What to do? The only key was stolen.

Hoocolin

New member
Just got the sprinter registered a few days. The other car was broken into and the only sprinter key stored in that car was stolen. Got a duplicate key from the dealer and unfortunately the duplicate key only works on the door, but not the ignition. It looks like the ignition lock cylinder was changed by the previous owner. The immobiliser could be changed, too.

What should I do now? Buy used ecu + immobiliser + key and lock cylinder? What's the most economical way to get back on road?


It's 2004 sprinter passenger van, T1N 647 engine. Thanks.
 

Nautamaran

2004 140” HRC 2500 (Crewed)
I’d call around to bonded locksmiths? There should be one out there capable of pinning the cylinder and coding your van to the new key.

-dave
 

Patrick of M

2005 T1N 2500 (NA spec)
Problem.with GDE is I understood that the SKREEM has to be functional for the SKREEM to be deactivated (I might be wrong). Also is there any chance Mercedes (dodge) can generate the code specific to the vehicle?
 

Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
... The immobiliser could be changed, too.

...
I believe that the SKREEM immobilizer unit is basically just a radio receiver/transmitter. The key chip function is interpreted/resides in the module software.

Added:
I'm probably wrong. Lindenengineering Dennis states that SOS Diagnostics needs the SKREEM, ECM aka ECU, and keys to program new chipped keys. That suggests that the SKREEM is not just a receiver, but needs to handshake with the ECM.

Well based upon your narrative, and several recent local customer similarities & finger pointing at dealers in frustration! (Where of course the new key would work in the doors and NOT the ignition I have directed them to SOS Diagnostics in Oregon.)

Simply remove your Skreem module and the Engine PCM plus all the keys then ship it to them.
(SOS) They will do the "rest" and for you it will be simply a plug and play exercise when you get it all back and the van will run.
This avoids you having to deal with the dealer as you have indicated.
Believe it or not I have ACTUALLY had folks call me thanking me for the no hassle direction to a problem. Phew someone thanking a repair shop!!!:laughing:
All the best
Dennis
Was the ignition cylinder changed, or the door lock cylinders? :hmmm: Being that the dealership key fits the doors, most likely they are OEM.

If the ignition key assembly was changed then the original chip was likely transferred to the new key. That would be the path of least resistance. Not that it really matters now that the key is gone. Somehow you need to get a chip properly introduced into the system.

I don't know what route I would take. By eliminating some pins/latches a locksmith may be able to fit the existing ignition switch to the door keys. It removes some security, but who is going to pick an ignition lock anyway?

Once you have a working ignition key you will then need to pursue the SKREEM chip function. Dealership, SOS Diagnostics, ... others may have ideas on the best option.

Once you have erased the old chip keys and have a new working chip, there is an option for using T1N non-chipped keys.

Only one ignition key? Nervous?
https://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=61214

The idea of SKREEM defeat won't appeal to everyone. If it does look ok it is very easy to do.

Good luck.

vic
 
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autostaretx

Erratic Member
SOS Diagnostics can also perform "creative" key and key-chip operations.
http://www.sosdiagnostics.com/sprinter.html

Question: does your "new" key have a different RFID than the stolen key? (if from the dealer, i suspect "yes")
Did the dealer have to program your Sprinter to accept it? (how'd they do that without being able to turn the lock?)

Is there a chance that the thief will return and attempt to use his stolen key to steal the Sprinter?

Yes, a locksmith can "retumble" the ignition lock, or perhaps you can order a replacement ignition lock cylinder from MB such that the doors AND ignition will once more respond to a single key.

Question: before the key was stolen, did it work both for the doors AND the ignition?
If so, it's kind'a strange that the replacement key doesn't.

--dick
 

Hoocolin

New member
Thanks every one for you kindly response.

Before the keys were stolen, I have two keys: one with chip for ignition and the other without chip for the door. I remembered I was not able to use the ignition key to open the door. However, I'm not so sure. The Sprinter parks 10 miles from the dealer and when I picked up the duplicate key, the dealer told me to tow my sprinter to their place to program the key. Because I had two separate keys and I'm not sure which one the duplicate key can fit, I just picked up the duplicate key without programming to see if the key can turn the ignition cylinder or not. Unfortunately the duplicate key is not able to turn the ignition lock cylinder. The ignition cylinder could be changed because the duplicate key should be able to turn the ignition lock cylinder even without programming, right? The duplicate key can only unlock the door.

Before the keys were stolen I remembered the key to unlock the door was bare metal without any plastic mold. So it's likely the chip had been transfer to the ignition key after the lock cylinder was changed and the SKREEM immobilizer could be still OEM.

So it looks like I can ask somebody to change the lock cylinder to a new one with new keys if the immobilizer is still OEM and ask the dealer to program the key. There is still chance that the SKREEM immobilizer was changed by previous owner.

The Sprinter parked half mile from my home and I don't think the thief find it. The Sprinter has a problem and it can only start from neutral...
 

autostaretx

Erratic Member
(slow system response created duplicate posts.... see next post)
 
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autostaretx

Erratic Member
There are a number of ways to approach this:

(a) the (theoretically) "simplest" way is to tow it to your dealer (Dodge? MB? Freightliner?) and have them order the correct ignition lock, put it in, and then program the Sprinter to accept their new "duplicate" key ... and you'll have a "one key works everything" Sprinter. One stop shopping. ((ahem: AND GET A 2nd KEY!!! Now!!))(see footnote)

(b) the complicated way is to have a locksmith pick your ignition lock (from which they can get the correct key's mechanical shape), and cut you a new key that will fit that lock. At this point you'll be able to turn the locks, but not Start the Sprinter.
(b1) Have the locksmith "clone" your dealer-supplied "duplicate" key to a chip in the key he cut. Now tow the Sprinter to the dealer and have the dealer program the Sprinter to accept the "cloned" key, or even the dealer-supplied "duplicate" (it will be the same programming).
*or*
(b2) send the keys, ECU and SKREEM to SOS and have them program the ECU to (your choice) not *care* about the RFID programming (rendering your Sprinter more "stealable") *or* have them do the "dealer-like" programming.

footnote: if you chose "path (a)", it would probably be cheaper to have the dealer only work with the one key they already supplied you, and then (after they've programmed the Sprinter) *run* (well, drive) to a locksmith capable of "cloning" your new key. The clone will be able to turn the same locks the dealer key can *and* it will start the Sprinter (thanks to the dealer's previous programming).
I don't know what the dealer charged for the duplicate key ... and, if you choose to have the *dealer* provide the 2nd duplicate key, don't have the Sprinter programmed until the dealer has both keys in-hand. (because the dealer-supplied keys will be *different* RFID-wise, so the Sprinter will have to be programmed to accept both of them. A locksmith "cloned" key mimics your existing key, and the Sprinter isn't the wiser ... it thinks they're both the same key).

--dick
p.s. my guess is that the previous owner replaced the ignition switch (possibly by swapping out the entire steering column) and may (or may not, who knows?) have simply cloned the original key's RFID on to a mechanical key that fit the new lock. If they swapped out the ECU and SKREEM to match a foreign key, the VIN stored in the ECU and SKREEM would no longer match your Sprinter's VIN (unless they did the whole ball of wax, programming-wise)
 

Hoocolin

New member
Thanks. I tried to call locksmith to cut a mechanical key. After I mentioned it's for Mercedes Sprinter, they all said they can't do that even I tell them programing not needed. Will call around tomorrow.



There are a number of ways to approach this:

(a) the (theoretically) "simplest" way is to tow it to your dealer (Dodge? MB? Freightliner?) and have them order the correct ignition lock, put it in, and then program the Sprinter to accept their new "duplicate" key ... and you'll have a "one key works everything" Sprinter. One stop shopping. ((ahem: AND GET A 2nd KEY!!! Now!!))(see footnote)

(b) the complicated way is to have a locksmith pick your ignition lock (from which they can get the correct key's mechanical shape), and cut you a new key that will fit that lock. At this point you'll be able to turn the locks, but not Start the Sprinter.
(b1) Have the locksmith "clone" your dealer-supplied "duplicate" key to a chip in the key he cut. Now tow the Sprinter to the dealer and have the dealer program the Sprinter to accept the "cloned" key, or even the dealer-supplied "duplicate" (it will be the same programming).
*or*
(b2) send the keys, ECU and SKREEM to SOS and have them program the ECU to (your choice) not *care* about the RFID programming (rendering your Sprinter more "stealable") *or* have them do the "dealer-like" programming.

footnote: if you chose "path (a)", it would probably be cheaper to have the dealer only work with the one key they already supplied you, and then (after they've programmed the Sprinter) *run* (well, drive) to a locksmith capable of "cloning" your new key. The clone will be able to turn the same locks the dealer key can *and* it will start the Sprinter (thanks to the dealer's previous programming).
I don't know what the dealer charged for the duplicate key ... and, if you choose to have the *dealer* provide the 2nd duplicate key, don't have the Sprinter programmed until the dealer has both keys in-hand. (because the dealer-supplied keys will be *different* RFID-wise, so the Sprinter will have to be programmed to accept both of them. A locksmith "cloned" key mimics your existing key, and the Sprinter isn't the wiser ... it thinks they're both the same key).

--dick
p.s. my guess is that the previous owner replaced the ignition switch (possibly by swapping out the entire steering column) and may (or may not, who knows?) have simply cloned the original key's RFID on to a mechanical key that fit the new lock. If they swapped out the ECU and SKREEM to match a foreign key, the VIN stored in the ECU and SKREEM would no longer match your Sprinter's VIN (unless they did the whole ball of wax, programming-wise)
 

Nautamaran

2004 140” HRC 2500 (Crewed)
Be sure to make it clear it’s a regular notched key, not a side groove. (though not many will have MB coding equipment)
 

Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
A couple rough videos which may give some ideas.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pZ6NBWNLF0w

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AnQ4VHmyguE

I watched one a while ago. Didn't review them this time.

Cut from lock cylinder.
Staten Island, NY
https://paylesscarkeys.com/sprinter-key-cut-by-the-door-lock-cylinder.html

Maybe replace the ignition key assembly and go from there. That solves the ignition stolen key issue, but not the doors. New door locks/handles are available on-line.

https://www.amazon.com/APDTY-120306-Exterior-Handle-Cylinder/dp/B074F97WGH

Maybe??
https://www.ebay.com/itm/MERCEDES-B...m=222011647324&_trksid=p2047675.c100005.m1851
Be aware that the title says older, but the "Fits" guide appears to list NCV3 models. The firm may also have T1N cylinders though.

Maybe?
https://www.amazon.com/Pink-Lizard-Mercedes-Sprinter-1996-2006/dp/B01I9CHH0G
https://www.amazon.com/Sliding-Handle-Barrel-Mercedes-Sprinter/dp/B01N9ZXOHD
https://www.amazon.com/Front-Handle-Mercedes-Sprinter-Atego/dp/B01ID8PLVI

Or find a scrap T1N and remove all locks including the ignition to transfer over.

Investing time (if you have it) might save quite a bit of money.
Not that you asked...
Changing all of the door locks and ignition over may be in your best interest. I assume that eventually the Sprinter will be parked near where the keys were stolen.

vic
 
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With a lot of older vehicles you can take the number off the drivers door tumbler and with proof of ownership and the number have a locksmith cut a new key. I have done this twice , once for a 1995 corolla and once for a 1958 GMC pickup. it cost about 40$ each time.
The key was a new cut not a copy of a worn out key.
 

autostaretx

Erratic Member
With a lot of older vehicles you can take the number off the drivers door tumbler and with proof of ownership and the number have a locksmith cut a new key. I have done this twice , once for a 1995 corolla and once for a 1958 GMC pickup. it cost about 40$ each time.
The key was a new cut not a copy of a worn out key.
If i recall correctly, the ignition lock has one more tumbler than the door locks.
So i don't know if a door-determined key would turn the ignition.

As for "can't cut a key", you can tell the locksmith that any of these blanks will work:
Without RFID chip:
ILCO MB-17, DL YM19 (there are some VW keys with the same "warding")
(the Ilco requires nipping off some of the "head" to fit into the bezel ring:

KeyIlcoMB17small.jpg

With RFID chip: Bianchi BYS15TK1

and an Ilco blank # 61-6337 (i don't recall if that's a with- or without-chip)

You have to stress the model year of your (our) Sprinters...
(there are some other older MB cars that use the same blank, but don't have chips)

--dick
 

bryan575

Member
I agree with AutoStaretx. I'd have it towed to a Freightliner/Sprinter dealer. Make sure that you call ahead of time and ask if they can order the keys with the van's VIN number and do the programming. Make sure the tow truck driver tows the van close to the bay that has wireless internet connectivity or else the dealer will have to tow it again closer to the building and charge you more. I had to do this when my daughter threw away my keys when she was 18 months old.
 

autostaretx

Erratic Member
Bryan? He already has a new VIN-dictated key ... what he needs is a new VIN-dictated Ignition Lock cylinder if he wants the official key to actually work in his Sprinter. The new key currently operates the door locks, but can't turn the ignition.

(musical chairs?)
--dick
 

Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
Investing time (if you have it) might save quite a bit of money.
Not that it was asked...
Changing all of the door locks and ignition over may be in your best interest. I assume that eventually the Sprinter will be parked near where the keys were stolen.
*************

In the interest of general information.

As is fairly common for a vehicle the door locks use latches, not pins.

Note in this picture that the latches are held in place by using the key. Some suppliers keep the latches in place using a plastic sleeve.

Some web pages contain this:
ATTENTION!!
Don't pull out the key from lock before installation!
(That may unseat the latches. It can be difficult to return them to proper position.)


T1NKeyCylinder.jpg


NAS aka NAFTA T1N?
IGNITION SWITCH + 4 DOOR LOCK BARREL SET FRONT LEFT RIGHT REAR MERCEDES SPRINTER
(Sprinter MK1 1995 - 2006) - includes ignition 10 latch cylinder
https://www.ebay.com/itm/IGNITION-S...108364?hash=item3ac2ba8b0c:g:BlMAAOSwE6VXJoot

https://www.ebay.com/itm/MERCEDES-B...h=item33b0cb410a:g:BSEAAOSw-0xYfNMY#vi-ilComp

BARREL LOCK DOOR SET KEYS FITS ALL DOORS MERCEDES SPRINTER C CLASS VITO VW LT (4 ea.)
https://www.ebay.com/itm/BARREL-LOC...887241?hash=item33c3894c89:g:PMAAAOSw8-FaV4wC

It is safe to assume that the ignition key has latches. Added: It 100% does. Note 10 latches in the picture above.

*************
NCV3
https://www.ebay.com/itm/MERCEDES-B...m=222011647324&_trksid=p2047675.c100005.m1851

Be aware that the title says older, but the "Fits" guide appears to list NCV3 models. The firm may also have T1N cylinders though.
**********

Future reference for others:
A reminder that this company advertises keys cut from cylinders.

Cut from lock cylinder. They also advertise immobilizer service. Maybe not for MB immobilizers.
Staten Island, NY
https://paylesscarkeys.com/sprinter-key-cut-by-the-door-lock-cylinder.html

As Autostaretx Dick already mentioned. It would be worth verifying that a mechanical ignition key can be cut using a door lock cylinder [it can't. Door - 8, ignition = 10 latches], although that apparently doesn't apply for this thread with the stolen keys/different ignition.

:2cents: vic

Added:
Having some lock experience, I'd be tempted to order the [correct T1N] 5 cylinders from the UK. The latches from the extra cylinder (4 ea. doors) might fit to re-key the existing ignition. By watching the video that I posted previously one can gain some insight as to how the ignition removal shouldn't be done.
 
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bryan575

Member
Bryan? He already has a new VIN-dictated key ... what he needs is a new VIN-dictated Ignition Lock cylinder if he wants the official key to actually work in his Sprinter. The new key currently operates the door locks, but can't turn the ignition.

(musical chairs?)
--dick
Sigh.. Please disregard my post. I didn't realize there was a second page and thought I was replying to your post on page 1.
 

autostaretx

Erratic Member
Another thing to tell the locksmith... if you're copy-cutting a "mechanical" key (or even a chipped one), the cutting machine needs to reference from the tip of the key, not the (usual) rear shoulder.
The ignition key uses ten tumbler positions (i just counted mine, and it matched my memory).

It's quite possible that the proper key (the Bianchi BYS15TK1) will align on the shoulder, too.

A decade ago there were a couple of locksmith members of this forum, and we had great fun exploring "how to cut keys" in a thread or two.

--dick
 
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Hoocolin

New member
Thanks everybody for your reply. I only found one locksmith who's willing to cut a mechanical key and he will charge $350 for it. I think it's too expensive and I didn't go that route. I ordered one ignition lock cylinder (~$90) from dealer and one more key (~$60 each key) from dealer. Also, found one shop who can replace the lock cylinder ($260) and reprogram the keys and disable the old ignition key ($110). So a total of ~$600 will give me two new keys and I should be able to get back on road. I'm still waiting for the parts from dealer.
 

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