• Car Starting Problems
  • Mercedes-Benz M-Class
  • Grand Am SE
  • Snow and Ice

Can the key prevent an ML320 from starting?

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Answered 2006-08-24 23:47:01

Apparently so. After a few techies at my MB USA dealership guessed at why the engine cranks but never fully starts an engineer from the blue guessed that my key was the cause. Even though the key was synchronized with the car's computer, it still wasn't acceptable to the "computer module" that is part of the steering column. I am guessing there are handshake routines that the key remote and the receiver portion in the car go through that checks for invalid/valid responses and my key was responding incorrectly. Although the key was able to remotely unlock and disarm the ant-theft system it somehow lost the ability to start the car. To test this theory I used my other key (with remote) and the car indeed started. The car was even startable with the valet key (which has no remote....interesting). Other MB techies were guessing that the fuel pump may be the reason, another thought the battery wasn't charged enough and yet another engineer thought my cranckshaft sensor was probably damaged and thus preventing the car from starting. Since the car is no longer under warranty, I have saved thousands of dollars by following the advice of the techie who guessed it was the key remote that is the cause of the problem. At any rate this went on for three days before he came along and solved the mystery. One thing that hasn't been tested is what if the batteries were removed from the offending key. Would the car start? Wouldn't a key with a remote w/o batteries be just a plain key like the spare valet key that WAS able to start the car? We haven't tried that yet. I was too excited to drive the truck out of the dealership and back to home with a working fuel pump, battery and all the other doohickies that were presumably the cause of this problem. All the best!! Chance.

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