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Old 11-29-2002, 12:46 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 71
Help - Stuck C280 ignition lock

Hi All, I have a 94 C280 with 55K on the clock. Yesterday, all of a sudden the ignition key will not turn. It actually turns a 1/8" but then hits a hard stop. The steering wheel originally wasn't locked and unloading the steering wheel against the lock now does not help. When I pull the key out a little it will not even turn the 1/8" so I am thinking that it is not the tumblers, but a failure in the steering lock mechanism. Since I can't turn the key to the assessory position, I believe the only solution is to driil the lock out. Should I attempt to do this myself? Any special tools or bits that are needed? Thanks in advance.
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Old 11-29-2002, 02:05 PM
it leaks, its german
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: raleigh nc
Posts: 1,111
Sounds like the tumbler locked up. Take a pair of nedlenose vise grips, lube the cly, clamp the key and start shakin, twisting and so on, just dont break the key off. Once you get it to turn, remove the cly. I've gotten all but one to turn with this method.

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Old 11-29-2002, 08:52 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 71
Thanks for the advice Joe, but unfortunately for me...I have that "one" car. I just spent a frustrating hour fiddling with this thing and I think the only thing I can do is tow the car to the dealer. The key really hasn't moved much more even with the additional force provided by the visegrips. The plastic is now breaking away from the metal key portion, so there was significant force used. Again with the key it turns about 1/8" to a 1/4" and when I use my other cars key it doesn't turn at all. So this eliminates the soon to be destroyed tumblers as the culprit. The electrical part of the switch is full of plastic parts so I think something would have given if it was binding there. That leaves the steering lock assembly, athough, I really can't think of any parts that could cause this "lock". My only thought is that a metal part broke somewhere and the loose piece is now lodged in the outer lock assembly and is blocking the travel. The long and short of it is that a drill and a tow truck are in this car's future. Just a note, on my 190e there where two holes which a release tool was used to extract the lock cylinder, I don't see any in this car...does the black sheild unlock when the key is turned? Just curious.
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Old 12-06-2002, 02:48 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 71
Well, I just got the car back from the dealer and I am $800 lighter in the wallet. They had to change everything as cutting the lock housing pretty much destroyed all the other parts. Interesting enough they did not cut the tumbler at all...the cuts were made to the rear of the steering wheel lock assembly. Even with the assembly cut up...the key still will not turn. A really tough lock in my book. Anyway, at least I have one additional master key now.
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