My 1998 ML320 shows the 8 key tracks are filled, MB no longer makes keys, nor valet key can be had. MB stated you must RE KEY the whole vehicle and change the AAM and ECM to make it run again, about 4k in parts + labor. 1st how do you RE-KEY if they can not be made? 2nd why put 4k in parts for a $2k vehicle? What parts do I need from a crashed ML320, same era, to make it run and drive, DO NOT need the remote functions, windows door locks and such. just want start and drive. Only has 109k on it, not looking to part it out. 

NOTE If I put the key in, and turn fast to start, will fire up for 1-2 seconds and shut down, if you wait for dash indicators to light, key will do nothing, NO HAND SHAKE from dash security by radio.    

 

THANKS

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Profile picture for user MercedesMedic

About over a week ago, I stopped at a MB dealership and asked about the key issue. The parts guy stated that the reason why they can not make them is that they are on back order. Not sure if it is true or not. But he said that they can order the spare key. I am surpisred your dealer said that you can not order the valet key. Call another dealer and check. Especially since you don't care about the keyless function. And your car has low miles. That thing can go another 100k miles without a problem.

If the dealer will not make the key, you can should look around for  a locksmith that will make keys for your ML. They can be made. Not all locksmiths will be able too but I have seen them make them. The only issue here is that you may need to free up a track. Since all the tracks are filled, you may need a free track to add another key. This would be the cheapest solution. If no locksmith in your area makes ML keys, you can find someone national. They may ask you to remove the EIS or ignition module and mail it to them.

For example looking at ebay I found several Mercedes Key Service that will make you a new key for around $150. Like I said you will have to remove the EIS and ship it in.

If you decide you want to go with parts from an old ML, you will need to repalce multple modules including EIS, AAM, ECU and I belive the TCU as well. If you want to go this way, go to the dealer and get an invoice. You will get a list of all the parts you want to replace.

Good luck and I would love to hear which route you go.

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