A good customer of mine dropped off his 204 Chassis Mercedes-Benz C-Class. The concern was a no crank no start condition. The owner stated that there was a message in the cluster that stated “Remove Key”.
We had a laugh due to the fact that we did not want to remove the key. We just wanted it to start.
A vehicle scan revealed faults in the electronic ignition switch (EIS) stating that there was no communication from the electronic steering lock (ESL).
A25408 The electric steering lock has a malfunction. There is a signal fault or the message is faulty.
A25464 The electric steering lock has a malfunction. There is an implausible signal.
Having seen this before, we ordered the ESL and appropriate workshop keys from the dealer. I did warn the client that sometimes the EIS can become corrupt from the failed ESL. This was to prepare them for the possible extra parts that may have been needed. I put the rest of this in the hands of my technician. Sometimes if you are lucky, you can bounce the steering wheel off the lock and start the car. The shock may or may not unlock the ESL and allow the vehicle to be started. With the vehicle running and the steering column unlocked, the job is much easier. We had no such luck with this vehicle.
Since we find it easier to work with the steering column removed, we removed it and we mounted the column in a vise. I like to use a Snap-On bur bit and a die grinder, it removes the bolt easily. Once the bolt is cut, the ESL can be removed.
We put the steering column back in the car and inserted our workshop key. The LED on the workshop key is supposed to light up for about 10 seconds, then go out. This one lit up for a second and then went out. The tech tried the key and was faced with the message…”Remove Key”! This was not the first time that an EIS would have been compromised so the tech was ready to order one and lucky for me, I prepared the customer for this.
Before we ordered the EIS we looked at the operating status of the EIS/ESL. What we saw was a little different. The ESL has a few things that need to happen, Transport Protection, Activation, Personalized, all of these need a check in the yes column to move forward. We only had one. Usually when the EIS is corrupt, it will not let any information get to the ESL but we had something. So instead of grabbing an EIS we asked for another workshop key. The dealer was a little sore about it but gave us another one for an exchange of cash. I am writing to tell you that if I did not see this with my own eyes, I would not have believed it. This car took 6 workshop keys to complete the process, unheard of. It was up to me to inform the vehicle owner of why we needed to keep ordering keys but at least an EIS was not ordered only to get the same result. Remember, check scan data and don’t hesitate to call Farsight for guidance before making an expensive parts call.