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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone, first time posting. I have a question about keys. Fellow wants to sell me a 1997 e320 sedan. The problem is, he lost the key fob portion of the key assembly. 1997 still has the metal part of the key to it and that is all he has, the metal part. Does this car have to be towed out to a dealership to get a key made? There are no issues with the title. It is clear and no lien or anything like that. I asked a local locksmith and he said it has to go to dealership, the owner says so too. I'm just trying to avoid a 40 mile tow. Thank you.
 

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1998 E320 base sedan @ 160kmiles
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I would give a call to the dealer to see if they even can get the keyfob for you. Maybe a valet key is a cheaper alternative which will open the doors and start the car, but no remote functions.

You can have a look at the link below re: what is required and how to go about it.

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Discussion Starter #3
Valet key would be fine. If the key turns the ignition switch and turns the door locks, that is perfect.
Thank you.
 

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E320/E250 Bluetec Ford F350 6.7l
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There are no wallet keys for those cars.
In the past you could buy service key, what was the key with no remote but it WILL open trunk or GC, but I heard MB USA discontinued them. Some say MB USA also discontinued flip keys and that would be a bummer as 1997 model beside blade also has electronic chip in it.
When you say mechanical key would be just fine, were you aware that driver door has no key tumbler in it?
Still rumors come and go, so call, or visit to parts dept is the only good option. Also shop around as electronic keys can go in $250 - 550 range depends on particular dealer markup.
If dealer brings no resolution - talk to Deplore.
 

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Mercedes is leader of automotive concepts and when they made 1st popular car with remote door locks, for some reason they figured out you don't need mechanical lock on doors, so they made only mechanical tumbler on passenger door. The 1st generation remotes, with LED on inside mirror proved to be lousy, so when I had that MY, I was using trunk tumbler to operate central lock.
Things you need to consider in case you missed forum wisdom >>> "there are not too many things in this World who can become very expensive faster than cheap Mercedes-Benz"
 

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IMHO I would not buy the vehicle without the keyfob. I expect there others for sale with one or preferably both keyfobs. Keep looking.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
IMHO I would not buy the vehicle without the keyfob. I expect there others for sale with one or preferably both keyfobs. Keep looking.
THe ownership is proven and the title is clear. Is there another reason not to buy a car from a used car place with lost keys?
 

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1998 MB E300TD, 1997 MB E36 AMG, 2001 MB E55 AMG
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The reason not to buy it is that the key may not be available for purchase. I mean, even from the dealer, not available for purchase.

The folks over in the R129 and W140 (SL and S class) are pretty much losing their minds over this -- no key available. Even if you walked to the dealer and plopped in $5k on the service adviser desk, he will tell you he can't get you the key. NLA. OOS.

1996 and 1997 share a very similar immobilizer system to the R129 and W140 vehicles, so before you purchase the car, make sure to stop by the dealership parts department (and take the owner with you, he needs to be present) and ask to see if you can order master key for that car. THe owner has to present the registration and his driver license (that's to prove he owns the car) and then if they can place an order for the master key and you can receive it, then it will start the car and then you can worry about keys later.
 

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1998 E320 base sedan @ 160kmiles
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The reason not to buy it is that the key may not be available for purchase. I mean, even from the dealer, not available for purchase.

The folks over in the R129 and W140 (SL and S class) are pretty much losing their minds over this -- no key available. Even if you walked to the dealer and plopped in $5k on the service adviser desk, he will tell you he can't get you the key. NLA. OOS.

1996 and 1997 share a very similar immobilizer system to the R129 and W140 vehicles, so before you purchase the car, make sure to stop by the dealership parts department (and take the owner with you, he needs to be present) and ask to see if you can order master key for that car. THe owner has to present the registration and his driver license (that's to prove he owns the car) and then if they can place an order for the master key and you can receive it, then it will start the car and then you can worry about keys later.
Can you just replace the ECU, RCL, and the keyfob from an available donor car ? I have seen on EBay that the seller was selling everything for the locking authorization system (including the ignition lock, door and trunk locks with IR sensors of course) for $650. To pay that sort of money for a 97 E320 , you must be really in love with the car though :).
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The reason not to buy it is that the key may not be available for purchase. I mean, even from the dealer, not available for purchase.

The folks over in the R129 and W140 (SL and S class) are pretty much losing their minds over this -- no key available. Even if you walked to the dealer and plopped in $5k on the service adviser desk, he will tell you he can't get you the key. NLA. OOS.

1996 and 1997 share a very similar immobilizer system to the R129 and W140 vehicles, so before you purchase the car, make sure to stop by the dealership parts department (and take the owner with you, he needs to be present) and ask to see if you can order master key for that car. THe owner has to present the registration and his driver license (that's to prove he owns the car) and then if they can place an order for the master key and you can receive it, then it will start the car and then you can worry about keys later.
I talked to the MB dealer this evening, to the parts department. Apparently, they can still get a fully functioning keyset for this car, remote functions included. 300 USD plus the cost of a 50 mile tow. I'm not sure about biting the bullet on this one.
 

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I talked to the MB dealer this evening, to the parts department. Apparently, they can still get a fully functioning keyset for this car, remote functions included. 300 USD plus the cost of a 50 mile tow. I'm not sure about biting the bullet on this one.
fyi - late last year, I picked up a 2nd FOB, along with 2 valet keys for our 97 amg. Straight forward.
May I suggest you speak with the dealership (parts manager, I guess) along with the vin# of your proposed purchase and confirm (in writing/email) with them, that you can obtain 1-2 key fobs, with your proof of ownership.
 
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Can you just replace the ECU, RCL, and the keyfob from an available donor car ? I have seen on EBay that the seller was selling everything for the locking authorization system (including the ignition lock, door and trunk locks with IR sensors of course) for $650. To pay that sort of money for a 97 E320 , you must be really in love with the car though :).
Yes, that works...although swapping the ignition lock cylinder is a giant pain in the ass.

Depends on the car -- I would pay that money for a real E36. For a regular 97 E320, it depends on condition of the car. That's why I went and made my own E36....with less than 50 W210 E36's made worldwide, I'm sure as hell not gonna be able to get my hands on a real one. Hell, R63 AMG is more common than the E36, and that car is rarer than Ferrari F40.

I talked to the MB dealer this evening, to the parts department. Apparently, they can still get a fully functioning keyset for this car, remote functions included. 300 USD plus the cost of a 50 mile tow. I'm not sure about biting the bullet on this one.
They need the vehicle present for the remote key. For the master key (meaning key without remote functionality), no tow required. You just walk in to parts department and pick it up.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Yes, that works...although swapping the ignition lock cylinder is a giant pain in the ass.

Depends on the car -- I would pay that money for a real E36. For a regular 97 E320, it depends on condition of the car. That's why I went and made my own E36....with less than 50 W210 E36's made worldwide, I'm sure as hell not gonna be able to get my hands on a real one. Hell, R63 AMG is more common than the E36, and that car is rarer than Ferrari F40.



They need the vehicle present for the remote key. For the master key (meaning key without remote functionality), no tow required. You just walk in to parts department and pick it up.
Dealer said the car had to be there for any key. They can also make a valet key but the car still has to be there.
 

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fyi - late last year, I picked up a 2nd FOB, along with 2 valet keys for our 97 amg. Straight forward.
May I suggest you speak with the dealership (parts manager, I guess) along with the vin# of your proposed purchase and confirm (in writing/email) with them, that you can obtain 1-2 key fobs, with your proof of ownership.
Hmm...I only got verbal confirmation that they can make keys
 

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Dealer said the car had to be there for any key. They can also make a valet key but the car still has to be there.
Well, that's stupid. Ask the manager directly. North America MB revised some theft relevant policy that requires all MB vehicles to be present for keys, but that is for electronic key fobs.

Straight blade keys with no remote can still be gotten at the parts department, no vehicle presence required.

Or go to another dealer. Where are you?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Well, that's stupid. Ask the manager directly. North America MB revised some theft relevant policy that requires all MB vehicles to be present for keys, but that is for electronic key fobs.

Straight blade keys with no remote can still be gotten at the parts department, no vehicle presence required.

Or go to another dealer. Where are you?
The nearest dealer to me is in Santa Fe, NM. I'm about 50 miles north of there.
 

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Dealer said the car had to be there for any key. They can also make a valet key but the car still has to be there.
Strange.
We've only needed to provide "proof" of ownership and ID, prepaid for the FOB(s) to order and then picked up when ready. After the first time for each vehicle, for additional fobs, we just emailed our vin# to the parts manager, prepaid and picked up.
 
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Strange.
We've only needed to provide "proof" of ownership and ID, prepaid for the FOB(s) to order and then picked up when ready. After the first time for each vehicle, for additional fobs, we just emailed our vin# to the parts manager, prepaid and picked up.
Greedy dealership I guess.
 
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