Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Ignition Swap

I have a 1999 mercedes c230k, i was wondering if i changed my ignition with a used one that fit my vin number, same year, and came with a key would it work ? would I have to just program it or would i have to replace the steering lock and ecu too? thanks

what do you mean by “ignition” ?
the lock/switch?
the HV coils?
the spark plugs?
the wiring harness?

The ignition switch is the only part that needs a key.

As near as I can tell you have a key in the ignition switch problem . Why not just go to the Mercedes dealer and have it done correctly instead of just guessing with salvage yard parts.

1 Like

I seem to remember the ignition switch has to be married to the vehicle . . . thus, I don’t really think a used ignition switch would function in your vehicle

not only that, but even marrying a new ignition switch to the vehicle required the factory-level scanner and a “green key” . . . those who’ve worked at Benz dealers in the somewhat distant past will know what I’m referring to.

I assume this vehicle has starting problems . . . ?



this vehicle also has a separate ignition lock, and that is occasionally a problem, as well

I’m siding with @VOLVO_V70 on this . . . best to go to a dealer

thanks for the replies and a new key is about 300 from the dealers and its a 1999 with 190k miles so i dont think it would be worth spending that for it. it was a key problem the ignition is fine but a key with the ignition is only about 100 so i was just seeing if i could get one of those and also wondering why would they sell a key with a matching ignition if there isnt a way for it to work for another mercedes with the same vin number.

I also know someone that can program keys to mercedes and i would think they could reprogram an ignition. and it was the key that stopped working it would no longer unlock the steering lock and turn at all so it just locked up the ignition i think @db4690

Hmm… sounds fishy to me, another 1999 with the same VIN as yours.

Lol it’s not fishy, a company called lkq can get these parts from trusted sellers like these and they get details on vin number, model, and year. I’ve gotten multiple parts from them for my car and they have worked fine. Also have a return policy so I wouldn’t be losing anything just don’t want to waste time

I think the original poster is referring to using the first part of the VIN which would be the same for all similar models of the same year. The total VIN would not be identical, just the first section.
I would ask in Mercedes forums, and at local independent Mercedes repair shop. You might get lucky.

I understand they use the VIN, but no 2 Mercedes should have the SAME VIN.

Good point, but that’s not what the OP stated.

I’m thoroughly confused. If your ignition is fine, why do you care whether or not a replacement would work? If it ain’t broke…

I said it earlier too the key had went bad and it’s about 300 to get a new one and it’s 1999 with 190k miles wouldn’t be worth it in my opinion but if I got the ignition with the key it would only be 100. Lol I’m just tryna be a lil cheap here as this isn’t my primary car I just like driving it here and there

So get the key with the ignition, then put the ignition in a drawer and have the key programmed to yours.

Once a key has been programmed it can’t be reprogrammed I had found that out otherwise I would have done that

@Ben_T_Spanner thank you clearing up what I said I might of just typed it up bad I appreciate it

Actually . . . programming a new key to work with your car doesn’t require a scanner

You stick it in the ignition and wait until you’re able to turn it and start the engine. It programs itself, so to speak. Sometimes it takes awhile, though

Has anybody even retrieved fault codes . . . ?

The car IS capable of generating EIS “kiss of death” codes . . . meaning you need a new electronic ignition switch. But you need a scanner that’s capable of retrieving those codes. A $50 code reader or even a $150 scanner won’t cut the mustard in this case

I know who lkq is . . . they are known for dealing in used parts

Based on what you said, it’s possible only the key is bad, and nothing else

There are ways to test the key short of going to a dealer

don’t you have a second key . . . ?!

And at least at the one near me… Well, I’m not surprised that they recently went out of business, because they often had their used parts at higher prices than new ones from Rockauto.

no I dont have an extra I had bought the car really cheap because it was hit and i knew i could fix for cheaper than most other people could so therefore it only came with one what im thinking about doing is just ordering a ecu and steering lock to match the ignition that i have in which is a 2000 with a key because it would still be way cheaper than a new key

and i could ask someone i know who has scan tools mostly for mercedes and is pretty high priced to see if he could get some fault codes.

what ecu . . . ?!