Replacing Original Master Key - Mercedes-Benz Forum

 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-29-2007, 04:21 PM Thread Starter
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Replacing Original Master Key

When I bought by 1984 500sl last year it came with only one master key - the slender laser cut Ilco S50HF-P - for ignition, doors and trunk. Soon after, I went to the local MB dealer in New Orleans to get a back-up made and forked over $45, at which point they clumsily made a xerox of the key, faxed it to some unknown MB destination and responded 2 weeks later with a key that was so 'not right' it was laughable. After that, they kept my money and lost interest.

This weekend I lost my key chain with the master key. I seem to find myself in limbo land - local auto locksmiths don't want to hear about it, the codes are apparently unpublished, classic car locksmiths tell me having the code is one thing, having the cuts (which MB apparently does not make available) is another. I'm told the VIN # is irrelevant and yet that was the one item of information the MB dealership wanted from me.

Has anyone gone through a similar experience, or is this just the people I am dealing with? Is there, in other words, a fool-proof procedure for obtaining replacement original keys that does not require me to go through apathetic, unknowledgeable MB dealers?

Help!
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-29-2007, 04:28 PM
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In short reply, yes, you were dealing with some species of lower life at that dealer.

A good dealer will need your VIN and they can get you a key made. Maybe MBUSA can too, I never tried that route. 800-FOR-MERC or http://www.mbusa.com

Good Luck!

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-29-2007, 06:35 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Musikmann
In short reply, yes, you were dealing with some species of lower life at that dealer.

A good dealer will need your VIN and they can get you a key made. Maybe MBUSA can too, I never tried that route. 800-FOR-MERC or http://www.mbusa.com

Good Luck!
Thanks. I am trying all avenues, including MBUSA and DB Stuttgart, and tomorrow I'll call a different MB dealer (in Baton Rouge). What worried me the last time I went through the dealer was that after giving them the VIN# I got the usual tut-tutting and head shaking about the car being grey market (which should not make any difference - the car's a MB, period).
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-29-2007, 07:44 PM
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As Musikmann said, call the 800 number, tell them about the key that did not work and go from there. They will start the ball rolling. The local dealer will not want a "not satisfactory" on a customer survey so tomorrow morning also call the Service Manager, tell him that the key that they sold you did not work [it would have a guarantee], you are stuck, need the key and need to be mobile. Between the 800 and the local, you should get the ball rolling.

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Being smart is knowing the difference, in a sticky situation between a well delivered anecdote and a well delivered antidote - bear.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-01-2007, 07:29 PM Thread Starter
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Mc Bear

Good point. Here's how it worked out - albeit the key is not yet in hand. I called another dealer in Baton Rouge, who happened to have an older parts guy who knew "Hank" at the New Jersey MB center who was/is THE KEY GURU This dealer rep and Hank together surmised what my key code/cuts/part # were and promptly confirmed MB's ability to cut a new key. Meanwhile, the New Orleans MB dealer had discovered the part number (correct, as it happens)but they didn't know Hank and hadn't spoken to him about it. As I told the guy at MBUSA Classic Car Center, it was just lucky I found 'a guy who knew a guy' at MB. I could still have been floundering around with MB of New Orleans, praying for a good result before my car got stolen or ransacked standing open and immobile on the street.

Moral of the story: If you need a key for an older MB, tell the dealer to ask for Hank at MBUSA NJ.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-01-2007, 10:10 PM
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I got lost in this story somewhere. You're in New Orleans. Mercedes-Benz USA, where Hank (the key guru) works, is in Montvale New Jersey. How does the Mercedes-Benz Classic Center, in Irvine California, fit in? Which loction is cutting you the key?
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-02-2007, 07:43 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by MarcusF
I got lost in this story somewhere. You're in New Orleans. Mercedes-Benz USA, where Hank (the key guru) works, is in Montvale New Jersey. How does the Mercedes-Benz Classic Center, in Irvine California, fit in? Which loction is cutting you the key?
New Orleans is my hometown, so I started with the local MB dealer in town. They screwed up the key order, so I called the dealer in Baton Rouge. Baton Rouge called the MBUSA parts center in NJ, where Hank, the so-called MBUSA key guru works. The keys are actually cut in Fort Worth, at the MBUSA parts center there. According to MB Baton Rouge, Hank oversees replacement key orders.

Key arrived today from Ft Worth and works smoothly, unlike MBUSA's key replacement process (see my previous posts).
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-02-2007, 07:52 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by senyaha
New Orleans is my hometown, so I started with the local MB dealer in town. They screwed up the key order, so I called the dealer in Baton Rouge. Baton Rouge called the MBUSA parts center in NJ, where Hank, the so-called MBUSA key guru works. The keys are actually cut in Fort Worth, at the MBUSA parts center there. According to MB Baton Rouge, Hank oversees replacement key orders.

Key arrived today from Ft Worth and works smoothly, unlike MBUSA's key replacement process (see my previous posts).
Also, re MBUSA Classic Car Center in Irvine: I called them in desperation, and after the first rep I contacted at MB Baton Rouge emailed me back and told me simply to "contact MBUSA." The MBUSA Classic Car Center (Paul Beule) was sympathetic but could not offer any key information for my car- it all has to be handled through authorized MB dealers. That's when I got lucky and a knowledgable guy at MB Baton Rouge somehow read my email and contacted me.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-03-2007, 06:54 AM
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Thumbs up Well done!

It's too bad that was such an ordeal for you, and so totally un-necessary. Glad to hear you now have a key and your car is secure again. Please feel free to ask any other questions you might have about your car.

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