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Mother Hen
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I have a 2005 sprinter 3500. It was a former FedEx truck. The key broke off in the ignition and it's the only key. If the broken part isn't pushed too far in, you could put the second part to it and start it. The key part is now pushed too far in, so we have to call a locksmith. My boyfriend had talked to a dealership when we were in Atlanta and they said the vehicle would have to be brought in to program the key, it's VIN specific they said, and they were saying it would be $700. I'm not paying $700 for a fucking key if I can help it. I have tried to read online about getting keys cut and cloned. Some people say they ordered blanks and had them cut and programmed at Ace Hardware of all places, but they all say they don't have an immobilizer on their van. The tow company wants $330 to tow the van 2 miles.

These are my questions. How do I know if I have an immobilizer? Even with an immobilizer, if I have one, can I get flat keys and have them cut and programmed using my key and fob like these other Sprinter owners are saying? I have two fobs, but the dealership in Atlanta said we couldn't order a key that doesn't have the folding key fob. I think that's bullshit. Can a broken chip key be welded? There has to be a way around this mess. I appreciate any help.
 

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My wife has an 04' Sprinter for her business, we had it at a body shop being painted and they broke the key off in the ignition. They were able to apparently get the broken piece out and had it welded back together so it was one piece again, but they denied that they had broken and repaired it. It worked for about 4 start ups before it broke off again...
we ended up having to wait for 2 weeks to have a fob and key with the chip in it sent from Germany to the dealership, and then they had to program it to the vehicle because it 'talks' to the computer. It's a screwed up system, and yes, that's what it cost us. We had a regular spare key cut (non programmed) in case we lock the real key inside the van.
 

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How do you manage to get yourself into this shit?

Caddys, BMW's, and now Sprinters???

You better take that stimulus money and go buy another Ford or Toyota.
 

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If you take an air hose and blow it into the key hole. You might be able to dead head the air and it will push broken key out. I have done it before. But not on a Sprinter.
Good luck.
 

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Mother Hen
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Discussion Starter #5
My wife has an 04' Sprinter for her business, we had it at a body shop being painted and they broke the key off in the ignition. They were able to apparently get the broken piece out and had it welded back together so it was one piece again, but they denied that they had broken and repaired it. It worked for about 4 start ups before it broke off again...
we ended up having to wait for 2 weeks to have a fob and key with the chip in it sent from Germany to the dealership, and then they had to program it to the vehicle because it 'talks' to the computer. It's a screwed up system, and yes, that's what it cost us. We had a regular spare key cut (non programmed) in case we lock the real key inside the van.
Does the regular flat key just work the door or does it work in the ignition also?
 

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Mother Hen
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Discussion Starter #8
Honestly, I'd try to weld it if you can get it out. Could last a few days or a few years if you are easy on it.
I really need a more permanent solution and spare keys. I have spare fobs and some are saying you can order flat keys and have them cloned as long as you have a fob.
 

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That’s a horrible bitch.Sprinters are a decent ride but when there’s a problem they’re a motherfuck.
Is the cylinder locked in the off position? What I would do is call a locksmith and see if he can get it out, a small drill bit should be able to get in there, then grab it with a pick or similar tool, I’ve done this before, not on a sprinter but on a laser-cut key, like the sprinter has. If it’s locked in there tight but the key cylinder is in the off position, tap the end of the cylinder with a small hammer to free it up.
I’m assuming this is a switch-blade style key? If not can you describe it?
If you turn the key to the on position I believe there is a stupid green light that looks like a key with a padlock on it, if it has that that usually means it has a security key.
 

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All vehicles sold in Canada since Jan 1 2007 have had to have an immobilizer chip. And I work at a dealer here (not an MB, but I did in 2008), so we go through this all day everyday.

The difference between a flat key and a full fold-out-fob is not quite the distinction you need to make. The difference is between a key that has a chip in the head- it can look relatively plain but the head is going to be 5/16ths thick plastic containing the chip. No! A plain metal house key is never going to start the vehicle, that's the whole point!

OK, so call Pop A Lock - they are a franchised mobile company Here's the number of the guy in Fayetteville:
Phone: +1 910-323-9224
IDK how far away you are from there? He may be friendly and recommend you to someone closer, but it's a start.
Failing that try a search for Automotive locksmith. There is someone in your area who helps out banks doing repo's and the like. And rental car companies. Etc. You just have to find them. They may even be home based. Licensed and access to database is what you care about. And mobile.

And FFS, never ever ever ever ever own a vehicle with only one key. Let alone a chipped one, let alone a chipped one you know you have problem with.
Routinely people spend over a G-note when they get in this situation locally because we are situated as a supply city for near-wilderness areas 1000 miles north. But car theft is basically zero.
 

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I was going to say copy the key & tape the broken part of the key inside the column or somewhere
it's just a proximity thing, right?
Might work. Worth a try. But a locksmith is going to be able to cut to VIN if he's properly licensed to have access to those databases, so you still need to contact one.

And, she still needs to get the broken off key out- an automotive locksmith should be able to do that.
And it's not a for sure thing that there are plain keys out there with the correct dimensions/ways. An automotive locksmith should be able to special order them, and as an inherently bonded trade, you shouldn't have a problem putting down a prepayment for him to special order it.
 

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Smuck
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The Immobilizer chip is in the fob. So you can get a new blank cut and put it in the original fob.

 

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Locksmith or dealer are your best bet. MB stuff has to be coded/programmed, it's not cheap. Last one I did was newer, parts were almost $1300 my cost.
 

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Might work. Worth a try. But a locksmith is going to be able to cut to VIN if he's properly licensed to have access to those databases, so you still need to contact one.
I was thinking long the lines of a key blank and a file at home.

Not sure how fancy new Sprinter keys are,
old keys are no problem to copy at home.


edit,
I looked at some pics,
if they're like the 3d keys I'm seeing no one is cutting them at home 😃
 

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73735
So do you have separate fob and key like this

or do you have the combo unit below that flips out?
73736



Also remember Dodge and Freightliner both sold this platform at various times. You might have a chance at one of those dealers helping you out. If nothing else in increases the likelihood of generic parts supplies being out there.
 
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