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  #1  
Old 06-10-2007, 04:01 PM
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Key Wont Turn In 93 400e

Is this a tumbler problem? They will unlock any entry point, so by logical deduction the key is still good, right? So it has to be a tumbler? Why after 13 years why the key all of a sudden not turn when in the ignition? has the anti-theft mechanism been activated??

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  #2  
Old 06-10-2007, 05:37 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: visalia ca
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the key and tumbler wear out. look closely at yer
key and youll see it worn. try another key. if not then
its time to replace the tumbler.

george
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  #3  
Old 06-10-2007, 06:08 PM
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dead battery??

I called benz roadside and they told me that its probly a dead battery.....so how can i test the battery if the key wont turn......the key looks find to me.....despite the fact that i have literally torn the key from the black rubber from turning the key so hard....i am turning the steering wheel so hard and turning the key but it wont go past zero position...........should i try getting a replacement key first at the dealer.....or just get a new tumbler.....
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  #4  
Old 06-10-2007, 08:33 PM
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The dead battery diagnosis sounds like a miscommunication of some sort. It's very likely the tumbler, and if it's not the tumbler you're about due for one anyway. They usually come with a new key. You have to order a new one with a dealer giving them your VIN and proof of ownershiop. Turnaround is ususally pretty good, a day or two, and it should be under $100.
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  #5  
Old 06-10-2007, 11:09 PM
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I absolutely concur with "deanyel". My ignition went out in '04 on my 92 400E. There is no warning it just freezes or perhaps those times when I thought that the wheel was off center and I held it to turn the key were warnings...hind sight is 20/20. But yeah, just go to the stealer and order the tumbler. May as well order a new one for your drivers door as well. Its probably not far behind...dont ask me how I know
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  #6  
Old 06-10-2007, 11:40 PM
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i will have to have the car towed to the dealer and have them replace the tumblers.....i do not know how to replace the tumblers and this mechanic who claims to be a benz technician wants to "cut" into my dashboard. that does not sound good so I guess I will let the dealer fix it......any idea on how much it would cost??
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  #7  
Old 06-11-2007, 12:00 AM
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frozen ignition tumblers

Do a search ...
The cost is so great that some people have attached a vibrator to the key to
try and turn it to the position necessary to remove the tumbler.
If you have more than one dealership nearby GET QUOTES on the PRICE FIRST!

The keys are steel and the tumblers aren't,so the tumblers wear first.

In any case get a new Key/Tumbler set from the stealer (The new key will
match all your other locks!)
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  #8  
Old 06-11-2007, 12:30 AM
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You said your key was worn too. Have you tried another key that hasn't been used as much, like your valet key?
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1993 400E, 256,000 miles (totaled)
1994 E420, 200,000+ miles
1995 E420, 201,000 miles
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  #9  
Old 06-11-2007, 02:26 AM
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the key looks fine to me....and there is no valet key......i have the only key.......so i am gonna attempt to just order a new key and try that...some say that a new key will work even in bad tumblers.......but if not...then i am looking at towing the car....then having all this work done........i am so upset and just want to take a hammer to the entire car......
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  #10  
Old 06-11-2007, 03:20 AM
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This happened to my wife last week. She called me and said the key would not turn. She knew about the common problem with MBs--if the steering wheel is putting pressure on the lock the key may not turn--and she said that she tried turning the wheel and starting it, to no avail.

I immediately thought it was due to recurring problems with my neutral safety switch, which is mounted on the shift linkage on the left side of the transmission, just above the oil pan (oil leaked into mine and it has malfunctioned in the past, which required that I blast it out with Wire Dryer). If the switch is malfunctioning, the car could think it's not in Park or Neutral and may not allow the key to turn. I asked her to release the parking brake and gently push the car forward and backward with the transmission still in park. I also asked her to try to move the shift lever. She did both and was able to start it. I'm not sure why this worked, but you may want to try it. I know how you feel about the hammer. We've all been there.
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1993 400E, 256,000 miles (totaled)
1994 E420, 200,000+ miles
1995 E420, 201,000 miles
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  #11  
Old 06-11-2007, 12:26 PM
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If you have to go to the dealership on this, they will need proof of ownership.
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1993 400E, 256,000 miles (totaled)
1994 E420, 200,000+ miles
1995 E420, 201,000 miles
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  #12  
Old 06-11-2007, 12:54 PM
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Cut into your dash!!!

No way man, that guy's been smoking hash!
Its not that difficult to replace the tumbler. the instructions I believe are her on the forum, or purchase a Bentley Book on the car. The car is 14 years old so it time to get physical with her now. The value on the 400E is low enough that taking the car to the dealer and paying top $$$ really does not good business sense...The job is a snap. You'll have to get a dremel to cut the ring off the tumbler because the key needs to be in position 1 in order for it to snap off....and since the key will not turn...catch 22. BTW the ring is ALMOST indestructible to all things except a dremmel. See past posts on this topic. My advice...Just Do it!....What have you got to loose. It takes about 5-10 minutes to get to the entire lock assy.30 min or so to set up , dremmel, moan , *****, and complain about who the #@%& design this thing this wayand then remove th old part. Then about another 30 to install the new part and package everything back up. If you order one, get two keys.....Not that you'll need one for the next time(14 more years, mine will be long retired) but it'd be good to have a spare in case of loss. Good luck
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  #13  
Old 06-11-2007, 12:59 PM
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Go read post #7

I use an orbital palm sander , but anything works.
A little pateience and a light touch..little wd helps too....

You always see the ones with everything but the kitchen sink on their key-ring with the worn tumblers.....too much weight hangin' there...

Last edited by Arthur Dalton; 06-11-2007 at 01:04 PM.
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  #14  
Old 06-12-2007, 01:03 AM
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i just had this same problem. time for a new tumbler. mb would never tell you its something to watch for, they make money on repacements and more when they are really worn. you are lucky the car is somewhere you can work on it. mine did this at home depot. i have heard the sander trick might work. i wasn't so lucky, ( although i did buy a sander and power inverter, no power source except the battery, to try that at the depot and returned it when it didnt work), i had mine towed to an indie and he did te entire replacement for a reasonable price. its nice to have work done at the stealer under warranty but hard to spend the money on a 13 year old car.
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  #15  
Old 06-12-2007, 08:27 AM
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I checked with Duval and they will not sell the tumbler over the Internet. They said you have to personally go to the dealer to show them proof of ownership. I now recall that I replaced my tumbler once about 7 years ago, but now that you've brought the problem to my attention, I think I'm going to do some preventative maintenance before I end up not being able to turn the key and get it out. If my dealer doesn't gouge me, it looks like a fairly cheap fix.

Good luck.

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1993 400E, 256,000 miles (totaled)
1994 E420, 200,000+ miles
1995 E420, 201,000 miles

Last edited by whunter; 06-17-2007 at 01:37 AM.
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