Inoperable Vehicle - How to Register/Transfer Ownership

Discussion in 'Off-topic' started by RedDawnTheMusical, May 13, 2017.

  1. RedDawnTheMusical

    RedDawnTheMusical Well-Known Member

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    I've received a 1993 Mercedes 400e (with signed title) that I need to register in my name but the vehicle is inoperable. Specifically, the battery is dead, is located in the trunk, and I only received the valet key to the vehicle. It has been towed to a repair shop, but the previous owner said it had a previous issue preventing it from starting, unrelated to the battery and the shop can't work on it until the get a battery in it. I went to the Mercedes dealership to get a new key made so I can get into the trunk, but they require a title made out in my name. They referenced some type of temporary registration I could get, which they would accept, but the only thing online I see for a temporary registration is if the vehicle fails emissions testing, which requires proof of the failed emissions.

    Has anyone here had to register an inoperable vehicle before or are otherwise familiar with what the process is to get transfer ownership on an inoperable vehicle? Mercedes won't cut a new key without some state issued document with the vin and my name on it, but from searches I've done online, the closest I've come is a temporary registration for failed emissions. Oddly enough, if the vehicle was one year older it wouldn't need the emissions at all....
     
  2. Nullifier

    Nullifier Active Member

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    Let's back up a little bit. Sounds like your real issue is getting the trunk open so you can access the battery.

    You don't need a key for that. There are a half a dozen ways to get the trunk open without any key at all.
    Let us know which one works for you:

    http://www.benzworld.org/forums/w14...d-trunk-wont-open.html#/topics/1669547?page=1

    http://www.benzworld.org/forums/w12...unk-lock-stuck-no.html#/topics/1703320?page=1

    http://www.fixya.com/cars/t8104998-400e_battery_dead_trunk_wont_open_used#

    https://www.cargurus.com/Cars/Discussion-c6188_ds450193
     

  3. Nullifier

    Nullifier Active Member

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  4. Nullifier

    Nullifier Active Member

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  5. RedDawnTheMusical

    RedDawnTheMusical Well-Known Member

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    It looks like the positive feed from the battery may be accessible from a terminal block under the hood, so that may be sufficient. The battery has probably been dead for a year, but if it doesn't load down the jump too much, I might be able to power up the door lock circuit and unlocking the driver door is supposed to unlock the trunk. It also looks compressed air into the tube attached to the air pump under the rear seat would unlock it too.
     
  6. a_springfield

    a_springfield Well-Known Member

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    7 months and no emissions needed
     
  7. Smilodon

    Smilodon Active Member

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    That was going to be my suggestion, we have to do that fairly often at work. The shop should have easily figured that out if they bothered to try.
     
  8. Nullifier

    Nullifier Active Member

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    No offense to the shop, but they haven't looked very hard for a solution. I found 7 or 8 with just a few minutes research.

    Made me curious. I have an older land rover that I can only open the rear hatch door from the inside. This involves moving the backseat forward and crawling into the back to pull the lever from the inside. It's a real pain sometimes. I need to find a way to fix my lock.

    Your post has inspired me to look for a solution for similar but different problem.

    Also, One of the links I posted mentions a lever or wire or cord you can pull from the backseat to open the trunk. You might have to remove the backseat to find it. Labor-intensive, but cheaper than an expensive key or a temporary title. Almost all cars these days have a remote manual trunk release, in case a child gets locked in the trunk or something

    Again, please post and let us know what works. I'm interested.
     
  9. RedDawnTheMusical

    RedDawnTheMusical Well-Known Member

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    I looked and there doesn't appear to be a manual release/pull-cord anywhere. I popped the rear seat cushion, pulled down the rear armrest, etc. Nothing. I did find the air compressor for the pneumatics that apparently operates the central locking system for the car. It doesn't help that I've never owned a Mercedes and they have their own way of doing things. I finally fiddled around under the hood long enough to find the positive terminal block that was referenced in some of the posts. It is one of the more inaccessible things (of course), but I managed to get a jumper cable clamped onto it and I'll let the garage know about it so they can power it up and try activating the central locking system to release the trunk.

    The garage likely could have done this themselves, but I cautioned them that I've never seen the vehicle running and I'm weary of how much $ to put into troubleshooting any issues. They suggested I get the master key for the vehicle, but they probably didn't realize the level of effort involved in that since the owner doesn't have it.

    Hopefully they get into it and make progress tomorrow. I tried putting the jumpers onto my GLI and the horn on the Mercedes tooted and there were some odd clicking noises, so it appears that I've getting power to the always-on circuit the battery is tied to. I was also able to move the electric seats, etc. Unfortunately the shop has the key so I couldn't get further than that.
     
  10. Smilodon

    Smilodon Active Member

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    Making any progress?
     
  11. Nullifier

    Nullifier Active Member

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    Well I was hoping for an update, I was interested to see how things turned out for you.
     
  12. RedDawnTheMusical

    RedDawnTheMusical Well-Known Member

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    Well, I tried a variety of ways to open the trunk. My last attempt was with the garage clamping on a jumpstarting power source to the terminal block under the hood while I activated the locks using the key in the door, which is supposed to unlock the trunk, but didn't. All the locks worked except the trunk. The garage is now looking at having a locksmith open the trunk. If that doesn't happen within a couple of days of the locksmith thinks that it can't be done without damaging the lock, then I'll just make a trip to the Georgia DDS and do a temporary registration - there must be some way to do it.
     
  13. rmodel65

    rmodel65 Yukon Cornelius

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    Remove the seat and unbolt the trunk latch or lock
     
  14. RedDawnTheMusical

    RedDawnTheMusical Well-Known Member

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    Something I read online (which obviously could be wrong) stated that the fuel tank was behind the rear seat and thus the trunk wasn't accessible from the passenger compartment. I know that is the case with some Mercedes.
     
  15. a_springfield

    a_springfield Well-Known Member

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    I know how to fix your problem. I will come over and you can hand me the keys and title and I will not charge you a dime, to get rid of the problem.
     
  16. RedDawnTheMusical

    RedDawnTheMusical Well-Known Member

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    That's what I like to see: problem solvers!
     
  17. a_springfield

    a_springfield Well-Known Member

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    Seriously if it were me I would wait till January if the car is not needed at the moment and then the emissions is not needed therefore you can just get a tag and not jump through all those hoops.
     
  18. RedDawnTheMusical

    RedDawnTheMusical Well-Known Member

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    Well, my daughter drives the equivalent of the Bluesmobile - something that is held together by nothing short of a miracle - I keep envisioning her pulling in the driveway some day and all of the doors and panels fall off the vehicle. So, this will either be a replacement for that or sold off to help finance one.