05 sprinter suddenly won't turn on

Was just trying to diagnose my ABS and ESP lights being on. I had my Autel AP200 plugged in, went to start the van. It kinda chugged for a couple seconds but started. I tried to run a test just on the ABS module. I got this error:
I had connected to ABS earlier today, but the only thing I changed since then was I removed and rotated the 40A fuse in fuse box 3 under the driver seat. So I shut the van off, took out the fuse and rotated it back. Now when I put the key in the ignition, it won't turn. By 'it won't turn,' I don't mean the engine won't start, I mean the key physically will not rotate in the barrel. The steering is also locked.

I tried
-Headlights turn on when I turn the side knob, 4 ways work so I don't think it's the battery
-sticking a pen in to force the gear shifter out of and then back into park

Could it be:
-Dead battery?
-A blown fuse somewhere?
-I have low steering fluid, could this lock up the steering which would prevent the key from turning?
Last edited:


Active member
does the digital display say start error? Maybe you blew the fuse when you put it into the abs socket for the abs. Also try starting in neutral


UK 2004 T1N 313CDi
Have you tried wiggling the steering wheel left and right to help the steering lock pawl release?

I believe the key is solely mechanical so should turn even without a battery connected.

A 'Start error' message will only prevent cranking, not turning of the key.


Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
Start with basics.
Closely inspect each and every fuse in FB#1 under the steering wheel. If all of those fuses check good, check all of the fuses under the driver seat.



Active member
Apologies misread your original post. Ya as it says above steering wheel lock engaged. I Get a call from new buyers every once in a while with this issue. Just sorta lean on the steering wheel while turning the key. Don’t force the key but you can push as hard as you want on the steering wheel
Got it. I put the key in the ignition and reefed on the steering wheel. I sort of used the technique from this video. Key in ignition, reefed on the steering wheel. Hold the steering wheel one way with left hand, turn key with right hand, eventually it just turned. Weird thing was, my wheels had been straight, don't know how I locked the steering column. Also had a blown fuse (#5 under the steering column). Not sure if related

Thank you so much everyone for your help

Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder


Erratic Member
Fuse #5 on the block is the brake light (and brake pedal) fuse. (i see Vic responded as i was typing this)

Yes, Fuse #5 passes through the brake switch directly to the shift handle box.


The Sprinter may not let you start if you're not standing on the brake (i forget if it has that interlock)


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