Can't get a duplicate key/remote? 1998 ML320 - Page 2 - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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#11 (permalink) Old 01-18-2006, 08:46 PM
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RE: Can't get a duplicate key/remote? 1998 ML320

Only a dealer can have a replacement key made and only the factory can program the key, it's called security... therefore there will be a record of it on the Mercedes database. It doesn't matter if the car is in or out of warranty, there is no other source for getting the key.

Of course it's possible to use all 8 keys but just very unlikely. Apparently that's what the Benz engineers thought also. But when they tell you that you need all new door locks also, then red flags should go up. The computer has nothing to do with the physical locks, different systems completely. That says to me someone is looking at big dollar signs and their bottom line not what is best for the car owner. The physical key part is removable from the key fob. Good luck with that.

ON the other guy who's car is stuck at the dealers, Seems to me a good independent can do the job for less than a dealer. Not a pretty option but better than $3600 bucks. Most indie mechanics who specialize are former benz empolyees anyway. Maybe someone else can suggest something better.
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#12 (permalink) Old 01-18-2006, 08:48 PM
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RE: Can't get a duplicate key/remote? 1998 ML320

Quote:
parkrog - 1/18/2006 8:18 PM

My ML320 is at dealer dead. 8th keys died so can't get replacement key. Dealer wants $3600.00 to fix.
Anyone have solution or know of a key expert on ML's
Roger
I'm curious, how did you get up to the 8th key anyway. If they are just dying left and right perhaps it's not the key at fault but another part of the authorization system like the antenna.

I also believe I read on this forum, that the dealer was able to have a new chip programmed with an existing number and avoided getting a new computer. Doesn't seem unreasonable as a solution but you'd have to do alot of searching to find that thread if I'm remembering correctly.

Seems reasonable as a solution since either the ID is programmed by mercedes when you order the key which means any number can be put in so why not an old number OR all the chips are made when they program the original key/computer and are sitting in a box somewhere waiting to be sold to YOU. But whoever made the original set of chips can certainly make one more for you with the existing codes if they wanted to. Even if they had to use the prototyping equiptment to program just one chip.
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#13 (permalink) Old 01-19-2006, 09:12 AM
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RE: Can't get a duplicate key/remote? 1998 ML320

Quote:
bigcatny - 1/18/2006 10:48 PM

I'm curious, how did you get up to the 8th key anyway. If they are just dying left and right perhaps it's not the key at fault but another part of the authorization system like the antenna.
I am thinking the same thing. Keys should not just “die�. The antenna ring behind the ignition switch, however, does seem to have a history of problems. I do believe it is possible to have this antenna fail in such a way that a bad rolling code is rewritten to a good key and then it will no longer function.

Quote:
I also believe I read on this forum, that the dealer was able to have a new chip programmed with an existing number and avoided getting a new computer. Doesn't seem unreasonable as a solution but you'd have to do alot of searching to find that thread if I'm remembering correctly.

Seems reasonable as a solution since either the ID is programmed by mercedes when you order the key which means any number can be put in so why not an old number OR all the chips are made when they program the original key/computer and are sitting in a box somewhere waiting to be sold to YOU. But whoever made the original set of chips can certainly make one more for you with the existing codes if they wanted to. Even if they had to use the prototyping equiptment to program just one chip.
It is entirely “possible� to program a new key with the ID of an existing key, but it would be fruitless because it still would not have the correct rolling code “randomly� assigned by the vehicle’s DAS.


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#14 (permalink) Old 01-19-2006, 10:36 AM
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RE: Can't get a duplicate key/remote? 1998 ML320

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rudeney - 1/19/2006 12:12 PM

It is entirely “possible� to program a new key with the ID of an existing key, but it would be fruitless because it still would not have the correct rolling code “randomly� assigned by the vehicle’s DAS.
Rudeney

So even in the 98's the security system is uploading a random code to the key every time they interact? Didn't know that. Question in my mind is what code is programmed in as the individual key's ID since as I understand it, each key must have a unique identifier for the computer to tell it apart from the other authorized keys. I assumed this unique identifier was constant and that is what I referred to as being encoded from the factory. I had understood it that a rolling code might be on a second chipset in the remote.

Otherwise it would seem that any key could be used on the benz so long as the initial (last assigned) code sequence could be encoded in. I'm kind of curious to learn more about this now.
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#15 (permalink) Old 01-20-2006, 01:02 PM
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RE: Can't get a duplicate key/remote? 1998 ML320

Great detailed reply can be viewed here

http://www.benzworld.org/forums/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=1245088&posts=4
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#16 (permalink) Old 02-05-2006, 01:57 PM
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RE: Can't get a duplicate key/remote? 1998 ML320

My 1998 ML320 is still at dealer after one month,
8 keys out, ordered replacement lock package with computers(cost $2500 for parts) still back-ordered to germany. I think I need a lemon decal for side of car. Should sue!
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#17 (permalink) Old 02-06-2006, 05:24 PM
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RE: Can't get a duplicate key/remote? 1998 ML320

could anything be done with the "valet" key?

I just purchased an '01 ML55 - and would like to know how many keys are out - as I would like to get a third key.

I do not beleive this was asked by anyone - or maybe I just am misunderstanding. Is this also the case if I have one or more current keys that just "get old" and would like new ones and will trade, etc. Do they count against the "eight."

Bill
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#18 (permalink) Old 02-07-2006, 08:18 AM
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RE: Can't get a duplicate key/remote? 1998 ML320

Quote:
Bill@setel.com - 2/6/2006 7:24 PM

could anything be done with the "valet" key?
No, once the valet key is used at the factory to program the virgin DAS, it becomes nothing more than a spare key but without the RCL features. It still uses RFID and rolling-code technology and could still fail just like any other key, but there’ nothing special about it.

Quote:
I just purchased an '01 ML55 - and would like to know how many keys are out - as I would like to get a third key.
Any MBZ dealer should be able to pull a VMI report and look to see how many additional keys have been ordered. Theoretically, there is no way that the VMI would not show all additional keys. Replacement and spare keys can only be ordered through a dealer, and that order will be recorded in the VMI. I guess it’s possible that someone could do something wrong or the system could fail, but all extra key orders should be detailed in the system.

Quote:
I do not beleive this was asked by anyone - or maybe I just am misunderstanding. Is this also the case if I have one or more current keys that just "get old" and would like new ones and will trade, etc. Do they count against the "eight."
Yes. On the ML, it is not possible to order a “replacement� key. Each key must have a unique number that is one of the eight possible. I recall a few members here discussing the possibility of taking a key apart to put it into a new housing, but it seems the housings cannot be easily disassembled.

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#19 (permalink) Old 02-18-2006, 07:22 PM
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RE: Can't get a duplicate key/remote? 1998 ML320

MB dealer says cannot get replacement key only unused ones available. Use up 8, order new lock set package for $2500.00 parts plus $1100.00 labor.
By the way parts back ordered to germany been waiting 6 weeks!

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#20 (permalink) Old 02-19-2006, 09:43 AM
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RE: Can't get a duplicate key/remote? 1998 ML320

Just experienced the same sad story on a 98 ML-320 we sold to a friend ! Our friend had the car towed in after her second key (of the two we provided with the car) stopped working. Turns out it was the last (8th) key rail, so car needed to be rekeyed and have AAM replaced (to the tune of 4K$. Two discoveries.

1) Know how many keys (or in Mercedes talk, "key rails") have been exhausted on a pre-owned car befor you buy. We bought ours from "pre-owned" from dealer in 1998, where previous owner was owner of dealership. We should have suspected key weirdnees as dealer replaced two keys under warranty when we took delivery of car. We had service dept. do VMI report after the repalcement and it turns out there were two key replacements (of 2 keys each) before we even bought the car from dealer. According to service advisor, we bought the car on "starting at key rail number 6". I complained to both the dealership and Mercedes Benz USA about lack of disclosure and was informed that that dealer is under NO OBLIGATION to share this information when selling the car. So much for the quality that Benz aspires to.

2) 97-99 models have special problems - apparently these models have incompatible engine control/immobilizer electronics (AAMs) with newer key replacement sets. Somewhere on this board someone has posted the actual service bulletin from Mercedes. Suspicious or not, it appears that Mercedes USA backs this forced upgrade of AAMs when the 97-99 models are re-keyed, that runs up cost from 1.2K$ to 4K$.


I'm still fighting this one with both the dealer who sold me the car (for selling us car with known key troubles and virtually no replacement keys left) and Mercedes USA (for defective design that forces expensive upgrade). The service dealer has already agreed to drop pricing by 1K (no labor, parts at insider cost), but I'm still not satisfied.

Good Luck - glad I bought 2002 new and have had no key issues.
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