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  #31  
Old 07-18-2008, 12:21 AM
Jeremy5848's Avatar
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Location: Sonoma Wine Country
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Ignition switch

Yes, it was the ignition switch. Fortunately, the early W210 E300D cars have a less sophisticated, less expensive switch, only about $100 instead of almost $500. I was able to replace the switch myself. Not a bad job except that all the posted and factory instructions are wrong because they all tend to default to the later electronic switch. I had to write my own instructions and document with photos -- need to do a DIY.

Removal of the under-dash panel was the hard part but I didn't get blood on the car and my fingers have healed now. All of the horror stories about alarms and codes and stuff are just that -- stories, and not true. CAVEAT: for the '96 and maybe the '97 W210 ONLY, with a metal key, not the '98-'99 with the fancy-dan electronic key. You could get by without even disconnecting the battery (although I did anyway) since all you do is unplug the switch from its cable and plug in the new switch.

In the case of the flashing red and green lights (which we had in the early days when learning the car), that is definitely the alarm being unhappy. One thing to check there is the battery in the infrared sender that is part of the key. Another thing -- my wife likes to get in the car and lock herself in before starting the engine. This is a no-no, the alarm is set by the locking of the doors so the car thinks you're trying to steal it.

Before I changed the switch, I got a new K40 relay from my dealer --the price has gone up to a little over $100, BTW. Since it did not fix the problem, they took it back, less 20%. I was surprised they were willing to do that, usually electrical parts that have been installed are non-returnable. But they know me so maybe they made an exception.

I took the old switch apart and found some dirty/corroded/burned contacts. I cleaned them and now have a spare switch.

Jeremy
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  #32  
Old 07-18-2008, 12:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeremy5848 View Post
Another thing -- my wife likes to get in the car and lock herself in before starting the engine. This is a no-no, the alarm is set by the locking of the doors so the car thinks you're trying to steal it.
Great info Jeremy.

Glad your fingers are healed!

Look forward to the DIY article.
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