Start Error, faulty SKREEM replacement options

Did you replace SKREEM modulefor your 'Start Error' and if so which option did u take


  • Total voters
    12

whitecat

New member
Folks (My Sprinter 2005/3500)

Once all the diagnosis for Start error is done, a simple search for 'Start Error' on this forum, will give anyone with all the diagnosis information one will need to eliminate other causes for start error, and if that checks out ok, one has to really replace the SKREEM module and get the keys re-programmed. At that point there are these following options:

1- Get the dealership to get you a new SKREEM and programming which involves what they call 'marry' the FOB, SKREEM and ECU - cost depends on the dealership and the prices you are able to negotiate for the part and labor, but could cost anywhere from 450 - 660. However, let me tell you that once they have the part on hand, the programming itself will only take about 30 minutes top. There are dealers that will tell you that it could take hours or that they have no idea how much time it will take etc...

2- SOS diagnostics offers the same services that is replacing SKREEM, programming (marry the modules), and based on what i read and a few emails exchanged, they also offer eliminating the immobilizer, so that you are not faced with the start error again due to faulty SKREEM. Based on my experience with SOS you can't talk to Chad on the phone easily, so if you are looking for some clarifications and/or initial phone support to even understand what they are offering, forget it. Chad likes to email, but it looks like he is overwhelmed at work, so if you are like me and like to ask questions to clarify anything, it is hard work. You can end up going back and forth with questions that he forgets to answer or miscommunications that occur easily with email communications. If you are not the type of person that cares too much about who or what the operation is, and don't mind shipping out your ecu, skreem, keys etc no questions asked, then may be this may work out for you.

Prices $395 for new skreem and programming and more for immobilizer options.... was not very clear.

3- GDE , we were able to talk to Keith at GDE, while it was nice to talk to someone on the phone if you are going to be spending that kind of money ($600 plus and more for eliminating immobilizer options), we did not find him take kindly to asking questions either. It felt more like give the money and take the tune, other people were happy sought of attitude. This did not sit well with us, besides that since there is no history of how long this solution worked for anyone, it is kinda of hard to say whether this will cause any other issues etc.

I got the feeling that neither GDE or SOS cared for my business, may be they get so much work/money that they don't care.......like for e.g. I did eventually get Chad on the phone, after i insisted i would like to speak to him, when he picked up the phone he said 'What is it, i don't have the time to talk to you, i am in the middle of programming, is this something quick?'

Are there any other options out there, we don't know...please chime in if you know for the sake of others. As for us we went with the Dealer. Choosing one was a challenge near the north east, as we were close to Maine. We went with the Burlington MB as they had a pretty friendly attitude, both Will and Carl were excellent technicians and they also offered a new client $100 discount, with a one year warranty for part and labor. We are aware that this new Skreem could also fail and leave us stranded somewhere, but with lack of options that felt comfortable to us, we were kinda of forced to choose what felt the most comfortable for now, and yes! we are back on the road again.

A poll would be useful in this situation, that is:
- what option did you chose to replace your faulty skreem module (Dealer/SOS/GDE)?
- how many years/miles has it been since you took that option?
- how has it worked for you so far?
 
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glasseye

Well-known member
SKREEM error when purchased @ 10k miles. No RKE. Probably due to poor jump starting hygiene. No start error problems were apparent.

Chad fixed it 70K miles ago. Zero problems since.
 

TechSOS

New member
Folks (My Sprinter 2005/3500)

Based on my experience with SOS you can't talk to Chad on the phone easily, so if you are looking for some clarifications and/or initial phone support to even understand what they are offering, forget it. Chad likes to email, but it looks like he is overwhelmed at work, so if you are like me and like to ask questions to clarify anything, it is hard work. You can end up going back and forth with questions that he forgets to answer or miscommunications that occur easily with email communications. If you are not the type of person that cares too much about who or what the operation is, and don't mind shipping out your ecu, skreem, keys etc no questions asked, then may be this may work out for you.
If you are the kind of person who likes everything in writing in case of a dispute (not that there ever would be one) then we are the perfect company for you. If you care about the type of person and the kind of operation you send stuff to, then we are your company. Our reputation in the Sprinter, Smart car, and many other makes is well founded and we do our best to take care of our customers needs timely and efficiently. Talking on the phone is not one of these "needs". If you need to ship items for repair and/or programming but do not want to email, we are not your company. Sorry, that's the way it is and the benefits have proven themselves over and over again in the past 15 years. I don't mind talking on the phone when necessary. However, that will be after the cut-and-paste quotes are out of the way and basic information is answered in email. I am not overwhelmed at work, and as long as I stick to email I never will be. We are imperfect like the rest of you, but if we stick to our policies, we make the fewest mistakes.
 

NelsonSprinter

Former Nelson BC Sprinter
GDE tune with Skreem delete has worked perfect for 1 year. I guess if anyone makes a cheap copy of your key it will start the van, but that's a low risk where I am. Comes with Eco tune and basic code reader and deleter
 

lindenengineering

Well-known member
Just a note!

Chad at SOS is great to deal with as a Pro to Pro in this business.
Basically I e mail the issue in question and send the items needed with support paperwork. He fixes for money, then he and his crew send back the parts. We fit, things work, life is good!

I understand he needs to keep "gas bagging" on the phone to a minimum. Time is money.
Their type of activity doesn't require too much explanation, unfortunately mine does!
So I spend more time with customers as an owner of the shop.

Cheers and Happy New Year.
Dennis
 

Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
GDE tune with Skreem delete has worked perfect for 1 year. I guess if anyone makes a cheap copy of your key it will start the van, but that's a low risk where I am. Comes with Eco tune and basic code reader and deleter
I believe it is a low risk wherever you may be in North America, unless you announce the lack of SKREEM in a public forum. :tongue:

Just kidding, really. Few ner'-do-wells will take the time to visit this forum. It becomes even fewer when you narrow down to those who will access the Northwest. :cheers:

ALL Sprinters come with SKREEM or SKIS key chip protection from the factory. That means that to outsiders your Sprinter walks like a duck and is safe with that mode. Just don't quack about the GDE modification locally.

My concern is smash and grab of the contents. Stealing an entire Sprinter seems more a problem across the pond.

I have no data.

:cheers: vic

P.S. - I hear you about gas bagging. There is no value in educating a customer on technology which he/she need only trust that it works. It isn't like most people will ever truly understand anyway. And let it be known that I include myself in that blanket statement.
 

lindenengineering

Well-known member
Vic
Good observation

P.S. - I hear you about gas bagging. There is no value in educating a customer on technology which he/she need only trust that it works. It isn't like most people will ever truly understand anyway. And let it be known that I include myself in that blanket statement.

You know Vic I see many a kind soul just glaze over if I talk to much tech, its like my daughter talking too much "med chat" with a patient.

Basically boiled down! ----Can you fix it, how much and when can I have it back?
---Working!

Now Chad at SOS did a Skreem module etc etc for me last summer and it lasted about 3 months only to fail.
I sent it all back and it was fixed again at no charge/no quibble in super quick time.
Its all back, fitted & out into a 2002 Sprinter earning its keep as a medical waste disposal truck.
SOS stands by it work--gotta be worth something remember!
Cheers Dennis
 

tinman

Active member
Can't speak to the SKREEM issue(yet?) but on recommendation from this forum I did get SOS to make me some new chip and non-chip keys a few years ago. Service was as promised, on time, at quoted cost.
 

david_42

New member
I had the dealer replace mine, but it was still under warranty. Took them three weeks, because the first replacement module got 'lost'. It was put in their warehouse! Now, I'd probably go with the tune.
 

CaptnALinTiverton

T1N Westfalia
As far as SOS Diagnostics goes, I (being a master electronics engineer) have been through it all with Chad. I've asked all the questions (not covered on his very thorough website) in many emails to him and he answered every one of them. He was originally referred to me by Dr. A. You can trust him (as I made it a point to meet him in person) to address all of your key-start needs efficiently with 100% guarantee. You also have the option of buying a SKREEM at a stealership (some offer a reasonable price) and having SOS program it for your engine computer and key. All directions and forms are on the website. He can also set you up with spares or options for prevention of future problems. I personally carry a spare set of modules programmed by SOS and also have a brand new M-B engine computer for sale for anyone who wants a new OEM component at a reduced price.

There are many causes of Start Errors; I caution you that the SKREEM can be but is not always the cause in all cases. As far as changing engine "chips" see my opinion below.

My professional opinion (after a long career in submarine electronics design and development) is not to change engine programming that very knowledgeable vehicle engineers have spent years developing. The engine may improve in performance with backyard or corner-store reprogramming but, aside from it being illegal as it affects vehicle emissions, it is dangerous to assume that unexpected and damaging vehicle operation isn't a possible result. It also voids any vehicle warranties and it could make you more liable if it were discovered following a collision.

AL
 
If you are the kind of person who likes everything in writing in case of a dispute (not that there ever would be one) then we are the perfect company for you. If you care about the type of person and the kind of operation you send stuff to, then we are your company. Our reputation in the Sprinter, Smart car, and many other makes is well founded and we do our best to take care of our customers needs timely and efficiently. Talking on the phone is not one of these "needs". If you need to ship items for repair and/or programming but do not want to email, we are not your company. Sorry, that's the way it is and the benefits have proven themselves over and over again in the past 15 years. I don't mind talking on the phone when necessary. However, that will be after the cut-and-paste quotes are out of the way and basic information is answered in email. I am not overwhelmed at work, and as long as I stick to email I never will be. We are imperfect like the rest of you, but if we stick to our policies, we make the fewest mistakes.
You sound very impressive , i am wondering if you are the same company who replied to my email ( SOS diagnosis ) and never followed up with my questions ? Now that's emails for ya you just pick and chose . To you i might just sound like any other tire kicker but you to me were a hope that did not come through . Excuse my ignorance but not everyone out there understands fully what your high tech terms mean . keep it simple and start answering your phone .
 

TechSOS

New member
You sound very impressive , i am wondering if you are the same company who replied to my email ( SOS diagnosis ) and never followed up with my questions ? Now that's emails for ya you just pick and chose . To you i might just sound like any other tire kicker but you to me were a hope that did not come through . Excuse my ignorance but not everyone out there understands fully what your high tech terms mean . keep it simple and start answering your phone .
So Sorry. What's your name? I'll look it up. It may have been an oversight (similar to forgetting to return a PHONE message), however, there may have been a reason we stopped responding at some point. ;) I'm honest and will admit what I find if you don't mind your info being posted here.
 
So Sorry. What's your name? I'll look it up. It may have been an oversight (similar to forgetting to return a PHONE message), however, there may have been a reason we stopped responding at some point. ;) I'm honest and will admit what I find if you don't mind your info being posted here.
My Name is Mason ,I emailed you on 10.Jan.2016 with the subject " Mercedes Benz ECU A 647 153 28 79" regarding cloning a used ECU then you replied and I replied back saying " I appreciate the reply and my goal is to see if it is all possible to remove that darn speed limiter? " and that's were it ended .
 

TechSOS

New member
My Name is Mason ,I emailed you on 10.Jan.2016 with the subject " Mercedes Benz ECU A 647 153 28 79" regarding cloning a used ECU then you replied and I replied back saying " I appreciate the reply and my goal is to see if it is all possible to remove that darn speed limiter? " and that's were it ended .
I found it. It looks like we quoted what you needed in the first email and then never replied to your 2nd request as you mentioned. Sorry. I am guessing I was doing research on it to see if any of the aftermarket tuners would do it and then failed to get back to you. Still don't have an answer for you. I'm sure there are some out there, but we do not do it. Thanks for letting us know about this oversight. Thank you for the commendation too, I may sound impressive, but I'm really not in person.
 

whitecat

New member
You also have the option of buying a SKREEM at a stealership (some offer a reasonable price) and having SOS program it for your engine computer and key.
AL
Not sure about other States, but in the State of ME and MA they say that legally you cannot order the SKREEM module like other parts, the dealership requires that the vehicle be physically present in their parking lot for them to even place an order for the SKREEM. You may then have to wait a day or so for the part to arrive. They also require that they have to program the new SKREEM with the ECU and the keys. It takes only 15 minutes of actual programming, but they may charge you an hour of diagnostics before ordering the part and then possibly another hour+, once the part arrives. A tip here......I found the quote from the parts department for the part to be cheaper than the service department.

As I understand from other forum members, if you get the SKREEM issue resolved at SOS, you could run into emissions inspection related issues in some States as the VIN# won't match the vehicle after SOS diagnostics work is done. SOS says on their website that they would provide documentation if necessary. However, with the kind of response I got before the sale, it left me wondering what kind of timely response I was going to get after the sale, if at all. I went with the dealership option, as it seemed like the lesser of the evils, and the cost in my case being slightly cheaper to SOS and GDE and everything was still factory along with the dealer warranty. I have got a few thousand miles on the vehicle since the dealership SKREEM replacement, and so far NO start error.
 
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whitecat

New member
Just a note!

Chad at SOS is great to deal with as a Pro to Pro in this business.

I understand he needs to keep "gas bagging" on the phone to a minimum. Time is money.
Their type of activity doesn't require too much explanation, unfortunately mine does!
So I spend more time with customers as an owner of the shop.

Dennis
I didn't see anywhere on SOS website that Chad only deals Pro to Pro............so my understanding is his business is open to all. Perhaps you could offer him tips on how to properly "Gas Bag" his customers.

"Time is money" ....you got that right!!! Holds true for consumers as well.
 

lindenengineering

Well-known member
No you mis understand.
I like dealing with him as a Pro to Pro business relationship !
Just a short e mail, & I send stuff!
He sends back a short email, its done pay money!~
Now
His business is open to all just mine!
The issue is how much time are you going to spend on the phone?
I field quite alot of calls from customers both regular and potential new ones!

This can easily eat into your daily work schedule so keeping discussions to a minimum improves production and avoids gas bagging as I call it !
Which for the most part often forms part of a call in quiz conversation hoping to pick brains and get free advise!
Dennis
 

CaptnALinTiverton

T1N Westfalia
To Whitecat, re. your last post of 02-14-2016, 12:54 PM:

Clarification about SKREEM. I have ordered new SKREEMs from dealerships in RI and CA. I got flack in CA about ownership probably because I was from out of state. I responded with the fact that I was not about to have the vehicle towed to them because the vehicle didn't start; that was the very reason I needed the SKREEM (no brainer). That edict from M-B about having your vehicle present is to protect their own interests, prevent theft and probably also so they can charge you for doing the work themselves. If proven ownership with vehicle registration and ID, they cannot refuse to sell you a part. When ordered from the dealer, the part has to go from the parts warehouse to a M-B plant for pre-programming to the VIN and appropriate data for the vehicle before it goes to the dealership. When it's received, you either have the dealer or SOS type service provider program the SKREEM to the engine computer (ECM) and key fob. If you purchase the SKREEM from SOS instead, they too have to program it to the ECM and key fob so I am sure there is no way that the programmed VINs cannot match unless the person who ordered it, illegally installed the devices into another vehicle. That probably would be the case you were talking about wherein the VINs would be found to not match during emissions testing.

AL
 

Woodypalmer

New member
After having my Ecu replaced and screem reprogrammed at $700 a few weeks later a start error again. We pulled the steering column cover off exposing the key switch and wiggled the skreem cover ?? On the switch, and it started no problem. Not a mechanic, but I believe the plastic cover was not letting the metal switch cover seat properly and make contact with the switch. Also, the plastic cover is somewhat sensitive to cold and hot, so my trouble would show up when the temp would change. 2004 dodge sprinter 2500.
 

whitecat

New member
Woodypalmer... hate to say that your $700 spent on replacing ECU was unnecessary...the dealership seems to want to do this first (maybe because there is more money in it???) but the only thing that is going to help the "Start Error" per our experience is replacing the SKREEM. We went through the whole not enough contact etc etc for days.could not accept that the skreem was an issue...and you're right as the temperature changes it will give the errors..it was less of a problem in warm temperatures..but there is no guarantee of when/where it will strand you... Since we replaced our SKREEM we did not have any "start error" issue.. Good luck to you.
 

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