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No power - both key locks fails - how do I enter the car?

500AMM

E500E explorer
Hi.

During storage of my Limited this winter the battery was emptied (very unexpected). Both key locks, at the passenger door and the boot lid don't work. Instead of braking into the car some way, I want to find a +wire some place to give power, just for operating the central lock. I've been looking everywhere without luck, any proposals?

Regards
-arnt-
 

gerryvz

Site Honcho
Staff member
Re: No power - both key locks fails - how do I enter the car

I'd consider opening the hood and using the large + wire under there in the vicinity of where the CAN box is.

Why don't your keys work to unlock the doors/trunk by inserting and turning the key in the lock?

Cheers,
Gerry
 

rip

E500E Newbie
Re: No power - both key locks fails - how do I enter the car

500AMM said:
Hi.

During storage of my Limited this winter the battery was emptied (very unexpected). Both key locks, at the passenger door and the boot lid don't work. Instead of braking into the car some way, I want to find a +wire some place to give power, just for operating the central lock. I've been looking everywhere without luck, any proposals?

Regards
-arnt-
Are you sure you have the right key?
 

195910

Intl 500E GTG coordinator
Re: No power - both key locks fails - how do I enter the car

If you have the right metal key, you should be able to open the doors and boot even if all the electrical systems don't work and the battery is flat ! the door will open even if the central locking is defective and loosing vacuum.

I have done it on may 500E, E210 E-class and the W220 S-class
 

Glen

Site Admin, auto enthusiast...
Staff member
Re: No power - both key locks fails - how do I enter the car

You can try the + lead on the alternator. You'll have to lift the front of the car and remove the lower engine cover to access it.
 

gerryvz

Site Honcho
Staff member
Re: No power - both key locks fails - how do I enter the car

195910 said:
If you have the right metal key, you should be able to open the doors and boot even if all the electrical systems don't work and the battery is flat ! the door will open even if the central locking is defective and loosing vacuum.

I have done it on may 500E, E210 E-class and the W220 S-class

Yes, this was my point too with my earlier post. My battery has run down a couple times over the years on my E500 and I had no problem manually opening the doors and trunk with my keys to remove the battery, to charge it back up.

Unless I'm missing something, your ignition key should work in any lock on the car to unlock it.

Cheers,
Gerry
 

500AMM

E500E explorer
Re: No power - both key locks fails - how do I enter the car

The nonworking key locks is partly an ignorance of maintenance due to the fact that a working central lock system doesn't require a regular use of the key locks, hence they can be a bit neglected.

In my case is also the door lock on the passenger side out of order, they key is only rotating. My neighbor backed straight into the door some time back, so it is on the list to be repaired and the key lock will be taken then. On the trunk lock I can't get the key fully inserted. I guess it's stuck due to salt and dirt over time. I tried with lubricant and anti-corrosion stuff without luck. I had the same case on a previous 300TDT and had to disassemble the lock cylinder entirely and clean & lubricate to get it operating. (Quite a watchmaker job).

So the only alternatives is to find and active +wire somewhere and add power, or break the triangle windows in one of the rear doors (I guess those are the cheapest in this case).

Glen said:
You can try the + lead on the alternator. You'll have to lift the front of the car and remove the lower engine cover to access it.
Yesterday I lifted the front to access the starter cables, but that was impossible. I also tried the terminals on the fuel pumps under the car without luck. I can try to reach the alternator cables. I'll post my final ending on this.

-arnt-
 

gsxr

.036 Hoonigan™, E500E Boffin
Staff member
Re: No power - both key locks fails - how do I enter the car

The alternator B+ terminal is your best hope... it is fairly easy to access. Anything else would require popping the hood, which you probably can't do...

:(
 

Glen

Site Admin, auto enthusiast...
Staff member
Re: No power - both key locks fails - how do I enter the car

If you have standard door lock pins, you can try a trick that Prime posted a few years ago. I couldn't find his post but you need a 24" length of strap used for shipping large cardboard boxes. It's usually about 5/8" wide and made of reinforced plastic.

Fold the strap in half and crease the fold tightly. You can now slide the folded end through the door at the B-pillar without damaging the weather stripping or scratching the paint. By sliding one end of the strap past the other, you create a loop inside the car that you maneuver over the door lock pin. Close the loop and gently slide the strap up the B-pillar to unlock the door.

I verified that this works as described and now I keep some of this strap in my toolbox for this very purpose.
 

500AMM

E500E explorer
Re: No power - both key locks fails - how do I enter the car

gsxr said:
The alternator B+ terminal is your best hope... it is fairly easy to access. Anything else would require popping the hood, which you probably can't do...

:(
Glen said:
If you have standard door lock pins, you can try a trick that Prime posted a few years ago. I couldn't find his post but you need a 24" length of strap used for shipping large cardboard boxes. It's usually about 5/8" wide and made of reinforced plastic.

Fold the strap in half and crease the fold tightly. You can now slide the folded end through the door at the B-pillar without damaging the weather stripping or scratching the paint. By sliding one end of the strap past the other, you create a loop inside the car that you maneuver over the door lock pin. Close the loop and gently slide the strap up the B-pillar to unlock the door.

I verified that this works as described and now I keep some of this strap in my toolbox for this very purpose.
Thanks guys, I'll see what I can do tomorrow.

-arnt-
 

500AMM

E500E explorer
Re: No power - both key locks fails - how do I enter the car

Here's the final update on this.

The proposed method from Glen/Prime don't work on my '94 Limited because the lock pin is retracted and completely hidden when the car is locked. But I'm quite sure that technique will work fine on cars with visible lock pins, especially if the lock pin is of a "head type".

I have corrected a couple of car doors and experienced that the door frames are quite flexible. The upper-rear corner on the front doors can easily be bent outwards giving a 1/2 inch gap, without leaving any permanent deformation. Having that gap, a long string could be inserted with a loop to hook the door opener. Since my SuperMerc is stored here at home I practiced by leaving the door in the secondary lock position giving the wanted gap. With an open window I could form the string to the correct shape, then it was amazingly simple to reach the door opener. So I simply decided to go for a crowbar and do a "soft burglary"!

To protect the paint I applied two layers of thick tape (duct tape), both on the door frame and the roof edge. I used the tip on the crowbar to gently push the weather stripping inwards before it engaged inside the door frame. I used a 2 mm aluminium string which I had handy, and it is important to twist the end to keep the loop together when dragging the opener. From that sharp angle it's necessary to use some extra force to drag the door opener, just to overcome the friction in the air assisted central lock. That was the happy ending - the car is open and the battery is now on charging!
(...the enclosed pics are a demo after the car was open).

But what did I learn from this; Well, it is most important to keep the manual key locks operating. In my case were both key locks out of order when I bought the car, and since then ignored by me. But other unexpected failures can also happen, the battery can go down, the central lock can fail, you lock up the keys, or break the key etc... But luckily such rarely happens. But I will do one thing - I will place an active +lead accessible but hidden somewhere on the car.

Happy Easter to all!

-arnt-
 

Attachments

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195910

Intl 500E GTG coordinator
Re: No power - both key locks fails - how do I enter the car

Hello Arnt,

This is a bit late, but Couldn't you open the trunk? there is a way to actuate the central lock vacuum from inside the trunk.
 

500AMM

E500E explorer
Re: No power - both key locks fails - how do I enter the car

195910 said:
Hello Arnt,

This is a bit late, but Couldn't you open the trunk? there is a way to actuate the central lock vacuum from inside the trunk.
Hi :)

Keep in mind that all 500E/E500 having the infrared central lock system, have only 2 manual key locks - on the passenger door and on the trunk lid opener. I think I've allready mentioned that both key locks are out of order on this car. I have a job to do now, and if I disassemble the trunk lock cylinder entirely I can post some pics of that later on.

Cheers
-arnt-
 

195910

Intl 500E GTG coordinator
Re: No power - both key locks fails - how do I enter the car

Hi again,

Its nice to hear that you got the doors open. With the gone in 60 seconds way. did you use a coat hanger or a flat shaped bar ?
 

500AMM

E500E explorer
Re: No power - both key locks fails - how do I enter the car

195910 said:
Hi again,

Its nice to hear that you got the doors open. With the gone in 60 seconds way. did you use a coat hanger or a flat shaped bar ?
I used a 2 mm round bar. And you're right, it's from a coat hanger. I'm sending a PM with some pics.

-arnt-
 
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