Have Mercedes Questions? Ask a Mechanic for Answers ASAP
Hello and welcome to JustAnswer
to clarify neither of the keys will turn when inserted into the ignition AND neither of the remotes will lock or unlock the doors?
yes thats correct
unfortunately, this is not great news. You are most likely in need of replacing a component called an "EIS" or electronic ignition switch, it is a black box that sits behind your dash panel that the keys plug into.
do you hear a slight "clicking" or actuating noise when you insert a key into the ignition?
you'll have to be fairly quiet to attempt to hear it
it will just be one click/actuation, not like a racheting or repeating noise
no nothing happens
the EIS is most likely electronically faulty, you will need an advanced mercedes diagnostic computer to verify, and even if you tested it yourself, you would also need to order the part from the dealer and use the same computer to code the component after replacement
the other likely option would be a part called a "steering lock", but a faulty steering lock would usually not diasable the lock/unlock feature
and also the noise is more likely to still be present with a failed steering lock
this morning i tried to turn it on and on the dash it said abs and also it said somrthing about S.O.S and it turned off right away so i couldnt read what it said
interesting, AND a goos sign
after that it just died
the combination of sos ( on-star type system) and abs light leads to a low voltage issue
MUCH better than having a faulty EIS
i pressed the sos button and nothing
do you have access to a second vehicle and a set of jumper cables? we are more likely dealing with a faulty battery or alternator at this point
the sos button is probably not activated on your car and that is not a huge concern, they changed formats on the system, and if you werent paying for the subscription, and didnt install the modification kit, your system will no longer function
the light on the car work
very bright, or slightly dim? check horn function WHILE the lights are on, check for either to seem weak
the radio also turns on
that is odd. both of these issues started at same time? the abs/sos light and the not starting?
the EIS requires very little power to engage the steering lock and allow you to turn the key in the ignition, if the radio turns on, you can usually turn the key, but just wont be able to actuate the starter
i highly recommend installing jumper cables and rechecking operation. computers can act very erratically with low power voltages
even if all the lights work?
that would allow us to rule out electrical power supply
they are not dim or anything like that
without it, we are guesing at either electrical power supply, or faulty eis
if the vehicle operates exactly the same after installing jumper cables, we know we have an issue with the EIS or a key, and since we have two keys, it is much more likely to be a faulty EIS, than two faulty keys at the same time
how much does that kind of repair cost? do you know?
i can get you an estimate for a replacement EIS, it will vary by a few hundred dollars depending on your dealer location
im located in san jose california
do you think you can get an estimate around here?
I would expect to pay about $580 for the EIS replacement, some dealers will require you to purchase a new key with the EIS. a replacement key would run an additional $190. There will also be a "green key" charge that is used to code your EIS, this green key charge will be refunded after the repair is completed, and some dealers wont even put it on the invoice.
you may expect to pay an additional hour or so of diagnosis ( usually at about $130/hr) depending on how nice the dealer feels
do you know if labor is included in that price?
on the $580
that price should include labor, the EIS itself costs around $300, depending on dealer markup
dealers have 100% control over their own pricing, they can technically charge whatever they want
at the san diego dealer i worked in our parts department had a 200% markup across the board, because they could due to location
eis _ diag _ key, i would be expecting to pay in the $800-$1000 range.
so do you think i should try the jumper cables first?
thats kind of why we want to be REALLY sure your problem isnt a simple charging system problem
definitely, try the jumper cables and let me know what happened here and i will continue to help you out
and if that doesnt work then its going to be the EIS?
most likely an EIS, much less likely a faulty key ( and you have two keys that arent working, making it even less likely), and unlikely but possibly a steering lock
a diagnostic scanner would need to be installed on the vehicle to check for input and output signals going into and coming out of the EIS before condeming it 100%
a dealer quality scanner, not a cheapy from autozone or similart
I'll try the jumper cables right now and I'll get back to you in about 30-40 min
ok, ill be eating dinner soon, if i dont respond immediately please be patient and I will hurry back as soon as I can
talk to you soon, good luck
im going to reply again, so that I get e-mailed after you reply again.
so as soon as i turned the key it turned but on the dash the message said "teleaid sos visit workshop" and all the lights where on
did the vehicle start?
this is fairly inconclusive, but leads us back towards the problem being a battery or an alternator, seeing as how the vehicle gained operation with jumper cables installed
did you have the other vehicle running for a few minutes while attempting to start the mercedes?
no this was before i connected the cables
and what happened AFTER you put the cables on?
nothing at all
key would not turn in the ignition again?
do you have access to a volt meter?
yea it wouldnt go again
the windows came down but didnt go back up
like when you open the door
i recommend having the battery and charging system checked, it is likely you have a faulty battery/alternator/or wiring issue that can be repaired for much cheaper than an EIS issue
we're getting inconsistent results
do you get your vehicle serviced by the dealer? if so you have coverage from MBUSA roadside assistance
or, were you the original owner of the vehicle
so what does the tele aid message mean? if i dont have the sos service?
more than likely it is just triggered by low voltage in the system
no there was one previous
"tele aid" and your "sos" system cannot prevent the vehicle from starting
but they store faults whenever the system is low on voltage and the instrument cluster will cycle through displaying those faults to you until the low voltage issue is repaired and the codes are cleared.
alright so im just going to take it to the dealer tomorrow and have them check it out
thank you for your advice
ask them to check the battery and alternator for low voltage issues
and then if voltage is found to be good with a meter, ask them to inspect your eis
ok will do
you are very welcome, if any other questions pop up feel free to return to here and let me know
bring both of your keys with you, they will want both
ok do you know if there is an extra charge for them to inspect the eis?
more than likely you could get them to inspect your battery in the service drive for free, but they will almost guaranteed charge you diagnosis to inspect the EIS
does your dealer have a section up front by the service advisors where they will top off fluids and put air in your tires?
yes they do
that is where you will want to start to try to get them to look at your battery for no charge, the techs in that area are unlikely to be willing to look at your EIS for you though
oh ok thank you
you are very welcome