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Old 11-05-2013, 03:43 PM   #1
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2014 Interstate Ext. Coach
Spring , Texas
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Emergency Key

Has anyone purchased an additional Key to have as an Emergency Key for their Interstate and maybe kept in a Hitch Vault? If so, how much should I expect to pay. I'm assuming that both a Key and Fob are required to access and start the vehicle. This would be for a 2014 model.
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Old 11-05-2013, 03:59 PM   #2
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Heck, store it inside the cap of the waste dump! NO one will want to touch it!

Paula
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Old 11-05-2013, 04:01 PM   #3
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My dealer charged me ~ $280 for a key + coding. (this is for an identicle key to the one's that came with your coach). I also purchased a driver door key for ~ $20.
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Old 11-05-2013, 05:32 PM   #4
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2010 22' Interstate
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Spare Key

Just paid $280.00 from a Sprinter dealer. I only received one key when I purchased my used 2010 unit and the dealer said to have one made and send them the bill.

I didn't know about the door key. I'll look into that.
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Old 11-05-2013, 06:00 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cobra1169 View Post
Has anyone purchased an additional Key to have as an Emergency Key for their Interstate and maybe kept in a Hitch Vault? If so, how much should I expect to pay. I'm assuming that both a Key and Fob are required to access and start the vehicle. This would be for a 2014 model.
Late-model keys have an RFID chip built in that the ignition switch must detect in order for the key to turn. Side note, dead chassis battery means no detection, too, so even the right key won't turn if the battery is dead. Another side note, if you have another vehicle with an RFID key, do NOT keep both keys on the same ring; the Mercedes ignition is sensitive to pick up the other key as well, and lock your ignition switch until the other car's key is removed from the key ring.

Door-only key has no RFID chip, so even if it's inserted in the ignition it won't start the vehicle.

I have a hitch vault, but seldom use it because there's usually something else attached to the receiver, either a cargo tray or my toad's towbar.

I'd recommend getting a spare ignition key AND a door key. Store the door key somewhere outside the vehicle, hidden but accessible (on the roof might be good; no one can see up there without a ladder and so few people look up; they look behind the bumpers and such). Then store the spare ignition key somewhere inside. Maybe clipped to one of your low-point drain valves, so a potential thief would have to remove a drawer or a cup holder or something to find it.

Side note, the very best anti-theft lock is a (combination) padlock on your driver's seat swivel. Swivel the seat so that it faces backwards, and slide it back (toward the front of the vehicle since it's backwards now) so that it's in contact with the steering wheel. Then padlock the seat swivel/slide mechanism so the seat doesn't move. I guarantee no one can drive the vehicle with the seat like that, even if they find your spare ignition key.
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Old 11-05-2013, 08:29 PM   #6
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Protagonist thanks for your insight! That was the solution I was looking for!!!!
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Old 06-12-2017, 03:47 PM   #7
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Fast forward a couple of thread years (which are about the length of dog years) for an update on this important topic. And an expound for T1N owners. YMMV disclaimer - what I describe below applies to some, and perhaps all, T1N Sprinter-based Interstates. It may not be correct information for NCV3s, which have different security systems.

Our Interstate came with two MB-issued keys, built into fobs. We needed a third because I'm planning to go to Canada solo. One key has to stay with LB_3 in case anything happens to me, but I should not rely on a single key myself, especially while kayaking, etc. three thousand miles away.

MB quoted me $320 for the complete key with fob, or $72 for just the chipped key alone. My local locksmith quoted me $75 for the key alone, or $105 for key plus remote fob. However I just wanted a key, and when there's no significant price differential, I'll go with MB in order to avail myself of their guarantees. Plus, although the locksmith was confident in his ability to duplicate the set, I wasn't in the mood to experiment (too many other projects underway).

MB's procedure takes two trips. One must go to the dealer with government ID and original vehicle title and vehicle itself to prove ownership. Based on that information which obviously includes the VIN, they then order the key from the nearest distribution center (which in our case was in Fort Worth) and ship it in, which takes a few days.

But that's not where it ends. The key arrives only partially activated. It will mechanically open the doors and start the engine. But then the engine promptly coughs and dies and throws an "error - service" message because it doesn't like the key's coding. So then the MB service dept. must work some mysterious magic to make that right. The service manager who coded it for me muttered something, stream-of-consciousness style, about getting permission from Stuttgart to program it. They also needed to make use of the original fob during this process.

I got the impression that MB does not prefer to sell these key versions which the service techs refer to in the vernacular as "Mickey Mouse keys" and that's why this process is rather awkward and multi-step. They'd prefer to sell the entire fob assembly. But I'd prefer not to pay $320 when we already have two fobs.

The activated, chipped key will do everything except obviously it will not remotely open and lock the doors. The engine starts and runs and keeps running. The doors lock and unlock. And the Mickey Mouse key is much smaller and flatter than the full blob fob. I can tuck that one in the sports pocket of my biking shorts and have it be much more comfortable than a lump.

Fob blob. Blob fob. I redacted the key shape for security, just in case. This pic looks bizarre as a result, but there they are for comparison.

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Old 06-12-2017, 04:27 PM   #8
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2014 Interstate Coach
Arroyo Grande & Central Point , California & Oregon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cobra1169 View Post
Has anyone purchased an additional Key to have as an Emergency Key for their Interstate and maybe kept in a Hitch Vault? If so, how much should I expect to pay. I'm assuming that both a Key and Fob are required to access and start the vehicle. This would be for a 2014 model.
We have an extra complete key/fob hidden inside the coach. We purchased a Key Blade from our dealer (~$20) and we keep that in a combination locbox which hangs from one of the hitch receiver safety chain holes. (if you do this, place the key in a plastic bag so moisture cant get to it or it will rust). The key blade will open the driver door.
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