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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I posted in wrong forum and was advised to post here. Any help is appreciated.
Car starts and then shuts off in few Second. Dealer sad key bad had to order new Key which work for 1 month then again same problem. Dealer said may be part was bed, has never seen before, ordered another one. Same problem after 6 month. Now I have all 3 keys with me but none of them will start the car. I saw few postings where it has to do with AAM.
Each Key cost me around $250. I found a pattern though; each time the key went bad after my battery died (due to inside lights left on by kids). After I recharge the battery, to full level, the AAM does not recognize the Key.
I can order only 4 more before going expansive $4K complete system replacement.
Dealer is not helpful (Except saying very strange never seen before)
If any one has any advise please help
 

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1990 190E 2.6,.... 1998 ML320, 2005 ML500SE
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This is a common problem with the early ML's. I had 3 keys go bad on my 98ML, also after battery problems. Be careful, you have only 8 keys available before you have to replace the AAM. I got the same response from my dealer claiming that they were not aware of this. "BS". If you do a search on this forum and other forums you will find many instances of keys going bad. The problem dosn't seem to be as bad in the later year ML's where the AAM, EAM and DAS systems have been upgraded. I was told that if the ML doesn't start or starts and immedialtely dies, immediately remove the key and either completly charge the battery or replace the battery. It appears the key goes bad if you make a second attempt to start the ML without removing the key. I don't know if that will work but it is something to think about. I had all three keys replaced under warranty. Like you, the second replaced key was only one week after the first replacment. Now I put the battery on the charger any time I think there may be a problem with a weak battery. Good Luck.
Mike
 

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Outstanding Contributor
2006 ML500 2002 ML320
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Two questions. Do you have any key that will start the truck? When you start it and it shuts off, look in the odometer window of the cluster, is there a message that says "Start Error"?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Mike thanks Much for your response, I will keep in mind to charge first if I suspect battery is down. Unfortunately, some times kids leave the inside light on ( Like last time) and I did not notice it, after I attempted 3-4 times, However it is pretty strange that MB would neither acknowledge the problem, nor would offer any solution. Is their engineering so poor that they cant find solution to defined problem. I thought they clain to be best in engineering and Quality
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for your response, no none of the 3 keys would start the ML320. ( All of them were working fine till that day) and i dont see any abnormal light I dont know where to look for "start error" but i dont see any obvious message
 

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2006 ML500 2002 ML320
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Thanks for your response, no none of the 3 keys would start the ML320. ( All of them were working fine till that day) and i dont see any abnormal light I dont know where to look for "start error" but i dont see any obvious message
In my previous post I said to look at the odometer window in the instrument cluster, where the mileage is shown.
 

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C9H9N Offensive Odor Exuder
2002 ML320, 2005 S430 4MATIC RIP, 2010 F150 Crew Cab
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In my previous post I said to look at the odometer window in the instrument cluster, where the mileage is shown.
I may be wrong but I don't think pre 2000 models have that ability.

mdashora said:
I posted in wrong forum and was advised to post here. Any help is appreciated.
Car starts and then shuts off in few Second. Dealer sad key bad had to order new Key which work for 1 month then again same problem. Dealer said may be part was bed, has never seen before, ordered another one. Same problem after 6 month. Now I have all 3 keys with me but none of them will start the car. I saw few postings where it has to do with AAM.
Each Key cost me around $250. I found a pattern though; each time the key went bad after my battery died (due to inside lights left on by kids). After I recharge the battery, to full level, the AAM does not recognize the Key.
I can order only 4 more before going expansive $4K complete system replacement.
Dealer is not helpful (Except saying very strange never seen before)
If any one has any advise please help
As for the AAM (All Activity Module), The DAS (Drive Authorization System) is integrated with the AAM. It is the DAS part that I think is going bad. But, you have to replace the whole 9 yards. It's true there are only 8 keys available for your vehicle. When you run through them, it's AAM time and it isn't cheap, as you've discovered. There were just a few of these units that were defective in 98-2000 but, enough to prompt Mercedes to separate the DAS from the AAM, where it's not as expensive and extensive to repair. You paid way too much for those keys. They shouldn't have been more than $130.00.
 

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Black 2005 ML 500
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There is a well known problem with failing keys on the early ML models. Mercedes knows it, and all of us long time owners have experienced it or have seen large amounts of people having this problem. There were some owners tyring to do a class suit, but most people who had the problem sold their vehicles asap. It didn't help that some owners who did not suffer the problem, up to that moment, thought that the owners with that problem were exagerating their problem and critizied them, which was a really pitty..

Typical expected Mercedes behaviour is to charge for a known problem if you are out of warranty, and if you did not experienced that problem while on warranty. Even if the problem was a well known design/part defect on that model year(s) and was sure to happend sooner or later. i.e. defective fuel senders, binded fuel pumps, etc.

Attached are some known problems on this area. Don't know if it applies to you or not..

You should contact the guy who was trying to gather all the owners with these problems to see what is the status of the class suit. Unluckily most of the people, with this problem, just sell their vehicles because it becomes a liability to have a poorly designed security system and a future expense trap waiting to happen.


AC
 

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1999 ML320
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24,029 Posts
Never had any problems with the keys in my 99 model.
I had batteries changed a few times without any key failures.
I wonder what triggers the failures. Perhaps its an anti theft mode
which triggers to disable a key when the das detects some pattern.
When the battery dies , the engine simply does not crank
in my case.

This is a common problem with the early ML's. I had 3 keys go bad on my 98ML, also after battery problems. Be careful, you have only 8 keys available before you have to replace the AAM. I got the same response from my dealer claiming that they were not aware of this. "BS". If you do a search on this forum and other forums you will find many instances of keys going bad. The problem dosn't seem to be as bad in the later year ML's where the AAM, EAM and DAS systems have been upgraded. I was told that if the ML doesn't start or starts and immedialtely dies, immediately remove the key and either completly charge the battery or replace the battery. It appears the key goes bad if you make a second attempt to start the ML without removing the key. I don't know if that will work but it is something to think about. I had all three keys replaced under warranty. Like you, the second replaced key was only one week after the first replacment. Now I put the battery on the charger any time I think there may be a problem with a weak battery. Good Luck.
Mike
 

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10' CX-9 GT-AWD, 03' e39, 98' ML (gone but not forgotten)
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my 98 was behaving like that back then, the culprit was the security ring, it got replaced twice. After that, never had any problem. I never had to purchase new keys because of the start and dies right away syndrome. I don't think you key is the issue, it's your security ring on the steering column. Ask the tech check or replace that if it was never replaced.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I wanted to thank every one for their reply and help. Dealer says AAM (and some transponder) is bad and dealer is replacing it. They would order 1 new key (The flat key without remote which I did not have) and the reprogram all the 3 remaining keys. They said they tested security ring and it is ok. I asked them to replace the battery any ways. Total cost comes to around $1500.
I am still worried if they really found the root cause by diagnosis or just acted on information I provided. I don’t have any option but to remain on mercy of dealer and Mercedes.
Thanks again for all the assistance you provided.
 

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Outstanding Contributor
2006 ML500 2002 ML320
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17,581 Posts
I wanted to thank every one for their reply and help. Dealer says AAM (and some transponder) is bad and dealer is replacing it. They would order 1 new key (The flat key without remote which I did not have) and the reprogram all the 3 remaining keys. They said they tested security ring and it is ok. I asked them to replace the battery any ways. Total cost comes to around $1500.
I am still worried if they really found the root cause by diagnosis or just acted on information I provided. I don’t have any option but to remain on mercy of dealer and Mercedes.
Thanks again for all the assistance you provided.
The security ring is the transponder. This is what supradupe was trying to tell you. You should have asked more questions.
 
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