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Don - Mo Lurch
Don - Mo Lurch, Mercedes Mechanic
Category: Mercedes
Satisfied Customers: 21045
Experience:  Heavy Line Mech-, Mobile Electronics. Sales, Installation & Repair for 30 years. R/S, etc.
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I have a 1988 260 e mercedes. Issue it with the ignition and

Customer Question

I have a 1988 260 e mercedes. Issue it with the ignition and door key. I have 2 keys and can have the issue with both, but both are old and probably worn. Sometimes the key will not turn the door lock or ignition. Yesterday key would turn to on but would not turn far enough to engage the starter. Eventually I pushed a bit harder and it finally worked,and I squirted some graphite in the ignition key hole and its worked all day yesterday. I have had similar issue with the doors. Question with the ignition is whether its the key, the lock mechanism, or the switch part. I can buy on new key lock cylinder and 2 keys for $25, which is what it will cost to ask this question, but I don't want to buy that if its the electrical switch part that is hanging up. (and all the trouble to change it). And what about the doors. With both door and ignition giving problems it might be the key, but it might be a bit strange that both keys give problems at times but they are both almost 30 years old. I bet it would cost tons to get new matching door and ignition locks from the dealer.
What is most likely the problem, the locks, the keys, or in the case of the ignition, the electrical switch. Sometimes the ignition will not turn at all, this last time it would turn part way but not engage the starter. In the past if I squirt the graphite in the hole it work for a while, but I think the interval is getting shorter.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mercedes
Expert:  Don - Mo Lurch replied 1 year ago.


sorry for the delay............
Greetings...... “Hi, I’m Don (aka MOLurch) and I look forward to helping you!”

Your description indicates worn Key & / or Cylinders
I am leaning towards worn Key
Prior to any parts, I would explain the same & have a Key made by Locksmith, rather than wal-mart, hardware store, etc.
It does not take much for a "tumbler" & "pins"to stick or not to be moved correctly by the Key.
Especially a worn key, as a worn key will change the raising & lowering of the "pins" inside the Cylinder.
Key would be the easiest & least expensive to try & confirm the issue.
Many times if a Locksmith makes a Key & "he" tries the key, he can usually pinpoint the issue
Locksmith can also "ReKey" or RePin the Locks & Ignition Switch to match, if you decide to change them out

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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Won't it cost a lot more than $25 to get a key make, and will a locksmith make this kind of key, I thought these kinds of key you have to get Mercedes dealer to make the key as they are not a regular key.
Expert:  Don - Mo Lurch replied 1 year ago.

Blank Keys are apprx 19.00
This depends on your Local Locksmith
You can find Blank Keys On-Line & have Locksmith cut
IF you are looking for a "25 dollar fix", & not figuring your labor, then I am not the one to give that answer..............

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Well, I thought to cut a key exactly like the original the factory had to do it . A locksmith will try and cut one that he can make work the lock right?Is the tumbler for the ignition hard to change? I have gotten that cover off before, if I get the plastic cover off the dash, will the tumbler be easy to change?
Expert:  Don - Mo Lurch replied 1 year ago.

It is a little tedious, if you have not done one.......
Here is Mercedes procedures
Click Attachment below

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thats good information. The part that might be the winner is they say use lube or greases. I have always used graphite. I might put some grease or light oil in there and that might take care of the problem. I should have looked on my W124 CD.
Expert:  Don - Mo Lurch replied 1 year ago.

I use "PB Blaster", in which I spray (very little) into the cylinder, then I spray the Key shank & insert key into cylinder a number of times


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
10-4, I have that or something similar.
Expert:  Don - Mo Lurch replied 1 year ago.

PB Blaster is much different than WD40 & other lubricants.

Hope that works for you