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Old 11-16-2013, 02:16 AM
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Is the dealer the only option for a new key for a '99 E300?

Is the dealer the only option for a new key for a '99 E300? The dealer wants $300+ for a new key. My local independent wants a little less, but charges $60 to program it. I have found some used ones on ebay, but will they work if programed? I see that many sellers offer new shells for the smart key, but none offering a new complete key.

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Old 11-16-2013, 11:15 AM
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There are 3 parts to the key:

- the physical metal key for the locks (drivers door, glove box, trunk)
- the DAS (Drive Authorization System) authentication chip
- the RF/IR unlocking system

The physical key has to be cut to match your locks

The DAS authentication chip is an RFID device (I believe it is the same exact device they use to tag animals) so its serial number has to be registered into the car's computer in order for the car to recognize it.

The RF/IR door lock coding has to be synchronized to the car. I believe this happens automatically when you insert the key into the switch.

For these reasons I think you will have to at least have someone that has STAR DAS (the dealer diagonstic system - different meaning to DAS) to program the DAS module in your car to accept the key.

On Startek there is a copy of the MB policy on theft relevant parts, it is one of the documents in the same place where the older model FSMs are located.
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Old 11-16-2013, 11:38 AM
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My dealer (Viti in Tiverton, RI) charges $225.
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Old 11-16-2013, 02:29 PM
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There is a lot of stuff sold on E bay that has zero or questionable value, for the most part used keys from that era are useless. There are some aftermarket programmers that might be able to reprogram but the official MB tool won't.

I'm pretty sure 97 was the last year for a mechanical key with RFID ( I know the system was called DAS X ) To get this system to recognize the remote IR lock, lock the car, wait, press the button twice , open car, insert into ignition and turn to run. ( maybe start the engine, I'm not sure. )

EIS ( Electronic Ignition Switch ) started in 98 - 99 where the " Key " has a rectangular end that inserts into the column lock. The computer reads the key and if correct, releases the engine computer and allows the key to be turned.

There is a emergency mechanical key to open the door if the remote lock battery fails. The battery _IS NOT_ needed to start the car, this is done through the RFID system.
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Old 11-16-2013, 03:29 PM
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A key is a key, it makes no difference which dealer you get it from. Send or fax them the registration and your DL and they will provide a key.
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Old 11-16-2013, 03:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TnBob View Post
A key is a key, it makes no difference which dealer you get it from. Send or fax them the registration and your DL and they will provide a key.
In that case I wonder if a good route to go would be MB of Naperville, IL. They are the dealer that fulfills orders for parts.com, which is typically the cheapest way to get MB branded parts.
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Old 11-16-2013, 05:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shertex View Post
In that case I wonder if a good route to go would be MB of Naperville, IL. They are the dealer that fulfills orders for parts.com, which is typically the cheapest way to get MB branded parts.
Sounds like a good lead for one.
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Old 11-16-2013, 05:52 PM
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IIRC the site sponsor years ago honored mail orders for replacement mechanical keys cut to the VIN. Someone said most dealers today will only process key requests in person.

Sixto
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Old 11-16-2013, 07:05 PM
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Im 60 miles from a dealer. When I called and explained, they said I could mail them in and then pick the keys up.
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Old 11-17-2013, 03:26 PM
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I have seen a few keys available on Amazon and ebay, but all are either used, or just the shell and blade (key that needs to be cut). I have found this:
Brand New 433MHZ Smart Key For Mercedes-Benz without Key Shell by Yaxi

I am not sure if I purchase a shell and blade as well, if this can be programmed by the dealer or my independent shop.

Also, I don't know for sure if a used key can be re-programed (the ebay seller says yes) with reliability. Either way, I can't see spending even $225 for a key...Rich
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Old 11-17-2013, 05:16 PM
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FYI

Quote:
Originally Posted by ROLLGUY View Post
Is the dealer the only option for a new key for a '99 E300? The dealer wants $300+ for a new key. My local independent wants a little less, but charges $60 to program it. I have found some used ones on ebay, but will they work if programed? I see that many sellers offer new shells for the smart key, but none offering a new complete key.
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