How to open and repair key after water damage or replace the key fob/case/shell/holder - Mercedes Benz SLK Forum

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#1 Old 08-15-2012
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How to open and repair key after water damage or replace the key fob/case/shell/holder

Ok dear fellow members, yesterday I forgot my key in my pants and guess what.... yes yes yes, I run them in the washer and found it 2 hours later when I was putting all the washed clothes into the dryer . I officially WASHED my keys =)))
So, here I am with another DIY thread in this forum

But Don't Panic if it just happened to you! First, IMMEDIATELY take batteries out (DON'T try to PRESS any button while the batteries inside otherwise you'll get a short circuit and it Will be damaged!)

You can't imagine how badly oxidized my electronic board was! I thought I just lost a $300 key! But it can be fixed!

I found this thread on Crossfire forum on how to take apart your key case and decided to make my own pictures and help SLK Members out since I had a different situation =) ! The original thread is here:
How to take apart a key fob without destroying it! - CrossfireForum.org

So, tools you'll need:
1) 50-70% Isopropyl Alcohol (available in any CVS, Wallgreens, Walmart, etc. or your wife's medicine closet (:
2) Lots of Q-tips.
3) Small flat container where you can dip your electronic board.
4) Flat pliers or something that will help pry open the key case itself.
5) Really flat small knife or flat head screwdriver.



First, we need to open our case, right? It's held by the epoxy glue and two bumps that set into place when it's closed.
Take your pliers (that was the most handy tool I had at the moment) and insert them into the small gap that appears when you extend the key. Then gently push into the direction of arrows to open the front half of the fob. As you are prying open the front half of the fob, be careful not to allow the spring loaded key to pop out. (As the crossfire member noted: "Take care not to let the spring fly off by mistake. It's so small, you'll never find it again!")
As I was prying off I was moving towards the end an gently pushing it apart.





Now when it's opened, take the electronic board out. NOTE: make sure to be careful with battery terminals. DO NOT break them! You can push it with your finger where you placed the battery and it will come out.

Next we need to take the white plastic cover that secures the transponder and is held by the epoxy glue (it is glued to the transponder itself).
I put couple drops of isopropyl alcohol with a Q-tip on the plastic cover and let it soak for a minute or so.
Then insert a small knife between the transponder and this white plastic holder and pop it. BE CAREFUL!!! DO NOT put pressure on the transponder so you DON'T Damage it!



Then, another important part. Removing the transponder. Again, i applied a few drops of isopropyl alcohol on the area where the transponder is glued and let it soak for a few minutes.
Put the same small knife underneath it and pry it off GENTLY! DO NOT DAMAGE IT!
Note the direction of the transponder when you take it out.


Now it is safely removed and we can continue:


Here are pictures of my badly oxidized contacts on electronic board. Ugly, isn't it?!





Now we need to remove all that oxidation, right?! Take your plastic container, pour generous amount of isopropyl alcohol in it and put your electronic board in so it's fully covered! Let it stay there for about 5-10 minutes.
Don't worry, nothing will be damaged. Water might be inside or underneath electronic chips and we need to get rid of it! While the electronic board will be in our alcohol solution take Q-tip and start gently rubbing it, focusing on all the contacts! After it's been soaked for 10 minutes, remove it and use Q-tips again. Dip Q-tip in alcohol and continue gently rubbing off the electronic board focusing on the oxidized areas. Don't worry if some numbers and letters will disappear =) (Also I masked mine on a picture for security reasons).
After you cleaned them let them dry out for about 30 minutes or so (just to make sure)

This method was shown to me by my friend. He repairs laptops. He says when a customer brings his laptop and says: "I spilled some coffee on it", hahahaha... it's time for some rubbing alcohol!

So, we're safe here!

Now, the most pleasant part. My cleaned contacts:






Wait, did I tell you to also clean the rest of the parts with alcohol to remove all the rust and dirt?! =))

Getting ready to re-assemble everything back together.


Since I can't put more than 10 pictures in the same post, I'll make a second post in a few minutes.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 1 - Tools.jpg (39.1 KB, 1212 views)
File Type: jpg 2 - Case opening 2.jpg (32.3 KB, 1258 views)
File Type: jpg 3 - Transponder cover removal.jpg (37.8 KB, 1219 views)
File Type: jpg 4 - Transponder removal.jpg (41.9 KB, 1465 views)
File Type: jpg 5 - Transponder removed.JPG (80.2 KB, 1205 views)
File Type: jpg 6 - Oxidized contacts back.jpg (26.0 KB, 1196 views)
File Type: jpg 7 - Oxidized contacts front.JPG (90.1 KB, 1192 views)
File Type: jpg 8 - Cleaned Contacts.jpg (22.0 KB, 1198 views)
File Type: jpg 9 - CLeaned Contacts.jpg (32.3 KB, 1197 views)
File Type: jpg 10 - Getting ready for re-assembly.jpg (30.3 KB, 1209 views)

Last edited by JaysonM; 08-16-2012 at 10:39 AM.
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#2 Old 08-15-2012
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Where's the pix?!
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#3 Old 08-15-2012
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Re-assembly procedure is quite straight through:
Put your transponder back in place (I didn't glue mine). Put the white plastic cover on top of it. Snap the small red cover back in.
Then place our clean electronic board back. While placing it back pay attention to the battery terminal so it fits back into case place, thus, you won't damage it!


Next, align the spring with the designated slot.


Align three spring cover (aka button) bumps with the three notches on the key:


Now snap the key with the spring back in place. While holding it with one hand rotate they key counter-clockwise one full turn (360 degrees) in order to create a tension for our "click" action when we extend our key.


Continue holding the key in that position and put the front cover. It will click and it's closed! Congratulations! You made it!
NOTE: You can apply a drop of crazy glue in some areas to make the seal "permanent". But don't put too much, since next time you wash your keys you might find yourself braking case while opening it!

If you don't apply glue, next time you can find yourself in an awkward situation as me :
I put the key into ignition lock, turned it, and it came apart =) The car stopped and produced "start error". I successfully resolved it by disconnecting the battery for a few seconds. SO, Make sure you Carefully Glue it!

Another NOTE goes here: Sometimes after replacing batteries key fob needs to be reprogrammed! (That happened to my second soaked key )
If you press buttons on your key fob, and you see the red light blinks on it but car parking lights and door locks don't respond - don't be scared! Here's the solution:
"Place the key in the ignition., turn to position 2 and push the unlock button on the fob, repeat for the lock button. Turn to position 0 and remove the key. Both buttons should work."
The original link is located here: http://benzobsession.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=865
and was found by our fellow member "Livefreeordie". Many thanks to you!!!!!


I didn't use glue because I want to get a new cover 98-04 MERCEDES-BENZ SLK-CLASS FLIP KEY KEYLESS REMOTE FOB CASE FREE INSTRUCTION | eBay for my key, thus, I will need to transfer all the guts into my new key fob. My red rubber Panic button fell apart and I can't use the panic key anymore . I think that this key was used since this car came out and there was too much nail friction and scratching on it. Another MB "invention"

Oh, wait, did I also tell you to get your wife's car and run to the nearest Walmart to get two new CR 2025 batteries? =))
I found myself in an awkward situation. I have a spare key but the batteries in it also died and wasn't able to open the car without turning the alarm off

Well, hope this is it! My key works even better than before!!! Not sure if it's because of new batteries or clean contacts

Cheers you all!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 11 - align the electronic board positive contacts.jpg (31.6 KB, 1196 views)
File Type: jpg 12 - align spring.jpg (26.8 KB, 1192 views)
File Type: jpg 13 - align spring cover.jpg (26.5 KB, 1181 views)
File Type: jpg 13 - Turn counter clockwise.jpg (39.2 KB, 1188 views)
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Last edited by JaysonM; 08-27-2012 at 11:45 PM.
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#4 Old 08-15-2012
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Where's the pix?!
Fixing the issue right now. Don't know if I exceeded my attachment limit. =(
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i see all the pictures.


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#6 Old 08-15-2012
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It might be the the issue with the browser history/cache. I can see 2 solutions right now.
1) Reload the page by pressing the appropriate button in the web browser itself or by pressing Ctrl + R
2) Clean cache/history. In Firefox go to "history"-> "Clear Recent History". Select "Everything" in "Time range to clear field", check all boxes and press "Clean Now".
For Internet Explorer select the "tool" icon -> "Internet Options". Under "Browsing history" click "Delete...", check all boxes then click "Delete" again.

Hope that helps!
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Hi Guys...

Do anyone know, what do to if this happens to a key of a R172??

Thanks
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Hi Guys...

Do anyone know, what do to if this happens to a key of a R172??

Thanks
It will be pretty similar - in a very slightly different sort of way - the main problem with anything like this is finding out how the plastic unclips. Just use your finger nail, and work your way gently round a joint, and you'll get a feel on how to pop the cover apart.






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#9 Old 08-15-2012
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Hi Guys...

Do anyone know, what do to if this happens to a key of a R172??

Thanks
First thing is to remove batteries and let it dry. Then you need to open it. Wolly said it right, try to search for the spot or may be for some gap. I don't know how r172 key looks like so can't give you any suggestions :-(
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#10 Old 08-15-2012
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Still not seeing the pictures in the first post (second post is fine). When I copy the URL of the first picture in the first post and then open a new tab to go to it directly, I get:

"Invalid Attachment specified. If you followed a valid link, please notify the administrator"
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i am home now using opera and i also cannot see the first post but just the second like durk. at work, with chrome, i see em all.

ie also does the same.


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#12 Old 08-15-2012
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can you add those pics as attachments first?


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Dear Durkatlon and Jeff,

Thank you gentlemen for your responses. I will re-upload pictures tomorrow and hope that resolves the issue!
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#14 Old 08-16-2012
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support is looking into it per admin. if you are going to upload, start a new post in the same thread and put them there until support finishes their investigation. this happened before a while ago


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#15 Old 08-16-2012
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support is looking into it per admin. if you are going to upload, start a new post in the same thread and put them there until support finishes their investigation. this happened before a while ago
I edited the 1st post, re-uploaded images and now they are shown as attachments at the bottom of the post as they should be. Hope it's fixed!
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back at work, i can see your photos again. of course, yesterday at work, i could also see them, but when i got home, could not.


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back at work, i can see your photos again. of course, yesterday at work, i could also see them, but when i got home, could not.
Nah, he fixed it. The site definitely lost them somehow yesterday. The attachment IDs that were linked to did not correspond to actual attachments on the site anymore, and the post did not show the thumbnails. All fixed now though!

Thanks for the detailed write-up Jayson! You saved yourself a few hundred dollars there!!
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Test pic ............
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Nah, he fixed it. The site definitely lost them somehow yesterday. The attachment IDs that were linked to did not correspond to actual attachments on the site anymore, and the post did not show the thumbnails. All fixed now though!

Thanks for the detailed write-up Jayson! You saved yourself a few hundred dollars there!!
I'm glad everything is fixed now!
At first I just wanted to let them dry out but as soon as I saw how bad were my battery contacts I immediately started searching on how to open this key case =)
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#20 Old 03-17-2013
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My Fobs

Thanks for posting this! Both my fobs are dead and Iíve tried everything except what youíve outlined in full detail. I did notice in the battery area some corrosion and I began to think it might be the cause of my dead fobs. Iím going to purchase the necessary items you named and take a chance today. Iíve gone through sets of batteries and nothing. One day both fobs just up and quit working. On the 25th of this month Iím scheduled to have a Viper 3305 2 way installed which will cost me 380 bucks and Iím not even sure this is possible but the installer stands by his work and guarantees me a lifetime of service after the install if thing should go wrong. Iíll go and purchase new batteries and other necessary tools needed and give this a shot and if it works then Iíll be set; wonít need the Viper. I just want to have access to my car without having to manually unlock the doors. When they worked they worked fine, range was trash but still they worked. Thanks again and Iíll post up and let you know how things went.
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