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Old 03-02-2017, 11:37 PM
WakonTonka's Avatar
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Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 2
Transmission-Ignition Key Removal issue

1999 ML-320: Ok, so I replaced both motor mounts & the transmission mount by jacking up the motor and transmission. Went pretty smoothly except that now, when I shift into park, the interlock that releases the key for removal from the steering column is not a sure thing. If I park on a small slope and shift to park then release the brake, when the car rolls a few inches a audible click usually occurs and the key is able to be removed. I have learned not to kill the engine until I get "the release" as a restart is not possible (of course).

Can anybody provide an exploded view of the interlock components or any guidance to what I might have broken/bent?

Sure would be nice to have some idea of what is going on in there before I screw it up more, er, try to fix it.

EDIT: forgot to add this - my buddy helping me, forcefully yanked it out of park while on his lift... What would break/bend when this is done?

Last edited by WakonTonka; 03-03-2017 at 12:51 AM. Reason: added last line
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Old 03-03-2017, 06:10 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 7,166
A couple of things.

If you are not applying the parking brake, you are a hazard to others. Transmission " Park " is a backup mechanism to the parking brake. Relying on park alone results in worn shifter linkages and eventually park not engaging allowing the car to roll away.

If you are using the parking brake, thanks. With the mounts being changed, the shift linkage probably needs to be adjusted since the engine / trans is not at a different height than before.

If this has the system that dates back to 97, there is a cable that runs from the ig lock to brake pedal and a 2nd cable from the pedal to trans. This prevents key removal if your foot is on the brake, provides a shift interlock when ig is off and forces the driver to apply the foot brake to get out of park. ( For the brake / shift lock, you can thank drivers that miss apply pedals then blame the car for it running away RE Audi 5000. )

If the shifter is properly adjusted, the linkage in the trans is likely damaged.
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Old 03-05-2017, 02:06 PM
WakonTonka's Avatar
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Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 2
Thanks for your response! I do always use the parking brake. When my buddy pulled it out of park, it was up on his lift, the car was not running and it was chocked, we were moving it a few inches to give clearance from the lift mounted equipment. He did it without warning!

Anyway, I will get at this asap and use your input to guide the investigation. Thanks again
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