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Old 12-31-1999, 04:30 PM
Joe Monshade
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My regular mechanic is out of town for a time and my '85 190E developed some weird problems (simultaneously). The ignition key became difficult to engage and turn to start. Now as I drive over any period of time, the car completely stalls. After a few minutes, it would start again (I still had to jiggle the key to get the ignition lock to turn), and I could get home. Last night it stalled and now won't start. A roadside assistance tech told me it was some anti-theft function in the switch and I would need a new switch. Is this a common thing?

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Old 01-01-2000, 10:52 AM
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Tucker, Ga USA
Posts: 12,153
W201 ignition lock/switch failures are very common. Possibly the shutting off is related to that failure, but sounds like a bad fuel pump relay. Start by having the lock replaced to see if both problems are resolved.
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Old 01-03-2000, 10:43 PM
Joe Monshade
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Thanks for the infor about the fuel pump relay...I jumped a couple of pins and heard the pump click on. I got inside and jiggled the key and glory be, she started!

Now for follow up on the ignition. According to my observations, I have three parts: 1. The actual ignition lock with key, 2. The steering lock (mechanical portion), and 3. The ignition switch (electrical portion). Who goes first, or do I replace all three? What should be the sequence of repairs? (note I keep the wheel out of the locked position to keep the column from totally locking beyond return).

Second question. How difficult is the replacement job for the whole works? I have a Haynes manual and it doesn't look to hairy. What are the cautions and tips? Thanks again for your help.

1985 190E
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Old 01-13-2003, 03:24 AM
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No special tips needed.

If you have the Haynes manual, you are 90% on your way, just need to get a new ignition key barrel and fabricate the sort of prong as indicated in the manual.

I had the same experience (as far as jiggling the keys is concerned) with the ignition key switch barrel. Bought a new barrel and tried to replace it myself (as per Haynes' instructions). However, in my case, I was a little unlucky in that the retaining clip for the barrel at the back broke off so no matter how hard I tried (45 mins), the barrel would not dislodge with the prong and key trick.

Sent Babybenz to the mechs and even they took an hour before getting it out (20 bucks labour) but I believe it should not be a problem if the barrel retainer clip is still intact at the back.

No worries!


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