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1998 ml320, 1998 xk8, 2000 740il
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11 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Any ideas on how to approach the next phase without the 3-4k refit would be appreciated. 98 ml320, 100k, third owner.
 

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Premium Member
02 ML320 06 ML500
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17,101 Posts
Hate to say this, but there are no miracles on the horizon. M/B refused to do anything about this debacle when it surfaced and are still living in denial about their ability to deal with it. They just don't care.
 

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1998 ml320, 1998 xk8, 2000 740il
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11 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Ordered the last two from the dealer after I bought the car a little over a year ago. Of course I wish I had known about this situation at the time of purchase. #6 came with the car and was badly worn so off I went to the dealer to find out the great news. #7 got deep sixed while on a jet ski the other day. ( brilliant, yeah?) Alas #8 has been blessed and topped with transparent duct tape to help see if the buttons might stay in tact longer than six months. Any way to get a used system from a parts car?
 

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1998 ml320, 1998 xk8, 2000 740il
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11 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the input.

Never realized all the issues going on with the early ml's. Have been researching this situation a little more over the last week and have come to realize that I will be spending a lot more money on this vehicle than I realized. To bail out of it now without telling prospective buyer of the situation would not be something I could do. Real deal breaker I would think. So far nothing major has happened. OEM tires from Sam's ($525), little oil gasket replaced due to constant leaking ($3), right rear passenger window replaced due to break-in ($250) thank goodness the alarm scared them off! Wiper Blades all around from dealer ($75), 2 keys ($275), after market trailer hitch ($250) still need light harness, battery (die hard international $125) Still have to do 100k tune up, drive train fluid changes, not really sure what has been done as the local MB service manager refuses to let me see any service history, parts guys are nice though not very informative. And now the inevitable aam/key refit @$3-4K. Purchase price of $8500.00 And I thought the 2000 e38 740il had problems! Wifes 1998 xk8 convertible has proven to be the most reliable of the three with zero tow-ins and nothing other than a thermostat replacement, tire rotate, balance and oil changes in 3 years of ownership. All vehicles purchased used. I guess the W163 body kit upgrade will be put on hold!
 

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2000 ML430 SOLD, 2007 BMW 328i Coupe, 2014 BMW i3, 2019 Honda Odyssey
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2,982 Posts
Never realized all the issues going on with the early ml's. Have been researching this situation a little more over the last week and have come to realize that I will be spending a lot more money on this vehicle than I realized. To bail out of it now without telling prospective buyer of the situation would not be something I could do. Real deal breaker I would think. So far nothing major has happened. OEM tires from Sam's ($525), little oil gasket replaced due to constant leaking ($3), right rear passenger window replaced due to break-in ($250) thank goodness the alarm scared them off! Wiper Blades all around from dealer ($75), 2 keys ($275), after market trailer hitch ($250) still need light harness, battery (die hard international $125) Still have to do 100k tune up, drive train fluid changes, not really sure what has been done as the local MB service manager refuses to let me see any service history, parts guys are nice though not very informative. And now the inevitable aam/key refit @$3-4K. Purchase price of $8500.00 And I thought the 2000 e38 740il had problems! Wifes 1998 xk8 convertible has proven to be the most reliable of the three with zero tow-ins and nothing other than a thermostat replacement, tire rotate, balance and oil changes in 3 years of ownership. All vehicles purchased used. I guess the W163 body kit upgrade will be put on hold!
Why bail? The only problem you've mentioned is a $3 oil gasket. Everything else is maintenance and incidentals - something that all car owners have to deal with.
 

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1998 ml320, 1998 xk8, 2000 740il
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11 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Got the parts estimate today!

No big deal. Just $4,400.00 for the parts not including labor! This number eight key is worth more than the car! Quote from Honolulu dealer. Figure labor will be at least half this if not more. Yeah right. Good thing I live on an island! When this last key dies, I'll just have AAA tow the damn thing to the house and let it rust away while I part it out. What a crock! Guess I'll really just have to enjoy the ride and take it one day at a time. Sure is hard not to think about. Praying to the key gods every time the thing is in my hand. Hard to imagine letting anyone other than me ever drive the car. Because what if? MyLast Merc? We'll see. Still in shock!
 

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Mine keys cost $3600.00 and 2 months, applealed, complained to government, class action suit next, AAA of texas investigating possible legislation in Texas
 

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It was fun while it lasted
2002 ML320, 2005 S430 4MATIC RIP, 2010 F150 Crew Cab
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11,148 Posts
Mine keys cost $3600.00 and 2 months, applealed, complained to government, class action suit next, AAA of texas investigating possible legislation in Texas
I am aware you have been feverishly pursuing satisfaction from MB on this issue. Now, I sympathize with you and others who've fell into the faulty AAM/DAS problem with 98 and 99 models. However, I have just as valid a counterpoint. IF Mercedes had manufactured a much simpler system that actually lent to a thief's ability to jack our vehicles, would Mercedes not have opened themselves up to an even larger liability problem?
I think MB should comp the customers in some way with this issue, but I highly doubt the judge (whoever it is) will deem there is enough incidents of this to warrant a class action. I agree MB is dropping the ball but will a class action lawsuit even be worth the effort?
 

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Premium Member
02 ML320 06 ML500
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17,101 Posts
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IF Mercedes had manufactured a much simpler system that actually lent to a thief's ability to jack our vehicles, would Mercedes not have opened themselves up to an even larger liability problem?
cmitch, it has never been an issue with respect to theft deterent, the issue is M/B has limited those particular years to 8 keys FOR THE LIFE OF THE VEHICLE. Rolling codes or not, if they were able to design it for 8 keys, why couldn't they design it for 20 keys? I also doubt that when they originally sold these vehicles, they informed the owners of the limit and better yet, what it would cost to get another eight.
 

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02 ML320 06 ML500
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17,101 Posts
You can replace the key housing? How do you do that? Inquiring minds want to know - Thanks!
I have no idea what he is talking about, but I can tell you that the housing has nothing to do with the theft system. It is a mechanical object that just has an ignition switch in it to start the truck, but again that switch has nothing to do with the theft system.
 

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ML 500 '02
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546 Posts
My point is that if the two keys that you have left still work but is just poor looking, take the electronics and the blade out of it and transplant it to a new key fob housing. Even bad switches can be replaced. Hang on, I'll be back with a link.

My car, Merecedes Benz C220. A photo commentary, bought this car second hand Sunday 10th of April 2005.

This is for a w202 but the fobs are similar. The RFID chip is probably on the board so when you transfer the electronoics, the DAS should have no problem seeing it. As for the tumbler, you swap the blade. Even bad hardware can be replaced. All you need is a good looking case from a dead key to cannibalize. You can find some on ebay but make sure you don't pay too much as all you want is the housing. I would try this before spending big bucks. Hope this helps :eek:)
 

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It was fun while it lasted
2002 ML320, 2005 S430 4MATIC RIP, 2010 F150 Crew Cab
Joined
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11,148 Posts
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cmitch, it has never been an issue with respect to theft deterent, the issue is M/B has limited those particular years to 8 keys FOR THE LIFE OF THE VEHICLE. Rolling codes or not, if they were able to design it for 8 keys, why couldn't they design it for 20 keys? I also doubt that when they originally sold these vehicles, they informed the owners of the limit and better yet, what it would cost to get another eight.
The point I'm making is that they could have made a simpler system that took an infinite number of keys, much like GM's infamous early 'key chips' that thieves had a hey day with (found a way to 'reprogram the car's key detection system). I'm not giving MB a free pass. I'm just saying that they could have done something else and then people would be wanting to sue them for that.
But, I agree. 8 keys is silly. What if it was a company car and they needed more than 8. I bet this issue has presented itself more than once. I'm glad I have 3 functioning keys to my 99.
 

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Mercedes ML 320 '98
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74 Posts
special PCB

Hi!!

The solution exists -but I'm sure about it, is not welcomed officially by MB dealers.
(probably because it is "60 seconds" way of starting cars)
Original MB computer is cheated by plugged in small PCB (for ML98-01 old type computer, price is 150USD)
Newer versions like last year S klasse or Maybach are more expensive;):confused:

DAS doesnt work, you can use any key you want!!
There is only one disadvantage - anybody can do that.
Offered locally by so called Automotive Electronic Services ;)
Im also on my #7 and #8 fob btw.



cu
 

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Registered
ML 500 '02
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546 Posts
Hi!!

The solution exists -but I'm sure about it, is not welcomed officially by MB dealers.
(probably because it is "60 seconds" way of starting cars)
Original MB computer is cheated by plugged in small PCB (for ML98-01 old type computer, price is 150USD)
Newer versions like last year S klasse or Maybach are more expensive;):confused:

DAS doesnt work, you can use any key you want!!
There is only one disadvantage - anybody can do that.
Offered locally by so called Automotive Electronic Services ;)
Im also on my #7 and #8 fob btw.



cu
If that's the case, why not relocate the transponder ring and mate it with the guts of a messed up key (a key who's rfid chip still works) behind the dash panel. Then any duplicated key blank would be able to start the car. The downside is obviously bypassing the security system. I Suppose you could rig a hidden kill switch to the transponder that would prevent someone from starting your car. That would be a simple and cheap solution. Does anyone know if any key will sync to operate the central locking. I have the feeling that the das rfid is separate from the central locking.
 

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Mercedes ML 320 '98
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74 Posts
Designo,

You're right, but working key (working RFID) still required.
In "my" solution you dont need it!!! only properly cut/duplicated blade required.
 
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