Replacing and Servicing a SNAP CAP Style Ignition Key Tumbler Assembly - On Demand Video

Revised Version: Do it yourself - save $$$ - even while sitting in the car iF you can still turn your old key. if you key is stuck you have bigger problems to contend with and will not be able to install a new tumbler.

This video is not only going to show you how to remove and replace the “SNAP cap” style tumbler, but it also going to explain the theory of operation and how to avoid certain pitfalls when doing this job yourself. And YES, there are pitfalls. Many have installed the tumbler incorrectly only to have the mechanism jam up so the key will not turn. Kent even shows you how to use his special made emergency release tool when you have tried everything else to get the tumbler out of the lock!

Replacing and Servicing a SNAP CAP Style Ignition Key Tumbler Assembly - On Demand Video

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On Demand Video

Product Details

Helping people understand how the mechanism works and how to avoid problems is the main reason Kent decided to do this video. He also has recently received so many email questions on this topic that he decided it was time to have an ignition tumbler “video class.”

This video only applies to those years and models that have a heavy black metal cap over the ignition tumbler that SNAPS on and off the steering lock housing (see picture). PLEASE READ THE YEARS CAREFULLY. 

These include the 1984 to 1993 W201 190E and 190D. The 1986 to 1993 W124 260E 300CE 300D 300E 300TD 300TE and 400E. The 1994 and 1995 W124 E300 E320 and E420. The 1990 and 1991 W126 300SE 300SEL 350SD 350SDL 420SEL 560SEL and 560SEC. If you have any questions please email us before ordering. There is no refund on this video if you order in error.

This very detailed video specifically covers the following:

  • How to remove the tumbler from the steering lock on the bench
  • The twin pin tool required and how to use it
  • Difference between this style cap and earlier screw type cap
  • Examples of dry locks and tumblers needing lubrication
  • How to clean the tumbler and inside the locking mechanism
  • How to properly lubricate the latch mechanism and tumbler
  • Using the curved tip syringe to apply the proper lubricant
  • WARNING: why you need the RIGHT pin tool - some available don’t work as well
  • Theory of operation on locking in the snap cap
  • Theory of operation on locking in the tumbler
  • What can go wrong when using the release tool
  • Use of Kent's tumbler emergency release modified wire tool
  • Removal, lubrication and reinstallation in the car with special cap tool

DOES NOT COVER: This video only covers removing the key tumbler, lubricating the parts for long life, and reinstalling it properly back into the steering lock housing. It does not cover removing the steering lock nor does it cover removing or repairing the electrical switch on the back of the lock assembly. If you are having problems in those areas please see related products below for Kent's written manual and other related resources. 

Total run time  33:00 

How to view this on-demand video:

Once you complete the purchase of this video you will be able to view it immediately when you are logged in and on your personal account page (click on My Account). The video(s) will show up under My Video Manuals. The video is NOT downloadable to your computer or mobile device, but you will be able to view it anytime, from anywhere and from any device as long as you have internet access and you are logged in to your account at

Important note: This video manual may or may not include all the information you will need to troubleshoot and/or repair your specific problem/s. Please read the full description carefully to determine if this video is applicable to your year and model and contains the information you are looking for. If not, please refer back to our "Solutions Finder" and enter your chassis number and the specific problem you are having to see if we offer a solution.

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