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  #1  
Old 04-03-2020, 09:57 PM
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W210 ignition switch

I have a beater 01 E320 I am trying to figure out what I want to do with. It has 280k miles, has bad paint, and little body damage on one corner at the rear, but seems to run and drive pretty good. I am trying to decide if it is worth putting any time and effort into or not. One issue it has is the electronic ignition switch is flaky. If you put the key in and go to start it, it usually will not start if you turn the key. If you sort of push the key to the right and jiggle it, car starts. Once running, if the key gets jiggled again the blower motor and cruise control (for example) drop out. If you jiggle the key again you can get fan to come back on. Seems like an electrical contacts in the switch are bad or something. Can the module be repaired? I have another E320 parts car in the back. Can I swap the ignition module out and if so, what other modules need to be transplanted with it? May or may not be worth messing with on this car.

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  #2  
Old 04-03-2020, 10:23 PM
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As a point if reference, these are the parts you would have to transplant:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/MERCEDES-W208-W210-01-02-E430-CLK430-IGNITION-SWITCH-KEY-EIS-ECU-ESL-SET/153870049592?hash=item23d35ea138:g:cQsAAOSwDwNecuOi

I am unclear about the wiggling switch situation.

One issue if you switch the parts: If you ever need a new key, the dealer makes them to the VIN# and you need the title. Otherwise you can send the EIS to someone on eBay and they can make a key.

You need a special tool to remove the EIS.

As far as fixing the one you have that's about $1500 if the dealer does it (or more). Maybe someone on eBay could repair it but I never heard of that exact symptom. You could inquire with Home (US) | BBA Reman

Good luck
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1998 C230 330,000 miles (currently dead of second failed EIS, yours will fail too, turning you into the dealer's personal human cash machine)
1988 F150 144,000 miles (leaks all the colors of the rainbow)
Previous stars: 1981 Brava 210,000 miles, 1978 128 150,000 miles, 1977 B200 Van 175,000 miles, 1972 Vega (great, if rusty, car), 1972 Celica, 1986.5 Supra
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  #3  
Old 04-03-2020, 10:58 PM
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By wiggling I mean you push the key itself slightly to the right or left in the key socket when the key is in the run position. It is like it is not making good contact, or something within the assembly is not making good contact. I have never seen anything like it.
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  #4  
Old 04-03-2020, 11:01 PM
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For what reasons do you think the switch started malfunctioning? Anything specific?
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  #5  
Old 04-03-2020, 11:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skid Row Joe View Post
For what reasons do you think the switch started malfunctioning? Anything specific?

No idea, I just acquired the car. It may end up being a parts car. It acts like the old fashioned 123/124/126 ignition switches that have the electrical portion needing to be replaced due to bad contacts in the switch.
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  #6  
Old 04-03-2020, 11:18 PM
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It never hurts to try to clean the lenses on both the key and the switch. High milers can get pretty crudded up if nobody has ever cleaned them.
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  #7  
Old 04-03-2020, 11:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MB140300SD View Post
No idea, I just acquired the car. It may end up being a parts car. It acts like the old fashioned 123/124/126 ignition switches that have the electrical portion needing to be replaced due to bad contacts in the switch.
Reason I ask is my brother now owns my bought new '99 E300. Last time I saw the car, he had all kinds of stuff extra (weight) hanging from the ignition key ring. I told him that extra weight cr@p couldn't be good for the switch assy. He just blew off my advise..... What are you gonna do....
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  #8  
Old 04-03-2020, 11:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by duxthe1 View Post
It never hurts to try to clean the lenses on both the key and the switch. High milers can get pretty crudded up if nobody has ever cleaned them.

I thought about that. I will probably do that first.
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  #9  
Old 04-03-2020, 11:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skid Row Joe View Post
Reason I ask is my brother now owns my bought new '99 E300. Last time I saw the car, he had all kinds of stuff extra (weight) hanging from the ignition key ring. I told him that extra weight cr@p couldn't be good for the switch assy. He just blew off my advise..... What are you gonna do....

Yes, that has always been my point of view. I know that was the case with the old ignition tumblers. Probably the same case with these.
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  #10  
Old 04-04-2020, 02:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MB140300SD View Post
Yes, that has always been my point of view. I know that was the case with the old ignition tumblers. Probably the same case with these.
FYI: There's an ad with two or three W210s as parts cars parting out in For Sale / Wanted section here. I wonder if it'd be a nightmare matching up the computer stuff in the car to a new switch assy?
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  #11  
Old 04-04-2020, 04:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skid Row Joe View Post
I wonder if it'd be a nightmare matching up the computer stuff in the car to a new switch assy?
I don't know if the dealer can even do that. The security aspects of the system are extremely overdesigned (IMHO) so that you can end up with anomalous failures (according to dealer tech I talked to when I got mine fixed the first time). As I stated before (ebay listing) you need to transplant the following all together:

ECU (must match car model and engine)
EIS
Keys
ESL

The dealer can sell you a new EIS and code it but you may need new keys also based on the age. For the record I never heard of the symptom you state, only the usual "car won't start". I was unaware the EIS even switched power in the way you are describing. However I have one here and it does have 4 large "Faston" type connectors which at first I assumed were standard 1/4" but are actually about 7mm wide. You could try removing it and taking it apart and cleaning whatever you find inside that looks like a contact (if any). It is a bit of work to remove it. You need a special tool to unscrew the trim ring, then there are about 4 different connectors on it and a fiber optic light connection. That would be the first thing I would try since everything else is a lot more work and money.
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1998 C230 330,000 miles (currently dead of second failed EIS, yours will fail too, turning you into the dealer's personal human cash machine)
1988 F150 144,000 miles (leaks all the colors of the rainbow)
Previous stars: 1981 Brava 210,000 miles, 1978 128 150,000 miles, 1977 B200 Van 175,000 miles, 1972 Vega (great, if rusty, car), 1972 Celica, 1986.5 Supra
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  #12  
Old 04-04-2020, 09:13 PM
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I think what I need to do is shoot a short video of it to demonstrate the issue. I have never seen or heard of anything like it either.
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  #13  
Old 04-06-2020, 11:19 AM
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the EIS is not your old fashioned key switch. If its working by jiggling, there are some broken solders inside - and you will lose the car while driving (very dangerous)

You cannot swap the EIS with another car on a W210 as its the gateway for the can-bus network. To make a new EIS work, it needs to be virginised first then written to the car with its original build code and key hashes.

However there is an ebay user refurbishing EIS but is in canada, they ask for your working key and EIS to be sent to them - they repair it and send it back to you.

Removing the EIS doesnt always require the special tool - you can use a silicone rubber pad that is used to open tight jam/marmalade jars on the face of the chrome beauty ring around the key receptacle to unscrew it.
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  #14  
Old 04-06-2020, 08:42 PM
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It is not even really a wiggling of the key, just a slight side to side movement of the key within its socket. I tried shooting a video of it yesterday but as soon as I stuck the key in it started right up everytime. Today I had the SDS hooked up to it and if I moved the key slightly from side to side just a fraction of an inch I would get the communication error to the MUX. In other words it seems like it is dropping power to certain systems. The PO said it would drop out the ACC fan, cruise control, and also the diagnostic port it seems. Car never dies though while driving. I will try again to get a video.
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  #15  
Old 04-07-2020, 12:24 AM
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There are about 4 connectors on it. I suppose one of them might be loose, though they are usually on there very good. Maybe someone was under there and something happened...

I used a eBay rapair guy in Canada to repair mine and he was a crook and liar. Took my money and didn't fix it. And at that time anyway eBay had an exemption to their guarantee regarding repairs. Even though the listing said "Guaranteed" all over it. You had to click through to 3 different pages to finally find where they said repairs are not covered by the warranty. So I lost $250 to that thief. Not saying it is the same guy but the guy you want is a guy in California. I probably have his name somewhere. However, once he fixes it you can only get new keys from him and not the dealer. He "does something" to it...

__________________
1998 C230 330,000 miles (currently dead of second failed EIS, yours will fail too, turning you into the dealer's personal human cash machine)
1988 F150 144,000 miles (leaks all the colors of the rainbow)
Previous stars: 1981 Brava 210,000 miles, 1978 128 150,000 miles, 1977 B200 Van 175,000 miles, 1972 Vega (great, if rusty, car), 1972 Celica, 1986.5 Supra
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