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My Key Will Not Turn in an E320

Updated April 17, 2017

You are running late for an appointment or meeting and jump into your Mercedes-Benz E320. You place the key in the ignition and it does not turn. The car will not start. You try removing the key from the ignition and putting it back in. The key still will not turn. What on earth could be the problem? The answer is that you have a locked steering wheel, a malfunctioning key or a malfunctioning ignition switch.

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  1. Wiggle the steering wheel while turning the key. If there is pressure on the steering wheel that holds it on the lock pin, the key will not turn. A locked steering wheel is not the source of the problem if the steering wheel turns but the key still does not turn.

  2. Start the car with a spare key. If the spare key works but the main key does not, you obviously have a bad main key. A replacement key for the E320 costs around £130 as of January 2011. You will need a valid registration and title to complete the purchase.

  3. Place the key in the ignition and listen for a clicking noise. If both the spare key and the main key fail to turn, and you hear a clicking noise when you insert the key into the ignition, you most likely have a bad ignition switch. Visit a Mercedes-Benz dealership or a repair shop to confirm this diagnosis. A new ignition switch for the E320 will run you about £650 as of January 2011.

  4. Warning

    Don't exert too much force in attempting to turn the key because you could damage the key or ignition.

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About the Author

Originally from the Caribbean, raised in New York City, and now based in Orlando, Florida, Terry Walcott has spent over 20 years performing analysis and writing on issues relating to antitrust and other complex legal matters. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Columbia University and a Juris Doctor degree from Harvard Law School.

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