Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Seemingly hours into W124 Mercedes ownership, I was very nearly stranded in a parking lot as the key refused to turn. Mercedes quality, engineering, overengineering, reliability and unreliability is a topic of nearly limitless discussion as evidenced by the "Is Merecedes too troublesome?" (sic) thread on the fantastic ShopForum site. It's true, Mercedes can be million mile cars but they require meticulous maintence, which means a spotless ownership record. My 1987 300TD is a one family car with a thick manila folder of repair receipts but I am not fooling myself. Ownership of an aging Mercedes is not for the empty pocketed optimist.

Anyway, I searched through all the ShopForum threads and found this unlikely sounding solution to jiggle the errant tumblers into submission by way of palm sander. It sounded like bullshit. It sounded like something a farmer would say while stroking his beard, like the time he jammed a wad of chewing tobacco in a crankcase that threw a rod. In short, a bar stool repair scenario that even the drunks are starting to believe. But I'll be dipped if it didn't work. Just a squirt of miracle product PB Blaster Miracle Nut Buster and a palm sander and I was able to turn the key and remove the lock cylinder per factory procedure.

This tip is Babar approved!