My dad owns a Mercedes Benz GL320 bluetech bought in 2009. Vehicle was shipped to Ghana upon purchase for his personal use.

Over the past 3 months, a problem has creeped up which seems to be beyond all the local mechanics here.

He drives the car normal for about 3 days, then out of the blue, he can't get the car to start. On the dash it clearly states the car is in park (P), but when he opens the doors, it says on the same dash to "not forget to put the car in park".

I personally experienced it, where i explicitly engaged the car into "Park" before turning of the ignition and trying to start it back again. it didn't start!

First the mechanic said it was an ISM issue and they had it changed. Mechanic plugged it into his OBD2 device and it reported everything to be okay.

The problem still persists!

I (Electronics engineer) found a temporary workaround for him by removing the battery terminals and putting them back again. Doing so seems to "reset" the vehicles electronics and it works perfectly again for about 3-4 days.

I don't know if anyone has had this experience with any Mercedes Benz vehicle and a possible solution will be appreciated.

  • Does the ESL release the lock when the key is inserted even tho it doesn't start? I know this model year is very common to have a failing motor in esl (electronic steering lock). If you are not hearing the unlocking sound then I would investigate it. Make sure to check live data on scanner and not just look for dtc's. You should easily see if the system is failing authorization somewhere or if its failing to sense its in park. Its likely to only show while the problem is happening tho.
    – narkeleptk
    Jun 10, 2020 at 0:40
  • @narkeleptk The Key acts normal in all circumstances. it can be removed and re inserted.
    – Cerezo
    Jun 10, 2020 at 11:51


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