Drowned ignition key.

hippy

hardware modifier
Is it repairable? 2011 model 316.
Take the little key out, pop it apart and take the battery out. Stick it in a container and cover it with white rice over night. This will draw out the moisture and hopefully tomorrow it will all work when you reassemble it.
Good luck
 

Kajtek1

2015 3500 X long limo RV
Depends what it was submerged in, I would wash it with distillate water first before doing the rice
 

glasseye

Well-known member

Jim Dow

Member
Thank you gentlemen. Unfortunately it was in a plastic bag in my wetsuit, and I have tried to use it. I'll give the flush and dessicant a go and let you know.
 

mija5290

Member
If that doesn't work, the rice will attract Asians who will fix it for you. :thinking:
Nah only joking
Hopefully some real suggestions that others have given are helpful.
 

Eric Experience

Well-known member
Jim.
Your best bet is to place it in a vacuum. If you can not find a vacuum pump place it in a container and connect it to the vacuum pump on your Sprinter. Eric
 

PeterInSa

Active member
We have accident Insurance or what ever its called, ie if you lose your sunglasses, drop your laptop. Do you have similar cover if so I would claim a replacement key.
 

autostaretx

Erratic Member
At least the RFID function should not have been damaged by the dunking ... so the key can still *start* your Sprinter.
It's the remote key functions that suffer if soaked in salt water.

--dick
 

Nic7320

Solera 24S on 2011 3500 NCV3 chassis
In the electronics industry, we used deionized water for cleaning circuit boards after wave soldering, because most fluxes now are water soluble. So clean water isn't the problem, it's the contaminants it might carry, and getting the moisture out later that's the problem.

With the older rosin fluxes, I used Isopropyl alcohol for cleaning, using a solvent brush or Kim Wipes. It's simple and cheap, and worth a try.

Contrary to popular opinion -- plastic parts such as plastic ICs (which we call "plastic encapsulated microcircuits" or PEMs) aren't perfectly sealed. Over time, these parts can absorb moisture into the plastic. So when they manufacture boards with plastic ICs, they first use a process to slowly bake out the moisture before wave soldering or IR reflow, so the parts don't "popcorn" when moisture turns to steam.

But you're not resoldering anything, so any moisture it has can be dried out. So, I would suggest you clean the circuit board the best you can with rags or tissue, using IPA (isopropyl alcohol), and put it in a toaster oven on a very low setting to drive the moisture out. Or, you can put it on a window sill or your dash in the sun.
 
Last edited:

Jim Dow

Member
In the electronics industry, we used deionized water for cleaning circuit boards after wave soldering, because most fluxes now are water soluble. So clean water isn't the problem, it's the contaminants it might carry, and getting the moisture out later that's the problem.

With the older rosin fluxes, I used Isopropyl alcohol for cleaning, using a solvent brush or Kim Wipes. It's simple and cheap, and worth a try.

Contrary to popular opinion -- plastic parts such as plastic ICs (which we call "plastic encapsulated microcircuits" or PEMs) aren't perfectly sealed. Over time, these parts can absorb moisture into the plastic. So when they manufacture boards with plastic ICs, they first use a process to slowly bake out the moisture before wave soldering or IR reflow, so the parts don't "popcorn" when moisture turns to steam.

But you're not resoldering anything, so any moisture it has can be dried out. So, I would suggest you clean the circuit board the best you can with rags or tissue, using IPA (isopropyl alcohol), and put it in a toaster oven on a very low setting to drive the moisture out. Or, you can put it on a window sill or your dash in the sun.
Too late. Bought a new one and threw the other out. I did try dessicant for a few days, but after an initial LED glow there was nothing. I've changed my habits , from keeping everything to fix them later, to trying once, then turfing them.
 

Nic7320

Solera 24S on 2011 3500 NCV3 chassis
Save your mechanical key. It still works in the door and if you find a new fob, they won't have to cut a new key. Unfortunately, (and for security reasons), a new fob still requires a trip to the dealer for programming.
 

bigb

2011 Winnebago Via 25Q on 3500 Sprinter Tucson, AZ
How can I tell if my 2010 has RFID keys? Or do they all have them? I don't have the Sprinter cab doors since the whole cab was cut off for the MH build but the remote locks both the motorhome driver's door and the coach door, it's the Mercedes remote with the switchblade key.
 

Nic7320

Solera 24S on 2011 3500 NCV3 chassis
If you have a Mercedes dash, most likely it has a MB key with RFID. Post a picture of what you got.
 

Nic7320

Solera 24S on 2011 3500 NCV3 chassis
That's a standard 2-button Sprinter key. Later years they had a 3-button key. To get one of those keys requires a trip to a MB dealer, and you have to show proof you are who you say you are, and you really do own the vehicle (so bring your registration and driver's license). Then it takes a couple days for them to cut the mechanical key, and once they have that, the fob needs programmed to the vehicle where they have internet access to their server.

It's quite an ordeal, but it makes MB cars hard to steal.

But as a consequence of all this, if you're out in the boonies and lose your one and only key, it's an expensive tow job plus couple days waiting to get a new key. So hide a second key in a lock box some place you can get to it!
 

mija5290

Member
That's a standard 2-button Sprinter key. Later years they had a 3-button key. To get one of those keys requires a trip to a MB dealer, and you have to show proof you are who you say you are, and you really do own the vehicle (so bring your registration and driver's license). Then it takes a couple days for them to cut the mechanical key, and once they have that, the fob needs programmed to the vehicle where they have internet access to their server.

It's quite an ordeal, but it makes MB cars hard to steal.

But as a consequence of all this, if you're out in the boonies and lose your one and only key, it's an expensive tow job plus couple days waiting to get a new key. So hide a second key in a lock box some place you can get to it!
I found a locksmith that was able to read the code and make a rfid copy. Cost me $110 for the key cut and cloned. Cheap insurance for a lost key.
 

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