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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,
I love this Forum, and now i'm having problems with my ML so i will do my first post.
I have a ML320 1998 here in Brazil, my ML is from EUA. For the 3Th time i change my battery because i forgot the DVD playing. And all the times the Key doesen't work out anymore. I towed to my dealership and they said that took 30 days to arrive the new key for US$988,00. But now he said that he can't change anymore because there was a limit of Keys that can be done in this model, but i don't know why my pocket (valet) key stopped to work too.
So i read all the posts and i boubt it that was a transponder or microchip or DAS inside those Keys.
I opened the keys and found that there was no trasponder!
I beleave thet isue occours because the key was on the ignition when the battery goes dead, toasting the Key.
So please HELP ME!
1-)Where i can buy more keys? (like 10 hehe[8D])
2-)I will have always this problem when my battery goes dead?
3-)I have 3 Keys here, can i program one of them (including the Valett key)

THANKS ALL!!!![xx(][xx(][xx(]
 

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98ML320
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What are you doing to your keys? firing range target?

I've had 2 batteries go dead, never had any problems with the keys. Put in a new battery and everything works fine.

If you've gone through all the allowed keys then the only option is a new computer (several thousand dollars and likely more down there). Figure out if the keys are actually burned out or just your dealer ripping you off. If your keys are short circuiting just because of a dead battery there is something seriously wrong with the wiring in your car.

Valet key should work unless the car security system has immobilized the car but that should not be the case. If it is the security then the car will turn over but it won't catch and run.
 

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2000 ML430, 2005 C320 4matic
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it seems like your dealer is taking advantange of you BIG time. if your battery dies bec you have an after market DVD player you can do many things, get a solar charger and plug it to the lighter, or get a charger that you take home plug it, and when you run out of battery go get it and plug it to your red and black cables and listo, your truck should start. get AAA or any road assistance and let them do it.

the keys cost only $120 US dollars not 900, do not buy more keys because you do not need them, go to another dealer and let them program it if needed, (i do not think you need that, may be just change battery) the valet key should start your car no matter what, if not maybe is the starter, spark plugs selenoids, cables etc etc etc but not the keys.

go to a good local repair shop or change your dealer.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks Guys,

The Dealer said to me that when the battery goes dead the keys was in the contact so the keys was sending the signal to the car and the car was sending no signal, so the key after hours trying toasted! I think this is ridiculous!
The car is with a new battery but i try to star the engine and it starts in 1 second but automatically it turns off and says "start error". I've already changed the battery 2x3V and all works fine but the engine doesen't start.
US$ 140 is a great price, but someone told me that in Miami a wife sotole the car of the husband in a divorce making a new key in the dealer, so they can't sell a new key withou the Car + owner + doccument + picture ID + a lot stuff.
Someone know were i can buy these keys (not EBAY)
THANKS FOR ALL [:eek:)]
 

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CURRENT: 2011 SL550 FORMER: C300, ML350, CLK550 Cabriolet, C240, ML320, 300TD
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The Dealer said to me that when the battery goes dead the keys was in the contact so the keys was sending the signal to the car and the car was sending no signal, so the key after hours trying toasted! I think this is ridiculous!
The car is with a new battery but i try to star the engine and it starts in 1 second but automatically it turns off and says "start error". I've already changed the battery 2x3V and all works fine but the engine doesen't start.
US$ 140 is a great price, but someone told me that in Miami a wife sotole the car of the husband in a divorce making a new key in the dealer, so they can't sell a new key withou the Car + owner + doccument + picture ID + a lot stuff.
Someone know were i can buy these keys (not EBAY)
I believe what you are being told is true, i.e. that if you leave the key in the ignition with the ignition on, and the vehicle battery dies, it can cause the key to stop working. The reason for this is that it uses a rolling-code security system. This is similar to the way most rolling code system work except that the Drive Authorization System, or DAS, will actually write the next possible code to the key. In most other systems, such as garage door openers and keyless entry, there is not this two-way transmission of information between the transmitter and receiver.

I can see several situations where a low vehicle battery could cause the key to get out of sync. However, it is not necessary to replace the key! The dealer should be able to resynchronize the key. In fact, they are having to perform the same operation when they order a replacement – they are either just trying to make extra money from you or they do not have the necessary information on how to reprogram an existing key.

- RODNEY
 

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Is it true that you can only buy a certain number of keys or is that some kind of urban legend?

[?]
 

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It is true, there are only a certin number of keys available for re-issue for each vehicle, once the limit is reached your only option is to have the computer changed and that's where it gets expensive. Before I purchased my used 99 ML430, I checked to see how many Key's were still available, probably a good idea if you're purchasing a used MB.

Good Luck,
 

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'07 C280 4matic, '06 530i, '98 ML320
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When I asked the dealer when I bought my truck,
the dealer said, only 6 keys can be cut for my truck.
As suggested in the previous post. So, when purchasing a used vehicle, it's a good idea to check how many keys are still available for the vehicle. If all 6 keys have been issued for that vehicle, then you are looking at thousands of dollars in replacing the ignition system.
 

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CURRENT: 2011 SL550 FORMER: C300, ML350, CLK550 Cabriolet, C240, ML320, 300TD
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Is it true that you can only buy a certain number of keys or is that some kind of urban legend?
This is not an urban legend - it is true. The way this works is that each key has a unique static serial number. That, combined with its rolling security code, is used for authentication by DAS. The EEPROM in DAS can only hold a limited number of serial numbers (I believe it is 6). Once all locations in the DAS EEPROM are coded with key serial numbers, no more keys can be added. If you were to need to add additional keys, the EEPROM would need to be erased and reprogrammed from scratch. This requires the valet key. Although it does not have rolling code capabilities, it has a “master� code for opening up the programming of a “virgin� DAS.

All of this holds true until MY2002, when they converted to DAS-3, which requires authentication by both DAS and the ECM. In this case there is no valet key and no “master� code. For DAS-3, the keys function the same way, but the six possible serial numbers are pre-coded into both the DAS and the ECM. These codes cannot be re-programmed by the dealer. The only way to get a new key is to order it from MBZ, who creates it with one of the remaining correct serial numbers based on their database for that vehicle. If all six keys are lost, then the only alternative is to replace the ECM and the DAS modules, which will then open up a new set of serial numbers. This is exactly the same way that the infrared SmartKey system works, except it has more possible key codes (8 simultaneously active out of a pool of 24).

- RODNEY
 

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bigcatny - 2/19/2005 7:22 PM

What are you doing to your keys? firing range target?

I've had 2 batteries go dead, never had any problems with the keys. Put in a new battery and everything works fine.

If you've gone through all the allowed keys then the only option is a new computer (several thousand dollars and likely more down there). Figure out if the keys are actually burned out or just your dealer ripping you off. If your keys are short circuiting just because of a dead battery there is something seriously wrong with the wiring in your car.

Valet key should work unless the car security system has immobilized the car but that should not be the case. If it is the security then the car will turn over but it won't catch and run.
If you install a new battery with the key inserted then you will do a random amount of damage to the key recognition system and or front SAM.

As for the keys themselves, there could be a limit of as many as 7 or 9 keys before it stops taking new ones. If the ignition switch (EIS) is blown then thats a whole different story.

In any event I think the dealer is a strange person asking for $988 USD for something sold in Germany for $100-$200 USD.

I think its time to disconnect DVD for now until you fix everything.
 

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rudeney - 2/22/2005 5:17 PM

Is it true that you can only buy a certain number of keys or is that some kind of urban legend?
This is not an urban legend - it is true. The way this works is that each key has a unique static serial number. That, combined with its rolling security code, is used for authentication by DAS. The EEPROM in DAS can only hold a limited number of serial numbers (I believe it is 6). Once all locations in the DAS EEPROM are coded with key serial numbers, no more keys can be added. If you were to need to add additional keys, the EEPROM would need to be erased and reprogrammed from scratch. This requires the valet key. Although it does not have rolling code capabilities, it has a “master� code for opening up the programming of a “virgin� DAS.

All of this holds true until MY2002, when they converted to DAS-3, which requires authentication by both DAS and the ECM. In this case there is no valet key and no “master� code. For DAS-3, the keys function the same way, but the six possible serial numbers are pre-coded into both the DAS and the ECM. These codes cannot be re-programmed by the dealer. The only way to get a new key is to order it from MBZ, who creates it with one of the remaining correct serial numbers based on their database for that vehicle. If all six keys are lost, then the only alternative is to replace the ECM and the DAS modules, which will then open up a new set of serial numbers. This is exactly the same way that the infrared SmartKey system works, except it has more possible key codes (8 simultaneously active out of a pool of 24).
The "DAS" you refer to I assume is the Driver Authorisation System. It has what is called "rails" where the key data is stored and when all locations are full you can try to erase the EIS (electronic ignition switch) but I think it is easier to buy a new one.

A new EIS needs a green key which will download the cars master code to memory. When the master code is combined with the key ID then it is matched for the car.

This can only be done with the diagnostic STAR system.
 

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The "DAS" you refer to I assume is the Driver Authorisation System. It has what is called "rails" where the key data is stored and when all locations are full you can try to erase the EIS (electronic ignition switch) but I think it is easier to buy a new one.

A new EIS needs a green key which will download the cars master code to memory. When the master code is combined with the key ID then it is matched for the car.

This can only be done with the diagnostic STAR system.
Yes, DAS = Drive Authorization System. The W163 does not use the EIS as in the other current MBZ models. Instead, it uses a DAS module that is built into (or as of MY2000, externally connected to) the AAM (All Activity Module). Instead of using an IR communication between the key and EIS, the ML uses an RF communication. Also, DAS has nothing to do with the steering column lock or starter switch; on the ML, the mechanical blade key and tumblers unlock the steering column and activate starter switch. On the ML, it is possible to run the starter without DAS authorization, but the ECM will not provide fuel.

I assume when you say “rails�, you are talking about the key segments? With DAS-3, there are three “key segments�. Each segment can hold 8 key numbers. Think of this as a spreadsheet with 8 columns and 3 rows. The rows are the “segment numbers� and the columns are the “key numbers�. For each column or “key number� there can only be one active row or “segment�. The vehicle is delivered with two keys: key numbers 1 and 2, both for segment number 1. If the customer loses a key, the dealership will order a replacement with the same key number, but the next open segment. When the replacement key is first used, DAS-3 will “deactivate� all keys with the same number in the lower segments. If the customer wants just another spare key, the dealer will order the next unused key number in segment 1.

Other than ordering the correct key number and segment number for the correct VIN, there is no “programming� that has to be done. DAS-3 will recognize the key when inserted (although it could take up to 90 minutes to process it). If an owner has gone through all 24 possible unique key/segment numbers, or has lost three keys on the same key code and wants the third lost one to be de-programmed, the DAS system and ECM must be replaced. The DAS-3 data cannot be erased, or at least there are no official procedures for doing so. Even if it could be done, MBZ would probably never re-issue a new key set and master (i.e. “green key�) for the vehicle. The “green key� is programmed by MBZ for a particular vehicle and is used to download the 24 key and segment numbers to a virgin EIS. Note that the 2002-2005 ML’s do not use a green master key. Instead, all key and segment codes must be pre-programmed at the factory.

Pre-2002 ML’s use DAS-2. In this system, there are simply eight EEPROM memory locations where keys can be programmed. This is done using the HHT (a.k.a. Star Diagnostics). Lost keys can be erased and new ones can be added up to eight simultaneously active keys. By the way, you may see people selling the ML keys on Ebay. Theoretically, you could have these programmed into your DAS for pre-2002 ML’s, but you’d also need a blade cut to match the tumblers for the steering column lock. My guess is that if the dealer would be willing to do that, you’d probably end up spending as much as you would just to have them order you a new key. For 2002 and later ML’s, these keys are no good at all since DAS-3 has been factory programmed with all 24 key and segment combinations have been pre-programmed.

- RODNEY
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Ok, i'm going to Miami to buy the Key next tuesday, someone knows were i can buy both keys (Regular and Vallet) without the car? Only with de brazilian document and my driver's licence, because someone told me that is very dificult to buy a key in EUA withou the car or the owner... Or if someone knows somebody in any dealer im Orlando or Miami.

Key in Brazil US$959,00
Key in EUA US$140 + AIR TICKET BRAZIL-EUA US$ 620,00
Will be chiper go to Miami get my keys and have some fun in Disney World!!!

[:p][:p][:p]
Thanks again

P.S. All the information of my keys is in the pictures in the begining of the forum.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Ok, i'm going to Miami to buy the Key next tuesday, someone knows were i can buy both keys (Regular and Vallet) without the car? Only with de brazilian document and my driver's licence, because someone told me that is very dificult to buy a key in EUA withou the car or the owner... Or if someone knows somebody in any dealer im Orlando or Miami.

Key in Brazil US$959,00
Key in EUA US$140 + AIR TICKET BRAZIL-EUA US$ 620,00
Will be chiper go to Miami get my keys and have some fun in Disney World!!!

[:p][:p][:p]
Thanks again

P.S. All the information of my keys is in the pictures in the begining of the forum.
 

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99ML320 (retired) C230 530xi 911-C4
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sarrafo - 2/26/2005 5:01 PM

Ok, i'm going to Miami to buy the Key next tuesday, someone knows were i can buy both keys (Regular and Vallet) without the car? Only with de brazilian document and my driver's licence, because someone told me that is very dificult to buy a key in EUA withou the car or the owner... Or if someone knows somebody in any dealer im Orlando or Miami.

Key in Brazil US$959,00
Key in EUA US$140 + AIR TICKET BRAZIL-EUA US$ 620,00
Will be chiper go to Miami get my keys and have some fun in Disney World!!!

[:p][:p][:p]
Thanks again
.
Sarrafo,
Do a search online for MB dealer in Miami area first.
Call them from Brazil and ask for svc dept and explain the situation and ask them what you need to bring...

PS: Miami has wonderful south beach - no disney there :)
 

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before you come, try making phone calls to the dealers here, I have read in this forum that all the master keys are stored in the factory and that they only can make 4 - 7 i've seen 2 numbers, after that the original is destroyed. I would check how many are there in the factory and if they could send you one to any dealer before making a trip, just for the keys....

and like I said before try other dealer or a local shop where they could find the REAL problem, because I can tell you that your problem are not the KEYS.

do not buy anything from e bay, they can not give you a key or anything that will work on your ML, ONLY an authorized dealer can do this. Now if you have your pocket key, that should work, if it doesn't, you have to check your ignition system.

I do not want you to go to florida buy another key go back to brazil and realize that you still are in day one with the same problem but with a new key and a vacation, save that money for your ignition system you might need it, specially if they charge you 988 for a key i do not want to know how much they will charge you for the ignition system.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks Dracullo and road session,
I will go to Florid anyway now, i will see the Jet Plane Show in Orlando, then i will se the keys and a lot of parts that i need, because my 1998 ML320 is a great crap because it was all broked to instal the shield glasses and kevlar bullet proff!Thats the cost to have a Mercedes in Brazil!!! But you're right, the vallet key gotta work anyway, i'm trying another Dealer, i think i need only to reprogram the Keys and the new keys are easier to reprogram so the dealer instead of reprogram my Keys are ripping me off and making i buy a new one, but the worst is that the keys take 30 to 40 days to came. I don't know why that, and this dealer is great, they was delivering an SL66 AMG in the same day i was looking for keys. Maybe that;s why they have this prices!
I will call a Dealer in Miami tomorrow!
Thanks for all!
PS. Yesterday i installed an wood steering weel of an SL500 1995 and look's great, i will post some pictures of all the none-cost changes that i made in my ML!
 
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