We often get asked, " Can you program a used Mercedes-Benz key?"
The answer is: Yes.
A used Mercedes-Benz key can be programmed, but it is not easy. It requires specialized tools, and in most cases, it is cheaper to buy a new "virgin" key than using a tool such as CGDI MB Programmer to program it to your Mercedes-Benz.
Don't head over to the Mercedes-Benz dealership with a used key from eBay and ask them to program it.
The answer you get from the dealer is: "A used Mercedes-Benz key can not be programmed once it is synchronized to a car."
In fact, a used Mercedes-Benz key can be programmed but not at a Mercedes-Benz dealership. A locksmith with the right tools can program even a used Mercedes-Benz key to work on another car.
The process of programming a used Mercedes key is quite involved. The key will need to be opened up. You need to remove the main chip (NEC, BGA, FBS3) from the circuit board. The EEPROM memory has to be erased from the chip, allowing you to program the key to another car.
While it is possible to make a used Mercedes-Benz key virgin, most locksmiths buy new "virgin" Mercedes keys then use a key programmer such as CGDI MB Key Programmer or VVDI Key Programmer to program the key to the car.
Keep in mind that having a working key makes creating a spare key much easier. You will need to have both the working key and the vehicle at the locksmith to make a new key.
While a new key at most Mercedes-Benz dealerships costs between $360 and $500 at a locksmith, you can get a new Mercedes-Benz key made for about $200-$280. Not all locksmiths can make Mercedes-Benz keys, which means you may have to make a few phone calls to find one that does.
What does virgin Mercedes-Benz key mean?
A virgin key means the key has not been programmed to any vehicle. Once a key is synchronized to a vehicle, it is no longer a virgin key.
To make a key virgin, the old vehicle's data will have to be erased from the key.
This requires that the key be chip removed from the key circuit board and erased. This is a relatively easy procedure that an experienced locksmith can perform. This is not a procedure that a Mercedes-Benz will perform.
Your Mercedes-Benz dealership will order a new key that has your VIN written on it. You will have a find a locksmith that specializes in making Mercedes-Benz keys for this procedure.
Can a used Mercedes key from eBay be programmed?
While it is possible to program a used Mercedes-Benz key, the procedure is complicated, and very few locksmiths can make it work.
It is possible to program a used Mercedes-Benz key to another Mercedes-Benz. The process requires making the old key virgin, then programming it to your vehicle, which requires specific tools such as CGDI MB Key Programer locksmiths carry.
How do you make a Mercedes key virgin?
To make the big black keys and first-generation chrome keys that have the round panic button is pretty easy. These keys have what is known as the NEC chips inside that store the vehicle identification number (VIN). The newer chrome key (triangle panic button) has BGA chips that can also be made virgin by calculating the password.
The problem is that the procedure is much more involved.
Instead of buying a used key, it is possible to buy a used or new virgin Mercedes-Benz key online. Aftermarket Mercedes-Benz has a BE chip, which works the same as the BGA and NEC keys. These keys are ready to be programmed to another Mercedes-Benz, and they can be made virgin much easier than the OEM MB keys.
Mercedes-Benz dealerships will not program a virgin key either. Keys that are ordered at the dealership are already programed.
If you are looking to make a used MB key work or looking to make a virgin key work, you will need to find the right locksmith. Keep in mind that nine out of ten locksmiths won't be able to program a Mercedes key, but you should be able to find one that will program a new Mercedes-Benz key.