authorised Forum Supporter

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    Woooh..

    Read this quote..

    Providing the EIS has all of the connections on the back firmly connected ( As you mentioned it turned the complete module, which is because the key is not being accepted straight away) ...

    Its the key and EIS data at fault. Usually you can get away with just getting a new key. I have fixed this problem many times.

    Mercedes no longer do an emergency flat none remote key, so it will be the full remote 3 button item.

    Alternatively, send me your key and EIS and I can fix it, but as you in SA you could contact this company - www.nklocks.co.za
     
  10. OP
    Tindo

    Tindo Member

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    Thanks let me try that.
     
  11. OP
    Tindo

    Tindo Member

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    How do I access the alarm siren?
     
  12. Dec

    Dec Senior Member

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    I don't know its location on a W210. Will have a look somewhere.


    Dec
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2013
  13. Dec

    Dec Senior Member

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  14. OP
    Tindo

    Tindo Member

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  15. OP
    Tindo

    Tindo Member

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    A mechanic came this evening with some diagnostics equipment and the results were that when the key is inserted in the ignition its sending the signal to the steering lock to disengage but the steering lock isn't sending a signal back to the ignition which allows the key to turn, therefore starting the engine. Unfortunately the poor guy have no idea how to fix the problem. Any assistance will be appreciated.
     
  16. dog68

    dog68 Senior Member

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  17. ian.chamberlain

    ian.chamberlain New Member

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    not sure if its relevant since what im about to explain was on a 2001 S320, but you never know

    A few years ago i had an intermittent problem with the C/L and ability to turn key in ignition. i managed to open doors with mechanical key which set the alarm off, and the only way to shut it off is the the C/L. after 10 embarasing minutes of trying the key in and out of the ignition, it suddenly srang to life, car started and was fine.
    A week later same thing happened, then next day same thing.
    I bought a new key (£200) assuming that because the C/L and ignition didnt work the common denominator was the key, but didnt fix it. Problems was still intermittent.
    I researched on this forum and someone had the same problem which only seamed to occur when the car was cold (and at that time it was snowing) The temporary fix was to use a hair drier to warm the ignition switch, and miraculously it sprang to life.
    I was told it was a dry joint on the igniton switch module which also controls part of the central locking too.
    the repair was a new ignition switch module (i think £600 + £200 fitting ... but that was 3 years ago)

    sorry if this isnt relevent, but it may stimulate some furhter ideas from others
     
  18. OP
    Tindo

    Tindo Member

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    Thanks for the tip let me try it in the morning.
     
  19. OP
    Tindo

    Tindo Member

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  20. dog68

    dog68 Senior Member

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    Look on aliexp*** Appox £20
     

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