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Please I beg for help. I bought my son a 1998 ML 320. It was/is his first and only car he will get. It was a smog nightmare that was more money than I paid for car here in CA. He had 1 ONE KEY and lost it. It's been at the dealer in Laguna Niguel for a week tomorrow, they said it's not the new key, but now the "car"... It starts up then stops. Our normal mechanic said it's putting itself in safety mode. But I'm calling mercedes tomorrow. Do you have ANY advice? I'm begging you from a single mom, please. Is there anyway to get this magic new key to work? Thank you.
 

W163 and General M Gremlin
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Please I beg for help. I bought my son a 1998 ML 320. It was/is his first and only car he will get. It was a smog nightmare that was more money than I paid for car here in CA. He had 1 ONE KEY and lost it. It's been at the dealer in Laguna Niguel for a week tomorrow, they said it's not the new key, but now the "car"... It starts up then stops. Our normal mechanic said it's putting itself in safety mode. But I'm calling mercedes tomorrow. Do you have ANY advice? I'm begging you from a single mom, please. Is there anyway to get this magic new key to work? Thank you.
Lost the key FOB or just a key (valet)?
MB dealership or not? By your statements, sounds like a non MB dealership.

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Thank you THANK you for answering. He lost the original flip/chipped 1998 key that came when I bought the car from original owner. Mercedes has now "flown in" a new key that starts the engine but it shuts off like it's being stolen. We cannot total out this car just over a lost key :(
 

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W163 and General M Gremlin
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Thank you THANK you for answering. He lost the original flip/chipped 1998 key that came when I bought the car from original owner. Mercedes has now "flown in" a new key that starts the engine but it shuts off like it's being stolen. We cannot total out this car just over a lost key :(
So when you called MB to obtain a replacement valet key only (as the FOB keys are NLA for all W163s), I presume you provided your vin# to them and they sent you the appropriate key, correct?
That valet key should work; if not then the chip in that valet key is not being recognized by your imobilizer (security system).

 

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Yes! Correct. As soon as he lost the key (at the beach) the car was towed to MB dealer. They "flew in a special key for the 1998) they can get this new key to turn on the car but it shuts off. They are in possession of car and new key and registration and VIN. The engine keeps cutting off about 5 seconds after it turns on now. I need to make some decision by tomorrow and everything I'm reading says the car has just put itself into safety mode. But why wouldn't dealer know this?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I've also read on this forum that new chrome keys REFUSE to work in old mercedes. So, if that's true? What should I do?
 

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newbie here but just trying to help as well (or cause more confusion :) - so follow other member advise over mine

see this text below from this sticky (max 8 keys): Everything you always wanted to know about DAS max of 8 keys will work or replace DAS module

The key "flown in" should match 1 of those 8 numbers from a computer called "DAS" and that number should not have been disabled previously.
The shop/dealer I think should have checked the drive authorization in the computer - if its a merc dealer, they obviously will know this, I think something like this (to check if the new key is recognized and allows the car to start up):
2643982


When a new key is requested, either because one is lost or the customer desires an additional spare key, it is ordered from the PDC where it is created with the next unused key number according to FDOK. If the key is a replacement for a lost key, the service center technician will disable the key number of the missing key. This can be done as either a reversible or irreversible process. This has no effect on the RCL function; it芒鈧劉s programming is handled separately within the AAM. This means that it is possible to have a key that can function for RCL, but not start the engine. Once all eight key numbers have been created by the PDC, any additional keys would require replacement of the DAS module and the creation of an entirely new key set from the PDC.
 

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Yes! Correct. As soon as he lost the key (at the beach) the car was towed to MB dealer. They "flew in a special key for the 1998) they can get this new key to turn on the car but it shuts off. They are in possession of car and new key and registration and VIN. The engine keeps cutting off about 5 seconds after it turns on now. I need to make some decision by tomorrow and everything I'm reading says the car has just put itself into safety mode. But why wouldn't dealer know this?
@Deplore
All keys for North America are made at facility in Grapevine, Texas. It is possible that chip in the spare key was coded wrong or vehicle had engine control module and AAM replaced in the past. So now its VIN number is mismatched with ECM/AAM.
 

W163 and General M Gremlin
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I've also read on this forum that new chrome keys REFUSE to work in old mercedes. So, if that's true? What should I do?
It's in their possession, MB service dealership.
If it's shutting down, then it seems possible the valet key they provided, is the issue. The chip in the valet is not being recognized.
Note: I am also assuming you provided the correct vin# on the SUV to them.
You should make clear to them, in writing, that they provided the new reaplacement MB valet key that matches the vin# you provided to them (I assume you also provided Proof of Ownership?)

Is it possible they screwed up on the chip match?
Anythings possible.
SO... document everything in your correspondence with them.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
newbie here but just trying to help as well (or cause more confusion :) - so follow other member advise over mine

see this text below from this sticky (max 8 keys): Everything you always wanted to know about DAS max of 8 keys will work or replace DAS module

The key "flown in" should match 1 of those 8 numbers from a computer called "DAS" and that number should not have been disabled previously.
The shop/dealer I think should have checked the drive authorization in the computer - if its a merc dealer, they obviously will know this, I think something like this (to check if the new key is recognized and allows the car to start up):
View attachment 2643982
It's in their possession, MB service dealership.
If it's shutting down, then it seems possible the valet key they provided, is the issue. The chip in the valet is not being recognized.
Note: I am also assuming you provided the correct vin# on the SUV to them.
You should make clear to them, in writing, that they provided the new reaplacement MB valet key that matches the vin# you provided to them (I assume you also provided Proof of Ownership?)

Is it possible they screwed up on the chip match?
Anythings possible.
SO... document everything in your correspondence with them.
@Deplore
All keys for North America are made at facility in Grapevine, Texas. It is possible that chip in the spare key was coded wrong or vehicle had engine control module and AAM replaced in the past. So now its VIN number is mismatched with ECM/AAM.
I am suuuppeer naive however I did call the Benz mechanic that worked on this car for 15 years (it had 1 owner, I was so lucky I thought) and he was super nice to go through all the past records and said nothing he fixed on the car would have caused this. The current dealer has the car with the VIN and registration in my name. I will run this by them tomorrow. You don't think it's a case of new chrome keys not working in older models?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
It's in their possession, MB service dealership.
If it's shutting down, then it seems possible the valet key they provided, is the issue. The chip in the valet is not being recognized.
Note: I am also assuming you provided the correct vin# on the SUV to them.
You should make clear to them, in writing, that they provided the new reaplacement MB valet key that matches the vin# you provided to them (I assume you also provided Proof of Ownership?)

Is it possible they screwed up on the chip match?
Anythings possible.
SO... document everything in your correspondence with them.
They keep swearing it is NOT the new key but the car. But the car was fine before the new key. The mechanic at MB even said "If you found your old key now it wouldn't even work because there's something wrong" BUT our family mechanic is thinking noooooo the car is in a safety mode because the computer system has been messed with
 

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newbie here but just trying to help as well (or cause more confusion :) - so follow other member advise over mine

see this text below from this sticky (max 8 keys): Everything you always wanted to know about DAS max of 8 keys will work or replace DAS module

The key "flown in" should match 1 of those 8 numbers from a computer called "DAS" and that number should not have been disabled previously.
The shop/dealer I think should have checked the drive authorization in the computer - if its a merc dealer, they obviously will know this, I think something like this (to check if the new key is recognized and allows the car to start up):
View attachment 2643982
Not that easy. MY98-99 do not have separate DAS module. ECM and AAM are married.
 
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Not that easy. MY98-99 do not have separate DAS module. ECM and AAM are married.
ok thanks for the input, i'm learning... so in worst scenario, current ECM/AAM pair should be replaced with a married ECM/AAM? and assuming VIN may need to be cloned to the new pair - there's probably reading material out there I haven't fully absorbed yet but happy to hear your thoughts. thanks!
update:
assuming above that all 8 keys are used up (if that concept is still true for MY98-99)
and also found this bit in the sticky -
For the W163 M-Class, the DAS circuitry was integrated into the AAM circuitry for model years 1998 and 1999. Beginning with model year 2000, the DAS circuitry was placed in a separate module that is externally connected to the AAM. This allows for an easier and less expensive replacement of DAS in those vehicles.

They keep swearing it is NOT the new key but the car. But the car was fine before the new key. The mechanic at MB even said "If you found your old key now it wouldn't even work because there's something wrong" BUT our family mechanic is thinking noooooo the car is in a safety mode because the computer system has been messed with
Is there a way BananaBenz can ask proof that key is recognized? and is not the problem. difficult to say which is correct until they show proof.
Was assuming the "Check Drive Authorization" data read which is done within ECM (at least for icarsoft) would be available on MY98.

good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
ok thanks for the input, i'm learning... so in worst scenario, current ECM/AAM pair should be replaced with a married ECM/AAM? and assuming VIN may need to be cloned to the new pair - there's probably reading material out there I haven't fully absorbed yet but happy to hear your thoughts. thanks!


Is there a way BananaBenz can ask proof that key is recognized? and is not the problem. difficult to say which is correct until they show proof.
Was assuming the "Check Drive Authorization" function from ECM would be available on MY98.

good luck!
Actually, yes. I'm taking my upset self down there tomorrow begging them to show me everything and I'm going to show them everything I've learned here. But they have big ticket items, I doubt they care about a 1998 key :(
 

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@Deplore
All keys for North America are made at facility in Grapevine, Texas. It is possible that chip in the spare key was coded wrong or vehicle had engine control module and AAM replaced in the past. So now its VIN number is mismatched with ECM/AAM.
Correct, also I'd ask the dealer if they've done their due diligence (I hope they do, but my experience with the dealership says differently....) -- did they make sure that AAM recognizes the key? What key # is it on now? Is the immobilizer ring functioning? (That would be the ring around the ignition switch)

Based on the answer, we can figure out if they're bullshitting you or actually being honest.

I had a 98 ML320 while ago that I bought for dirt cheap -- for the same reason, actually. Went through like 3 different keys, 2 ignition switch immobilizer ring and 3 AAM modules before I got it to work. But then again, I specialize in MB electronics, and I had weeks to work on that car. I don't think the dealer is willing to do that for you.

I'm not surprised the dealer is immediately presenting you with big bills first, they want you to go away instead of investigating this car. That's the standard OP for most dealerships nowadays...
 

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I suggest you equip your son with a metal detector and rake, and send him back to the beach where he lost it. It鈥檚 got to be there, somewhere.

Shouldn鈥檛 be buried too deep.

Of course the old key will start the car. There is no such thing as 鈥渟afety mode鈥. Just some BS they tell people.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I suggest you equip your son with a metal detector and rake, and send him back to the beach where he lost it. It鈥檚 got to be there, somewhere.

Shouldn鈥檛 be buried too deep.

Of course the old key will start the car. There is no such thing as 鈥渟afety mode鈥. Just some BS they tell people.
I actually DID believe it or not! Some old lady spent all day with her metal detector combing the beach (she found a ring so not a complete waste of time) the key is gone.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Correct, also I'd ask the dealer if they've done their due diligence (I hope they do, but my experience with the dealership says differently....) -- did they make sure that AAM recognizes the key? What key # is it on now? Is the immobilizer ring functioning? (That would be the ring around the ignition switch)

Based on the answer, we can figure out if they're bullshitting you or actually being honest.

I had a 98 ML320 while ago that I bought for dirt cheap -- for the same reason, actually. Went through like 3 different keys, 2 ignition switch immobilizer ring and 3 AAM modules before I got it to work. But then again, I specialize in MB electronics, and I had weeks to work on that car. I don't think the dealer is willing to do that for you.

I'm not surprised the dealer is immediately presenting you with big bills first, they want you to go away instead of investigating this car. That's the standard OP for most dealerships nowadays...
This! You! OMG!! Yes, the last thing MB said was "at this point it could just be the ring, but to even check that it will be 250 dollars and your car still might not work with this new key" well my 17 year old is paying. He was told this would be about 90 dollars, plus I just poured so much money into a whole o2 mess. So they should check the ring anyway?
 

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This! You! OMG!! Yes, the last thing MB said was "at this point it could just be the ring, but to even check that it will be 250 dollars and your car still might not work with this new key" well my 17 year old is paying. He was told this would be about 90 dollars, plus I just poured so much money into a whole o2 mess. So they should check the ring anyway?
If worst case scenario happens what do I do? Sell this car as a PNO? Who would buy it with no key :(.. I love this car.
 
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