Electronic key not activating ignition

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robbiexmas, May 28, 8:44am
I have a Mercedes C200 and my electronic key isn't activating the ignition switch or steering lock.Have replaced the batteries but still won't budge.Any ideas out there PLEASE!

unclejake, May 28, 8:49am
Oh no. What year and what value is the car!

robbiexmas, May 28, 8:55am
1999 and to me priceless. at present worthless.

unclejake, May 28, 8:57am
I hope I am wrong, but I expect it is the ignition module. To fix it the steering lock will need to be smashed off, the ignition barrel and electronic module replaced and a new key provided.

The key and module will need to be coded in Germany.

It is a $1,900 fix (plus towing) and there is no way to move the car to Mercedes except on a truck.

As said: I hope I am wrong.

grangies, May 28, 9:03am

Sounds like a good anti theft mechanism.

robbiexmas, May 28, 9:03am
Hmmmm I'd like to thank you that bit of info!Was given that sort of quote from the Merc dealer.My partner is a mechanic (unfortunately gave up early into the electronic era), he managed to correctly diagnose the airflow sensor and we got one off Trade Me that he put in.But does it really look like this one is beyond his magic wand!

robbiexmas, May 28, 9:05am
Yep grangies don't buy a car with an electronic key!

grangies, May 28, 9:06am
It will be a dashboard and locksmith job.

unclejake, May 28, 9:06am
If, and only if, my diagnosis is correct then there is little to be gained from doing the work yourselves. The money is largely in the parts, and the Mercedes anti theft stuff is so 'secure' that there is no way that I know of to bypass the systems. You are forced to work with genuine Mercedes parts and German coding done specifically for you.

I asked the value of the car for a reason. Not every vehicle is worth spending $2k on, but that decision is yours of course.

Good luck

robbiexmas, May 28, 9:09am
No it's not worth spending that.Thanks for your help unclejake.Looks like I can't even put it on the side of the road for someone to nick!I gotta laugh or I'll cry.

grangies, May 28, 9:10am
Dashboard, as in.

Someone who is good at removing small parts, then putting them back together.

Doesn't have to be a dashboard.

unclejake, May 28, 9:14am
Bet it doesn't (LOL)

sr2, May 28, 9:16am
Good point. (Bob is worth listening to when it comes to Kraut).

johnf_456, May 28, 9:19am
Second the car battery as above.

unclejake, May 28, 9:19am
I sincerely hope you are right Bob. A $300 calcium battery would be cheap! (comparatively)

carmedic, May 28, 9:35am
I second Bobs educated guess of the car battery. The key will NOT turn without power, it works on a transponder that requires power like a traditional blade key.
Have you had the battery disconnected by chance!
The batteries in the key have nothing to do with starting the car they simply power the remote central locking, it should start without them.
Check the car battery first.

unclejake, May 28, 9:38am
Now I know how John feels when everyone is ganging up on him and calling him names (such as John)

You guys are ruthless!

robbiexmas, May 28, 9:47am
You're right unclejake it doesn't.Of course the first thing we did was disconnected and reconnected the battery to perchance reset the computer.We even tested the battery (even though it is relatively new).

unclejake, May 28, 10:07am
^ The problem in the E cars can be intermittent. I assume the C class is the same hardware.

I bet that guy who was praising the lord, was cursing the motherland again within a few months when the key didn't turn for him one rainy night in Georgia

unclejake, May 28, 10:17am
I bet a lot of folk have praised Bob1120 too.

Anyway, you know more about Euros than most of us so let's hope Robbiexmas can get a jumperpack onto that Merc and that the ignition comes right.

Fan blower controls, automatic gearboxes and ignition faults are the death of these mid-late 90s Mercs.

carmedic, May 28, 10:21am
While I agree it could be a ???smart??

sr2, May 28, 11:06am
I stand not only corrected but overawed by UJ??

jason18, May 28, 3:05pm

robbiexmas, May 28, 8:11pm
Finally this morning checked out this liink.I'm quite new to this message board thing.Now I know what you guys are all on about.Will try this and see what happens - got nothing to lose!Thanks guys youi've been a big help.

bigfatmat1, May 28, 8:57pm
I fixed a c class a few years ago with the plastic key. It was fairly new ign lock had failed similiar symptoms couldnt turn key new ign lock $2400 new key $1400 some dude flew in from austrailia to site proof of ownership and program it. This failed after I had replaced dash and airbag componants.