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Dan, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Mercedes
Satisfied Customers: 1686
Experience:  Auto Technician
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I have a 2007 Mercedes R350 that doesn't always start and

Customer Question

I have a 2007 Mercedes R350 that doesn't always start and won't go into any gear. I have figured out that when the key is in position 1 I can see the voltage, the buttons on the steering wheel work and the car looks as if it is in park. I turn it to position 2 and sometimes it starts, sometimes it does not. When it does start, the gear selector randomly flashes park selected and will not go into gear. The steering controls do not work nor do the wipers or blinkers. If I press the hazard lights the blinkers do work and if it is raining the wipers work but not using the controls on the steering column. I am wondering if this could be a short in the LIN bus or a ground issue. I have drove it and was able to take out fuse 111 (direct select) to get it into gear but that is no longer working. It has had water damage and the front and rear sams have been replaced but the symptoms are the same. The ECU has been sent out twice and it is working properly. Any insight to the issue would be greatly appreciated as we live hundreds of miles from a mercedes dealer with a star computer.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Mercedes
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I feel all the systems are working until I turn the key to position 2.
Expert:  Dan replied 10 months ago.

Hello my name is***** am an ASE Master Technician and I am glad to help you out with your question.

Expert:  Dan replied 10 months ago.

The most common problem for this is the electronic ignition switch. You will need to have the dealer perform this repair as the keys will need to be programmed.

Expert:  Dan replied 10 months ago.

electronic ignition control module

Remove/install xenon bulb ignition module - AR82.10-P-4633RT

MODEL 251 with CODE (615) Bi-xenon headlamp unit with integrated curve illumination up to model year 2011

Fig 1: Identifying Xenon Bulb Ignition Module Remove/Install Components

Courtesy of MERCEDES-BENZ USAView Full-Screen


Risk of death caused by contact with parts conducting high voltages.Do not touch parts which conduct high voltages. Persons who wear electronic implants (e.g. heart pacemakers) should never perform any work on the ignition systemAS15.10-Z-0001-01A

Risk of death caused by high voltage levels present at xenon headlamps.
Risk of explosion/fire hazard due to highly flammable substances in the area of damaged xenon bulbs
Risk of injury due to UV light, hot components on xenon headlamps and glass splinters when xenon bulbs burst
Risk of poisoning caused by inhalation of mercury vapors and by toxic salts and mercury compounds being ingested or coming into contact with skinDo not come into contact with parts that are under high voltage. Persons with active electronic implants (e.g. heart pacemakers) must never work on xenon headlamps. Switch off entire lighting system. Wear insulated safety shoes, safety glasses and protective gloves. Remove highly inflammable materials from the hazard area. Ensure sufficient ventilation in the working area.AS82.10-Z-0001-01A

1Switch off ignition and remove the transmitter key from the EZS control unit On vehicles with Keyless Go, code 889:
Press Keyless Go start/stop button repeatedly until the ignition is switched off. Remove transmitter key from vehicle and store it in a location beyond its transmission range (at least 2 m).

2Open engine hood AR88.40-P-1000RT

3Remove cover (1) from left front lamp unit (E1) and right front lamp unit (E2) Observe rotation direction information on the cover (1).

4Release xenon headlamp ignition module (E1n2, E2n2) by twisting it and remove Remove xenon headlamp ignition module with care, as the catch lugs can break.
Note direction of rotation information on the rear of the xenon headlamp ignition module.
The electrical connector (2) is disconnected automatically during removal.

5Check power supply contact points for corrosion If required, replace corroded parts.


6Fit xenon headlamp ignition module (E1n2, E2n2) and lock by twisting Observe installation position and direction of rotation information on the rear of the xenon headlamp ignition module.

7Connect electrical connector (2)

8Install cover (1) at left front lamp unit (E1) or right front lamp unit (E2) Check seal in the cover for damage and wear, replace if necessary.
Note direction of rotation information on the cover.

9Close engine hood

Expert:  Dan replied 10 months ago.

Please reply to this if you need more help and we can continue this conversation at no extra charge. This does not have to be my only answer. If you are satisfied with my service, please rate at the top of the screen. Rating does not close out your question. Remember, sometimes it is difficult to completely diagnose your vehicle without being there, but I will try to give you the best answer I can. Hoping to be giving you 5 star service.


Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Would that explain why it sometimes starts? And when it's running the wipers and blinkers don't work? Here's a video of the problem. I didn't show but in position 1 everything works correctly. I feel like it could be a ground.
Expert:  Dan replied 10 months ago.

Disconnect both battery cables (positive and negative) and clamp or use a jumper wire to hold them together, turn key to on position and let it sit for 10 minutes. Then turn ignition off and remove key, reconnect battery cables at a time, positive first then negative. This should reset the system.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
The key doesn't turn when the battery is disconnected
Expert:  Dan replied 10 months ago.

Its ok you can skip that step.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
No change. Also, there seems to be a battery draw.
Expert:  Dan replied 10 months ago.

Why do you think it has a battery draw?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
It goes down after hooked up for a few hours. It could be at 12.6 and the next morning it's at 11.8
Expert:  Dan replied 10 months ago.

You need a meter to check for a draw, on the negative side, hook ammeter up in series with the negative battery cable and measure the current draw. Low voltage could be causing your problem as well.

You will need to unplug fuses one at a time until the draw on the meter goes away.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I did it on the front fuse box and will do it on the rear one once I get back from work. I'll report back this afternoon. I've been fighting with this for longer than I care to admit. What system kicks in when the key goes to position 2? Seems odd the steering wheel controls work until that point.
Expert:  Dan replied 10 months ago.

Ok sounds good. Position 2 should be the same as the run position which turns on everything except the engine.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Hello. Still not finding the draw but was curious about the electronic ignition switch that is behind one of the headlights. Which light is it behind? Originally I thought you meant to take out the part you put the key in.
Expert:  Dan replied 10 months ago.

You need a dealer quality scan tool to diagnose this problem, the flashing gear shift indicator means there is a code stored and you will need a scan to get the codes.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Is my car supposed to have the ignition switch in the headlight area? I'm not seeing it. Also, can the steering wheel module cause the direct select not to work?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
How can you get this car in neutral? It needs to be towed to get it to a garage
Expert:  Dan replied 10 months ago.

You will need to remove the trim around the shifter, you can then use a small screwdriver to get the shifter into neutral.

Expert:  Dan replied 10 months ago.

Hello again Dan here,

I am contacting you because the post has not been closed or rated.

This question is coming up on 7 days which means it will time out and close.

You have already paid to get this question answered, but you have not rated.

Let me help some more. Is there anything else I can help you with?

If I did not give you 5 star service, please let me know what I missed.