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terra_firma
02-14-2013, 02:49 PM
Sooo naturally since i got my first job of the year my only sprinter key decided to break in half inside the door lock. Here's where it gets fun:

i got the key out of the lock, soldered it back together to a miserable shape just enough to get it lodged back into the door lock and break off again. I fear that whilst doing this i totally burned up whatever stupid chip is inside the key.

I had previously ordered a spare ($50) key from freightliner like three months ago. I never went in to get the key, or get it programmed cause it sounded like they'd make me sit there all day until they felt like doing it (and we not very helpful at ordering the key anyhow). I decided with help from another member that i should just defeat my skreem and get cheaper keys made. that made it that much easier not to stop by and get the key programmed...

The good news is they still had the cut key, but couldn't program it (unless i tow my van there i guess)

So i just bought the key, took it back home hoping i could disable the skreem and my dummy key would work.

Well, first i tried it without disabling anything, i held the half of my key with the chip in it as close to the ignition key-hole as possible, while trying to start it with the new key. START ERROR.

So i follow this pdf:
http://aie-services-2.net/Sprinter/SKREEM_Removal.pdf

and removed the skreem module, disconnected the green connector.

I put the new key back in the ignition: START ERROR. it lets me turn the key the whole way the first time, then locks it so you can only get the radio and power on.

So i figure i'll disconnect the neg terminal of the battery, let whatever clear and try it again.

reconnected battery, tried new key: START ERROR!

So maybe there's something in the onboard computer that needs to be reset? (which means im still gonna have to tow it out of my alley to mercedes or freightliner dealer.....and its literally, physically impossible to get a tow truck through my alley. My van can only park out back with one very specific three-point turn (now add a tow truck to the length!)

So i'm screwed.

terra_firma
02-14-2013, 02:52 PM
OOOOOOH I got it started! I pried the chip out of the broken key and slid it into the new key, reconnected the skreem and it started right up. NOW im still going to error on the side of caution and assume that ive completely fried my chip and that that it just decided this ONE TIME to work. What did i do wrong with removing the skreem? is it because i triggered a START ERROR and THEN removed the skreem (assuming it needs a "good start" with a real key to remove this error)

glasseye
02-14-2013, 03:08 PM
You need to talk to those who actually understand the workings of this system. Either Doktor A or Chad at SOS Diagnostics.

Following misadventures similar to yours, I now have three working keys. Never again will I rely on just one key.

Aqua Puttana
02-14-2013, 03:32 PM
I can offer some insight based upon experience.

First, the lockout of key position. The key not turning back into the start position is not a function of the SKREEM. That is a function of a mechanical interlock that won't allow you to try double starting the engine. It helps to prevent that awful screech of the starter trying to engage into an already running engine. It has been a common feature on VW, Porsche, BMW, and MB vehicles for decades. It requires a key movement to the "off" position before you can get to "start" again.

Your chip being "fried". I doubt that the chip is affected by the heat of soldering if that is what you are worried about. The key plastic didn't likely get much hotter than the key would on a very hot sunny day. I suspect that you were unable to position the broken key parts properly for the SKREEM antenna to work. When I broke my key I found that the SKREEM was very finicky as to position of the key (chip) to the antenna.

The technology of that key chip proper doesn't lend itself to sporadic, rehealing operating failures. I suspect that the positioning was your problem.

Needless to say, you really should get a second key cloned by a locksmith. FWIW. vic

More info is here.

http://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?p=155692#post155692

terra_firma
02-14-2013, 04:02 PM
I can offer some insight based upon experience.

Your chip being "fried". I doubt that the chip is affected by the heat of soldering if that is what you are worried about. The key plastic didn't likely get much hotter than the key would on a very hot sunny day. I suspect that you were unable to position the broken key parts properly for the SKREEM antenna to work. When I broke my key I found that the SKREEM was very finicky as to position of the key (chip) to the antenna.

The technology of that key chip proper doesn't lend itself to sporadic, rehealing operating failures. I suspect that the positioning was your problem.

Needless to say, you really should get a second key cloned by a locksmith. FWIW. vic

More info is here.

http://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?p=155692#post155692

Great info,

-Well the key was hot enough to burn my hand while touching it to solder in place (i have like zero soldering equip besides the gun) So i was worried.

-i just called freightliner and asked for another TWO keys. they are $45 each and probably $40-60 each to program. Should i ask them to clone the keys when they program them, or are they going to get unique codes? (which are apparently limited to 8 according to the post you linked to)

-i also disconnected the skreem again, trying it with my new frankenstein key and got the START ERROR. so there must be some additional step to removing it properly?

Aqua Puttana
02-14-2013, 04:11 PM
Great info,

-Well the key was hot enough to burn my hand while touching it to solder in place (i have like zero soldering equip besides the gun) So i was worried.
I just sounds like you're a wimp. :tongue:


Just kidding.


-i just called freightliner and asked for another TWO keys. they are $45 each and probably $40-60 each to program. Should i ask them to clone the keys when they program them, or are they going to get unique codes? (which are apparently limited to 8 according to the post you linked to)
Freightliner will create new keys. They will likely not have clone capability.

Not that you asked...
That sounds like a very good price for two programmed keys from a dealership. Much better than any I've heard mentioned. I could be wrong...

I would go and pay for the keys in advance. Make certain that your receipt specifically states that the price includes programming the keys to your vehicle. Good luck. vic

autostaretx
02-14-2013, 10:38 PM
As Vic said: your original chip is quite happy... if the SKREEM is accepting it, it's working.

If you get the key "cloned" by a locksmith, you do NOT need to reprogram the Sprinter's SKREEM... the new keys will look just like the old one to it.

Unless your Freightliner dealer is really weird, (again, as Vic says), they will order NEW keys, which WILL require SKREEM reprogramming
(you might as well have them educate the SKREEM about your current non-functional new one, too)
...then you could move the old chip to a far far cheaper mechanical $6 blank copied to your old key's shape.

Me? I'd probably just go buy locksmith-cloned keys... and keep a purely mechanical $6 key on my ring to suffer the forces needed to open the door.
(you might investigate shuffling door lock cylinders to bring a "looser" one to that door...)

added: ... and there is NOT an "easy bypass" for the SKREEM... even in Europe (where there are lots of Sprinters, hence well-equipped theft rings) they bring along BOTH a SKREEM and ECU for doing a rapid steal: they pull out the existing ECU, replace it with their own unit which has a mating (knows their chip) SKREEM attached, and then simply override/overpower the existing ignition key switch (with a big screwdriver, for example).

--dick

glasseye
02-14-2013, 11:55 PM
they bring along BOTH a SKREEM and ECU for doing a rapid steal:
--dick

Wow. Tough to defend against that, eh?

We need a way to "jumper out" the whole immobilizer system and replace it with a secret toggle switch or two as Vic suggests.