C200K (June 2001) W203 won't start and auto trans stuck in Park.

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Clynt

New Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2024
Messages
6
Location
Sydney, Australia
Car
June 2001 C200 W203 Mercedes-Benz
This is a recurrence of a problem which occurred 17 months ago and cost me $1600 to have fixed.

To enable my C200K to be put on the back of a tilt truck, I'd like to be able to get it out of Park (last time the truck operator just dragged the car up onto the tilt truck and used WD40 to slide it off; but that's not highly desirable).

Searching the net for solutions, I found quite a few where the Park release button was relatively easy to find. If there is a Park release button on my 2001 car, it can't be easily accessed as it would be occluded by the black plastic drink holder / cigar lighter / coin holder unit (in front of the central console boxes) which doesn't seem easy to remove.

Thank you for any help you may be able to provide.

Clynt
(Sydney, Australia)
 

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Hello Clynt and welcome .

To understand your dilemma further . With the ignition on , foot on brake pedal the gear select lever will not move ? Correct ?
 
Hello Clynt and welcome .

To understand your dilemma further . With the ignition on , foot on brake pedal the gear select lever will not move ? Correct ?

I think what the OP is trying to say is that if the ignition can't be switched on for whatever reason (e.g. EIS fault?), then he can't get the car up on the recovery truck because the transmission is locked in Park. So the OP would like to know if there's an emergency bypass that would allow the car to be put in Neutral without having the ignition on. Otherwise, as you say, there's shouldn't be a problem getting the car out of P?
 
I think what the OP is trying to say is that if the ignition can't be switched on for whatever reason (e.g. EIS fault?), then he can't get the car up on the recovery truck because the transmission is locked in Park. So the OP would like to know if there's an emergency bypass that would allow the car to be put in Neutral without having the ignition on. Otherwise, as you say, there's shouldn't be a problem getting the car out of P?
Yes markjay. That's basically it. The transmission is jammed in Park. Turning the key to the Start position I hear a little whir (maybe thats the air conditioner motor?) The car's battery is fully charged.
 
Is the brake pedal switch working ? Not just lighting the brake lights , I think it might have dual contacts , one for the brake lights , one for the gearbox. Not 100% on that one but if the TCU is waiting for the signal from the brake pedal . No signal = no go.
 
Hello Clynt and welcome .

To understand your dilemma further . With the ignition on , foot on brake pedal the gear select lever will not move ? Correct ?
Thanks Petrol Pete. Correct.
I've also tried a procedure I saw on the net, namely:
(1) With the doors closed and unlocked, insert the key in the ignition and turn until lights on dash come on but don't turn to start.
(2) Push the accelerator pedal all the way down to the floor past the little click and hold it down for over a minute.
(3) With the pedal still held to the floor turn the ignition switch off all the way to the left.
(4) Take foot off the accelerator pedal (and don't take key out and don't open doors or touch any buttons.
(5) Wait until the dash lights go out and attempt to start car,
But that procedure didn't work. Car still won't start.
Is the brake pedal switch working ? Not just lighting the brake lights , I think it might have dual contacts , one for the brake lights , one for the gearbox. Not 100% on that one but if the TCU is waiting for the signal from the brake pedal . No signal = no go.
How do I determine if the brake pedal switch is working? Where is it located? And is it accessible?
 
Just to clarify , you do not need to press brake pedal to start car , but you do need to to move shift lever . But you knew that. I think this is the one , as you can see it has multiple contacts . I can't be 100% sure this is for your car (it is also on Chrysler cars) , You will need to double check yours.

A simple scan tool should let you know the status of the brake switch , I am not a fan of just cucking parts at a fault in the hope that the fault will go away , but for around £10 (here in UK) for a new switch it's tempting.

1704623441320.png 1704623463487.png
 
 
Thanks Petrol Pete. Correct.
I've also tried a procedure I saw on the net, namely:
(1) With the doors closed and unlocked, insert the key in the ignition and turn until lights on dash come on but don't turn to start.
(2) Push the accelerator pedal all the way down to the floor past the little click and hold it down for over a minute.
(3) With the pedal still held to the floor turn the ignition switch off all the way to the left.
(4) Take foot off the accelerator pedal (and don't take key out and don't open doors or touch any buttons.
(5) Wait until the dash lights go out and attempt to start car,
But that procedure didn't work. Car still won't start.

How do I determine if the brake pedal switch is working? Where is it located? And is it accessible?
Just to clarify , you do not need to press brake pedal to start car , but you do need to to move shift lever . But you knew that. I think this is the one , as you can see it has multiple contacts . I can't be 100% sure this is for your car (it is also on Chrysler cars) , You will need to double check yours.

A simple scan tool should let you know the status of the brake switch , I am not a fan of just cucking parts at a fault in the hope that the fault will go away , but for around £10 (here in UK) for a new switch it's tempting.

View attachment 151588 View attachment 151589
Thanks Pete. Found its location on the net.
 
Like I said , not even sure if this could even be the cause of your problem , others will be along shortly with more 'answers' . In the meantime .

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Here is another one ...just to confuse thing further :doh:

 
Yes markjay. That's basically it. The transmission is jammed in Park. Turning the key to the Start position I hear a little whir (maybe thats the air conditioner motor?) The car's battery is fully charged.

There could be several reasons why the car won't start.

Faulty EIS, faulty inhibitor switch (that stops the car from starting if it's not in Park), worn starter motor ring gear (though you'd still hear the solenoid clicking), faulty starter motor solenoid, corroded starter motor contacts, loose or corroded battery terminals, are just a few.
 
There could be several reasons why the car won't start.

Faulty EIS, faulty inhibitor switch (that stops the car from starting if it's not in Park), worn starter motor ring gear (though you'd still hear the solenoid clicking), faulty starter motor solenoid, corroded starter motor contacts, loose or corroded battery terminals, are just a few.
Thanks markjay,
I'll see if I can get a Mercedes specialist mechanic to come to my place with a diagnostic scanner.
 

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