Key not turning in the ignition

Scott Brady

Founder
On my G320 463, we have had our first issue. Yesterday, Stephanie was stranded when the key would insert into the ignition, but not turn to the accessory, run or start positions. With a little research, I was able to get the car started by tapping on the ignition barrel and free the tumbler. Is this something that can be cured with a little lock lubricant, or should the entire ignition barrel be replaced?

Just glad it did not happen on the trail! Any advice would be appreciated.
 

Layonnn

Adventurer
On my G320 463, we have had our first issue. Yesterday, Stephanie was stranded when the key would insert into the ignition, but not turn to the accessory, run or start positions. With a little research, I was able to get the car started by tapping on the ignition barrel and free the tumbler. Is this something that can be cured with a little lock lubricant, or should the entire ignition barrel be replaced?

Just glad it did not happen on the trail! Any advice would be appreciated.
someone with an FJ had a issue sort of like this, turned out something in the tumbler broke and the whole thing needed to be replaced (of course ruling out the obvious steering wheel locking the ignition)
 

datrupr

Expedition Leader
This just happened to me in my Altima a couple pf weeks ago. I was getting mad as the key would not turn. I lowered the steering wheel, raised it again, and then the key turned just fine. Have not had an issue since. I don't know. Wish I could help you more.
 

goodtimes

Expedition Poseur
Scott,

I'd start with some graphite. It will cost you a buck or two, and take a whole minute of your time. But, you will never know 'for sure' unless you replace the whole thing.

How comfortable is Stephanie with the "tap on the cylinder" thing?

Also, you might want to check to be sure that there are no large screwdrivers hidden inside the G-wagon...:elkgrin:
 

Scott Brady

Founder
Yeah, at first I thought she had just locked the steering wheel, or just needed to depress the brake pedal, etc.

It is certainly something in the cylinder. I will try the graphite.
 

BKCowGod

Automotive ADHD is fun!
One thing the old Mercedes hate (according to my old Benz mechanic) is worn out keys. He was very adamant about always using fresh new steel keys with as few things hanging from the keychain as possible. Unfortunately this is one of the only weak points on this era of Benz.

Graphite will clean up the tumblers, and then removing excess from the keychain and making sure the key isn't worn will keep things going as long as possible.

EDIT: Meant to put steel... this is what happens when I post before I wake up fully.
 
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Fernweh

Supporting Sponsor
Scott,

the original Mercedes-Benz keys are steel keys, which do not wear as the brass keys do.

My locksmith in Germany can cut new keys from an original Mercedes steel blank using the VIN number. With that number he can get the key number from the dealership (if you do not have the Key number) - if it still the original lock.

Then he can cut the key using his computer software and gets a perfect fitting new key.



 

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39Ronin

Adventurer
One of the keys wore or bent for one of my cars once and I cut a new one and it stopped locking up after that. Did you try another key yet?
 

Martyn

Supporting Sponsor, Overland Certified OC0018
Scott,

I'd start with some graphite. It will cost you a buck or two, and take a whole minute of your time. But, you will never know 'for sure' unless you replace the whole thing.

How comfortable is Stephanie with the "tap on the cylinder" thing?

Also, you might want to check to be sure that there are no large screwdrivers hidden inside the G-wagon...:elkgrin:
Yeah, it's the large screwdriver that's to blame.
 

Scott Brady

Founder
I added the graphite to the cylinder, and the unit seems to be working well. I will now start looking into the process of replacing it :Wow1:
 

kerry

Expedition Leader
I drive MB 123's. The rule on those is that if the key stops working once, remove the tumbler and replace it ASAP. In fact, most people who know, won't even remove the key until the tumbler is out. The key needs to turn in order to remove the tumbler. Once they stop turning, there are typically only a few turns left in the tumbler. If it doesn't turn, it is expensive and tedious to replace the tumbler. This may not apply to the G-Wagon but it's worth investigating.
 

elcoyote

Supporting Sponsor, Overland Certified OC0004
FWIW if the interlock relay that is activated when the vehicle is in Park is shot, it will prevent the key from being turned.
 

pagoda

New member
Known weakness on the pre-2000 G's. Do replace the wheel lock (not the ignition barrel itself) asap, or if will soon terminally fail (ask me how I know).

Fair amount of knowledge on the issue here:

http://www.benzworld.org/forums/search.php?searchid=4429119

see as well these threads:

http://www.benzworld.org/forums/g-class/1216192-ignition-lock.html

http://www.benzworld.org/forums/g-class/1257559-my-2000g-steering-wheel-stocked.html

http://www.benzworld.org/forums/g-class/1246968-2000-g500-key-wont-turn-ignition.html

Cheers, Ennio
 
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