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  #1  
Old 12-03-2016, 03:00 AM
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Ml320 ignition problem,steering wheel won't lock,

My 2002 ml 320 went to the dealer.They claim the ignition switch,lock,and column need to be replaced.The steering wheel doesn't lock when the key is removed.The vehicle doesn't lock with key remote.The vehilcle beeps when key is removed until door is closed.The dealer claims fault 15 at the switch?They want 2,000 for repairs.Can I change the switch and steering lock/cylinder easily or an I needing a steering column as well.Thanks
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Old 12-03-2016, 08:43 AM
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Do you have a metal blade key or the smart key without a metal blade?

In either case, there is a real risk that the car will fail to restart so is is vital you do something soon. When this occurs, it will be a real problem to break the locking parts off to make repairs.

I doubt that the entire column needs replaced, do you have a detailed estimate that you can post?

If you have the smart key, I'd pull the lower dash covers and remove the electrical column locking device. This comes off my removing a 10 mm hex nut and pushing a bolt through the device. The bolt can only be pushed out when the column is unlocked. At least this way when the system goes 100 % fail you won't have to break things to make a repair.
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Old 12-03-2016, 02:08 PM
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97 sl320 I do have an estimate.The issue is I have a flip metal key.Id really like to replace the lock and tumbler and switch assembly.Is that possible is what your saying the assembly.c/S both keys are not locking.c/locking is inoperative with Remote only works inside vehicle.NO DTC 'S relegated to central locking.Sds displayed error 15c key in the ignition switch is malfunctioning.Checked switch status found that steering lock does not disengage.Ie does not lock wheel when key is out.Vehicle still thinks the key is in the ignition.Price to replace steering colum,+ignition lock+tumbler $2225
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Old 12-03-2016, 06:36 PM
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" The vehicle doesn't lock with key remote.The vehilcle beeps when key is removed until door is closed. "

With a metal key you have a system like my car unless there is some sort of hybrid system using a metal key and electronic lock I'm unaware of.

The remote not working might be because the system thinks that the key is still in the ignition and might not let you lock the doors by remote.

Your key fob has a RFID chip that the anti theft looks at and rewrites a new code every time the car is started.

The column lock mechanism on your car is strictly mechanical and located directly below the tumbler. I don't know why the dealer wants to change the entire column, that adds to the expense.

I'd probably take the tumbler / lock mechanism apart and see what is sticking / get parts from a salvage yard or dealer.
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Old 12-03-2016, 06:46 PM
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97sl320 I ran the dealer diagnostics.Its either the switch or the tumbler.My question is the tumbler making contacts with the switch.Examble turning to a position 1 then 2 then start.Then removing the key allows a mechanical lock to engage.All by rotation of the tumbler or does the tumbler engage the switch like a rotary switch.?Doesnt make sense if the wheel doesn't lock when rotated to off and the key removed allowing a pawl or lock tab to engage the steering lock.so it must be electrical to keep the wheel from locking would you agree?Since the wheel doesn't lock with the key removed and the switch off ?
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  #6  
Old 12-04-2016, 08:27 AM
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At least on my cars ( the SL320 and 97 C280 ) the column lock sets when the key is removed from the tumbler. I don't know where the key exist switch lives but suspect it is part of the actual ignition switch electrical portion.

Another thought, on my cars there is a cable that runs from the column lock to the brake pedal then a 2nd cable that runs from the brake pedal to the trans shifter interlock ( this plugs into the left rear of the trans, later cars didn't use this system and had an electric shifter lock. )

This cable locks the shifter but it also prevents key removal ( and column locking ) if the trans isn't in park and / or the brake pedal is pressed. With normal wear, my SL can now get a key removal with the trans in neutral, haven't checked if the column will lock or not.
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Old 12-04-2016, 12:43 PM
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97sl320 Interesting thought.On my ml 320 I had an issue with the vehicle not starting due to the shift lever and it caused issues.Put a bolt in there and since then no problem after adjusting trouble free for eitht years.Would the dealer know that or the code they have just pulled but would think they would have known that.I know they are trying to overcharge me and changing the steering column has nothing to do with this issue.Whats bugging me is why it thinks a key is in there when the transponder is supposed to recognize the key?Thats why I thought a contact was being made at the switch or tumbler making the switch.
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  #8  
Old 12-04-2016, 05:22 PM
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On my cars, the RFID transponder is strictly anti theft / engine computer enable and isn't tied to the key exist system / beeper. The transponder is only read when the key is in the run / start position. The key exist system is a mechanical switch. However, I haven't had your specific year / model of car apart so I can't say 100%.
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  #9  
Old 12-05-2016, 12:50 AM
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97sl320 I suspect the tumbler.Possible switch and will replace them this week.Dealer item for the tumbler.The steering column is out of the question I'm not replacing it.
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  #10  
Old 12-27-2016, 09:27 PM
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97sl320 I figured it out.I replaced the tumbler and switch no help.Realised the lock was not working as discussed lubercated lock Assembly spring the white sliding piece and now the steering locks and the alarm works.If one has to replace the lock assembly the steering wheel needs to come off and that's the only way I can see it being done.The pin that goes into the clam half on the colum is against the wheel.No way to get to the pin to remove the wheel must come off.Hopefully I won't have to replace it.
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