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#1 Old 05-15-2012
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Engine computer help

Benz is telling me that both my ECM and possibly the DAS is no good, causing the Error Start message. I'm being told that the ECM is also vin code locked, so I must buy from them. I know that the DAS IS vin locked, but is the ECM? That would mean that no one could go to a dismantle yard and buy a computer from another SLK same year/ model/motor and it would work.
Please respond, this sounds a little like BS.
PS my car is a 1999 SLK230
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#2 Old 05-15-2012
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I don't know, but it begs the question: which devices care about the VIN, is one device considered authoritative? Or do they all simply have to have the same VIN encoded?
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#3 Old 05-15-2012
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I think that the short answer is that it is. The link is to StarTekInfo, a Mercedes site, and if you look at the menu on the left there is a reference to "Theft Relevant Parts", which has a list of several documents, and the ECM is listed as such a part.

STAR TekInfo

That said, it is altogether possible that someone with a STAR Diagnostic System can program an ECM for your 13 year old car. You will have to hear from someone more experienced like John for a definitive answer.

Best Wishes,
Gene
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#4 Old 05-15-2012
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Gene's right. There are tuners who claim to be able to "re-marry" a ECU to a new VIN, but I've never actually seen it done.

When you order a TRP, it comes from the factory "virgin" and has to be programmed using StarDiag to a specific VIN, and usually this is a sequenced process - eg - for DAS, read the VIN from the ECU, and then burn it into the security PIC on the DAS. There's a bit different process for SmartKeys, where they are shipped to a regional facility and then VIN coded there.

Some parts - like the Instrument Cluster as an example - lock after a specific mileage - so a cluster with less than 250km can be "remarried" to another VIN and the mileage matched to the ECU.

So short answer is no, it's not BS - sorry.

EDITED :

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Originally Posted by efair View Post
I don't know, but it begs the question: which devices care about the VIN, is one device considered authoritative? Or do they all simply have to have the same VIN encoded?
efair - on the R171 - and I think most current MB's - the DAS is the authoritative source - but only in the sense that if the DAS does not match the ECU, the car won't start. If the key does not match the DAS, the DAS won't unlock the steering column or start the car. I guess in theory if you had the CGW, ECU, TCU, DAS, and SmartKey from the same donor car, you could make something work.

Most of the modules on the R171 "know" the VIN, but I'm not sure outside of the list above which ones "require" it.

Edited for clarity - there are companies that claim to "rebuild/refurbish" ECU's for MB's, and also state that they will pre-program it with the VIN to marry it to your car. No personal experience there, so....



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#5 Old 05-15-2012
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Even the cluster???

I found where I could inexpensively get a match set of computer, DAS, lock cylinder and key. All from a dismantled doner car. Am I now to believe that even the cluster has to vin match?? Holy CR-P, I think I may be stuck forking over like $3k to the dealer, this bites.
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#6 Old 05-16-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lowflyingbird View Post
Benz is telling me that both my ECM and possibly the DAS is no good, causing the Error Start message. I'm being told that the ECM is also vin code locked, so I must buy from them. I know that the DAS IS vin locked, but is the ECM? That would mean that no one could go to a dismantle yard and buy a computer from another SLK same year/ model/motor and it would work.
Please respond, this sounds a little like BS.
PS my car is a 1999 SLK230
I had ECU issues I sent it to ECM Depot | ECM Depot, Right Place Right Now they fixed it for me and has been fine, they do not touch the software part, they repair the mechanical part they were the list expensive also
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#7 Old 05-16-2012
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Thankyou

I just looked at the website, they seem worth a shot. I'll call them.



If not, am I correct in believing that I would have to change out ( if from a donor vehicle) the ECM, DAS, key/lock, and also the instrument cluster? If I did not need to swap the cluster, I may have another option by using parts from a dismantled vehicle.

Please reply
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#8 Old 05-16-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lowflyingbird View Post
I just looked at the website, they seem worth a shot. I'll call them.



If not, am I correct in believing that I would have to change out ( if from a donor vehicle) the ECM, DAS, key/lock, and also the instrument cluster? If I did not need to swap the cluster, I may have another option by using parts from a dismantled vehicle.

Please reply
And TCU. I'd be a bit leary of this, as I said "in theory" - I'm not aware of anyone actually doing it! ;-)



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#9 Old 05-16-2012
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OK

Donor vehicle idea now out the window. I'm having the ECM depot check out my ECM, hoping for the best.
Somebody pass me a beer.
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