Mercedes owners expect the longevity, durability, and performance associated with the Mercedes-Benz brand, and usually their vehicles deliver on all fronts. However, without proper maintenance and repair work, as time passes parts begin to wear out and malfunction, causing significant performance issues. One such issue that Mercedes drivers tend to experience over time is ignition lock and tumbler failure.
When a car’s ignition lock begins failing, it causes impairment to the vehicle’s ability to carry out drivers’ expectations, including the basic function of engine starting. This can be highly concerning to drivers; however, under certain circumstances, it isn’t uncommon to experience ignition lock failure in various Mercedes models. For instance, in older Mercedes cars, this problem is more common. In this article, we’ll go over what the ignition lock cylinder/tumbler do for your car, possible causes of failure, warning signs to look for, and how you can find help treating the problem.
What is the Ignition Lock Cylinder/Tumbler?
The ignition lock cylinder is comprised of the tumbler and key assembly that start your Mercedes. In newer Mercedes models, and most modern cars for that matter, keyless entries and starting are common, and often utilize a push-button start system. There are several different settings and functions that the ignition cylinder performs when a key is entered into the tumbler, including: providing power to the car’s accessory systems like the radio; providing power to the car’s ECU and other vital systems like the fuel and HVAC system; and powering the engine for starting. Therefore, it’s common to experience a range of symptoms associated with ignition lock failure.
Symptoms of Failure
It’s important to keep an eye out for troubling signs of malfunction in your Mercedes, especially to preserve its longevity and reliability over time. The most typical symptoms associated with ignition lock failure are the following:
Problems starting the car
As you might expect, if the key won’t turn to the last setting which starts the engine, you will likely encounter difficulty starting the car if the ignition lock is failing. This can be highly inconvenient for drivers, and should be treated immediately to avoid disruptions to your daily life.
Unable to smoothly put in and remove key
If you notice that your key is no longer able to smoothly enter and exit the ignition tumbler, then it might need to be serviced. As time goes by, small fragments and pieces of metal shave off of the key and into the ignition lock cylinder. It’s important to observe how this symptom progresses and bring it to your Mercedes specialist for inspection.
Potential Causes of Ignition Lock and Tumbler Failure
There are several different possible causes of ignition lock and tumbler failure, including physical obstructions that remain inside the cylinder or tumbler itself. However, in Mercedes vehicles, the most typical circumstance that contributes to ignition lock failure is normal wear and tear. As your car ages, it is normal for parts to require replacement. It’s most effective to preemptively replace such parts, including the ignition lock cylinder, to avoid the inconvenience and hassle of dealing with a car that won’t start.
To achieve the best results, you can adhere to the maintenance schedule designated for your specific car by the Mercedes manufacturer, and combine this strategy with ongoing care with expert opinions from trusted Mercedes specialists. It is essential to hire an automotive specialist who is familiar with the Mercedes brand, but who also is attuned to your driving habits and conditions to best assess your vehicle’s needs.
How We Can Help
Here at Green Garage, serving clients from the areas of Winter Park and Orlando, FL, we focus intently on providing a holistic approach to automotive care with an emphasized area of specialty in European import vehicles like Mercedes-Benz. We guarantee all of our work with a three-year warranty, and offer affordable rates for our community, because we believe that all drivers and cars deserve access to a high level of care and consistency. If you are having difficulty with your Mercedes’ ignition lock cylinder and/or tumbler, please schedule an inspection appointment online or contact us to directly with any questions you may have.